Writing Awards

TSGS Writing Awards

Photo Credit: MS Office

Texas State Genealogical Society offers cash prizes for the following awards to partner societies or individual members who have paid their dues for the full year 2017. Membership may be applied retroactively.

First through third place cash awards will be presented during the Awards Banquet at the TxSGS Annual Conference.

All books entered in the competition will be donated to the Texas State Library & Archives Genealogy collection in Austin, or, if that library has a copy, then to another library whose collection is open to the public.

General Submission Rules

Deadline for entries in Categories I – VIII is September 15.

Include a cover letter with the submitter’s name, address, telephone, email, category entered, comments about the book and ordering information such as price, tax and shipping if appropriate.

Entries for categories I, II, and III must be submitted by individuals who are current members of TxSGS. Members of partner societies are not eligible unless they have joined TxSGS as individual or household members for the full year 2017.

Entries for Categories VI and VII must be submitted by Partner Societies that are current full year 2017 members of TxSGS.

Entries for Categories I and II must contain an index or alphabetical listing, correct use of bibliography, endnotes or footnotes, and permission to use photocopied material from other sources or citation of source. Reference works recommended for use in documentation include Numbering Your Genealogy – Sound and Simple Systems, 1995, by Curran and Evidence! – Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian, 1997, by Mills.

Entries must have been published in 2016 or 2017 and not have been entered in the previous year’s competition.

Judging Information

Committee chairmen for each category will receive the entries and select a panel of judges to evaluate the entries and select winners. Judges will not be TSGS officers, committee chairs or district representatives. Judges will complete a judging criteria sheet for each entry and these sheets will be available to the individuals or societies after the announcement of awards at the conference.

Writing Categories

Information for each category, subgroup, contact person, and awards is noted below.

Grand Prize

In addition to the awards in each category, a grand prize will be awarded to the best overall entry in the book competition, regardless of the category. The grand prize award is $400.

Category I – Books by Non Professionals

  1. Family Histories – includes lineages of families or memories in narrative form.
  2. References – include county or community histories, cemetery or census transcriptions, extracts and abstracts of newspapers or records of local and county agencies and courts, and other references of genealogical value.

These books should be written, compiled or edited by an individual who is not a professional genealogist. Entries must contain at least 51 pages, and be hard, soft or spiral bound, and published in 2016 or 2017.

Deadline is September 15.

Books will be rated for each of six criteria: quality of binding, design, organization of topics, readability/overall usefulness, indexing, and adherence to current genealogical standards including numbering system and citation of sources.

Awards in each subgroup will be $200 for first place; $100 for second place; and $50 for third place.

Send entries to Bill Buckner, West Waco Library & Genealogy Center, 5301 Bosque Blvd., Suite 275, Waco TX 76710. He can be contacted by telephone at 254-750-5945 or email at billb@wacotx.gov or genealogybill@gmail.com. Please send your contact information and the name of your book by email to both addresses or call Mr. Buckner to notify him that an entry has been mailed.

Category II – Books by a Professional

  1. Family Histories – includes lineages of families or memories in narrative form.
  2. References – includes county or community histories, cemetery or census transcriptions, extracts and abstracts of newspapers or records of local and county agencies and courts, and other references of genealogical value.

Books by a professional individual include those written or compiled by someone who derives all or part of their income from a genealogy related business or library. Professional individuals include but are not limited to those who are a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists or an accredited genealogist (AG) by International Commission for Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) or a Certified Genealogist (CG) by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Entries must contain at least 51 pages, hard, soft or spiral bound, available to the public and be published in 2016 or 2017.

Deadline is September 15.

Books will be rated for each of six criteria: quality of binding, design, organization of topics, readability/ overall usefulness, indexing, and adherence to current genealogical standards including numbering system and citation of sources.

Awards in each subgroup will be $200 for first place; $100 for second place; and $50 for third place.

Send entries to Bill Buckner, West Waco Library & Genealogy Center, 5301 Bosque Blvd., Suite 275, Waco TX 76710. He can be contacted by telephone at 254-750-5945 or email at billb@wacotx.gov or genealogybill@gmail.com. Please send your contact information and the name of your book by email to both addresses or call Mr. Buckner to notify him that an entry has been mailed.

Category III – Manuscripts

  1. Manuscript by a Non-Professional
  2. Manuscript by a Professional

These entries include short articles written or compiled by an individual in 2016 or 2017 that were published in quarterlies or magazines. Manuscripts may have been prepared as part of a certification or accreditation portfolio but this is not required.

Entries must be at least 1000 words. See descriptions of non-professional and professional in previous two categories of awards.

Deadline is September 15.

Judging criteria include genealogical content, organization, reader interest, and source citation.

Awards for each subgroup will be $100 for first place; $50 for second place; and $30 for third place.

Send entries to Peggy Cox Jarred, 451 Rittiman Rd. 78209-2809, 210-826-8254 email: Pjared7217@aol.com. Electronic entries preferred. Please contact Ms. Jarred prior to mailing entry to notify her that an entry is being mailed.

Category IV – Family Periodicals

This award category has been discontinued. Watch for new categories in 2018.

Category V – Columnist

This award category has been discontinued. Watch for new categories in 2018.

Category VI – Official Periodicals of Partner Societies

  1. Newsletters must be at least four pages and issued monthly or bi-monthly.
  2. Quarterlies must be at least eight pages and issued four times.
  3. Journals must be at least ten pages and issued at least once or twice per year.

These entries must have been published on a regular basis during 2016 or 2017. A full year set should be submitted.

Deadline is September 15.

Judging criteria include binding, design, organization, content, interest, editing and index if appropriate.

Awards in each of the three subgroups will be $100 for first place; $50 for second place; and $30 for third place.

Send entries to Mic Barnette, Dallas Public Library Genealogy Department-8th Floor 1515 Young Street Dallas TX 75201. He can be contacted by email at mic@micbarnette.com. Please contact Mr. Barnette prior to mailing entry to notify him that an entry is being mailed.

Category VII –Books Published by Partner Societies

These entries include county or community histories, cemetery or census transcriptions, extracts and abstracts of newspapers or records of local and county agencies and courts, and similar genealogical references published by a partner society in 2016 or 2017.

Deadline is September 15.

Books will be rated for each of six criteria: quality of binding, design, organization of topics, readability/overall usefulness, indexing, and adherence to current genealogical standards including numbering system and citation of sources.

Awards will be $200 for first place; $100 for second place; and $50 for third place.

Send entries to Bill Buckner, West Waco Library & Genealogy Center, 5301 Bosque Blvd., Suite 275, Waco TX 76710. He can be contacted by telephone at 254-750-5945 or email at billb@wacotx.gov or genealogybill@gmail.com. Please send your contact information and the name of your book by email to both addresses or call Mr. Buckner to notify him that an entry has been mailed.

Category VIII – Student Projects

These project entries may be part of a school, library, genealogical society or museum initiative but must be sponsored by a partner society or individual member. Entries are for grade placement for the prior school year. Guidelines for student writings are minimum requirements for consideration of awards.

With each entry, the submitter should include a cover letter including name, address, telephone and email address if available. Entry must also include address of sponsor and signature of adult sponsor.

Deadline is September 15.

Send entries to Darwin Gilmore, 1400 Hermann Dr. Unit 4 E, Houston, TX 77004-7143. He can be contacted by telephone at 832-623-6404 or by email at dgilmoresr@yahoo.com.

Awards in each of three subgroups will be $100 for first place; $75 for second place; and $50 for third place.

Requirements for Elementary Grades 4-6

  • Prepare a pedigree chart with at least four generations beginning with yourself.
  • Prepare family group sheets on yourself, your dad’s family, your mom’s family and at least one grandparent.
  • On a map show where your ancestors lived.
  • Interview a grandparent and write a story of his or her life. Add pictures if available.
  • Additional suitable materials may be included.

Requirements for Intermediate Grades 7-9

  • Prepare a pedigree chart beginning with yourself with at least four generations plus a fifth generation on at least one surname. Always use maiden names for females on pedigree charts and family group sheets. All locations must be recorded as city, county, state. Example: San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. States may be abbreviated using the two letter postal abbreviation. For foreign locations provide the appropriate division. Example: Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
  • Prepare family group sheets on yourself, your dad’s family, your mom’s family and at least three grandparents. When recording dates on your pedigree and family group sheets, use the correct genealogical form. The correct order is day, month, year. The month is never designated numerically. All four digits must be recorded for a year. Example: 4 July 1776. If there is not enough space to record a date as shown, the month may be indicated with an appropriate three letter abbreviation. Example: 24 Dec 1971.
  • On a map show ancestral movements of one family surname.
  • Provide copies of at least three original records showing proof for your documentation and citations. Examples of original records are birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, census records and wills or probate.
  • Write a history of one surname of your family beginning with the earliest known ancestor. Add pictures if available.
  • Additional suitable materials may be included.

Requirements for Secondary Grades 10-12

  • Prepare a pedigree chart beginning with yourself with at least four generations plus a fifth generation on at least two surnames. Always use maiden names for females on pedigree charts and family group sheets. All locations must be recorded as city, county, state. Example: San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. States may be abbreviated using the two-letter postal abbreviation. For foreign locations, provide the appropriate political division. Example: Munich, Bavaria, Germany.
  • Prepare family group sheets on yourself, your dad’s family, your mom’s family, at least three grandparents and at least one great-grandparent. When recording dates on your pedigree and family group sheets, use the correct genealogical form. The correct order is day, month, year. The month is never designated numerically. All four digits must be recorded for a year. Example: 4 July 1776. If there is not enough space to record a date as shown, the month may be indicated with an appropriate three-letter abbreviation. Example: 24 Dec 1971.
  • Provide endnotes or footnotes for ALL sources. For citations, refer to Evidence! by Elizabeth Shown Mills. No more than one-half of the sources may be from the Internet.
  • Provide copies of at least five original records showing proof for your documentation and citations. Examples of original records are birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, census records, and wills or probate.
  • Write histories of two surnames of your family beginning with the earliest known ancestor and tracing to the present. Add pictures if available.
  • On a map show ancestral movements of each family history.
  • Additional suitable materials may be included.