Award Details

Nomination are not accepted for this award.

This award recognizes an outstanding publication in Voices from the Middle written or co-written by classroom teachers or literacy coaches. Many of today’s recognized authors and experts published their early work in Voices from the Middle, and this award aims to support the development of future voices to lead our profession forward.

The outstanding work must have been published between September and May of the previous volume year. At least 50% of the named contributing authors must be middle level preservice or practicing teachers or literacy coaches at the time of publication. This may include those on leave or on special assignment. All published works that meet this eligibility requirement will be considered; no additional submission is required. The published work may be print or digital, article, vignette, or other form. Up to two honorable mentions may be named each year.

Award Criteria:
Upon meeting eligibility requirements, a published work will be selected based on the following four criteria:

  • Timeliness to the field
  • Features authentic classroom voices
  • Practical application of ideas to other middle level classrooms
  • Significant attention to craft and intended audience

Award Specifics:
The award will be recognized at the Middle Level Luncheon during the NCTE Annual Convention. The winning recipient(s) will each receive a ticket to the Middle Level Luncheon and their name(s) will appear on a plaque. Honorable mention author(s) will receive a certificate.

The award is named in recognition of Linda Rief, esteemed middle level educator, longstanding member of and leader within the Middle Level Section, and one of the original editors of Voices from the Middle.

Annually, the Voices from the Middle journal editors will propose a maximum of five recipients to the Middle Level Section Steering Committee by June 1 of each year. The Middle Level Section Steering Committee and/or award subcommittee will select the outstanding work and up to two honorable mentions by August 1.

NCTE Linda Rief Voices from the Middle Award Winners


Matthew Homrich-Knieling, Detroit, Michigan, “‘An Offense to Their Human Rights’: Connecting Bud, not Buddy to the Flint Water Crisis with Middle School ELA Students,” September 2016