Literary Awards

Each year the Texas Institute of Letters awards more than $26,000 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.


Instructions to enter the TIL’s Literary Contests for works published in 2022 will be posted here and on the front page of the website in late September of 2022. Check back to download the PDF.

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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