The Texas Institute of Letters honors award winners and new inductees


The Texas Institute of Letters recently announced new inductees and named the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing “distinctive literary achievement.” This year, TIL will award more than $27,000 in prizes to these writers at the TIL Awards Ceremony and Presentation in Corpus Christi, Texas on April 29, 2023.  


Lifetime Achievement Award 


In announcing the unanimous vote to name Beverly Lowry as the recipient of the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, TIL president Diana Lòpez noted, “Beverly Lowry is most deserving of this award. She is an accomplished writer in both the fiction and nonfiction genres . . . Open any of her books, and you will see just how skillfully she imagines lives, allowing us, her readers, the gift of imagining them, too.” Click to read our Lone Star review of Lowry’s Who Killed These Girls?  


In addition, TIL announced the 2023 Literary Award Winners in the following categories: 


Jesse H Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction 

Valley of Shadows by Rudy Ruiz, Blackstone Publishing 


Sergio Troncoso Award for Best First Book of Fiction  

It Falls Gently All Around and Other Stories by Ramona Reeves, University of Pittsburgh Press 


Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book of Nonfiction 

The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast by Kirk W. Johnson, Viking 


Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry 

City Without Altar by Jasminne Mendez, Noemi Press 


John A. Robert Johnson Award for First Book of Poetry 

 Girls Guide to Leaving by Laura Villarreal, University of Wisconsin Press


Ramirez Family Award for Most Significant Scholarly Book  

Unsettled Land: From Revolution to Republic, The Struggle for Texas by Sam W. Haynes, Basic Books 


Jean Flynn Award for Best Young Adult Book 

Echoes of Grace by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Tu Books 


Deirdre Siobhan FlynnBass Award for Best Middle Grade Book 

Shine On, Luz Véliz! by Rebecca Balcarcel, Chronicle Books 


Brigid Erin Flynn Award for Best Picture Book 

Where Wonder Grows by Xelena González, Cinco Puntos Press 


Fred Whitehead Award for Best Design of a Trade Book 

Her Read: A Graphic Poem by Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, Texas Review Press  


Kay Cattarulla Award for Best Short Story  

"Playing the Ghost" by Bret Anthony Johnston, Texas Monthly  


Edwin "Bud" Shrake Award for Best Short Nonfiction 

"Uvalde Vive" by Gus Bova, The Texas Observer 


The Texas Institute of Letters has also added the following 26 new inductees to this prestigious honor society celebrating Texas writers and their achievements. New members include: Sheila Black, Jenny Browne, Christopher Carmona, Hayan Charara, Rubén Degollado, Heath Dollar, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Owen Egerton, Brian Floca, Fernando Flores, Héctor Galán, Liz Garton Scanlon, Kari Anne Holt, Cynthia Levinson, Caleb McDaniel, Marcia Argueta Mickelson, Michael Mooney, Robert Moore, Michael Parker, Ashley Hope Pérez, Roger Reeves, Terry Shames, Helen Thompson, Christian Wallace, Suzan Zeder, and Joaquín Zihuatanejo.  

For more information on the TIL or the April 29th awards ceremony, contact Diana López,, or visit the TIL website at