Entries for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which includes a $10,000 prize, are being accepted through Aug. 15.
The award is sponsored by Baton Rouge Area Foundation donors and honors outstanding fiction (novels or short-story collections) from rising African-American authors and recognizes Louisiana native Gaines’ contributions to the literary world.
A national literary panel will judge entries. A winner will be announced in November with the award ceremony slated for Jan. 21 at the Manship Theatre in downtown Baton Rouge.
The 2014 winner was Mitchell S. Jackson for “The Residue Years,” which was also named an Honor Book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Previous award winners include “The Cutting Season” by Attica Locke, “We Are Taking Only What We Need” by Stephanie Powell Watts and “How to Read the Air” by Dinaw Mengestu.
Gaines’ book “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” was adapted into a 1974 TV movie that received nine Emmy awards. “A Lesson Before Dying” (1993) won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.