Here are the women who just won a 2015 Pulitzer Prize

On Monday, the 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners were announced — and amongst them were quite a few wonderfully talented women. This is, of course, a huge deal; and the winners each received $10,000 along with their invaluable titles. As basically the highest honor the United States offers for excellence in journalism, musical composition, and the literary arts, we couldn’t be more excited to see such well-deserving candidates get their due and receive recognition for their hard work.

Below are your winners — and in celebration of this tremendous honor, we’ve linked to a few of their must-read stories (and trust us, they’re amazing).

Jennifer Berry Hawes and Natalia Caula Hauff — Public Service (The Post and Courier)

Along with Doug Pardue and Glenn Smith, Hawes and Hauff won the most prestigious award for their essential reporting work on domestic violence in South Carolina (“among the deadliest states in the union for women“), which brought the issue to light and  “put the issue of what to do about it on the state’s agenda.” The series is incredibly powerful and important, and the award well-deserved.

Must-read stories (we recommend the whole thing):

Rebecca Kimitch — Local Reporting (Daily Breeze, Torrance, CA)

Along with Frank Suraci and Rob Kuznia, Kimitch won the Daily Breeze‘s first ever Pulitzer for their investigative work on the widespread corruption of Centinela Valley, “a small, cash-strapped school district” in southern California.

Must-read stories:

Carol D. Leonnig — National Reporting (The Washington Post)

Leonnig was awarded the National Reporting prize for her coverage on the Secret Service — particularly its security lapses and how the agency failed to protect the President of the United States on multiple occasions over the past year (including as recently as this month).

Must-read stories:

Diana Marcum — Feature Writing (Los Angeles Times)

Marcum’s incredible reporting on how the California drought has affected people in the Central Valley was in depth and extremely personal, bringing both a “nuanced. . .  and empathetic perspective to the story.”

Must-read stories:

Lisa Falkenberg — Commentary (Houston Chronicle)

Falkenberg was awarded the Pulitzer for Commentary for her astounding reporting work on the case behind Alfred Dewayne Brown, a man who was condemned for killing a Houston police officer after a grand jury pressured a key witness into lying on the stand. It is the paper’s first Pulitzer.

Must-read stories:

Mary McNamara — Criticism (Los Angeles Times)

McNamara was awarded the Pulitzer for her “savvy criticism that uses shrewdness, humor and an insider’s view to show how both subtle and seismic shifts in the cultural landscape affect television.” We are all about pop culture criticism at HelloGiggles, and McNamara pulls it off with ease and intelligence.

Must-read stories:

Kathleen Kingsbury — Editorial Writing (The Boston Globe)

Kingsbury’s investigative work helped show the real “price” behind our super cheap fast food meals, and the very real effect income inequality has on so many. It was an amazing critique on how people view food without considering the people serving it.

Must-read stories:

Elizabeth A. Fenn — History

Fenn received her Pulitzer for Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, which was “an engrossing, original narrative showing the Mandans, a Native American tribe in the Dakotas, as a people with a history.” Fenn’s work is always a labor of love, and her latest was no exception.

Must-read works:

Elizabeth Kolbert — General Nonfiction

Kolbert was awarded the Pulitzer for General Nonfiction for her book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, which explores how human behavior has affected the world for the worse, and how the next extinction is likely to be mankind’s “legacy.” As a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1999, Kolbert is no stranger to smart writing and her book totally lives up to the hype.

Must-read stories:

Julia Wolfe — Music

Wolfe won her Pulitzer for “Anthracite Fields,” which premiered last April in Philadelphia. The “oratorio for chorus and sextet” was written to evoke “Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th Century.” All of Wolfe’s compositions are absolutely wonderful and well worth a listen.

Must-listen music:

For the rest of the winners, click here.

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