The Matthew Power Prize for Literary Reporting is a $12500 grant to support the work of a promising early-career writer on a story that reveals truths about the human condition.

First introduced in 2015, the award has been given by individuals and organizations influenced by the life and work of Matthew Power, a widely read and award-winning journalist who sought to live and share experiences with the people and places on which he reported. Power, a longtime friend of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, died in March 2014, while on assignment in Uganda.

The award stems from the recognition that many important stories must be reported from afar, and that publications do not always have the resources to send a writer to where the story is. The funds need not be used exclusively for travel, but we expect most successful applications to include such expenses.

A committee of NYU journalism professors and outside writers and editors will review the proposals. Finalists may be asked to conduct an interview in person or via Skype.

The judges will be interested in perpetuating Power's legacy, as his former editor Roger Hodge said, of “strong, character-driven narratives with detailed scene writing and lyrical description.” Power has always been open to the absurd that often concerns politics and international affairs; He was always searching, as he put it, for “the human truth behind unfortunate facts.” He added that the ultimate ambition for power was literary beauty.

The award will not fund proposals to report on armed conflicts where journalists are already at risk, nor projects that are primarily investigative. The winner will typically receive visiting scholar privileges at NYU, including access to the library.

Matthew Power Award

  • The main prize is $6000.
  • $3000 when making significant progress.
  • $3500 upon completion.
  • Second place will receive $4000.