Attica Locke has been named the winner of the 2013 Ernest J. Gaines Award. The award for literary excellence is given to an emerging African American author and comes with a prize of $10,000. Locke, an L.A.-based writer, won the prize for her 2012 novel "The Cutting Season," which was published by Dennis Lehane's imprint. That and her debut, "Black Water Rising" (2009), are both literary thrillers that have hit bestseller lists as well as garnering critical acclaim. She has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize and was an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist.