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.

WHICH BOOKS CAN BE NOMINATED?
For a book to be eligible, it must be set in the South, or the author must be Southern (or 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. 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.
HOW DO I NOMINATE A BOOK?
Enter your choices on our online nomination form.

Announcing the Ultimate Southern Reading List! The 2015 SIBA Book Award Long List

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 Award, visit sibaweb.com/siba-book-award

The Long (Long, Long, Looooonnng) List!

Children's

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd, Scholastic, 9780545552707
Bird on Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba, Little Pickle Press, 9781939775054
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780399252518
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage, Kathy Dawson Books, 9780803736719
Hostie by Kate Sally Palmer, Warbranch Press, 9780966711493
The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316240772
Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316322447

Read more: The Ultimate Southern Lit Reading List: The 2015 SIBA Book Award Long List

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.