Ernest Gaines Award

Attica Locke writes the kind of rooted-in-truth crime story that satisfies both your intellect and your need to have the hair on your neck stand up.

With only her second novel under her belt, she's won praise from other thriller writers like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos. And she just received another high honor: She was awarded the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which honors outstanding work by rising African-American writers, for her book The Cutting Season.

Locke was a screenwriter, but early in her career she encountered obstacles.

Jim Engster interviews political consultant Gus Weill about Senator David Vitter's intent to run for governor in 2015, and Attica Locke, winner of the 7th Annual Ernest Gaines Award, & author of "The Cutting Season"


Stephanie Powell Watts

Stephanie Powell Watts will be accepting this year’s Ernest Gains Award for Literary Excellence from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

Watts is being recognized for her collection of 10 stories, “We Are Taking Only What We Need," chronicling the lives of African Americans in rural North Carolina.

Watts writes from experience. 


Jim talks with Stephanie Powell Watts, this year's recipient of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for literary excellence, for her book, "We Are Taking Only What We Need"

Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White discusses the many changes in Louisiana's public education system, and legal challenges some of those initiatives are facing.