August Deadline For 12th Annual Gaines Literary Award


— The deadline for submissions for the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence is August 15, 2018.

Sponsored by Baton Rouge Area Foundation donors, the Gaines Award honors rising African-American fiction authors while also celebrating Louisiana native Ernest Gaines’ extraordinary contribution to the literary world.

For submissions, the Gaines Award is accepting novels or short-story collections published in 2018, as well as galleys for 2018 publications. The winner receives a $10,000 award.

Submissions are judged by a national literary panel and the winner will be announced in November. The award ceremony will take place on January 24, 2019 at the Manship Theatre in downtown Baton Rouge. The event honors both the winning author and Mr. Gaines.

Information about the criteria required and entry forms are available at

Previous winners include Ladee Hubbard, Crystal Wilkinson, T. Geronimo Johnson, Mitchell S. Jackson, Attica Locke, Stephanie Powell Watts, Dinaw Mengestu, Victor LaValle, Jeffery Renard Allen, Ravi Howard and Olympia Vernon.

A Louisiana native, Gaines’ critically acclaimed novel “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” was adapted into a 1974 made-for-TV movie that received nine Emmy awards. His 1993 book “A Lesson Before Dying” won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.