Ellen Meloy Fund

Announcing the 2019 Desert Writers Award recipient!


The Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers has chosen Leath Tonino of Crested Butte, Colorado, as the recipient of the fourteenth annual Desert Writers Award. A grant of $5,000 will support work on his writing proposal, titled Strange Immersions: Five Deep Dives into Lands Cut from the Grand Staircase—Escalante Map.

Mr. Tonino has published more than 135 articles and essays in a variety of journals and magazines.  His work as a writer frequently takes him outdoors and into mountains, plains and deserts across the U.S.  He is predominantly a writer of the wild backcountry wherever he can find it.

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In the desert there is everything and there is nothing. Stay curious. Know where you are—your biological address. Get to know your neighbors—plants, creatures, who lives there, who died there, who is blessed, cursed, what is absent or in danger or in need of your help. Pay attention to the weather, to what breaks your heart, to what lifts your heart. Write it down.
— E.M. November 2004
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Our Mission:

We provide support to writers whose work reflects the spirit and passions embodied in Ellen’s writing and her commitment to a “deep map of place.”


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EMF fundraiser: paintings for sale
Paintings by Serena Suplee, gifted to the Ellen Meloy Fund by Katie Lee