(Dallas) – Jan Reid’s frontier novel revolving around Quanah Parker, Comanche Sundown, and Gary Lavergne’s account of the struggle to desegregate the University of Texas law school, Before Brown: Heman Marion Sweatt, Thurgood Marshall and the Long Road to Justice, were the top winners at the Texas Institute of Letters’ awards banquet Saturday, April 30, 2011.

Reid, a long-time Texas Monthly writer who lives in Austin, received a $6,000 prize for the top honor in the Jesse Jones Fiction Award. TCU Press was the publisher.

Lavergne, director of Admissions Research and Policy Analysis at The University of Texas at Austin, earned $5,000 as the winner of the Carr P. Collins contest for nonfiction. His book was published by the University of Texas Press.

 TIL, founded in 1936 to recognize literary achievement and promote interest in Texas literature, is the state’s oldest literary organization. 

Cash prizes presented at the banquet at the Radisson Hotel Central Dallas totaled more than $20,000.

C.W. Smith, novelist and creative writing professor at Southern Methodist University, was named winner of the Lon Tinkle Award for sustained excellence in a literary career.

Fourteen new members were inducted into the organization. They were Kathi Appelt, Alwyn Barr, Douglas Brinkley, Bryan Burrough, Annette Gordon-Reed, S.C. Gwynne, Russell L. Martin III, Karla K. Morton, Jake Silverstein, James Smallwood, Dominic Smith, Jerry Thompson, John Waugh, and Robert Wooster.

Winners in other categories were Neil Foley, Quest for Equality: The Failed Promise of Black-Brown Solidarity (Harvard University Press), for the best scholarly book;

Bruce Machart, The Wake of Forgiveness (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), for the best first novel;

Barbara Ras, The Last Skin ( Penguin Poets) for the Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Poetry;


Elyse Fenton, Clamor (Cleveland State University Poetry Center), for the Bob Bush

Memorial Award for First Book of Poetry;

           Pamela Colloff, “Innocence Lost,” Texas Monthly, October 2010, for  the
O. Henry Award for Magazine Journalism;

           C.W. Smith, “Caustic,” Southwest Review (Summer 2010), for the Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story;

             Tim Madigan, for his five-part series on the surgery of a child appearing in the  

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Stanley Walker Newspaper Journalism Award;.

           Julie Savasky and DJ Stout, designers for Roy Flukinger’s book, The Gernsheim Collection, University of Texas Press/Harry Ransom Center, Fred Whitehead Award for Design of a Trade Book;

           Diane Gonzales Bertrand,  The Party for Papa Luis/ La Fiesta Para Papa Lui (Arte Publico Press), Austin Public Library Friends Foundation Award for Children’s Book; and

Dotti Enderle, Crosswire, (Boyds Mills Press), Austin Public Library Friends Foundation Award, Young Adult Book.

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