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The Writers' League of Texas sponsors the Annual Violet Crown Book Award to honor outstanding books published each year. The name of the Violet Crown award comes from an O. Henry phrase describing Austin as "the city of the Violet Crown."

The League also sponsors the Teddys Children Award.

2009 Winner & Finalists

Nonfiction Winner

A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Big Horn, the Last Great Battle of the American West
James Donovan, Dallas, TX (Little, Brown, March 2008)

The Texas Rangers, Mike Cox, Austin, TX
The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder, Stew Magnuson, Arlington, VA
Island Journeys, Patti Marxsen Camden, ME
The Texas Hill Country, Terry Thompson-Anderson, Fredericksburg, TX
The Glen Rock Book of the Dead, Marion Winik, Baltimore, MD

Fiction Winner

The Story of Forgetting
Stefan Merrill Block,
Brooklyn, NY (Random House, April 2008)

The Condition, Jennifer Haigh, Hull, MA
The Theory of Light and Matter, Andrew Porter, San Antonio, TX
Purple Hearts, C.W. Smith, Dallas, TX
Northline, Willy Vlautin, Scappoose, OR

Children's Book Winner

The Underneath,
Kathi Appelt
College Station, TX
(Atheneum, May 2008)

Man in the Moon, Dotti Enderle, Richmond, TX
Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid, Xavier Garza, San Antonio, TX
How Not to Be Popular, Jennifer Ziegler, Austin, TX

Poetry & Literary Prose Winner

Meditations on Rising and Falling
Philip Pardi
Phoenicia, NY
(University of Wisconsin Press, February 2008)

Shadow Mountain, Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan, Houston, TX
A Poetry of Remembrance, Levi Romero, Albuquerque, NM
Wild Flight, Christine Rhein, Brighton, MI

2008 Violet Crown Book Award Winners


John Graves: Writer, edited by Mark Busby and Terrell Dixon, San Marcos
Strangers in Paradise, by Paul Christensen, College Station
Eckhardt: There Once Was a Congressman From Texas, by Gary A. Keith, Austin
Blue Bell Ice Cream, by Dorothy MacInerney, Austin,

Fiction Winner

Rilla Askew
Rilla Askew, Norman, OK


River's Ebb, by Jim Ainsworth, Campbell
Evacuation Plan, by Joe O'Connell, Taylor
America Libre, by Raul Ramos y Sanchez, Dayton OH
Sandhill County Lines, by Clay Reynolds, McKinney
Trail of the Red Butterfly, by Karl H. Schlesier, Corrales, NM

Children's Book Winner

Margo Rabb

Cures for Heartbreak
Margo Rabb, Austin


We Are One, Larry Dane Brimmer, Tucson, AZ
The Bee Tree, by Stephen Buchmann and Diana Cohn, El Paso
The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous, by Suzanne Crowley, Southlake
The Red Queen's Daughter, Jacqueline Koloson, Lubbock

Literary Prose and Poetry Winners

2007 - Between Frames, Wendy Barker
2006 - Hard Country, Paul Christensen
2005 - Hearsay, Lee Robinson
2004 - Where Skulls Speak Wind, Larry D. Thomas
2003 - Harm, Miles Wilson

Nonfiction Winners

2007 - House of Plenty- The Rise, Fall, and Revival of Luby's Cafeterias, Carol Dawson & Carol Johnston
2006 - Ringside Seat to A Revolution, David Dorado Romo
2005 - Eleven Days in Hell, William T. Harper
2004 - A Good Forest for Dying: The Tragic Death of a Young Man on the Front Lines of the Environmental Wars, Patrick Beach
2003 - Growing Up Simple . . . in Texas: An Irreverent Look at Kids in the 1950, George Arnold

Fiction Winners

2007 - To the Ends of the Earth: The Last Journey of Lewis & Clark, Frances Hunter
2006 - The Vinegaroon Murders, James Mangum
2005 - The White League, Thomas Zigal
2004 - Anything You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You, Laurie Lynn Drummond
2003 - Sleep Toward Heaven Amanda Eyre Ward

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