In 2013 Biographers International Organization (BIO) established the Hazel Rowley Prize for Best Proposal from a First-time Biographer. The winner receives $5,000, a careful reading from at least one established literary agent and a year’s membership in BIO.
The prize was given in memory of Hazel Rowley who was a BIO enthusiast from its inception, understanding the need for biographers to help each other. She was a passionate advocate for the art and craft of biography and a writer of exacting standards. This prize was given to acknowledge Hazel’s contribution to both BIO and biography writing.
The prize has been awarded to the following writers:
2023 Alec Pollak, writing a biography of American writer Joanna Russ
2022 Laura Michele Diener, writing a biography of the Norwegian-Danish writer Sigrid Undset
2021 Tanya Paperny, writing about her great-grandmother Tatiana Ivanovna Shatalova-Rabinovich, a political activist who was killed by the Stalin regime
2020 Jay Prosser, working on a biography exploring one Jewish family’s experiences and connections across empires and centuries
2019 Barbara Fisher, working on a biography of the influential cultural critic Lionel Trilling
2018 Andrew D Scrimgeour, working on The Man Who Tried to Save Jesus: Robert W. Funk and The Jesus Seminar, about one of the most controversial figures in modern biblical scholarship
2017 Diana Parsell, working on a biography of intrepid American traveller Eliza Scidmore
2016 Robert Marshall, working on a biography of author Carlos Castaneda
2014 Holly Van Leuven, working on a biography of entertainer Ray Bolger