Texas Institute of Letters

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The Texas Institute of Letters is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to stimulate interest in Texas letters and to recognize distinctive literary achievement. Induction into the TIL is based on literary achievement.

Founded in 1936, the TIL offers awards to outstanding books written by Texas authors, or dealing with Texas subjects. The TIL also co-administrates the Dobie Paisano Fellowship, which awards residencies at the ranch of former TIL President J. Frank Dobie.[1]

Each year the TIL awards over $20,000 in literary prizes, including the Jesse H. Jones Award for Fiction, the Carr P. Collins Award for Nonfiction, the Sergio Troncoso Award for Best Work of First Fiction, the Ramirez Scholarly Book Award, the Helen C. Smith Award for Poetry, the John A. Robertson Award For Best First Book Of Poetry, the Edwin "Bud" Shrake Award for Short Nonfiction, the Kay Cattarulla Short Story Award, the Fred Whitehead Award for Design of a Trade Book, the H-E-B/Jean Flynn Children's Book Award, the H-E-B Young Adult Book Award, and the Denton Record-Chronicle Best Children's Picture Book Award.[2]

Prominent members include: Sandra Cisneros, Robert Flynn, Ben Fountain, Skip Hollandsworth, Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, Pat Mora, Rick Riordan, Naomi Shihab Nye, Carmen Tafolla, and Lawrence Wright.[3]

The Lon Tinkle Award[edit]

The Lon Tinkle Award is a life-achievement award bestowed annually to distinguished writers from, or in some way associated with, Texas. The honorees are chosen by the TIL Council from nominations made by the membership.


1981: Thomas C. Lea III (1907–2001)
1982: John Graves (born 1920)
1983: William A. Owens (1905–1990)
1984: Larry McMurtry (born 1936)
1985: Donald Barthelme (1931–1989)
1987: Elmer Kelton (1926–2009)
1987: A.C. Greene (1923–2002)
1988: Charles Leland "Doc" Sonnichsen (1901–1991)
1989: John Edward Weems (1924–1999)
1990: Marshall Northway Terry, Jr. (born 1931)
1991: Margaret Cousins (1905–1996) †
1992: Vassar Miller (1924–1998) †
1993: Horton Foote (1916–2009) †
1994: Americo Paredes (1915–1999) †
1995: William Humphrey (1924–1997) †
1996: Cormac McCarthy (born 1933)
1997: Rolando Hinojosa-Smith (born 1929)
1998: Robert Flynn (born 1932)
1999: Walt McDonald (born 1934)
2000: Leon Hale (born 1921)
2001: William H. Goetzmann (1930–2010) †
2002: Shelby Hearon (born 1931)
2003: Bud Shrake (1931–2009) †
2004: T. R. Fehrenbach (born 1925)
2005: James Martin Hoggard (born 1941)
2006: William D. Wittliff (born 1940)
2007: David Joseph Weber (1940–2010) †
2008: Carolyn C. Osborn (born 1934)
2009: Larry L. King (1929–2012) †
2011: C.W. Smith (born 1940)
2012: Gary Cartwright (born 1934)
2013: Stephen Harrigan (born 1948)
2014: Jan Reid (born 1945)
2015: Lawrence Wright (born 1947)
2016: Sarah Bird (born 1949)
2017: Pat Mora (born 1942)
2018: Sandra Cisneros (born 1954)
† Beginning 2011, the award date reflects the actual date of the presentation. For instance, Larry King's 2009 award was actually presented in 2010.


External links[edit]