Book Award Deadlines

Each year, hundreds of booksellers across the South vote on their favorite "handsell" books of the year. These are the "southern" books they have most enjoyed selling to customers; the ones that they couldn't stop talking about. The SIBA Book Award was created to recognize great books of southern origin.

What books can be nominated?

Books are nominated in several categories, including fiction, nonfiction, cooking and children's. For a book to be eligible, it must be set in the South, or the author must be Southern (preferably 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 . But stores can 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?

Click here for the online nomination form

Where can I see a list of currently nominated titles?

Click here to see a list of current nominations (2014 Nominations Coming Soon)

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

Over one hundred titles made the 2015 SIBA Book Award "Long List" -- all books that made somebody's "best of the year" list in Southern literature. Books were nominated in five categories: Children's, Cooking, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Young Adult. To be eligible the nominee had to be a book that was Southern in nature, or by a Southern author, or both. And the nomination had to come via a Southern Independent Bookstore.

Bookstores that are members of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) will vote on the long list to determine the finalists in each category by April 1. Finalists are then judged by a jury of SIBA booksellers, and the winners in each category will be announced on July 4, 2015, "Independents Day."

For more information about the SIBA  Book Awards, visit sibaweb.com/siba-book-award

2015 SIBA Book Award Nominees
TitleAuthorPublisherISBNPubdateCategory
A Bird on Water Street Elizabeth  O. Dulemba Little Pickle Press 9781939775054 5/7/2014 Children's
A Snicker of Magic Natalie Lloyd Scholastic 9780545552707 2/25/2014 Children's
Brown Girl Dreaming Jacqueline Woodson Nancy Paulsen Books 9780399252518 8/28/2014 Children's
Hostie Kate Sally Palmer Warbranch 9780966711493 10/14/2014 Children's
Map to Everywhere Carrie Ryan Little, Brown and Company 9780316240772 11/4/2014 Children's
Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House Eric Litwin Little, Brown and Company 9780316322447 7/29/2014 Children's
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing Sheila Turnage Kathy Dawson Books 9780803736719 2/4/2014 Children's
Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen Francine Bryson Clarkson Potter 9780804185783 9/9/2014 Cooking
BTC Old Fashioned Grocery Store Cookbook Alexe Van Bueren Clarkson Potter 9780385345002 3/18/2014 Cooking
Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything Donald Link Clarkson Potter 9780770433185 2/25/2014 Cooking
Drink the Harvest Nan Chase Storey 9781612121598 6/1/2014 Cooking
Good Catch: Recipes and Stories Celebrating the Best of Florida's Waters Pam Brandon (and Heather McPherson, Kat Farmand)e University Press of Florida 9780813060156 9/30/2014 Cooking
Heritage Sean Brock Artisan 9781579654634 10/21/2014 Cooking
Pimento Cheese: The Cookbook Perre Coleman Magness St. Martin's Griffin 9781250047298 9/9/2014 Cooking
Southern Holidays Debbie  Moose UNC Press 9781469617893 9/15/2014 Cooking
The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region  Marcie Cohen Ferris UNC Press 9781469617688 9/22/2014 Cooking
The Southern Foodie's Guide to the Pig: A Culinary Tour of Fifty of the South's Best Restaurants and the Recipes That Made Them Famous  Chris Chamberlain Thomas Nelson 9781401605025 9/9/2014 Cooking
The Southern Pantry Cookbook: 105 Recipes Already Hiding in Your Kitchen  Jennifer Chandler Thomas Nelson 9781401605216 10/1/2014 Cooking
Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook: Recipes and Stories to Celebrate the Bounty of the Moment Nancy Vienneau Thomas Nelson 9781401605179 6/17/2014 Cooking
A Far Gone Night John Carenen Neverland Publishing 9780990314851 9/8/2014 Fiction
A Long Time Gone Karen White New American Library 9780451240460 6/3/2014 Fiction
A Shelter of Others Charles White Fiddleback Press 9780988687257 6/6/2014 Fiction
A Southern Girl John Warley Story River Books  9781611173918 5/15/2015 Fiction
All I Have in This World Michael  Parker Workman 9781616201623 3/25/2014 Fiction
Arcana Jessica Leake Talos 9781940456140 11/11/2014 Fiction
Between Wrecks George Singleton Dzanc Books 9781938103797 5/6/2014 Fiction
By The Red Glare Mark Sibley-Jones USC Press 9781611173994 9/16/2014 Fiction
Byrd Kim Church Dzanc Books 9781938604522 3/18/2014 Fiction
Cancel the Wedding Carolyn Dingman HarperCollins 9780062276728 8/5/2014 Fiction
Charleston Margaret Thornton Ecco 9780062332523 7/29/2014 Fiction
Citizens Creek Lalita Tademy Atria Books  9781476753034 11/4/2014 Fiction
Dollbaby Laura Lane McNeal Pamela Dorman Books 9780670014736 7/3/2014 Fiction
Don't Ever Look Back Daniel Friedman Minotaur 9781250027566 4/22/2014 Fiction
Don't Talk to Strangers Amanda Kyle Williams Bantam 9780553808094 7/1/2014 Fiction
Each Shining Hour: A Novel of Watervalley Jeff High New American Library 9780451419279 10/7/2014 Fiction
Flying Shoes Lisa Howorth Bloomsbury 9781620403013 6/17/2014 Fiction
House on Mermaid Point Wendy Wax Berkley Publishing Group 9780425263327 7/1/2014 Fiction
How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky Lydia Netzer St. Martin's Press 9781250047021 7/1/2014 Fiction
Hurricane Sisters Dorothea  Benton Frank William Morrow & Company 9780062132529 6/3/2014 Fiction
Ice Garden Moira Crone Carolina Wren 9780932112965 10/30/2014 Fiction
In the Heart of the Dark Wood Billy Coffey Thomas Nelson 9781401690090 10/28/2014 Fiction
It Comes in Waves Erika Marks New American Library 9780451418869 7/1/2014 Fiction
Life Intercepted Charles Martin Center Street 9781455554669 9/2/2014 Fiction
Limestone Gumption Bryan Robinson Five Star 9781432827786 1/22/2014 Fiction
Long Man Amy Greene Knopf Publishing Group 9780307593436 2/25/2014 Fiction
Lost Lake Sarah Addison Allen St. Martin's Press 9781250019806 1/21/2014 Fiction
Miss Julia's Marvelous Makeover Ann B. Ross Viking Books 9780670026111 4/8/2014 Fiction
Natchez Burning Greg Iles William Morrow & Company  9780062311078 4/29/2014 Fiction
Palmetto Moon Kim Boykin Berkley Publishing Group 9780425272107 8/5/2014 Fiction
Queen Elizabeth's Daughter Anne Barnhill St. Martin's Press 9780312662127 3/18/2014 Fiction
Risky Undertaking: A Buryin' Barry Mystery Mark de Castrique   Poisoned Pen Press 9781464203060 11/4/2014 Fiction
Save The Date Mary Kay Andrews St. Martin's Press 9781250019691 6/3/2014 Fiction
Season of the Dragonflies  Sarah Creech William Morrow & Company 9780062307521 8/12/2014 Fiction
Silent Sister Diane Chamberlain St. Martins Press 9781250010711 10/7/2014 Fiction
Sister Golden Hair Darcey Steinke   Tin House Books 9781935639947 10/14/2014 Fiction
Something Rich and Strange Ron Rash Ecco 9780062349347 11/4/2014 Fiction
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good: The New Mitford Novel  Jan Karon Putnam Adult  9780399167447 9/2/2014 Fiction
Southern Heat David Burnsworth Five Star 9781432828004 2/19/2014 Fiction
Starting Over: Stories Elizabeth  Spencer Liveright Publishing Corporation 9780871406811 1/13/2014 Fiction
Stories We Tell Patti Callahan Henry St. Martins Press 9781250040312 6/24/2014 Fiction
Summer Wind Mary Alice Monroe Gallery Books 9781476709017 6/17/2014 Fiction
Tell the World You're a Wildflower Jennifer Horne University of Alabama Press 9780817318451 12/3/2014 Fiction
The Forsaken Ace Atkins Putnam Adult  9780399161797 7/4/2014 Fiction
The Girls of August  Anne Rivers Siddons Grand Central Publishing 9780446527958 7/8/2014 Fiction
The Gone Dead Train Lisa Turner William Morrow & Company 9780062136190 7/22/2014 Fiction
The Invention of Wings Sue Monk Kidd Viking Books 9780670024780 1/7/2014 Fiction
The Secret of Magic Deborah Johnson Amy Einhorn Books 9780399157721 1/21/2014 Fiction
The Sheltering Mark Powell USC Press 9781611174342 8/12/2014 Fiction
The Story Keeper  Lisa Wingate Tyndale House Publishers 9781414388267 8/15/2014 Fiction
The Story of Land and Sea Katy Simpson Smith HarperCollins 9780062335944 8/26/2014 Fiction
The Whiskey Baron Jon Sealy Hub City Press 9781891885747 4/24/2014 Fiction
The Wilds Julia Elliott Tin House Books 9781935639923 10/14/2014 Fiction
This Dark Road to Mercy Wiley Cash William Morrow & Company 9780062088253 1/28/2014 Fiction
Thorn Tree Heather Marshall MP Publishing 9781849823074 7/29/2014 Fiction
Three Story House Courtney Miller Santo William Morrow & Company 9780062130549 9/25/2014 Fiction
Tiger Shrimp Tango Tim Dorsey William Morrow & Company 9780062092816 1/28/2014 Fiction
To See the Moon Again Jamie Langston Turner Berkley Publishing Group 9780425253021 9/2/2014 Fiction
Wink of an Eye: A Mystery Lynn  Chandler Willis   Minotaur Books 9781250053190 11/18/2014 Fiction
Bearwallow Jeremy  Jones John F. Blair 9780895876249 6/3/2014 Nonfiction
Beautiful at All Seasons: Southern Gardening and Beyond with Elizabeth Lawrence  Elizabeth  Lawrence Duke University Press 9780822357766 9/29/2014 Nonfiction
Blessed Experiences James Clyburn USC Press 9781611173376 5/1/2014 Nonfiction
Call to Action Jimmy Carter Simon and Schuster 9781476773957 3/25/2014 Nonfiction
Clouds of Glory Michael Korda HarperCollins 9780062116291 5/13/2014 Nonfiction
Dreaming Bears J. Michael Holloway Epicenter Press 9781935347309 5/1/2014 Nonfiction
Elemental Bill Brown 3: A Taos Press 9780984792566 11/3/2014 Nonfiction
Everglades Mac Stone University Press of Florida 9780813049854 10/14/2014 Nonfiction
Factory Man Beth Macy Back Bay (Hachette) 9780316231435 7/15/2014 Nonfiction
Farming, Friends & Fried Bologna Sandwiches Renea Winchester Mercer University Press 9780881465044 9/1/2014 Nonfiction
Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story Rick Bragg HarperCollins 9780062078223 10/28/2014 Nonfiction
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy Karen Abbott HarperCollins 9780062092892 9/2/2014 Nonfiction
One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band  Alan Paul St. Martin's Press 9781250040497 2/18/2014 Nonfiction
Poems of the American South David Biespiel  Everyman's Library 9780375712449 8/5/2014 Nonfiction
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek Maya Van Wagenen Dutton Books 9780525426813 4/15/2014 Nonfiction
Rebel Yell S. C. Gwynne Scribner 9781451673289 9/30/2014 Nonfiction
Rough Beast Tim Peeler Future Cycle 9781938853555 1/28/2014 Nonfiction
Strong Inside Andrew Maraniss  Vanderbilt University Press  9780826520234 12/1/2014 Nonfiction
The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America  Scott Cowen Palgrave MacMillan  9781137278869 6/10/2014 Nonfiction
The Loyal Lieutenant George Hincapie William Morrow & Company 9780062330918 5/27/2014 Nonfiction
The Only Sounds We Make Lee Zacharias Hub City Press 9781938235009 5/1/2014 Nonfiction
The Same Sweet Girl's' Guide to Life: Advice from a Failed Southern Belle  Cassandra King Maiden Lane Press 9781940210032 5/1/2014 Nonfiction
Unbreakable Thom Shea Clobercroft 9781940262376 5/26/2014 Nonfiction
Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir Frances Mayes Crown Publishing Group 9780307885913 4/15/2014 Nonfiction
Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia  Fiona Ritchie  UNC Press  9781469618227 9/29/2014 Nonfiction
Web of Water John Lane Hub City Press 9781938235054 4/17/2014 Nonfiction
Without Mercy: The Stunning True Story of Race, Crime, and Corruption in the Deep South David Beasley St. Martin's Press 9781250014665 1/28/2014 Nonfiction
And We Stay Jenny Hubbard Delacorte 9780385740579 1/28/2014 Young Adult
Compulsion Martina  Boone Simon Pulse  9781481411226 10/28/2014 Young Adult
League of Seven Alan  Gratz Starscape 9780765338228 8/19/2014 Young Adult
Revolution Deborah Wiles Scholastic 9780545106078 5/27/2014 Young Adult
Running from Lions Julian Vaca Createspace 9781491204573 7/30/2014 Young Adult
Salvage Alexandra Duncan Greenwillow Books 9780062220141 4/1/2014 Young Adult
Skink:  No Surrender Carl Hiaasen Knopf Books for Young Readers 9780375870514 9/23/2014 Young Adult
The Last Days of California  Mary Miller Liveright Publishing Corporation 9780871405883 1/20/2014 Young Adult
The Sittin' Up Shelia Moses Putnam Publishing Group 9780399257230 1/9/2014 Young Adult
The Walled City  Ryan  Graudin Little, Brown Books for Young Readers  9780316405058 11/4/2014 Young Adult

Celebrate Independents!  SIBA’s 2014 Book Award Winners

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

(Columbia, SC) Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2014 SIBA Book Awards.  Selected as the best in their category by a juried panel of booksellers, each of the following titles showcases what Southern Indie Bookstores think is the finest in the tradition of Southern storytelling for the year.

The Winners!

  • Children’s Winner: The Girl from Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson (Walden Pond Press)

  • Cooking Winner: Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Some by John Currence  (Andrews McMeel)

  • Fiction Winner: Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall (Gallery Books)

  • Nonfiction Winner:  Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink (Crown)

  • Poetry Winner: The Collected Poems of Cathy Smith Bowers by Cathy Smith Bowers (Press 53)

  • Young Adult Winner: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (Viking Juvenile)

More about the winners:

Children’s Winner: The Girl from Felony Bay by J.E. Thompson (Walden Pond Press)

The last year has been rougher than sandpaper for Abbey Force and her dad. He’s in a coma after his accident a year back, wherein he was framed for a terrible crime he didn’t commit. And their home, Reward Plantation, an idyllic spot on the eastern coast of South Carolina, had to be sold to pay off his debt to society. Abbey is stuck living with her uncle Charlie, who, even in the few hours a day when he’s sober, ain’t exactly your ideal parental role model.

But it turns out the new family that moved into Abbey’s old house has a daughter named Bee. And she’s just as curious about all the No Trespassing signs and holes being dug out by Felony Bay, in the corner of what used to be Abbey’s home. It appears someone’s been poking around a mystery that dates all the way back to the Civil War—and it just might be the same someone who framed Abbey’s dad.


Cooking Winner: Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups and Then Some by John Currence  (Andrews McMeel)

Chef John Currence would rather punch you in the mouth with his fantastic flavors than poke you in the eye with fancy presentation. In his first cookbook, Currence gives you 130 recipes organized by 10 different techniques, such as Boiling/Simmering, Slathering, Pickling/Canning, Roasting/Braising, Muddling/Stirring, Brining/Smoking, and Baking/Spinning, just to name a few. John's fun-loving personality rings true throughout the book with his personal stories and history, and his one-of-a-kind recipes for Pickled Sweet Potatoes, Whole Grain Guinness Mustard, Deep South "Ramen" with a Fried Poached Egg, Rabbit Cacciatore, Smoked Endive, Fire-Roasted Cauliflower, and Kitchen Sink Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. Each recipe has a song pairing with it and the complete list can be downloaded at spotify.com. Over 100 documentary-style color photographs by photographer Angie Mosier complete this stunning look at the South.

Fiction Winner: Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall (Gallery Books)

“Fall in love with spunky Starla Claudelle, who runs away from a strict grandmother in 1963 Mississippi to find the mother she hasn't seen since she was three. As she journeys with a black woman named Eula, Starla has her eyes opened to larger issues of race and segregation. This wonderful novel will be devoured by book clubs and will cause every parent who finishes it to immediately find and hug their children. -Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction” -- Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC


Nonfiction Winner:  Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink (Crown)

Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice.  In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. 

Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

Poetry Winner: The Collected Poems of Cathy Smith Bowers by Cathy Smith Bowers (Press 53)

Hardship, cruelty, heartbreak, bleak sorrow—these sad themes are plentiful in the pages of Cathy Smith Bowers. But in its smoldering heart, her poetry holds, like the piñata in “The Party,” a “sweet, dark center.” — Fred Chappell, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina

Young Adult Winner: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen (Viking Juvenile)

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun.  He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.  Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

For more information on the SIBA Book Awards please visit sibaweb.com/siba-book-award.