SIBA News

A letter from the SIBA Board

Kimberly Daniels TawsDear fellow SIBA member,

As she mentioned in her letter to all of us, Wanda will be retiring a little less than a year from now. I hope that you join me in thanking Wanda for sharing her exceptional energy and innovative mind with us for three decades.

One thing is for certain… Wanda Jewell has been a central character in Southern booksellers’ lives for a long time. In particular; I want to thank Wanda for ushering Southern booksellers into the digital age by working tirelessly to give us the skills and capabilities to thrive. I want to thank her for her innovation and policy governance support and her passionate work to increase the awareness of Southern Independent bookstores importance within our industry and communities. Many of our author friends thank her for giving them a platform.

Wanda has been extremely generous with the time frame of her departure. She will continue to serve as ED until June 2020. We have ample time for a thorough search and graceful transition process. To facilitate this, the board has hired The Nexus Institute principal  Nanette Blandin to help begin our search. Nanette is highly recommended by those who have worked with her at the American Booksellers Association in the past. In 2014; she led the search for the ABA’s Chief Financial Officer position and, in 2018, she was the outside consultant to ABA's Governance Review Committee which was tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of ABA's governance and making recommendations for improvement.

Nanette will be at the Discovery Show in Spartanburg to interview our membership and stakeholders and will help us to look at the priorities, characteristics and vision for this position and SIBA in the years to come. The board will formally introduce her at the SIBA annual meeting but please consider signing up here for a one-on-one private and confidential session with Nanette to give us some feedback.

A Search Committee will be named within the month and the group will start meeting this fall to begin the search process.

Transition periods can be exciting opportunities; and I am excited for both SIBA's future and Wanda’s new chapter as a grandmother-plus!

Thank you again Wanda for all of the fun we have had together and I encourage booksellers to please contact me, any of our board members or Nanette if you have questions. 

Kimberly Daniels Taws
SIBA President

Okra Picks2018 Fall Okra Picks

The end of summer and beginning of fall brings with it a new harvest of Okra (Picks). Southern indie booksellers have chosen a bushel of the best Southern books of the upcoming season, October to December.  Each of the 18 books on the list was hand-picked by an enthusiastic Southern bookseller as something they are especially looking forward to. Okra Picks are the “You’ve Got to Read This!” list for the upcoming holidays.

Becoming Mrs. LewisBook of the Just: Book  Three of the Bohemian TrilogyThe Dream DaughterSouthern Discomfort: A  MemoirLouisiana's Way HomeScribe

For Immediate Release   

SIBA announces Rick Bragg as the 2019 Conroy Legacy Award Recipient!

Rick BraggRick Bragg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, journalist, and author of two bestselling memoirs and numerous other books, has been selected as the 2019 Conroy Legacy Award Recipient. Created in honor of the example set by the beloved Southern author Pat Conroy, the Conroy Legacy Award recognizes writers who have achieved a lasting impact on their literary community, demonstrated support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general, written work that focuses significantly on their home place, and supported other writers, especially new and emerging writers. Serendipitously, Rick Bragg is a contributor to Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy edited by by Nicole Seitz and Jonathan Haupt, published by University of Georgia Press and releasing this September. 

When informed of the award, Rick Bragg shared, “I heard Pat Conroy read his work aloud and it will almost make you abandon this craft for good and take up something like brick laying. The elegance and beauty of it always, across decades, made me think ‘Oh, so this is what it is supposed to sound like, be, linger in the mind.’ The fact he once said good things about my own work made me walk on air. I mean it, my step was lighter somehow. To be presented his award by people who have been with me since the beginning of my writing life, in his name, is as fine a thing as I can ever expect.”

Suzanne Lucey of Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC praised this year’s award winner, “Rick Bragg is the whole package. Intelligent, to the point, hilarious and beyond generous with his time and storytelling. A true man's man and momma's boy who makes us cry with laughter. He embraces his Southern Roots and contributes to the overall reason we all love the South.”

SIBA will make a donation to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and to the Margaret Bragg Scholarship for first generation college students at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama in the name of Rick Bragg.

For Immediate Release
January 31, 2017

The Southern Book Prize creates the Conroy Legacy Award

The Southern Book Prize(Columbia SC) The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) announces the creation of a “Lifetime Achievement” category for their annual book award program, The Southern Book Prize (formerly known as The SIBA Book Award). The new category, 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:

  1. Support for independent bookstores, both in their own communities and in general.
  2. Writing that focuses significantly on their own home place.
  3. 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.

Although it is not necessary for a nominated writer to have a new book out in the award year, nominated writers must be living, and must have books in print. Nominations must come from SIBA member bookstores. The Legacy Award provides an opportunity for its member stores to recognize writers who have been important in their community.

Both a donation to the Pat Conroy Literary Center and a donation to a literary entity close to the heart of the writer will be made in the name of the Legacy Award recipient.

In 2016, SIBA rechristened its annual SIBA Book Award as The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize to honor Conroy and his profound impact on Southern literary life. Although it was intended as a one-time event, the booksellers immediately responded with names of writers they felt deserved that recognition. The Conroy Legacy Award was created to celebrate the deep connections between independent bookstores and the writers in their communities.

“The Conroy Legacy Award,” says SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell, “is our way of honoring the strong connection and partnership between writers and independent booksellers. We are all deeply involved in the literary life, in the life of the book, and in telling the story of our home place.”  

For immediate release
Contact:
Wanda Jewell, Executive Director
Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance
3806 Yale Ave
Columbia, SC 29205
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize(Columbia, SC) Southern indie booksellers once again demonstrate their independence of mind by choosing an excitingly eclectic collection of books for the 2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize.

"What a delicious gumbo of literary works--salty, spicy, bittersweet, and sour. I loved all of these books for the sole reason that they tell the world in colorful, rich and diverse language just what it so special and, yes, crazy about the American South." – Hub City Bookshop, Spartanburg, SC

Formerly the “SIBA Book Award,” the newly reborn Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize features an expanded list of categories, inspired by the tastes and inclinations of Southern readers. 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” moments and “hand sell” moments in stores across the South. The nine winners chosen from a field of nearly forty finalists. Together, they represent the best of Southern literature, from the people who would know—Southern indie booksellers.

My Sunshine Away Above the Waterfall Bull Mountain The Bone Tree
Soul Food Love Dispatches from Pluto Jacksonland
Mosquitoland
Serafina and the Black Cloak

The Great Santini Fiction Prize Winner: 
My Sunshine Away by M. O. Walsh (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

“This debut author spins a tale that will grab you from the first page and keep you turning pages until the last.”– Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

The Prince of Tides Literary Prize Winner: 
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash (Ecco Press)

“Beautiful language, I could not put this book down.  Read it in one day.” – Garden District Bookshop, New Orleans, LA

The Beach Music Mystery Prize Winner: 
Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

“ Reads like a twisty, dark TV series you can't help but binge-watch.” – Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

The Lords of Discipline Thriller Prize Winner: 
The Bone Tree by Greg Isles (William Morrow & Company)

“Iles has written an intense, tightly plotted narrative with more than one shocking turn of events that will have readers racing to finish, but then pining away for the third installment of this massive and electrifying trilogy.” – Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Pat Conroy Cookbook Prize Winner: 
Soul Food Love by Alice Randall (Clarkson Potter Publishers)

I really appreciate the goal of this cookbook - to make Soul food quick, inexpensive, tasty and healthy! The family history part of the cookbook was very interesting and I appreciated the honesty of the authors. I loved the pictures of the family & the finished product of the recipes.” – Joe’s Place, Greenville, SC

The Death of Santini NonFiction Prize Winner: 
Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant (Simon & Schuster)

"In Dispatches From Pluto, Richard Grant brings clarity, insight, and wit through his outsider's observations of a small and forgotten community in the Mississippi Delta. The situations he writes of and the people he comes to know as friends are brought warmly and enrichingly to life as he settles his family in a rotting and dilapidated plantation home in Pluto, Mississippi." – Pass  Books, Pass Christian, MS

The Water is Wide History & Life Stories Prize Winner: 
Jacksonland by Steve Inskeep (Penguin Press

“Great history! Loved the book, very well written”  – Books Unlimited, Franklin, NC

Poppy's Pants Young Adult Prize Winner: 
Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers)

“Mim's voice in this amazing amalgam of a love story, a road trip novel, and a coming-of-age story, will stay with you long after you finish .” – Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Poppy's Pants Youngster's Prize Winner: 
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion)

“A wonderfully thrilling mystery for young readers that is as much a celebration of being "different" as it is pitch-perfect creepiness.” – Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Nine great books for your Southern reading list. But remember that they come from a "gumbo of literary works--salty, spicy, bittersweet, and sour" to quote one Southern bookseller. To round out your literary diet, be sure to look at the full list of Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalists.

For more information on the SIBA Book Awards please visit SIBA’s website for Southern literature, http://www.authorsroundthesouth.com/read-this/siba-book-awards

 

[Booksellers: The Pat Conroy 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 16-18 in Savannah, Georgia. 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!]