Stillwater Awards

According to the Prison Journalism Project, 24 prison newspapers regularly publish in 12 states.

Sadly, no one recognizes their work. Happily, the Society for Professional Journalism will start in 2024.

SPJ is launching the Stillwater Awards, named after the first prison to publish a newspaper. The Prison Mirror (still in existence today) was founded in 1887 at Stillwater Prison, now Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater.

Instead of a traditional journalism contest – in which news outlets submit entries – the SPJ board of directors will review every prison newspaper it can locate and bestow awards in several categories.

Michael Anguille, the Stillwater Awards executive director, explains it like this…

All too often incarcerated citizens are cast away and stripped of their voices. The Stillwater Awards will change that. In highlighting the contributions of the incarcerated population to the world of journalism, we will ensure that no voice is left behind or silenced – least of all the many bright men and women behind bars.

Anguille is a professional journalist who served 8½ years in the Florida prison system. He’s currently applying to law school “in the hopes of ending mass incarceration in the United States.”

Check back here for details in January 2024, and learn more about these awards by emailing us at