Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Baton Rouge Area Foundation opens writing entries for 10th Annual Ernest J. Gaines Award

Entries for the 10th annual Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence will be accepted from now through Aug. 15. Information on criteria and entrance forms for the award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize, is available at www.ernestjgainesaward.org.
Sponsored by foundation donors of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the Gaines Award was created to honor outstanding literary work from rising African-American authors while recognizing Louisiana native Ernest Gaines’ extraordinary contribution to the literary world. The Gaines Award honors outstanding fiction — novels or short-story collections — published in 2016. Galleys for 2016 publications are also accepted.
A native of Pointe Coupee Parish, Gaines is Writer-in-Residence Emeritus at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. His 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. 
The Gaines Award winner is chosen annually by a panel of professional writers and academics. The 2015 awardee was T. Geronimo Johnson’s best-selling novel “Welcome to Braggsville,” which was also long-listed for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie medal for excellence in fiction.
Previous Gaines Award winners include Attica Locke for “The Cutting Season,” Stephanie Powell Watts for “We Are Taking Only What We Need,” and Dinaw Mengestu for “How to Read the Air.”
            The Ernest Gaines Award event will be held Jan.19, 2017, at the Manship Theatre in downtown Baton Rouge.