Paul Dickson to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

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Paul Dickson to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Paul Dickson has an inexhaustible interest in, apparently, everything. He’s authored more than 70 works of nonfiction, from biographies to books on science, space, food, drinking, and sports. The Wall Street Journal, in fact, named The Dickson Baseball Dictionary one of the top five baseball books of all time.

Nonetheless, Paul’s defining characteristic as an author is his willingness to share what he knows with others. It is exactly this spirit of generosity and community that led the Independent to choose him as the recipient of its 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award.

As his nomination reads in part, “For two generations and more, [Paul] has known and helped scores of fellow writers with his remarkable enthusiasm, knowledge, energy, creativity, and eagerness.” The nomination goes on to note that anyone who approaches Paul with thoughts about a book project on a given subject — confident he’ll know something about it — comes away with more ideas, prospective sources, an often an invitation for a follow-up (which will surely yield even more information).

The purpose of the award, presented annually by the Independent’s board of directors, is to recognize “a DC-based or -focused person who has made a long-term, significant contribution to the readers and writers of the Washington, DC, area and beyond, especially in ways that encourage others to contribute to and grow a literary community rich in independent thought and boundless curiosity.” As illustrated by the heartfelt nominations he received, Paul fully embodies the spirit of the award.

Past recipients include former Maryland poet laureate and co-founder of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Grace Cavalieri; bestselling biographer Kitty Kelley; longtime Washington Post reporter and editor Eugene L. Meyer; author, teacher, and co-founder of the Hurston/Wright Foundation Marita Golden; and award-winning author and co-founder/first president of the Independent David O. Stewart.

The award will be presented at the 2024 Washington Writers Conference on Saturday, May 4th, in Rockville, MD. Learn more here.

Jennifer Bort Yacovissi is president of the Independent.

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