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Laura Distelheim, 1998 Award Winner

When she won the Margolis Award in 1998, Laura Distelheim was writing Grace Notes, a collection of profiles of people who had found the strength to overcome the challenges of poverty, illness, displacement, discrimination and persecution. Her essay "On Ruthie" was forthcoming in DoubleTake magazine, and she had received a grant in 1997 from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund/Money for Women for her work.


Her work has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including the North American Review, Creative Nonfiction, Pleiades, The Florida Review, New Millenium Writings, International Quarterly, Calyx and Whetstone.

Since winning the Margolis Award, Distelheim has received a number of awards and fellowships, including an Illinois Arts Council Artist's Fellowship Award (2001), the Mary Rinehart Award for Nonfiction (2000), the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society Medal (2001), the Florida Review Editor's Award for Nonfiction (2002), and the New Millenium Writings Award for Nonfiction (2002).

Distelheim is a graduate of Harvard Law School. "Winning this award has been a huge goal for me," she said. "I use writing as a way to help people who would have been my clients. I hoped to receive the Margolis Award because of its commitment to social justice. This is a tremendous honor and personal achievement."

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