The Coolidge Prize for Journalism

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  • It is a great advantage to a President and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man. – The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge
  • Service in the General Court is not obligatory but optional. It is not to be undertaken as a profession or a means of livelihood. – Calvin Coolidge, June 6, 1919
  • The expenditure of money has been too large. – Former President Coolidge, July 4, 1930
  • The collection of any taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. – President Calvin Coolidge, Second Inaugural Address, 1925
  • Don’t hurry to legislate. Give administration a chance to catch up with legislation. – Calvin Coolidge, January 7, 1914
  • Be loyal to the commonwealth and to yourselves and be brief; above all things, be brief. – Calvin Coolidge, 1915

The Coolidge Prize for Journalism is a $20,000 prize for short writing of published articles or published blog posts under 800 words each.

The prize goes to the author who best captures the spirit and style of the thirtieth president and the ideals Coolidge favored, some of which were: independence, thrift, balanced budgets, a restrained federal government, active state government, perseverance after hardship, appreciation of commerce, stable money, support for international law, competence at work, meticulous respect for the Constitution, civility and respect for religious faith.

The Coolidge Prize for Journalism is awarded annually at a banquet dinner in the Fall in New York City. To be eligible for the prize, the candidate must commit to attending the banquet dinner should he/she be named a finalist (reasonable travel costs will be covered by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation).

The Prize is sponsored by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. The Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of the Thomas W. Smith Foundation.

Additional questions? Please email us at: coolidgeprize@gmail.com.

Rules

1. Any individual is eligible to compete.

2. Submitted columns must contain fewer than 800 words or fewer. This is a firm maximum word count. Columns containing more than 800 words will not be considered. (Headline, sub-headings, name, and author identification copy do not count against the 800 word maximum.)

3. Submitted columns must have been published by a print or online publication between January 1, 2013 and September 1, 2015.

4. The submission deadline is September 25, 2015 at 11:59 PM.

5. To be eligible to compete, in the event that the submitting author is named a finalist, he/she must commit to attend an awards banquet dinner in New York City where the prize will be presented. Reasonable travel costs will be covered by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation.

Evaluation Criteria

The writing submissions will be evaluated based upon their representation and articulation of the values important to Calvin Coolidge, including: independence, thrift, balanced budgets, a restrained federal government, active state government, perseverance after hardship, appreciation of commerce, stable money, support for international law, competence at work, meticulous respect for the Constitution, civility and respect for religious faith. A maximum of three columns may be submitted for consideration, but only one is required. Submitted columns must also be in the spirit of Calvin Coolidge: they must avoid the ad-hominem, display clear thinking, and be brief. The 800 word limit per column is an absolute.

Submission Instructions

1. Fill out the online form below.

2. Upload a single Word document.

  • Please include your name at the top of the Word document.
  • Please copy and paste your columns (maximum of three columns) on to the Word document.
  • For each column, please include: the column’s title, the publisher, the date of publication, and a link to where it can be found online (if applicable).

3. Click the submit button to submit your entry.

4. Questions? Please write us at CoolidgePrize@gmail.com

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2014 Coolidge Prize for Journalism winner Don Boudreaux is pictured here with Foundation Trustees Christopher Jeter and Milt Valera.

Past Winners

2015- Steven Frias, Keegan Werlin LLP

2014- Dr. Donald J. Boudreaux, George Mason University

2013- Holman W. Jenkins, The Wall Street Journal