Anne Keegan Award for excellence in writing about the common man

Nominations Are Now Open!

Nominations for the 11th annual Anne Keegan award will be accepted from Jan. 1 – March 1, 2023. To apply or to nominate someone, please submit up to three examples of work published between Jan. 1, 2022 and Dec. 31, 2022.

Submissions should be formatted in plain text and sent as a word-doc attachment to There is no application fee.

The Anne Keegan Award honors writers who tell stories of ordinary people in extraordinarily well-reported and well-written prose, muting their own voice to give one to the voiceless instead. Winners of this award are honored for exhibiting compassion, character and courage while telling stories that touch the human heart.

2021 Winner: Madeline Buckley

The 2022 Keegan Award went to Chicago Tribune reporter Madeline Buckley for an engaging writing that makes ordinary people the heart of even the most extraordinary stories.

With sensitivity and attention to detail, she has introduced readers to holocaust survivors, COVID victims and the everyday people traumatized by Chicago violence.

The judges were especially moved by her story of a Green Line rider who stayed with a fellow passenger after he had been fatally shot during an evening commute. Time again, through thorough reporting and compelling prose, she demonstrated the importance – and beauty – of writing about the common man.

More past recipients

About Anne

Anne Keegan first reported on the little guy while working at the City News Bureau of Chicago and honed her craft at United Press International before moving to the Chicago Tribune’s front page. Her husband, Leonard Aronson, and several of his friends are the inspiration for this award. Keegan died May 18, 2011 at 68. 

This short video about Keegan produced by her husband, Chicago documentary filmmaker Len Aronson, was shown at the inauguration of the Keegan Award in 2012 is a tribute to her exemplary career.