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.

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.

Winners will be chosen by popular vote, and Southern indie bookstores will be encouraged to involve their customers in the voting process by creating in-store displays of the finalist titles as part of their holiday promotions. Each store will be provided postage-paid postcard ballots to hand out to booksellers and customers. An online ballot will also be available on November 10th. Returned ballots will be entered into a raffle to win a complete set of the finalist titles.

In-store voting will begin the week of the Love Your Bookstore Challenge, November 10-16, building on the momentum of the grassroots campaign to encourage book buying at local bookstores and giving store customers chances to win more prizes. Voting will run from November 10 through February 1, 2019. Southern Book Prize winners will be announced on February 14, Valentine’s Day.


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.

Follow the links below to learn more. Mark your calendars now for important nomination deadlines and announcements!


SIBA Book AwardWhat do you think are the best Southern books of the year?

This month SIBA Booksellers opened their mail to discover the annual "long ballot" of titles nominated for the 2014 SIBA Book Awards. These are books that they and their customers have nominated as the best Southern books of the previous year. Right now, they are poring over the list of over eighty different titles, picking their favorites from each of six different categories. The results of their choices will determine the finalists for each category.

Which would you pick?

Book Title Author's First Name Author's Last Name Publisher
Darwen Arkwright and the School of Shadows A.J. Hartley Razorbill
The Girl From Felony Bay J E Thompson Walden Pond Press
Little Red Writing Joan Holub Chronicle
Mama Harris' Fried Pie Army Richard Mandell T. Eliot Press
The Mischievians William Joyce Atheneum Books for Young Readers
My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood Tameka Fryer Brown Penguin
Paperboy Vince Vawter Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses James Dean HarperCollins
A Passion For Bread Lionel Vatinet Little, Brown and Company
Bobby Deen's Everyday Eats Bobby Deen Ballantine Books
Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way John Besh Andrews McMeel Publishing
Greek Revival from the Garden: Growing and Cooking for Life Patricia Moore-Pastides University of South Carolina Press
Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen Matt Lee & Ted Lee Clarkson Potter
Pickels, Pigs, & Whiskey John Currence Andrews McMeel Publishing
Southern My Way: Food & Family Gena Knox Gena Knox Media
A Different Sun Elaine Neil Orr Berkley Publishing
A Murder in Passing Mark De Castrique Poisoned Pen Press
A Place at the Table Susan Rebecca White Touchstone
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion Fannie Flagg Random House
The Alligator Man James Sheehan Center Street
And Then I Found You Patti Callahan Henry St. Martin's Press
Bad Monkey Carl Hiaasen Knopf
Blood of Heaven Kent Wascom Grove
Calling Me Home Julie Kibler St. Martin's Press
The Check Out Richard Lester self
Duel of the Heart Rose Tomlin Evening Post Books
The Funeral Dress Susan Gregg Gilmore Broadway Books
Governor's Lady Robert Inman John F. Blair
Guest House Erika Marks NAL
Guests on Earth Lee Smith Shannon Ravenel Books
Harlow David Armand Texas Review Press
Hatteras moon Stephen March Koehler
Heart of Palm Laura Lee Smith Grove Press
I Want to Show YOu More Jamie Quatro Grove Press
In the Garden of Stone Susan Tekulve Hub City Press
Kara Was Here William Conescu Soft Skull
King's Mountain Sharyn McCrumb St. Martin's Press
The Kings and Queens of Roam Daniel Wallace Touchstone
Ladies' Night Mary Kay Andrews St. Martin's Press
Life After Life Jill McCorkle Algonquin
Lookaway, Lookaway Wilton Barnhardt St. Martin's Press
Looking For Me Beth Hoffman Pamela Dorman Books
Love & Lament John Milliken Thompson Other Press
Lowcountry Bombshell Susan Boyer Henery Press
The Maid's Version Daniel Woodrell Little Brown
Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble Ann Ross Viking
Moonrise Cassandra King Maiden Lane Press
Most educated idiot I know Dean Roughton Createspae
Mother of Rain Karen Spears Zacharias Mercer University Press
Mrs. Poe Lynn Cullen Gallery Books
Necessary Lies Diane Chamberlain St Martins
Nothing Gold Can Stay: Stories Ron Rash Ecco
Out of the Easy Ruta Sepetys Philomel
The Prayer Box Lisa Wingate Tyndale House
RipTide Ultra Glide Tim Dorsey Harper
Someone Else's Love Story Joshilyn Jackson William Morrow
The Summer Boy Henri Mitchell Alfie Dog Limited
Summer Girls Mary Alice Monroe Gallery Books
The Sweetest Hallelujah Elaine Hussey Harlequin MIRA
Sycamore Row John Grisham Doubleday
The Next Time You See Me Holly Goddard Jones Touchstone
Three-Day Affair Michael Kardos Mysterious Press
The Tilted World Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly William Morrow
The Time Between Karen White NAL Hardcover
Waiting in Deep Sandi Denkers America Star Books
Wash Margaret Wrinkle Grove Press
Whistling Past the Graveyard Susan Crandall Gallery Books
The Wisdom of Hair Kim Boykin Berkley Trade
The Woman Who Lost Her Soul Bob Shacchis Atlantic Monthly Press
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls Anton Disclafani Riverhead Hardcover
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald Therese Anne Fowler St. Martin's Press
The Astronaut Wives Club Lily Koppel Grand Central Publishing
The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight Winston Groom National Geographic
Braving the Flame Jessica Handler St. Martin's
The Chattooga River Laura Ann Garren History Press
The Death of Santini Pat Conroy Random House
The Fall of the House of Dixie: The Civil War and the Social Revolution That Transformed the South Bruce Levine Random House
Finding Florida TD Allman Atlantic Monthly Press
Five Days at Memorial Sheri Fink Random House
The Girls of Atomic City Denise Kiernan Touchstone
Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls David Sedaris Little Brown
The Men We Reaped Jesmyn Ward Bloomsbury
More Than a Likeness: The Enduring Art of Mary Whyte Mary White University of South Carolina Press
The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking, and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing Robbin Phillips Wiley
Old Man River: The Mississippi River in North American History Paul Schneider Henry Holt and Co
Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion Robert Gordon Bloomsbury
Second Bud Martha Ezzard Mercer
Si-cology 1: Tales and Wisdom from Duck Dynasty's Favorite Uncle Si Robertson Howard Books
State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love Aida Rogers University of South Carolina Press
The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Artists William Ferris The University of North Carolina Press
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage Ann Patchett Harper
What the Dog Knows: The Science and Wonder of Working Dogs Cat Warren Touchstone
The Book of Goodbyes Jillian Weise BOA Editions Ltd.
Collected Poems of Cathy Smith Bowers Cathy Bowers Press 53
Concertina Joseph Bathanti Mercer
Voodoo for the Other Woman Angela Kelly Hub City Press
13th Sign Kristin O'Donnell Tubb Feiwel & Friends
The Madman's Daughter Megan Shepherd Balzer + Bray
The Moon and More Sarah Dessen Viking Juvenile
Prisoner B-3087 Alan Gratz Scholastic
Shades of Earth: An Across the Universe Novel Beth Revis Razorbill
Theodore Boone: The Activist John Grisham Dutton Juvenile
Tower of the Five Orders Deron Hicks Houghton Mifflin
What I Came to Tell You Tommy Hays Egmont USA