New Literary Prize for Fiction Honors Professor Ernest J. Gaines

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has announced a new literary award for fiction to honor African-American novelist Ernest J. Gaines. Gaines, now a professor and writer in residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is a native of Louisiana. He is the author of eight novels including the Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and A Lesson Before Dying. In 1993 he won a genius award from the MacArthur Foundation. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the Nobel Prize for literature.

The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence will be given out next January to an African-American novelist who published a work of fiction in the 2006 calendar year. The foundation will accept nominations for the $10,000 cash prize until April 30, 2007. Application forms are available online by clicking here.