Waterston Desert Writing Prize
Summer Hess – 2019 Finalist
Summer Hess’s submission, “Terrae Incognitae Atacama,” is a project to continue her research and writing about Chile’s Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world, and its people. Hess’s literary study will examine people and places, and how the remaining Atacemenos and their exploited landscape can be supported.
Summer Hess manages Sage Step Designs, a small operation out of Wenatchee, Washington that offers editorial and creative services. She writes and prepares promotional materials (website and TedX talk) for a book about a 20-year experimental investment in social purpose real estate that’s changing the face of philanthropy and development, and serves as managing editor for Out There Outdoors, the Inland Northwest’s guide to travel, adventure, and outdoor living with 90,000 loyal readers. Her work has appeared in Field & Compass, Nspire Magazine, The Spinoff (New Zealand), and in a forthcoming book chapter published by Across the Disciplines called Visual Thinking Strategies in the Composition Classroom. Hess earned an MFA in non-fiction writing from Eastern Washington University in and she has long desired to return to her graduate thesis, expand it, and prepare it for publication. She worked in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (2006) through a Chilean Ministry of Education teaching program and returned through a Student Fulbright Award (2011) to research the history of travel and tourism.