Ernest J. Gaines Award Student Author Competition Now Open

Press Release Jan. 1 2016

The Ernest J. Gaines Award Student Author Competition is currently accepting submissions for the 2016 contest. The essay competition is open to all public school students in East Baton Rouge Parish. Essays must address the topic “Why Read?”  Winners will be recognized during the celebration week activities for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.


The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence honors Louisiana’s revered storyteller, Ernest J. Gaines, and annually recognizes rising African-American fiction writers of excellence. The award, initiated by donors of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, is now in its ninth year and has become nationally recognized in its role of enhancing visibility of emerging black fiction writers while also expanding the audience for this literature. Winners receive a $10,000 cash prize is to enable them to focus on the art of writing.


The Student Author Competition will recognized 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in the elementary, middle and high school divisions. Essays should be no more than 500 words and must be received by January 6, 2016.


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