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.


Submissions for the 2022 awards are now closed. Judges will select finalists and winners in thirteen categories for the best works published in 2022. Winners will be awarded a total of more than $27,000 at the TIL’s annual meeting, to be held on April 28-29, 2023 in Corpus Christi, Texas. 


Award Winners for 2020 and 2021

Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction ($6,000)

Sergio Troncoso Award for Best First Book of Fiction ($4,000)

Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book of Nonfiction ($5,000)

Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry ($1,500)

John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry ($1,000)

Ramirez Family Award for Most Significant Scholarly Book ($2,500)

Jean Flynn Award for Best Young Adult Book ($1,000)

Deirdre Siobhan FlynnBass Award for Best Middle Grade Book ($1,000)

Fred Whitehead Award for Best Design of a Trade Book ($1,500)

Brigid Erin Flynn Award for Best Picture Book ($1,000)

Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation of a Book ($1,000)

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

  • Dagoberto Gilb, “Two Red Foxes,” ZYZZYVA, 2021.
  • David Meischen, “Crossing the Light,” Storylandia, 2020.

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

  • 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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