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Literary Award Winners Announced

The Texas Institute of Letters announced the winners of the twelve Annual TIL Literary
Awards
. This year, TIL awarded more than $27,000 in prizes to these writers at the TIL Awards
Ceremony and Presentation in The Woodlands, Texas on May 4, 2024.

The Texas Institute of Letters is a nonprofit Honor Society founded in 1936 to celebrate Texas
literature and recognize distinctive literary achievement. The TIL’s elected membership consists
of the state’s most respected writers– including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book
Award, PEN/Faulkner Award, Man Booker Prize, Academy Award, International Latino Book
Award, Americas Award, Lambda Literary Award, MacArthur Fellowship, and Guggenheim
Fellowship.

From President Diana López: “Each year, the TIL recognizes the best of Texas writing in a
variety of genres that includes fiction, poetry, nonfiction, scholarly writing, translation, and short
form works. We are happy to also announce two new contests, the Giron / Valdez Bilingual
Poetry Award in the amount of $1,000 to be given biennially starting in 2025 and the Frederi
Luis Aldama Award for Best Graphic Narrative in the amount of $1,500 to be given biennially
starting in 2026. Many thanks to our judges for carefully considering the entries. This year’s
winners demonstrate the wonderful talent and diversity of writers with Texas roots. Celebrating
their achievements is a highlight of our banquet weekend, and we are so grateful for the
opportunity to recognize and support the best of Texas literature.”

The winners of the 2024 TIL Literary Awards are KB Brookins, Skip Hollandsworth, Jennifer
Grotz, Selena Gambrell Anderson, Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, Cyrus Cassells, JD Pluecker,
Dominic Smith, Diana López, Xelena González, Whitney Nell Stewart, Drew Buxton, and
Laekan Zea Kemp. All awards are for works published in 2023, except for the biennial Soeurette
Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation of a Book, which is for works published in 2022 and
Carmen Tafolla will receive the Texas Institute of Letters’ prestigious Lifetime
Achievement Award, the highest honor given by the TIL.

Twelve New Members Elected to TIL

Members of the Texas Institute of Letters have overwhelmingly approved twelve new writers. The TIL’s elected membership consists of the state’s most recognized and serious writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism, songwriting, and scholarship. The membership includes winners of the MacArthur Fellowship, Man Booker Prize, Pulitzer Prizes in drama, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as prizes awarded by PEN, and dozens of other regional and national award and grant-giving institutions.

The 2024 honorees are Varsha Bajaj, Rebecca Balcárcel, Cecilia Ballí, Michael Bracken, Laeken Zea Kemp, Mary Margaret McAllen, Matt Mendez, Leslie Jill Patterson, Rudy Ruiz, Ruth J. Simmons, Natalia Treviño, and Lucinda Williams.

Learn more about the new members in the press release.

2024 Lifetime Achievement Award

It is with great pleasure we announce that Carmen Tafolla has been named this year’s winner of the Texas Institute of Letters’ prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, the TIL’s highest honor. The award will be presented in The Woodlands at TIL’s annual banquet on May 4, 2024, with a prize of $7,000.

See more in the news release.

2024 Conference

TIL’s annual meeting and award ceremony will be held on May 3-4, 2024 in The Woodlands, Texas.

Here is the link for booking rooms at a special rate at Crowne Plaza, our host hotel.

Texas Institute of Letters Block of Rooms

Poetry Award Endowed

The Burdine Johnson Foundation has agreed to endow the TIL award for Best Book of Poetry. Bill Johnson, the foundation executive director, is doing so in honor of his mother, Burdine, who was herself a poet. Much thanks to Bill and council member Wes Ferguson, who helped negotiate the endowment.

New Bilingual Poetry Award

Deep appreciation goes to Robert L. Girón for endowing the TIL’s new Girón/Valdez Bilingual Poetry Award for a published book of at least forty-five pages in English with a Spanish translation OR for a book in Spanish with an English translation, to be given biennially: $1,000 for the prize, with a $25,000 donation to permanently endow the award for the TIL.


2022 AWARDS

Congratulations to the winners of the TIL’s 2022 literary awards, which were presented in Corpus Christi at TIL’s annual banquet on April 29, 2023: Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, Sam W. Haynes, Bret Anthony Johnston, Gus Bova, Kirk W. Johnson, Rebecca Balcárcel, Xelena González, Guadalupe García McCall, Rudy Ruiz, Ramona Reeves, Jasminne Mendez, and Laura Villarreal.

At that same ceremony, Author Beverly Lowry received the Texas Institute of Letters’ prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. This is the highest honor given by the TIL, which was established in 1936 to recognize distinctive literary achievement. Read full press release here.

Twenty-six New Members Elected to TIL

Members of the Texas Institute of Letters have overwhelmingly approved twenty-six new writers to the TIL, a distinguished honor society established in 1936 to celebrate Texas literature and recognize distinctive literary achievement.

The TIL’s elected membership consists of the state’s most recognized and serious writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism, and scholarship. The membership includes winners of the MacArthur Fellowship, Man Booker Prize, Pulitzer Prizes in drama, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as prizes awarded by PEN, and dozens of other regional and national award and grant-giving institutions.

The 2023 inductees are Sheila Black, Jenny Browne, Christopher Carmona, Hayan Charara, Rubén Degollado, Heath Dollar, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Owen Egerton, Brian Floca, Fernando Flores, Héctor Galán, Liz Garton Scanlon, Kari Anne Holt, Cynthia Levinson, Caleb McDaniel, Marcia Argueta Mickelson, Michael Mooney, Robert Moore, Michael Parker, Ashley Hope Pérez, Roger Reeves, Terry Shames, Helen Thompson, Christian Wallace, Suzan Zeder, and Joaquín Zihuatanejo.

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ABOUT THE TIL

The Texas Institute of Letters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Honor Society founded in 1936 to celebrate Texas literature and to recognize distinctive literary achievement. The TIL’s elected membership consists of the state’s most respected writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism, and scholarship. Induction into the TIL is based on literary accomplishments. Application for membership is not accepted. The rules governing the selection of members and officers are contained in the TIL By-Laws. The TIL annually elects new members and gives awards to recognize outstanding literary works.

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