Blaire Briody is a writer whose work
explores how environmental and economic issues affect everyday Americans,
focusing on those often ignored by politicians and major media outlets. Briody's
first book, The New Wild West, will be published by Macmillan/St.
Martin's Press in 2016. It will detail how a once-quiet town in North Dakota
suddenly became the new frontier of U.S. energy independence, weaving in stories
of the families who have lived there for generations and the migrant laborers
desperate to make a living. To complete the initial research, she spent two
months living in a trailer park in Williston, North Dakota, to be near her
subjects and document the town's struggles to adjust to the oil boom.
Briody has spent several years as a freelance journalist, writing for The
New York Times, Popular Science, and Fast Company, among others,
and previously worked as a reporter and editor at the national business news
site, The Fiscal Times. She graduated from The University of
California, Davis, with a degree in international relations.
"I enjoy exploring broader social issues through the stories of individuals
and immersing myself in their environment,” Briody says. “With
The New Wild West, I hope to give a voice to the people living in North
Dakota's oil boom region and provide the reader with a deep understanding of
what fracking, oil and our relationship to the land means for all of us. The
Richard J. Margolis Award will be paramount in helping me complete my book, and
I'm incredibly humbled and grateful to receive such a prestigious honor."