2024 Summerlee Book Prize

Call for Submissions

(Call for Submissions for the 2025 Summerlee Book Prize will open in January)

The Center for History and Culture of Southeast Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast at Lamar University requests submissions for its annual Summerlee Book Prize. The Center awards two $1000 prizes in non-fiction and creative categories for the best book-length publications that significantly contribute to our understanding of Southeast Texas and the greater Gulf Coast. The Center encourages submissions that focus on our core region or positions it within broader national, hemispheric, or global contexts.  

The committee will consider books published and copyrighted between 2023 to 2024 not previously submitted to the Summerlee Book Prize. Self-published or unpublished manuscripts are not eligible.
Publishers and authors may nominate their work by sending three copies by March 15, 2024 to:

Jimmy L. Bryan Jr., Director
The Center for History and Culture
Lamar University
Box 10048
Beaumont, Tx 77710

Please designate to which category the Center should assign the submission.

The non-fiction category may include but is not limited to history, journalism, environmental studies, literary and art history, material culture, social science, archaeology.

The creative category may include but is not limited to novels, poetry, short story collections, graphic novels.

Separate panels of three judges will select the award winners. The judges may withhold awards in one or both categories.

The Center will announce award winners for the non-fiction and creative writing categories in April 2024.

Awards made possible by a generous grant from
The Summerlee Foundation

Summerlee Book Prize Winners


Randy Gonzales, Settling St. Malo (University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, 2023).

Keagan LeJeune, Finding Myself Lost in Louisiana (University Press of Mississippi, 2023).


Katherine Hoerth, Flare Stacks in Full Bloom (Texas Review Press, 2022).

Elizabeth N. Ellis, The Great Power of Small Nations: Indigenous Diplomacy in the Gulf South (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022).


Ron Rozelle, Leaving the Country of Sin: A Novel (Texas Review Press, 2021).

Tara A. Dudley, Building Antebellum New Orleans: Free People of Color and Their Influence (University of Texas Press, 2021).


Christopher Lee Manes, Naming the Leper: Poems (LSU Press, 2020).

Barrie Scardino Bradley, Improbable Metropolis: Houston’s Architectural and Urban History (University of Texas Press, 2020).


Cody Smith, Gulf: Poems (Texas Review Press, 2019).

Sophie White, Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press, 2019).

Honorable Mention
Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, Newsworthy: Poems (Bloomsday, 2019).


Merline Pitre, Born to Serve: A History of Texas Southern University (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018).

Cameron B. Strang, Frontiers of Science: Imperialism and Natural Knowledge in the Gulf South Borderlands, 1500-1850 (University of North Carolina Press, 2018).

Honorable Mention
Johnnie Bernhard, How We Came to Be (Texas Review Press, 2018).


Gretchen Johnson, Single in Southeast Texas (Golden Antelope Press, 2017).

Ellen Riesntra and Jo Ann Stiles, The Long Shadow: The Lutcher-Stark Lumber Dynasty (Tower Books, 2016).