Texas Observer Says $5,000 Molly Ivins Journalism Award Nominations Remain Open Until August 15

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The MOLLY Awards will be presented at a gala on October 20 in Austin. The MOLLY Prize for Investgative Journalism award is $5,000. The MOLLY Prize for Political Commentary is $2,000. The Texas Democracy Foundation and Texas Observer present the awards annually to honor the legacy of journalist and columnist Molly Ivins.

 Texas Observer Molly Ivins Award

Molly Ivins

"...in memory of the biting analysis Molly Ivins offered throughout her career."

Submissions for the Molly Awards presented by the Texas Observer will remain open until close of day, August 15.

The MOLLY Investigative Journalism Prize is an annual award of $5,000, open to national print and digital outlets. For the second year, the Texas Democracy Foundation and the Texas Observer will also be presenting an award of $2,000 for Excellence in Political Commentary, in memory of the biting analysis Molly Ivins offered throughout her career.

General rules for submitting an entry appear below. For more information on the award, please go to https://www.texasobserver.org/molly-awards/the-molly-awards-submissions/ or email events@texasobserver.org.


  • 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, 2021, and December 31, 2021. Entries must be received by August 15, 2022.
  • 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 will be judged on the basis of either a single piece or a series of up to four related pieces or columns.
  • Judges will value work that reflects Molly’s ability to challenge conventional wisdom, to look critically at the issues of the day — particularly those relating to civil liberties and social justice — with compassion, and to tell the stories that need telling.

How to submit:

  • Email your submission and submission form to mollyawards@texasobserver.org 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 donated here or mailed to Texas Observer, P.O. Box 6421, Austin, TX 78762 (Please make sure your name is on the check and please note that it’s for the MOLLY Prize.).
  • Pay online.

If you or your organization is struggling to pay the fee, or the publishing outlet has closed since publication, please contact business@texasobserver.org, 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 and writers from around the country. Judges will not judge work generated by their respective publications.


2020: Pamela Colloff, ProPublica
2019: Hannah Dreier, ProPublica
2018: Michael Grabell & Howard Berkes, ProPublica/NPR
2017: Shane Bauer, Mother Jones
2016: JosephNeff, 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

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Managing Director James Canup
The Texas Observer
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