Book award named for Ernest Gaines raises cash prize

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The cash prize that goes with the book award named for author Ernest Gaines is growing.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation, which underwrites the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, says the 2019 prize will increase to $15,000 from $10,000. The award recognizes outstanding work by rising African-American fiction writers. It also honors Gaines’ literary work.

Fiction submissions — novels or short-story collections published this year — are eligible for the award to be presented Jan. 30, 2020. Previous winners include Jamel Brinkley, Ladee Hubbard, Crystal Wilkinson and T. Geronimo Johnson. Submission criteria are available at www.ernestjgainesaward.org .

Gaines’ novel, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” was adapted into a 1974 television movie that received nine Emmy awards. He currently serves as Writer-in-Residence Emeritus at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

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