Lammys, Crystal Kites, Firecrackers, and more


This is your semi-regular roundup of award-winning Texas books, authors, and organizations.


32nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards

The winners below were selected by a panel of more than sixty literary professionals from more than one thousand book submissions from more than three hundred publishers.


Winner in Gay Fiction: Lot: Stories (Riverhead Books) by Bryan Washington

Winner in Gay Memoir/Biography: How We Fight for Our Lives (Simon & Schuster) by Saeed Jones


In addition, University of Houston graduate and Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown received the Trustee Award.


Crystal Kite Awards

Austin SCBWI has a Crystal Kite winner in its chapter for the third consecutive year. Middle-grade nonfiction book Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight to Walk (Scholastic) by Meredith Davis and Rebeka Uwitonze won the 2020 Crystal Kite Award for the Texas/Oklahoma region. Meredith started the Austin SCBWI chapter more than twenty-five years ago and was Austin’s first regional advisor.


National Endowment for the Arts Spring Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced $84 million in grants for 1,144 projects, including 62 for literary arts organizations, worth a total of $1.4 million. Your Texas recipients are:


Inprint, Inc., Houston, $20,000

Writers in the Schools (aka WITS), Houston, $50,000

Texas Commission on the Arts, Austin $1,087,800


National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Projects

Irving Public Library, A Small Story About the Sky, $10,000

Nacogdoches Public Library, Circe, $10,948


PRH, WNDB 2020 Creative Writing Awards

We Need Diverse Books and Penguin Random House have announced the winners of the 2020 Creative Writing Awards, an annual literary contest to honor graduating public high school seniors from around the country. Each of this year’s winners will receive a $10,000 college scholarship. This year’s competition will award $50,000 in prizes. The awards attracted more than nine hundred student submissions from forty-eight states.


In Texas, Ivana Cortez of Galena Park High School in Galena Park won in the Personal Essay category for Planet: Elkhart, Indiana.


Pura Belpré Award

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. Among the 2020 Honor Books are:


The Other Half of Happy (Chronicle Books) by Rebecca Balcárcel

My Papi Has a Motorcycle (Kokila/Penguin Random House) illustrated by Zeke Peña, written by Isabel Quintero


Community of Literary Magazines and Presses Firecracker Awards

For over fifty years, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses has been a resource and megaphone for small presses and publications. CLMP has announced the winners of their sixth annual Firecracker Awards, which celebrate the best independently published fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry of the past year.


Texas State University’s Porter House Review won for Best Magazine Debut.


Porter House Review publishes well-crafted prose and verse that is attentive to form and captivating. The journal demonstrates inclusivity, publishing works by writers from a wide range of backgrounds and exploring expansive themes.” –2020 Firecracker Award Magazine Judges


INDIES Book of the Year Awards

Foreword Reviews, a book-review journal focusing on independently published books, announced the winners of its INDIES Book of the Year Awards. The awards recognize the best books published in 2019 from small, indie, and university presses, as well by self-published authors. t


Silver medal in Adult Fiction/Multicultural: A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son (Cinco Puntos Press) by Sergio Troncoso

Silver medal in Adult Fiction/Mystery: A Plain Vanilla Murder (Persevero Press) by Susan Wittig Albert

Gold medal in Adult nonfiction/history: The Lost Books of Jane Austen (Johns Hopkins University Press) by Janine Barchas

Gold medal in Adult Nonfiction/Multicultural: On the Path of Marigolds (George F. Thompson Publishing) by Ann Murdy, Cesaréo Moreno (contributor), and Denise Chávez (contributor)


Richmond poet Terry Jude Miller wins five awards from two poetry organizations

Miller won the San Antonio Poetry Association Award sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. He also won the Courage Award, Anne Award,  Alonzo’s Art Award, and Haystack Award sponsored by Poets Northwest of Spring. 


Miller has published four books of poetry, his latest, The Drawn Cat's Dream, winning the 2018 Catherine Case Lubbe Manuscript Prize. He is a member of the Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Society of Texas and is on the faculty of WGU Texas.