The Southern Book Prize

Each year, hundreds of booksellers across the South vote on the books they have most enjoyed selling to customers: the books they couldn't stop talking about; books by southern writers, or with a southern perspective, or both. For years, the SIBA Book Award has recognized great books of southern origin.

In 2017, the SIBA Book Award became The Southern Book Prize  and implemented The Conroy Legacy Award to honor one of the region's most enduring, iconic writers and to recognize Conroy as a force for good in the world of southern books and literature.

WHICH BOOKS CAN BE NOMINATED
For a book to be eligible, it must be set in the South, or the author must be Southern (or both) and it must have been published within the previous calendar year.

WHO CAN NOMINATE A BOOK?
Books can be nominated by SIBA-member booksellers. Stores may also submit nominations on behalf of the their customers, so if you are not a bookseller, you can request your local bookstore nominate a title on your behalf.

HOW DO I NOMINATE A BOOK?
Enter your choices on our online nomination form.

WHAT IS THE CONROY LEGACY AWARD?

The Conroy Legacy Award, honors the example of beloved author Pat Conroy and recognizes writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community. Recipients will have shown the following attributes:

  • Support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general.
  • Writing that focuses significantly on their own home place.
  • Demonstrates support of other writers, especially new and emerging authors.

The Conroy Legacy Award is given to one writer in SIBA territory per year. A juried panel of SIBA member booksellers representing all of SIBA's states will choose among nominated writers to determine the year’s winner.

I'M A PUBLISHER/AUTHOR/BOOKSELLER: HOW DO I PARTICIPATE?
Follow the links below to learn more. Mark your calendars now for important nomination deadlines and announcements!

Downloadable Book Award GraphicsLogos and badges:  Click here for badges to put on your website!

PUBLISHERS AUTHORS BOOKSELLERS
Booksellers: The Southern Book Prize Winners could win you $1000!

Once again, SIBA will host the SIBA Book Award Display Contest at the upcoming SIBA Discovery Show September 13-15 in Tampa, Florida. Create a table top display for one, more, or all of the Winners and recreate it on site at the show.  Industry peers will vote for their favorites, and the store with the winning display will receive $1000  This display contest is open to SIBA’s Core Members only. So display the books, get familiar and get your creative juices going!

 

Southern Book PrizeThe best in southern literature, from the people who would know . . . Southern Independent (and independently minded!) Booksellers

Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2018 Southern Book Prize.

Nominated by booksellers and their customers, vetted by bookstores and selected by a jury of Southern booksellers, these are the Southern books that Southern bookstores were most passionate about, and inspired the most “you’ve got to read this” and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. They represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

2018 Southern Book Prize Winners

Tears We Cannot Stop by Michael Eric DysonMy Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott KingFlame in the Mist by Renee AhdiehTumble and Blue by Cassie BeasleyBefore We Were Yours by Lisa WingateGradle Bird by J C SasserThe Last Ballad by Wiley CashYoung Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

FICTION

Women & Family –
Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin)

“Zevin uses her unique voice to tell this sometimes hilarious and witty story in three points of view.  Strong, smart women! A joy to read, and quite meaningful.” – Jean Lewis, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL

Literary -
The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash (William Morrow & Company)

“We need more women (and men) like Ella Mae Wiggins in this world. Someone who is willing to stand up for a better world no matter the cost. This is her story, and we are all better for having come to know it."” – George Williams, MoonPie General Store, Pigeon Forge, TN

Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense -
Gradle Bird by J. C. Sasser (Koehler Books)

“This story is the epitome of Southern Fiction, with its wild cast of characters and small-town setting.” – Bess Long, My Sister’s Books, Pawley’s Island, SC

Southern Fiction -
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (Ballantine Books)

“Lisa Wingate is a master storyteller, and I am particularly attached to her historical fiction. Each time I read one of the books, I learn of a part of our southern past that is mostly forgotten.” – Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Juvenile Fiction -
Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley (Dial Books)

“Sweet, magical, and wholly enjoyable—a little bit of magic, a grandparent in trouble, insurmountable obstacles, and selfless acts of friendship and love. Adorable, well-written, and sweet as fresh swamp water.”  – Mary Ruthless, Foggy Pine Books, Boone, NC

Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh (G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)

“A fantastical tale woven like fine silk, Flame in the Mist transports readers to feudal Japan where we meet Mariko, and follow her on a quest that’s conclusion will have her questioning everything she thinks she knows about family, honor, and love.” – Star Lowe, Star Line Books, Chatttanooga, TN

NONFICTION

Biography & History -
Coretta: My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
(Picador USA)

 “I'm glad the first chapter is "We Don't Have Time to Cry" because it, and Mrs. King, give strength and honesty if we are to face what our country is (and because I sure had a hard time stopping crying at times). Beautiful straight talking.” – Angie Fleming, Givens Books, Lynchburg, VA

Nonfiction -
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
(St. Martin's Press)

"Michael Eric Dyson is an urgent and impassioned cry for racial justice— justice that will not be reached without a reckoning by white Americans' acknowledgment of its passivity and complicity to its addiction to power." – Caroline Green Christopoulos, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

The Southern Book PrizeThe 2018 Southern Book Prize Finalists Announced

(Asheville, NC) – Southern independent booksellers have cast their votes for the Finalists for the 2018 Southern Book Prize. Thirty titles across eight different categories have been selected as representing the best in Southern literature. Prize categories are determined by the publisher-submitted BISAC categories of the 100+ titles originally nominated for the Southern Book Prize.

"This is a great list of books," commented Wanda Jewell, Executive Director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. "It shows the wide range and depth of Southern literature."

Finalists go to juried panels of booksellers who will then decide on the winners in each category. Winners will be announced on July 4, "Independents Day."