Richard J Margolis Award
When she won the ward in 1998, Laura Distelheim was writing Grace Notes, a collection of profiles of people who had found the strength to overcome the challenges of poverty, illness, displacement, discrimination and persecution. Her essay "On Ruthie" was forthcoming in DoubleTake Magazine. And in 1997 she received a grant from the Barbara Demming/Money for Women Fund for her work.
Her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including the North American Review, Creative Nonfiction, Pleiades, The Florida Review, New Millenium Writings, International Quarterly, Calyx and Whetstone.
Since winning the Margolis Award, Distelheim has been the recipient of a number of awards and fellowships, including an Illinois Arts Council Artist's Fellowship Award (2001), the Mary Rinehart Award for Nonfiction (2000), the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society Medal (2001), the Florida Review Editor's Award for Nonfiction (2002), and the New Millenium Writings Award for Nonfiction (2002).
Ms. Distelheim is a graduate of Harvard Law School, but does not practice law due to a chronic illness. "Winning this award has been a huge goal for me. I use writing as a way to help people who would have been my clients. I hoped to receive the Margolis Award because of its commitment to social justice. For me this is a tremendous honor and personal achievement."