• P.O. Drawer 76, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
  • (916) 667-1313

Beta Test: Benjamin Franklin Writer's Award

Benjamin Franklin Writer's Award Benjamin Franklin Writer's Award

About the Award:

Established to preserve the history of America's fire services, the National Fire Heritage Center recognizes that authors of books, magazines, newsletters, and a variety of media are key preservers of America's fire service history. Their stories keep alive the events and people who might otherwise have been lost through generations of change. To thank and recognize the contributions authors make in preserving America's Fire Heritage, each year, the National Fire Heritage Center presents the Benjamin Franklin Fire Writer's Award.

In honor of Benjamin Franklin's unique combination of being a writer and publisher and simultaneously an advocate for fire protection in the community, NFHC created the Benjamin Franklin Fire Writer's Award to honor authors also dedicated to these missions.

Benjamin Franklin is recognized as the "Father of the American Fire Service." He is credited with the creation in 1736 of one of the first fire companies in the country. In almost any reference, whether it is fire prevention, fire suppression, fire engineering, or even fire education, his name is invoked as being among the first in this nation to be an advocate of fire and life safety. However, Franklin was most proud of his chosen trade: a printer. He made his fortune as a writer. Poor Richard's Almanac was only one of his efforts to convert ideas into words and act upon them in a meaningful manner. He had a profound impact not only on the fire service but upon our government, the insurance industry, our lifestyles, and the sense of self-assessment that still rings clear in contemporary society.

One of his efforts was to create the JUNTO — a club for mutual improvement — in 1736, which resulted in creating the first lending library, the creation of a volunteer fire company, the national postal system, and the insurance industry. All of these institutions exist in contemporary society today. Franklin left a vast legacy of written products. He encouraged writers to "go on record" as to their beliefs, observations, and support of public and private initiatives. Through the Benjamin Franklin Fire Writer's Award, the National Fire Heritage Center encourages today's fire writers to do the same.

How to Apply: 

Anyone can nominate a printed, digital or electronic book or periodical. It can be a historical document written before 1940, a recent history document written between 1941 and 1970 or a document written since 1971.

Identify the type of document being submitted. Does it fit the Informational or Technical Category? In what format was it published? (BOOKS, e.g. Fiction, Non-Fiction, Biography/Autobiography, Trade Skill / Fire Services Trade Craft) (PERIODICALS, e.g. Newsletters, Magazines), or (Digital / Electronic).

Describe on the nomination form what the document is about, and then how you think it meets each of the criteria. Each nomination will be judged by a panel of three judges and scored on its achievement of six criteria and its merit or contribution to America's fire service.

Nominations that receive a score of 90 or more will be given the Gold award. Nominations receiving 80 – 89 will receive the Silver award, and nominations receiving 70 - 79 will receive the Bronze award. Nominations receiving 60 and 69 will receive a "Nominated" certificate.

Enclose payment of $18.00 application fee payable to National Fire Heritage Center either as a check or money order or pay electronically with receipt attached. 

Submit the nomination form and a copy of the document by September 30 to:

Benjamin Franklin Writer's Award Committee
National Fire Heritage Center
PO Drawer 76
Emmitsburg, MD 21727


Lynn White, Director
NFHC Benjamin Franklin Writer's Award Committee, Chair

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Contact Info

  • The National Fire Heritage Center
  • Physical Address: 17701 Creamery Road, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
    Mailing Address: P.O. Drawer 76, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
  • Phone: (916) 667-1313