Mary Ann Gwinn
2018 Prowda Award Winner
Mary Ann Gwinn spent 34 years at The Seattle Times. Along the way she won a Pulitzer Prize (along with others) for her cover of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. For the last 18 years of her career, she was the Books Editor and her Lit Life column was a beloved institution for folks who liked to have their nose in a book. Mary Ann was one of three jurors for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in fiction. She is a vice president of the board of the National Book Critics Circle, and this year’s chair for the NBCC prize in general nonfiction. Whether her subject was a local or national author, Gwinn used her linguistic gifts to shine a spotlight on those doing the good word work.
“When I got the job of covering books and authors for the Seattle Times in 1998,” Gwinn said upon being notified of this award, “I considered myself one of the luckiest journalists alive, because Seattle arguably has the most vibrant literary culture in the country, an interconnected group of bookstores, authors, libraries and organizations which nurture the written word, including the Seattle Review of Books, this year’s other Prowda winner. That culture survives and thrives today. I’m grateful to SAL, and honored to receive this award.”