The Second Annual Houston Literary Awards honored Houston’s acclaimed authors on October 3, 2020, presented by the Houston Public Library Foundation. The virtual event began at 7:30 p.m. on the Socio Event platform with the live stream at 8:00 p.m.
In preparation for an evening of literary celebrations, guests received author- inspired cocktail recipes and the HPL Foundation’s signature dark chocolate “book” to enjoy while bidding on silent auction items within the event platform.
The Houston Literary Awards program began at 8:00 p.m., and each Literary Excellence Award-winning author shared insights into their exceptional literary works with the Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Roger Leslie, who was an awarded author last year. His literary wit and film repartee kept the virtual program lively.
The 2020 Literary Excellence awardees included science fiction novelist Justin Cronin, Houston’s first Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Zepeda, teen novelist Andrea White, children’s writer Varsha Bajaj, and inspirational author ReShonda Tate Billingsley. These exceptional authors answered questions about their literary process and shared their responses to being an awarded author.
While transitioning the author groups, Dr. Leslie shared his expertise of the film industry and the authors who make the screen come alive. He playfully attributed a famous actor to “play” each of the awardees.
The 2020 Reader’s Choice Award authors joined the presentation, and Roger Leslie kept everyone in suspense as he unsealed the golden envelope to announce the winner, Nkem Denchukwu. The Reader’s Choice contest started with public nominations in August and concluded with voting for the five accomplished finalists: Joel Edward Goza, Michael Swanson, Phuc Luu, S.C. Perkins, and Nkem Denchukwu. Unfortunately, Ms. Denchukwu had connectivity issues, and Dr. Leslie graciously accepted the award on her behalf.
The silent auction and instabuy will remain active through October 10, 2020, on www.houstonlibraryfoundation.org under “events” or directly on https:// qtego.net/qlink/hlf.
The Houston Public Library Foundation scheduled next year’s Awards as an in-person gala on October 15, 2021, at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston. Sponsorships and early bird registration will open in April 2021.
The Houston Literary Awards is a signature fundraiser benefiting the Houston Public Library Foundation whose mission unites partners who value lifelong learning.
To access the recorded event for public or private use, please contact the Houston Public Library Foundation at 832.393.1524.