Announcing "The Lizzie" SEJ Conference Fellowship

Donate to "The Lizzie" fund
for freelance writers

August 4, 2017 — The SEJ family is still mourning the loss of SEJ member Elizabeth Grossman, who passed away in July after a long battle with cancer. Lizzie was an accomplished independent environmental health journalist whose incisive reporting, deep passion for her work and infectious humor earned her respect and admiration from those who knew her and worked alongside her. She was a friend to many in the SEJ family and, as a member of the SEJ Board of Directors who attended her final board meeting via cell phone from her hospital bed, Lizzie was a fierce advocate for SEJ support for freelance journalists. The world is a much brighter place for having Lizzie as one of its watchdogs.

One of SEJ's programs Lizzie found most valuable was the annual conference. She was concerned that the cost of conference registration, travel and lodging was often too high a bar for freelancers to be able to attend.

As one of the things SEJ is doing to honor her legacy, I'm delighted to announce "The Lizzie," a $1,500 fellowship to SEJ's annual conference beginning with SEJ 2017 in Pittsburgh. The fellowship will go to an SEJ freelance member who has not attended the annual conference in at least three years.

We need your help, however. "The Lizzie" will be funded by contributions from SEJ members and the public. If 15 people contribute $100 to this fellowship, it will be enough to fund one independent journalist's travel, registration and lodging for this year's conference in October. If SEJ receives funds in excess of $1,500, the funds will pay for "The Lizzie" fellowship to the 2018 SEJ conference in Flint, Mich.

The board has formed "The Lizzie" Fellowship Committee, which in the coming weeks will prepare a call for fellowship candidates, process applications and select the fellow for this year's conference. The committee will be SEJ members Jane Braxton Little, Valerie Brown and Marla Cone.

If you'd like to make a contribution to the "The Lizzie," I invite you to do so here.

Separately, SEJ is exploring options to fund an environmental health reporting grant, possibly through the Fund for Environmental Journalism. At her final board meeting in July in Seattle, Lizzie proposed a grant that would pay for travel and other expenses related to sustained reporting or a series of stories on the same topic. We'd like to move ahead with this. We'll be making an announcement with further details in the coming months.

In the meantime, you can contribute to FEJ in Lizzie's honor by visiting our donations page.

Freelancers make up nearly a third of SEJ membership. Creating "The Lizzie" and offering FEJ reporting grants for independent journalists helps to support hard-hitting environmental reporting by SEJ's largest membership group while also honoring the legacy of one of SEJ's most vocal freelance journalism advocates.

Your contributions will fund this important work and help further SEJ's primary mission of supporting environmental journalism across all media.


Bobby Magill
SEJ President

Contributors to "The Lizzie" Freelance Fellowship Fund:

Ashley Ahearn  |  Kathy Attar  |  Arlene Blum  |  Madeline Bodin  |  Jane Braxton Little  |  Charlotte Brody  |  Chris Bruggers  |  Jonathan Cobb  |  James Detjen  |  Gloria Dickie  |  Dennis Dimick  |  Dan Fagin  |  Peter Fairley  |  Jeff Flath  |  Nancy Gaarder  |  Emily Gertz  |  Jana Goldman  |  Gloria Gonzalez  |  Grossman Morse and Freeman families  |  Thomas Hayden  |  Mary Hoff  |  Brian Howard  |  Jane Kay  |  Rona Kobell  |  Cat Lazaroff  |  Tom Lent  |  Sharon Lerner  |  Charles Lewis  |  Nancy Lord  |  Gilly Lyons  |  John Manuel  |  Charles Margulis  |  Gerald Marzorati  |  Nancy Matsumoto  |  Elizabeth H. McGowan  |  Craig Miller  |  Celeste Monforton  |  Susan Moran  |  Nancy Nichols  |  Beth Parke  |  Meaghan Parker  |  Laura Paskus  |  Vince Patton  |  Cristine Russell  |  Jennifer Sass  |  Mark Schleifstein  |  Kathleen Sheppard  |  Kassie Siegel  |  Kim Stafford  |  Rena Steinzor  |  Lana Straub  |  Rae Tyson  |  Brett Walton  |  Sarah Webb  |  Jennifer Weeks  |  Matthew Wheeland  |  Nadia White  |  Roger Witherspoon  |  Edward C. Wolf  |  plus anonymous donors