Online MOLLY Award Submission

Starting December 1, 2018, through February 28, 2019, the Texas Observer and the Texas Democracy Foundation will be accepting entries for the 2019 MOLLY National Journalism Prize. The MOLLY Prize is an annual national print or online journalism award of $5,000 with two honorable mentions of $1,000 each to be presented by the Texas Democracy Foundation and the Texas Observer in memory of Molly Ivins.

The awards will be presented at an awards dinner on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, keynoted by a special guest. Past speakers have included Joan Walsh, Jose Antonio Vargas, Dan Rather, Ellen Goodman, Seymour Hersh, Gail Collins, Paul Krugman, Connie Schultz, John Quiñones and Jamelle Bouie.

General rules for submitting an entry appear below. For more information on the award, becoming a sponsor, attending the dinner or contributing to the MOLLY Prize fund, please contact [email protected] or call (512) 477-0746 ext 100.


  • 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, 2018, and December 31, 2018.
  • 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 will be judged on the basis of either a single piece or a series of up to four related articles or 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 (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.)

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, including Michael Barajas, Kathy Blackwell, Jamelle Bouie, Gus Bova, Rose Cahalan, Carlton Carl, Maurice Chammah, Jason Cherkis, Sarah Courteau, Kira Don, Carol Flake, Amanda Hess, Owen Good, Charlotte Greensit, Tristram Korten, Jason Leopold, Alexa Mills, Kathleen McElroy, Hamilton Nolan, Sophie Novack, Will Potter, Gabriela Resto-Montero, Geoff Rips, Leonard Roberge, Ricardo Sandoval Palos, Naveena Sadasivam, Tom Scocca, Christopher Shay, Annys Shin, Ellen Sweets, A.C. Thompson, Erik Wemple, Forrest Wilder, Kai Wright, Jeremy Young, and Dan Zehr. 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.

Past winners:

2018: Michael Grabel & Howard Berkes, ProPublica/NPR

2017: Shane Bauer, Mother Jones

2016: Joseph Neff, the News & Observer

2015: Esther Kaplan, the Virginia Quarterly Review

2014: Dave Philipps, The Gazette (Colorado Springs)

2013: Sarah Stillman, the New Yorker

2012: Trevor Aaronson, Mother Jones

2011: Jeff Sharlet, Harper’s Magazine

2010: A.C. Thompson, ProPublica

2009: Rick Casey, the Houston Chronicle

2008: Diane Suchetka, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • Please submit a link to the entry or upload it below.
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, odt.
  • First NameLast Name 
    Multiple bylines acceptable
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf, odt.
  • Price: $50.00
  • American Express
    Your credit card will be charged $50 immediately upon submission.