Philosophical Society of Texas Awards of Merit

Philosophical Society of Texas Book Prizes 2019

$2,500 each
For a book of fiction and for a book of non-fiction and for a volume of poetry published in 2018

2019 Award Announcement with Republic of Texas 1836 Map and Boundary Description

The Philosophical Society of Texas presents three literary awards annually, each with a $2,500 prize: one for a work of fiction, one for a nonfiction book, and one for a volume of poetry. For the current awards, all entrants must have been published in 2018. A nonfiction work must be about Texas. A fiction or poetry entrant may either be about Texas or have been written by an author who has resided in or who was born within the boundaries of the Republic of Texas as claimed in 1836. 

The winning authors will be invited to attend the February 2020 Annual Meeting in Galveston to receive the awards and sign books. Judges may withhold the awards at their discretion.

Publishers must submit 4 copies of each book to be entered by July 15, 2019. No other submission form is required. 

The Book Prize was established in 2000 for the best book on Texas published the preceding year. The Book Prize was expanded in 2012 to two separate categories, one for fiction and one for non-fiction. In 2014 the Book Prize was enlarged again to include a category for volumes of poetry, in addition to the existing categories of fiction and non-fiction books. 

Please direct questions to the staff.

Book Award Winners

 (Click on book images for ordering and more information.)

Joe: The Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend2016 Non-Fiction - Ron J. Jackson Jr. and Lee Spencer White, Joe: The Slave Who Became an Alamo Legend 2015

Mourner's Bench: A Novel2016 Fiction - Sanderia Faye, Mourner's Bench: A Novel2015

James Hoggard: New and Selected Poems2016 Poetry - James Hoggard, James Hoggard: New and Selected Poems 2015

Famous Writers I Have Known: A Novel2015 Fiction - James Magnuson, Famous Writers I Have Known: A Novel 2014

Above the East China Sea2015 Fiction - Sarah Bird, Above the East China Sea 2014

Midcentury Modern Art in Texas2015 Non-Fiction - Katie Robinson Edwards, Midcentury Modern Art in Texas 2014

Once in the West2015 Poetry - Christian Wiman, Once in the West 2014

Many Rivers to Cross2014 Fiction - Thomas Zigal, Many Rivers to Cross 2013

A World Not to Come2014 Non-fiction - Raúl Coronado, A World Not to Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture 2013

The Chicken Hanger2013 Fiction - Ben Rehder, The Chicken Hanger: A Novel, Texas Christian University Press, 2012.

Let the People In2013 Non-Fiction - Jan Reid, Let the People In: The Life and Times of Ann Richards, University of Texas Press, 2012.

Blue Sabine2012 Fiction - Gerald Duff, Blue Sabine, Moon City Press, 2011.


The Trials of Eroy Brown 2012 Non-fiction - Michael Berryhill, The Trials of Eroy Brown:The Murder Case that Shook the Texas Prison System, University of Texas Press, 2011.

History Ahead 2011 - Dan K. Utley and Cynthia J. Beeman, History Ahead: Stories beyond the Texas Roadside Markers, Texas A&M University Press, 2010.

Claiming Rights 2010 - Emilio Zamora, Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas: Mexican Workers and Job Politics During World War II, Texas A&M University Press, 2009.


Comanche Empire 2009 - Pekka Hämäläinen, Comanche Empire, Yale University Press, 2008.

Country Houses 2008 - Stephen Fox, The Country Houses of John F. Staub, Texas A&M University Press, 2007.

At the Heart 2007 - Richard B. McCaslin, At the Heart of Texas, 100 Years of the Texas State Historical Association, 1897-1997, Texas State Historical Association Press, 2006.


Engraved Prints of Texas 2006 - Mavis P. Kelsey Sr. and Robin Brandt Hutchinon, Engraved Prints of Texas, 1554-1900. Texas A&M University Press, 2005.

The Texas Indians2005 - David La Vere, The Texas Indians, Texas A&M University Press, 2004.

A History of the Lone Star State2004 - Randolph B. Campbell, Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State, Oxford University Press, 2003.


Sam Houston2003 - James L. Haley, Sam Houston, University of Oklahoma Press, 2002.

Our Heart's Home2002 - Hal K. Rothman, LBJ's Texas White House: "Our Heart's Home," Texas A&M University Press, 2001.

Philip Johnson and Texas2001 - Frank D. Welch, Philip Johnson & Texas, University of Texas Press, 2000.


Stephen F. Austin2000 - Gregg Cantrell, Stephen F. Austin, Empresario of Texas, Yale University Press, 1999.

Please direct all inquiries to our staff