Believing that nothing is so valuable to a small business owner than the opportunity to confer face to face with their colleagues in the industry, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) quietly launched a new scholarship program for booksellers in conjunction with this years’ trade show in New Orleans, inviting exhibitors to donate to the SIBA Scholarship Fund when they register for the show.  But the fund got a surprising, much-needed, and even more-appreciated five-figure infusion from The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts.

Written by Reba White Williams, Restrike is the first in a new mystery series featuring Southern cousins Coleman and Dinah Greene. Dave Williams is the author of Small Victories, which recounts his and Reba’s forty years of fine art print collecting.  Restrike is set in this part of the art world, the title of the novel coming from the term for an art print made after than the first edition, often after the death of the artist, and usually of inferior quality.

Dave and Reba Williams are the founders and sponsors of the annual Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, which has just completed its sixth year, awarding the 2012 prize to Terry Roberts for his A Short Time to Stay Here, published by Ingalls Publishing Group of Banner Elk, North Carolina., and see SIBA’s Scholarship Fund is the best way to help ensure a strong “next generation” of booksellers.

The SIBA Scholarship Fund has also received generous donations from the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) and Quercus.  SIBA is including in this fund the Kelly Justice Frontline Bookseller Scholarship, which allows for a store owner to nominate a frontline bookseller to attend the show on SIBA’s dime. 

It is SIBA’s hope to use the Scholarship Fund to assist as many bookstores as possible coming in for the tradeshow by helping with the out of pocket expenses such as hotel rooms, meals, and more.  Since admission to the trade show is free for its bookstore members, SIBA designed the fund to assist member stores in off-setting some of the expenses that accrue and can make the difference in a store’s ability to attend.  “We all need some skin in the game,” said SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell, who first conceived of the Scholarship Fund in response to feedback from bookstores about the rising costs associated with attending the trade show, “It may be that a frontline bookseller who has never been to the show can come or an additional bookseller can attend or you can stay an extra night.  Not having the money to attend is no excuse this year!”  Stores who wish to apply for assistance need only contact SIBA Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with their request for SIBA’s help in attending #SIBA13 in New Orleans in September!  Anyone who’d like to contribute to the fund may do so by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .