Literary Awards

Each year the Texas Institute of Letters awards more than $27,000 to recognize outstanding literary works in several categories. Eligibility for the awards requires that the author was born in Texas or has lived in Texas for at least five consecutive years at some time. A work with subject matter that substantially concerns Texas is also eligible. The years below refer to the eligible first publication date of the annual award.


The TIL contests for work published in 2024 will open in mid- to late-September. Check here for instructions and links on submitting to 2024 awards.


Award Winners for 2021 and 2022

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Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction ($5,000)

Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story ($1,000)

  • “Playing the Ghost” by Bret Anthony Johnston, Texas Monthly, 2022.
  • Dagoberto Gilb, “Two Red Foxes,” ZYZZYVA, 2021.
  • David Meischen, “Crossing the Light,” Storylandia, 2020.

Edwin “Bud” Shrake Award for Best Short Nonfiction ($1,000)

  • “Uvalde Vive” by Gus Bova, The Texas Observer, 2022.
  • Skip Hollandsworth, “The Notorious Mrs. Mossler,” Texas Monthly, 2021.
  • ire’ne lara silva, “A Place Before Words,” Texas Highways, 2020

Previous Awards

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