OVERVIEW: Utah Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Activities

Presented by:
Utah Humanities
Current Initiative: Centennial Campfires National Partner: The Pulitzer Prizes Local Partner: Other, Public Radio Subject: History, Journalism, Literacy, Poetry, Varies Audience: All

Utah Humanities hosted a series of events in partnership with The Salt Lake Tribune and two of Utah’s public radio stations (UPR and KCPW) to celebrate the centennial year of the Pulitzer Prizes.


Utah Quote 1Utah Humanities’ partnership with The Salt Lake Tribune yielded a variety of events and articles geared toward expanding awareness, knowledge, and interaction with the Pulitzer Prizes and Prize-winning works. Together with The Tribune, the council hosted two events and published several interactive articles that encouraged reader participation as well as a profile that highlighted a member of their community.

Help Pat Bagley Choose His Best

Collaborating with Pat Bagley and The Salt Lake Tribune, the council invited readers to judge Bagley’s 2015 editorial cartoons and help him select his best to submit to contests. The invitation was published in The Salt Lake Tribune as well as an announcement that Bagley would be speaking at an event in early February 2016.

An Evening with Pat Bagley

In partnership with The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Humanities co-hosted a sold-out public event where Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial cartooning, Pat Bagley, shared his favorite cartoons and discussed the artistic process with The Tribune’s Jennifer Napier-Pearce. Their on-stage conversation was followed by a reception for attendees. Later, the event was broadcast on KCPW, Salt Lake City’s radio station. Additionally, an exhibit of Bagley’s work was on display throughout February 2016 in The Leonardo’s main floor.

Share Your Favorite Pulitzer Novels

Through the Tribune’s public information network (PIN) blog, the council asked readers to write in and share their favorite Pulitzer Prize novel in advance of the 2016 awarding of the Prizes. More than 60 readers wrote in prompting another Salt Lake Tribune piece on the comments and selections of its readers.

Profile on Utahn Professor

In March 2016, The Salt Lake Tribune profiled retired BYU professor of psychology Richard Isakson who is on the verge of completing his goal of reading every Pulitzer-winning novel. Within the article, the council provided a guide to readers wishing to start their own Pulitzer journey.  Within the guide, Weber State University professors Becky Jo Gesteland (English) and Sian Griffiths (Creative Writing) offer recommendations on Pulitzer-winning novels.

Trolley Square “Speed-Dating” Style Event

Following the 2016 announcement of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Utah Humanities co-sponsored an event at Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City where readers were invited to a “speed-dating” style competition where they had to defend their choice of their favorite Pulitzer. The council reported that more than 200 people attended this event! See the video here.


Throughout 2016, Utah Humanities partnered with UPR to air 13 hour-long Access Utah radio episodes to bring Pulitzer stories to Utah audiences and publicize the Centennial.

  • Art & Cultural Impact of Political Cartoons with Editorial Cartoonists Matt Wuerker, Pat Bagley, and Jen Sorensen (Feb. 2, 2016)
  • Smarter, Faster, Better with New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg (Mar. 10, 2016)
  • Interview with Prize-Winning Biographer Ron Chernow and Historian H.W. Brands (April 18, 2016)
  • Interview with John Luther Adams, Composer (May 16, 2016)
  • “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History” Interview with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Prize-Winning Author (June 13, 2016)
  • Interview with Prize-Winning Poet Gregory Pardlo (Sept. 8, 2016)
  • Discussion on Thomas Jefferson with Prize-Winning Historian Annette Gordon-Reed and Jefferson Scholar Peter S. Onuf (Nov. 16, 2016)
  • Interview with Prize-Winning Reporter Ken Armstrong (Nov. 22, 2016)
  • Conversation on the Life of Margaret Fuller with Author and Biographer Megan Marshall (Nov. 29, 2016)
  • Conversation with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian T.J. Stiles on Custer (Dec. 8, 2016)
  • Conversation with Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Gilbert King (Dec. 12, 2016)
  • Conversation with Pulitzer Prize –Winning Historian Stephen Greenblatt (Dec. 13, 2016)
  • All episodes can be accessed on upr.org

Utah Quote 2In addition to airing PSAs and rebroadcasts of other Tribune and UPR programs, KCPW also participated in the Tribune’s Pulitzer Party where KCPW recorded and aired the “speed-dating” style competition where readers defended their favorite Pulitzer Prize winners and works. KCPW also recorded and aired Pat Bagley’s talk on political cartoons and what winning the Pulitzer meant to him at the Tribune event and finally the UPR conversation between Tom Williams and Prize-winning reporter Ken Armstrong (Dec. 9, 2016).


  • The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Utah Public Radio (UPR)
  • KCPW (Salt Lake City)


  • Matt Wuerker, Editorial Cartooning (2012)
  • Charles Duhigg, Explanatory Reporting (2013)
  • Ron Chernow, Biography (2011)
  • John Luther Adams, Music (2014)
  • Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, History (1991)
  • Gregory Pardlo, Poetry (2015)
  • Annette Gordon-Reed, History (2009)
  • Ken Armstrong, Explanatory Reporting (2016), Investigative Reporting (2012)
  • Joby Warrick, Public Service, General Nonfiction (1996, 2016)
  • J. Stiles, History (2016)
  • Gilbert King, Nonfiction (2013)
  • Stephen Greenblatt, General Nonfiction (2012)


  • Salt Lake City, UT

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