2016 Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Winner

The Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize (formerly SIBA) was announced today. Finalists were chosen by southern independent booksellers from the long list ballot. The finalist titles were then sent to juried panels of booksellers, who decided on the winners in each category. 

The newly renamed prize features 9 categories:

The fiction shortlist included (for all other shortlists, see the links above):

Go Set a Watchman,  Harper Lee (Harper, 2015)

There were a number of signed, limited editions (not to mention the infamous UK misprint) published in the past year. It's interesting enough to warrant it's own blog post (coming soon). Basically, anything signed by Harper Lee garners a $2,000 to $15,000 price tag. 

If it's not signed, then it's not terribly valuable at this point (unless it's the misprint). Check Abebooks for prices. There are some booksellers that are trying to place the value on a 1st/1st between $75 and $200 USD, but most sellers are pricing it in the $10-$20 range, so just be vigilant (and maybe protect your 1st/1st if you have one). Eventually this title will become more valuable, especially as books get worn and leave the market, but there was such a high print run that it might take a while.

My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2015)

Debut novel

Synopsis: "In the summer of 1989, a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom is rocked by a violent crime when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson—free spirit, track star, and belle of the block—is attacked late one evening near her home. As the dark side of this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia is revealed, the close-knit neighborhood is irreversibly transformed."

Listing for up to $75 signed at Abebooks.


The Secret Wisdom of Earth, Christopher Scotton (Grand Central Publishing, 2015)

Synopsis: "After seeing the death of his younger brother in a terrible home accident, fourteen-year-old Kevin and his grieving mother are sent for the summer to live with Kevin's grandfather. In this peeled-paint coal town deep in Appalachia, Kevin quickly falls in with a half-wild hollow kid named Buzzy Fink who schools him in the mysteries and magnificence of the woods. The events of this fateful summer will affect the entire town of Medgar, Kentucky.

Medgar is beset by a massive mountaintop removal operation that is blowing up the hills and back filling the hollows. Kevin's grandfather and others in town attempt to rally the citizens against the "company" and its powerful owner to stop the plunder of their mountain heritage. When Buzzy witnesses a brutal hate crime, a sequence is set in play that tests Buzzy and Kevin to their absolute limits in an epic struggle for survival in the Kentucky mountains."

Listing for up to $95 signed at Abebooks.

Soil, Jamie Kornegay (Simon & Shuster, 2015)

Debut novel.

Synopsis: "In this darkly comic, 'promising debut from an assured new voice in Southern fiction' (Library Journal), an idealistic young farmer moves his family to a Mississippi flood basin, suffers financial ruin—and becomes increasingly paranoid he’s being framed for murder."

Listing for up to $75 signed at Abebooks.

And the Winners are.... [insert imaginary drumroll here]:
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

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