I’m so thrilled and honored to be the first recipient of a new popular history award for longform history articles called the Damn History Article Award

I got this announcement today from popular historian Jack El-Hai who has a fascinating site, el-hai.com, that focuses on popular history and often links to interesting articles.

Announcing the Winner of the 2021 Damn History Article Award

Last year, I grew frustrated by the scarcity of recognition for writers creatively telling nonfiction history stories for non-academic and non-scholarly readers. So I started the Damn History Article Award to honor an engagingly conceived, thoroughly researched, and superbly written popular-history article published during the previous year. Between March and May 2021, a competitive group of submissions poured in, and a judging team made up of Tim Brady, Anika Fajardo, and Pamela Toler went through them. The judges deliberated and decided on a winner and two recipients of honorable mentions.

The winner of the 2021 Damn History Article Award: “The Improbable Journey of Dorothy Parker’s Ashes” by Laurie Gwen Shapiro, published in The New Yorker, September 4, 2020.

The judges’ comments: “Laurie Gwen Shapiro takes a curious lead and develops it into a rich story with an unexpectedly poignant conclusion. It was like reading one of those long footnotes that becomes more interesting than the book itself.”

Congratulations to Laurie, who receives a $250 gift card from bookshop.org and a genuine certificate of excellence from Damn History.