The Prize, representing Southern bookseller favorites from 2021, is awarded to “the best Southern book of the year” as nominated by Southern indie booksellers and voted on by their customers. Winners were chosen by popular vote from a ballot of finalists in fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature. Approximately 1,500 ballots were cast making each Southern Book Prize winner a true Southern reader favorite.
Other winners included Graceland, At Last by Margaret Renkl (Nonfiction) and Keep Your Head Up by Aliya King Neil and Charly Palmer, Illustrator (Children’s). Winners receive a donation in their name to the charity or nonprofit of their choice.
North Carolina authors Jaye Robin Brown (The Key to You and Me, Children’s); Alan Gratz (Ground Zero, Children’s); and NCWN Executive Director Ed Southern (Fights Songs, Nonfiction) were on the longlist for this year’s prize.
Fiction winner Wiley Cash said:
“I was honored to have been included among the finalists for this year’s prize, and I cannot express my surprise at having won against such incredible competition, many of whom I know personally and admire as people as much as I admire their work. SIBA has given me so many opportunities to grow as a writer, and I’m excited to know that the funds from this award will go toward the creation of the Wilma Dykeman Writer-in-Residence Program at UNC-Asheville to support other writers.”
The Southern Book Prize, formerly known as the SIBA Book Award, has been awarded annually since 1999. SIBA launched the public ballot in 2019 to encourage stores to engage their customers in the important question of what books deserve to be called “the best Southern book of the year.” For more information, visit the Southern Book Prize home at The Southern Bookseller Review: https://thesouthernbooksellerreview.org/southern-book-prize.