Winners Announced in Texas Institute of Letters’ Competitions
Stephen Harrigan of Austin took top prize Saturday evening in the Texas Institute of Letters’ literary competition for works published in 2011, claiming the $6,000 Jesse H. Jones Fiction award for his novel, Remember Ben Clayton, published by Alfred A. Knopf.
The award was presented at the 76th annual meeting of the organization in San Antonio at the Menger Hotel.
Winner of the non-fiction Carr P. Collins prize was Steven Fenberg of Houston for his biography of Jesse H. Jones, the powerful Houston entrepreneur and philanthropist. Entitled Unprecedented Power: Jesse Jones, Capitalism, and the Common Good, it was published by Texas A&M University Press. Fenberg was presented with a check for $5,000.
Nationally recognized magazine writer Gary Cartwright received the Lon Tinkle Award for a distinguished career in letters associated with Texas. Cartwright, who has published novels and nonfiction books and written produced screenplays, is perhaps best known for his four-decade long association with Texas Monthly.
More than $22,000 in prize money was distributed to authors in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, scholarly, short stories, poetry, journalism, magazine articles, book design, translation, and children and young adult. The competition is limited to authors who have lived in the state for at least two years or have entries pertaining to Texas subjects.
Harrigan’s winning novel about is about an enigmatic Texas rancher who hires an ambitious sculptor from New York, recently moved to Texas, to create a memorial statue of his son who was killed in World War I. Among Harrigan’s previous novels is the award-winning The Gates of the Alamo.
University of Texas at Austin architecture professor Christopher Long won the scholarly book competition for The Looshaus, a book published by Yale University Press and which describes the impact of Alfred Loos’ famous building in Vienna that provided a powerful influence in the development of modern architecture. This award carried a prize of $2,500.
The Texas Institute of Letters was funded in 1936 to recognize literary achievement and to promote interest in Texas literature. W.K. (Kip) Stratton of Round Rock assumed the presidency from Darwin Payne of Dallas.
Other winners were Siobhan Fallon, Steven Turner Award for best first published fiction, You Know When the Men Are Gone; Jennifer Grotz, Helen C. Smith Award for poetry, The Needle; Jose Antonio Rodriguez, Bob Bush Award for Best First Book of Poetry, The Shallow End of Sleep; Skip Hollandsworth, O. Henry Magazine award for Texas Monthly article, “The Lost Boys”; Jordan Smith, Stanley Walker Newspaper Journalism award, “The Science of Injustice,” Austin Chronicle; Bret Anthony Johnston, Kay Cattarulla Short Story Award, “Paradeability” in American Short Fiction; Barbara Werden and Lindsay Starr, Fred Whitehead Award for Design of a Trade Book, Lone Star Law (written by Michael Ariens and published by Texas Tech Press); Dave Oliphant, the Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation of a Book, Nicanor Parra’s After-Dinner Declarations; Elaine Scott, Children’s Book, Space, Stars and the Beginning of Time; and J.L. Powers, Young Adult Book, This Thing Called the Future.
Sixteen new members were inducted into the organization. They were Norma Cantú, Sarah Cortez, Justin Cronin, Andrew Geyer, Alan Govenar, Manuel Luis Martínez, Jane Clements Monday, Deborah Parédez, Ben Rehder, John Phillip Santos, Jim Schutze, Lonn Taylor, Tim Tingle, Sergio Troncoso, Emilio Zamora, and Gwendolyn Zepeda.