Criteria for the 2019 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence:
• A work of fiction (novel or collection of short stories) that will be published in 2019. Galleys for a 2019 publication are also accepted.
The nominee must be a rising author, not yet widely recognized for their work.
• Author must be an African-American U.S. citizen.
• Self-published books will not be accepted. Self-published is publishing one's work independently and at one's own expense.
• Emailed entries will not be accepted.
The winning author must be willing to attend the award ceremony on January 30, 2020, and participate in educational outreach activities during that week.
To enter a published book or galley for review, send the completed REGISTRATION FORM and 8 copies to:
Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence
c/o Baton Rouge Area Foundation
100 North St., Suite 900
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802
Non-winning entries will be donated to an area nonprofit. Ineligible entries will not be returned.
The Literary Award, initiated by donors of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to honor Mr. Gaines, is designed to inspire and recognize rising African-American writers of excellence as they work to achieve the literary heights for which Ernest J. Gaines is known.
DEADLINE: Entries must be RECEIVED at the Foundation offices by August 15, 2019.
April 1, 2019 – August 15, 2019 Eligible entries for 2019 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence will be accepted. See criteria for submission above for eligibility. All entries for the book award will receive written notification of receipt.
November 2019 The winner will be selected by a national panel of judges. The judges reserve the right not to issue the award if they feel the selection pool lacks an acceptable candidate. Once the winner is selected, written notification will be sent to all eligible entries.
January 30, 2020 The 12th Annual Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence Ceremony will take place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
For additional information, please email email@example.com