Ernest Gaines

Entries for the 16th annual Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence will be accepted through Aug. 15.

A $15,000 cash prize accompanies the honor. The award ceremony will take place Jan. 26, 2023, at the Manship Theatre, 100 Lafayette St., Baton Rouge.

"Sponsored by 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," a news release says.

The upcoming Gaines Award will honor outstanding fiction — novels or short story collections — published in 2022. Galleys for 2022 publications are also accepted.

A native of Pointe Coupee Parish, 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. He was writer-in-residence emeritus at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette before his death in 2019.

Information on criteria and entry forms for the award is available at