David Carr Prize

Longtime New York Times writer David Carr spoke on numerous panels at SXSW throughout his career. After his passing in 2015, we launched the David Carr Prize to spotlight the intersection of technology and journalism, as well as to honor the influence he had on the community of creatives that come to Austin each March.

David Carr at SXSW 2013. Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images.

David Carr at SXSW 2013. Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images.

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About the David Carr Prize


All emerging (and established) writers, bloggers, and journalists are invited each year to honor David Carr’s interest in the convergence of new media, technology, and culture by entering an essay or short story of 2,000 words or less in this competition.

Original and unpublished entries will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of various SXSW staffers. The author of the winning essay will be honored at the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards on Tuesday evening, March 14, 2017.

2017 Winner

Mike Armstrong – “The Heart of Something Heartless”

2017 Finalists

Mike Armstrong – “The Heart of Something Heartless”

James Brown – “Learning in a Community of Black Boxes”

Megan Cole – “Untitled”

Dan Murrell – “Gerald 1.0”

Gabriel Wardell – “Untitled”

2017 Essay Prompt

The essay prompt this year: What will it mean to be human in the age of machine learning and artificial intelligence? What will this mean to you in terms of human creativity, identity, love, communication, and community? Given that current AI-based algorithms are a big part of today’s fake news problem, your essay might also address human solutions to this pressing issue.

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2018 SXSW PanelPicker Opens Monday, June 26

Be part of SXSW 2018 – propose programming ideas through PanelPicker® from Monday, June 26 through Friday, July 21.

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Explore SXSW Conference Tracks

The SXSW Conference provides an opportunity for global professionals at every level to participate, learn, and network. Each track allows attendees to explore what’s next in the worlds of entertainment, culture, and technology.

Explore Tracks

Giveaway Rules


The complete prize package includes (1) $1,650 SXSW Platinum Badge, (1) $350 airline voucher, (4) night stay in Austin during SXSW valued at $2,000 – total prize value of $4,000 USD.

Review the David Carr Prize Official Giveaway Rules and please email brianna@sxsw.com with any questions.

2016 Finalist Essays


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