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Winning book covers of Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Awards

SONWA Book Awards Announced

Best in 2018 Nature Writing

For the third time in its twenty-seven-year history, Craig Childs has been awarded the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. The SONWA committee has selected Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America as the best in nature writing for 2018. Childs was awarded SONWAs in 2007 for The Animal Dialogues and in…  Read More

SONWA Winners 2017

Honeybees and a trailblazing scientist top the 2017 SONWA book awards

Northland College has announced the winning 2017 books for the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA). The SONWA committee awarded Where Honeybees Thrive: Stories from the Field by author Heather Swan the top prize in nature writing. “Swan takes an innovative look at the wonders of honeybees and humanity’s complex relationship with them—weaving together…  Read More …  Read More

SONWA winners

2016 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winners

Northland College announces Book Awards for Earth Day

Northland College has announced the winning 2016 books for the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA) in adult, young adult, and children’s literature. Since 1991, the SONWA has honored the literary legacy of Sigurd Olson, who attended Northland College, and is the namesake of the College’s environmental institute, by recognizing and encouraging contemporary writers…  Read More …  Read More

Winning books in grass

SONWA 2015 Winners

Rivers, Water, and a North Woods Girl

In time for Earth Day, Northland College has announced the winning 2015 books for the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA) in adult, young adult, and children’s literature. The winners include: For the Love of Rivers: A Scientist’s Journey, by Kurt D. Fausch, (Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon), Water Runs Through This Book,…  Read More …  Read More

Sig Olson's personal gear

SONWA Book Awards

On Earth Day, we announced our choices for the best in nature writing in adult nonfiction, young adult, and children’s literature.…  Read More

Red canoe on a lake

Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute provides leadership in citizen science, outreach, and education on regional conservation issues while fostering the next generation of environmental leaders.…  Read More

Gary Ferguson

2014 SONWA Winners Announced

Northland College announced today for Earth Day their choices for the best in nature writing this past year. Three authors have been selected to receive the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA) for adult, young adult, and children’s literature. Established in 1991, the SONWA honors the literary legacy of Sigurd F. Olson by recognizing…  Read More …  Read More

SONWA winning books

SONWA Winners 1991-Present

Nature Books for Adults, Young Adults, and Children

Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award Winners • 1991. Open Spaces, Jim Dale Vickery. Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award (SONWA) gave its inaugural award to Minnesota author Jim Dale Vickery for Open Spaces , a book that takes the reader to the unpopulated spaces in North America. Vickery, who died in June 2014, continued to write about…  Read More …  Read More

Sweetgrass braid

Braiding Sweetgrass 2013 SONWA Winner

The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College announced today that Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants is the winner of its nature writing award. Kimmerer will receive a $1,000 cash prize and an invitation to visit Northland College next fall for an award ceremony and reading.…  Read More …  Read More

SONWA children's winning book covers

SOEI Announces Best in Children’s Nature Books 2018

SONWA Children's Book Awards

The Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award committee has awarded author Sigrid Schmalzer and illustrator Melanie Linden Chan top prize in children’s literature for Moth and Wasp, Soil and Ocean: Remembering Chinese Scientist Pu Zhelong’s Work for Sustainable Farming. The awards, given for best nature writing in 2018, were announced today in time for Earth…  Read More