OCHS Awards header
Friis-Pioneer Press Award


This award recognizes the research and writing of Orange County history by high school and college students. It encourages original research that contributes to the appreciation of Orange County's history and heritage. The author of the winning article will receive a $500 cash award, and the article will be considered for publication in the Orange County Historical Society's journal.


For more than half a century, Friis-Pioneer Press published some of the finest books on the history of Orange County, California. Founded in 1957 by historian Leo J. Friis and his son, James J. Friis, Friis-Pioneer Press specialized in local and family history. The Friis-Pioneer Press Award was established in 2011 in their honor.


Open to high school seniors and college/university students.


Articles may be on any aspect of the history of Orange County. They must be the original work of the applicant and previously unpublished. The article should be from 2,000 to 4,000 words, and must include a bibliography sources used. Footnotes are welcome, but not required.


Entries for each year's award are accepted between January 1 and February 28 of that year. The entry form and article must be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word to the Awards Department.

NOTE: An extension on the deadline is being granted for this year's submissions. Contact us at awards@orangecountyhistory.org for more information.

Contact us at awards@orangecountyhistory.org for more information.

Judging criteria

Articles will be judged on historical accuracy, originality, and style. The Awards Committee will consist of the editor of Orange Countiana and two members selected by the Board of Directors of the Orange County Historical Society. If, in the opinion of the Awards Committee, no articles submitted meet the expectations of the judges, no award will be presented for that year. All decisions made by the Awards Committee are final.


The decision of the Awards Committee will be released before June 1, and all applicants contacted by email. The Award will be presented at the Orange County Historical Society's annual dinner in June. The winning student will receive three complementary tickets to the annual dinner.

Click here to view information about the Friis Pioneer Press Award.

Click here to view the application.

If you have further questions or need additional information, contact us at: awards@orangecountyhistory.org.