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!


The 2011 SIBA Book Award Long List: Time to revisit your TBR stack!

(Columbia, SC)—The Long List for the 2011 SIBA Book Award has just been released by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance. The “Long List” includes every eligible title nominated for the award—over seventy-five books representing the bookseller and reader favorites of 2010 in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s, young adult and cooking categories. From Tom Angleberger to Isabel Zuber, Ron Rash to Fannie Flagg, Civil Rights struggles to Cold War coming of age stories, and football games to blueberry farms, the Long List is the ultimate southern reading list from the people who would know—southern indie booksellers.

See the full list of titles here:
In the following months SIBA Booksellers will vote on finalists in each category, and the final winners will be picked by a jury of SIBA booksellers. Winners will be announced in July the week of Independence Day. In September, in Charleston, SC, at the annual SIBA Trade Show, the winners and finalists will be recognized during the popular Writers’ Block Auction which raises money to promote the Awards and raise awareness of the importance of independent booksellers to the literary community.

The SIBA Book Awards were created, not just to recognize great Southern books, but to give southern readers an enviable list of books to enjoy, read, buy, and give as gifts. As of this time, the SIBA Book Award remains one of the most far-reaching and high-profile awards for Southern literature. To be eligible for the SIBA Book Award, nominated books must 1) be southern in nature or by an southern author (preferably both!), 2) have been published the previous year, and 3) have been nominated by a SIBA-member bookstore or one of their customers.

Now is the time to revisit your to-be-read stack. The odds are, some of the books in the list below are waiting for you there!

For more information, visit

The 2011 SIBA Book Award Long List:

  Bloodroot          Amy Greene      (Random House)
  Bone Appetit    Carolyn Haines  (Minotaur)
  Burning Bright Ron Rash             (Ecco)
  Circle of Lies      Alan Douglas      (Forge)
  Cirtus County   John Brandon    (McSweeney's)
  Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter                Tom Franklin      (Morrow)
  The Day of Small Things              Vicki Lane            (Dell)
  Delta Blues        Carolyn Haines  (Tyrus Books)
  The Devil Amongst the Lawyers               Sharyn McCrumb             (St. Martin's Press)
  Diablero             Toby Tate            (Nightbird Publishing)
  The Eden Hunter             Skip Horack         (PGW)
  The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival   Ken Wheaton    (Kensington)
  Florida Gothic Stories   Vicki Hendricks  (Kitsune Books)
  I Still Dream About You                Fannie Flagg      (Random House)
  In the Company of Others          Jan Karon            (Viking Books)
  Killer of Crying Deer       William Orem  (Kitsune Books)
  The Lies We Told             Diane Chamberlain          (Mira)
  Love, Charleston            Beth Webb Hart               (Thomas Nelson)
  Magnolia Wednesdays               Wendy Wax  (Penguin)
  The Mailbox     Marybeth Whalen           (David C. Cook)
  Miss Julia Renews Her Vows      Ann Ross  (Viking)
  My Only Sunshine          Lou Dischler        (Hub City Press)
  On Folly Beach                Karen White       (NAL)
  Requiem by Fire              Wayne Caldwell                (Random House)
  Saving CeeCee Honeycutt           Beth Hoffman   (Penguin)
  She-Rain            Michael Cogdill  (Morgan James)
  This Is Just Exactly Like You        Drew Perry         (Penguin)


Angles of Approach      Holly Iglesias      (White Pine Press)
Bottle Tree  Jennifer Horne        (Wordtech)
Checking Out   Tim Peeler          (Hub City Press)
The Circus Poems           Alex Grant          (Lorimer Press)
Coffeehouse Meditations           Nina Romano     (Kitsune Books)
Eliza: The New Orleans Years    Dede Wilson      (Main Street Rag)
Home  Nancy Dillingham            (March Street Press)
House of Branches        Janisse Ray         (Wind Publications)
Living Above the Frost Line        Nancy Simpson (Carolina Wren Press)
Multiverse         Michael Smith   (BlazeVox)
Naming the Constellations        John York            (Spring Street Editions)
Paper House    Jessie Carty        (Folded Word Press)
Red Lily, poems               Isabel Zuber       (Press 53)
Restoring Sacred Art     Joseph Bathanti                (Star Cloud Press)


27 Views of Hillsborough            Michael Malone               (Eno Publishing)
As The Scyamore Grows             Jennie Helderman           (Summers Bridgewater Press)
The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family        Jim Minick           (Thomas Dunne)
Carry the Rock Jay Jennings       (MPS)
Creative Is a Verb           Patti Digh             (Skirt!)
Death of a Pinehurst Princess   Steve Bouser     (History Press)
Don't Quit Your Day Job              Sonny Brewer   (Perseus)
The Fall of the House of Zeus    Curtis Wilkes      (Crown)
Honest Eating: How to Love Food,Love Yourself & Love Life        Jane McClaren  (Chapel Hill Press)
If Trouble Don't Kill Me                Ralph Berrier, Jr                (Crown)
In The Garden With Billy: Lessons About Life, Love, & Tomatoes               Renea Winchester           (Little Creek Books)
Look Up Asheville: an Architectural Journey       Laura Hope-Gill (Grateful Steps PublishingHouse and Bookshop)
Mississippi: State of Blues          Ken Murphy       (Proteus Publications & Ken Murphy Publishing)
Spies of Mississippi        Rick Bowers        (National Geographic)
They Came to Nashville               Marshall Chapman          (Vanderbilt)
Thriving After Divorce  Tonja Weimer   (Simon & Schuster)
Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide              Karen Zacharias                (Zondervan)
Year of Our Lord             T.R. Pearson       (Mockingbird)


Dave the Potter              Laban Carrick Hill              (Little, Brown)
Mockingbird    Kathryn Erskine                (Philomel)
Penny Dreadful               Laurel Snyder    (Random House)
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes      Eric Litwin and James Dean            (HarperCollins)
The Red Umbrella          Christina Gonzalez           (Knopf)
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda         Tom Angleberger             (Amulet)
Turtle in Paradise           Jennifer Holm    (Random House)
Twelve Days of Christmas in South Carolina       Melinda Long     (Sterling)

Young Adult

Cookie & Me    Mary Jane Ryals                (Kitsune Books)
Countdown      Deborah Wiles  (Scholastic)
Leaving Gees Bend        Irene Latham     (Penguin)
The Secret Child              Marti Healy         (Design Group Press)
Somebody Everybody Listens To             Suzanne Supplee             (Penguin)
Zora and Me    Victoria Bond     (Candlewick)


Eat Your Yard   Nan Chase          (Gibb Smith)
The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcountry Cooking       Joseph Earl Dabney         (Cumberland House)
Greek Revival: Cooking for Life Patricia Moore-Pastides                (USC Press)
Southern My Way         Gena Knox          (Fire & Flavor)
Too Hot in the Kitchen -Secrets to Sizzle at any Age         Holly Clegg          (Favorite Recipes Press)
You're Invited Back        The Junior League of Raleigh      (Favorite Recipes Press)

Celebrate Independents!  SIBA’s 2010 Book Award Winners; A Southern Explosion of Works


Southern indie booksellers have chosen a stellar collection of titles for the 2010 SIBA Book Awards.  After a furious round of voting, the finalists skyrocketed out of the long list into the hands of the judges, and today the winners break out.

The Secret World of Walter AndersonChildren’s Winner: The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass (Candlewick Press)

The Secret World of Walter Anderson was brought to the attention of booksellers in the first batch of Okra Picks and quickly found its way to the Southern Indie Bestseller List h becoming a favorite among booksellers and readers throughout the south.  Enter the fascinating world of reclusive nature-lover Walter Anderson — perhaps the most famous American artist you've never heard of.  In this beautifully crafted picture book biography, writer Hester Bass and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis pay homage to an uncompromising American artist.

The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh SouthernCooking Winner: The Lee Brothers Simple Fresh Southern by Ted and Matt Lee (Clarkson Potter)

The Lee Brothers Simple Fresh Southern was brought to the attention of booksellers in the south at the annual trade show of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance in Greenville, SC, last year.  Long a favorite of southern indie booksellers, the Lee Brothers have delivered the goods again.  From Bobby Flay: “These guys can cook! Just reading the recipes makes me ravenous for scintillating Southern dishes. Sign me up for Tuesday Fried Chicken and Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie!”  Siblings Matt & Ted Lee are homegrown and this cookbook proves it.

The HelpFiction Winner: The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Amy Einhorn Books)

The Help has spent 35 weeks on the Southern Indie Bestseller List and is still there now.  No southern bookseller is surprised to see this book take the winning fiction spot in the 2010 SIBA Book Awards.  But did you know that The Help is soon to be a major motion picture coming from DreamWorks?  And dream work describes this book.  Reading groups have embraced this book as have Citadel graduates.  The “terrible awful” is waiting for Kathryn Stockett to write us another southern story.

The Most They Ever HadNonfiction Winner: The Most They Ever Had by Rick Bragg (Macadam Cage)

The Most They Ever Had joins Somebody Told Me, Ava’s Man, and The Prince of Frogtown; all books by Rick Bragg and all winners of the SIBA Book Award.  Southern booksellers and readers cannot get enough Rick Bragg.  These nine stories, written to carry readers across space and time to the mill town of Anniston, AL, over a one hundred year span, will capture readers and booksellers alike.  SIBA and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg again gives a voice to people who never even knew they had anything worth hearing.

rick bragg offer

The Winners!

Children's: The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass (Candlewick)
Cooking: The Lee Brothers Simple Fresh Southern by Ted and Matt Lee (Clarkson Potter)
Fiction: The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Putnam)
Nonfiction: The Most They Ever Had by Rick Bragg, (Macadam Cage)