2020 Houston Literary Awards - Virtual Event

Hosted by the Houston Library Foundation

The thrill of great literature awaits you at the Second Annual Houston Literary Awards where you will celebrate the best in heroic exploration, the passion of poetic verse, the unimaginable future of mankind, and inspirational adventures. Engage, explore, and experience the world of great literature while benefitting the cause of Lifelong Learning.

The Second Annual Houston Literary Awards honors Houston’s acclaimed authors on October 3, 2020. The virtual evening begins at 7:30 p.m. with a live, online event. To prepare for the evening of literary libations, you will receive specialty recipes for literary-inspired cocktails to enjoy while you meet and mingle with our 2020 award-winning authors and invited guests. The Houston Literary Awards program begins live streaming at 8:00 p.m. with the celebrities sharing insights into their exceptional literary works.

The 2020 awardees include 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.

The Houston Literary Awards generously supports the Houston Public Library Foundation whose mission unites partners who value Lifelong Learning. Our sole focus is to connect charitable support to the essential programs offered through the Houston Public Library that improve local quality of life, including self-sustainability and employability. Library programs are free of charge to the public yet are not supported by local tax dollars. Your participation with the Houston Literary Awards contributes to the well-being of Houston.

Individual tickets are available online. Since this is a virtual experience, ticket prices are reduced to $100, and you will receive a charitable contribution receipt for 100% of the value.

For information, please contact the Houston Public Library Foundation at 832.393.1524.

Houston Literary Awards Logo

Meet the Awardees

2020 Literary Awardee

Readers’ Choice

Readers’ Choice is a public nomination beginning in August. If you know of an excellent author who lives in the greater Houston area, nominate them for the Readers’ Choice Award here and visit our Facebook page for updates. The five authors with the most “likes” will become finalists. The winner will be announced during the Houston Literary Award event.

Nominations

2020 Literary Awardee

Justin Cronin

Justin Cronin is the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage Trilogy (The Passage, The Twelve, The City of Mirrors), Mary and O’Neil (which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Stephen Crane Prize), and The Summer Guest. Other honors for his writing include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Whiting Writers’ Award. A Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Rice University, he divides his time between Houston, Texas, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

2020 Literary Awardee

Gwendolyn Zepeda

Gwendolyn Zepeda was the first Latina blogger and began her writing career on the Web in 1997 as one of the founding writers of entertainment site Television Without Pity. Since that time, Zepeda has published three critically acclaimed novels through Hachette and five award-winning children’s books, a short-story collection, and two books of poems through Arte Publico Press. She was Houston’s first poet laureate, serving a two-year term from 2013 to 2015.

2020 Literary Awardee

Varsha Bajaj

Varsha Bajaj grew up in Mumbai, India, and when she came to the United States to obtain her master’s degree, her adjustment to the county was aided by her awareness of the culture through books. In addition to her previous picture books, she wrote the middle-grade novel Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood, which was shortlisted for the Cybils Award and included on the Spirit of Texas Reading Program.

2020 Literary Awardee

Andrea White

Andrea White is the author of five books of middle-grade fiction. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband, former Mayor Bill White. She’s grateful to her readers and fellow authors at all times, but she’s especially grateful to other authors for their great stories during the pandemic.

2020 Literary Awardee

ReShonda Tate Billingsley

ReShonda Tate Billingsley is the national bestselling author of 50 books. She writes both adult and teen fiction, as well as nonfiction. Considered one of the top African American authors in the country, her books remain a staple on bestseller’s lists.

Sponsor and Ticket Information

Interested in attending or sponsoring this great event? Lifelong learning enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, personal development that add to self-sustainability as well as competitiveness and employability.
The Houston Public Library Foundation raises funds for the educational programs that serve individuals of all ages and capabilities in multiple languages through the Houston Public Library. Your participation with the Houston Literary Awards Gala advances the free educational opportunities for children, adults, and seniors in Houston.