Submissions for the 2022 MOLLY Awards are now open.

The MOLLY Investigative Journalism Prize is an annual award of $5,000, open to national print and digital outlets. For the first year, the Texas Democracy Foundation and the Texas Observer will also be presenting an award of $2,000 for Excellence in Political Commentary/Columns, in memory of the biting commentary Molly Ivins offered throughout her career. Finalists will be announced in May, with the winners awarded during a virtual ceremony on Thursday, June 10.

General rules for submitting an entry appear below. For more information on the award, becoming a sponsor, attending the award gala or contributing to the MOLLY Prize fund, please contact [email protected] or call (512) 477-0746 ext 103.


  • Submissions must consist of material originally published in a U.S.-based publication in print or as part of an online magazine (Note: This does not include unedited blogs) between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Entries must be received by February 28, 2021.
  • One entry per individual will be accepted.
  • Individual writers may enter on their own or be entered by the publication in which the work appeared.
  • Multiple bylines for a single entry are acceptable.
  • All entries for the MOLLY Investigative Prize will be judged on the basis of either a single piece or a series of up to four related articles; all entries for the Excellence in Political Commentary/Columns will be judged on the basis of a either a single piece or a series up to four related columns.
  • Judges will value work that reflects Molly’s ability to look critically at the issues of the day with compassion and/or humor, tell the stories that need telling, challenge conventional wisdom, and focus upon civil liberties or social justice.

How to submit:

  • Submit and pay online (entry form below), or
  • Email your submission to [email protected] along with a cover letter and brief bio, as well as contact information for yourself and for the publication. Mailed submissions will not be accepted. The entry fee is $50, which may be mailed to Texas Observer, 54 Chicon St, Austin, TX, 78702 (Please make sure your name is on the check and please note that it’s for the MOLLY Prize.)
  • If you or your organization is struggling to pay the fee, or the publishing outlet has closed since publication, please contact [email protected], as we may have funds available to help cover your submission costs.

Please note: Work that has appeared in the Texas Observer is ineligible in order to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.


Judging will be conducted by a panel of journalists from around the country. Media outlets represented by the individuals on this list can and should apply for the MOLLY Prize. Judges will not judge work generated by their respective publications. Thank you to our 2021 judges.

Advisory Judges Committee: Amanda Hess, Carlton Carl, Cierra Hinton, Dan Zehr, Gabriela Resto-Montero, Jason Cherkis, Kathleen McElroy, Maurice Chammah, Michelle Legro, Naveena Sadasivam, Olivia Messer, and Sarah Courteau.

Judges Panel: Aaricka Washington, Alain Stephens, Alexa Mills, Andrea Valdez, Anna V Smith, Ayan Mitra, Bryan Pollard, Caitlin Kelly, Christopher Shay, Dave Mann, Dave Zirin, Ellen Sweets, Erik Wemple, Geoff Rips, Graham Lee Brewer, Hamilton Nolan, Hannah Dreier, Jason Leopold, Jeff Winkler, Jeremy Young, Joanna Pearlstein, Katha Pollitt, Kathy Blackwell, Ko Bragg, Lenzy Kreihbal-Burton, Leonard Roberge, Liliana Segura, Lisa Riordan Seville, Lomi Kriel, Maria Bustillos, Michael Hoinski, Michelle Garcia, Naomi Gordon Loebl, Nate Blakeslee, Rachel Riederer, Ricardo Sandoval Palos, Susan Smith Richardson, Taylor Crumpton, and Tom Scocca.