SIBA Book Award

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.

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.

Enter your choices on our online nomination form.


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!

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

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!


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

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

Columbia, SC - July 4, 2013 –  Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2013 SIBA Book Awards.  

Children’s Winner:
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Cooking Winner:
The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl and Griffith Day  (Artisan Publishers)

Fiction Winner:
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash (William Morrow)

Nonfiction Winner:  
Stand Up That Mountain 
by Jay Erskine Leutze (Scribner Book Company)

Poetry Winner:
Descent  by Kathryn Stripling Byer (Louisiana State University Press)

Young Adult Winner:
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (Dial Books for Young Readers)

Booksellers: The SIBA Book Award Winners could win you $1000!

At the SIBA Trade Show this year, we will be hosting a $1000 Display Contest:  Create a table top display for one, more, or all of the SIBA Book Award Winners and recreate it on site at the SIBA trade show.  Industry peers will vote for their favorites, and 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!


The Fantastic Flying books of Mr. Morris LessmoreChildren’s Winner:

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
by William Joyce (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

"Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books. But every story has its upsets. "Everything in Morris Lessmore's life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds. But the power of story will save the day. Stunningly brought to life by William Joyce, one of the preeminent creators in children's literature, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a modern masterpiece, showing that in today's world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it's story that we truly celebrate--and this story, no matter "how" you tell it, begs to be read again and again.  

The Back in the Day Bakery CookbookCooking Winner:

The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
by Cheryl and Griffith Day  (Artisan Publishers)

Nationally recognized and locally adored for its decadent homespun desserts and delicious rustic breads, Back in the Day Bakery is a Savannah landmark. To celebrate the bakery's tenth anniversary, this duo has written a book filled with customers' favorite recipes. It's packed with Cheryl and Griff's baking know-how plus recipes for their famous Buttermilk Biscones, Old-Fashioned Cupcakes, Chocolate Bread, Cinnamon Sticky Buns, S'more Pie, Almond Crunchies, Drunk Blondies, Pinkies Chocolate Lunch-Box Treats, Rustic Cheddar Pecan Rounds, and much more. "The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook" is like a down-home bake sale in a book.

A Land More Kind than HomeFiction Winner:

A Land More Kind Than Home 
by Wiley Cash (William Morrow)

For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when you get caught spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to--an act that will have repercussions. It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared. He now knows that a new understanding can bring not only danger and evil--but also the possibility of freedom and deliverance.

Stand Up That MountainNonfiction Winner:  

Stand Up That Mountain 
by Jay Erskine Leutze (Scribner Book Company)

In the tradition of A Civil Action--the true story of a North Carolina outdoorsman who teams up with his Appalachian "mountain people" neighbors to save treasured land from being destroyed.  

DescentPoetry Winner:

 by Kathryn Stripling Byer (Louisiana State University Press)

Navigating the dangerous currents of family and race, Kathryn Stripling Byer’s sixth poetry collection confronts the legacy of southern memory and landscape, where too often it's safer to stay blind.  

Three Times LuckyYoung Adult Winner:

Three Times Lucky
 by Sheila Turnage (Dial Books for Young Readers)

A hilarious Southern debut with the kind of characters you meet once in a lifetime. Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her "upstream mother," she's found a home with the Colonel--a cafe owner with a forgotten past of his own--and Miss Lana, the fabulous cafe hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.

For more information on the SIBA Book Awards please visit