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Willie Morris Shortlist Announced

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Monday, July 29, 2019

The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction announced its shortlist this week. The annual award is given to a writer whose work is set in the South, exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature—quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters—and reflects, in the words of its namesake, Willie Morris, “hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive." The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize and an all-expense paid trip for the winner to New York City for the reception and ceremony, which will be held on Monday, October 21st, 2019. The award is sponsored by Reba and Dave Williams.


This year’s finalists are Minrose Gwin, Promise (William Morrow), Silas House, Southernmost (Algonquin), Tayari Jones, An American Marriage (Algonquin) , and Tiffany Quay Tyson, The Past is Never (Skyhorse Publishing).  “We are pleased and proud of this year’s shortlist for the Willie Morris Award,” says Reba White Williams, founder of the annual prize. “Each year—and this is our twelfth—proves the breadth of talent producing contemporary Southern fiction.” This year’s reception and award ceremony will introduce the winner of a new award, The Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry. Susan Kinsolving, director and judge of the poetry award, will introduce the winner who will present her prize-winning poem. 


All four nominated books are also Okra Picks, titles SIBA booksellers consider a favorite handsell of the season. Yet more proof that SIBA booksellers grow audiences for great books!


Tags:  reba white williams  Willie Morris Award 

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2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction Shortlist Announced

Posted By Linda-Marie Barrett, Tuesday, August 21, 2018

2017 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction Shortlist Announced

Sponsored by Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and Arts, The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction is given to a writer whose work is set in the South, exemplifies the tenets of Southern literature—quality of prose, originality, and authenticity of setting and characters—and reflects, in the words of its namesake, Willie Morris, "hope for belonging, for belief in a people’s better nature, for steadfastness against all that is hollow or crass or rootless or destructive.”


This year’s finalists are:

  • Joshilyn Jackson, The Almost Sisters (William Morrow)

  • Bren McClain, One Good Mama Bone (The University of South Carolina Press)

  • J.C. Sasser, Gradle Bird (Koehler Books)

  • Stephanie Powell Watts, No One Is Coming to Save Us (Ecco)​

This year’s reception and award ceremony will include a special panel on the life and writings of Pat Conroy and a major announcement about an expansion of the Willie Morris Award.  Previous winners include Kim Wright for Last Ride to Graceland, Amy Greene for Long Man, Terry Roberts for A Short Time to Stay Here, and Tom Franklin for Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.


Two of this year’s finalists, Bren McClain and J.C. Sasser, were part of SIBA’s TRIO, a traveling exhibit of art, music, and literature that celebrates the inspirational power of great storytelling, and all were Okra Picks, receiving enthusiastic support from SIBA booksellers. Sasser won the 2018 Southern Book Prize for Fiction: Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense for Gradle Bird.


The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and Arts is a generous sponsor of SIBA, supporting bookseller scholarships to the SIBA Discovery Show and continued education through SIBA’s B3! Building Better Booksellers program.

 



Tags:  reba white williams  Willie Morris Award 

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Announcing the winner of The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

Posted By Nicki Leone, Thursday, June 16, 2016
Updated: Monday, June 13, 2016

The Reba and Dave Williams Foundation for Literature and the Arts

Katherine Clark’s The Headmaster’s Darlings Wins
The 2015 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction

Sarah Addison Allen Given Special Recognition


The Headmaster's DarlingsThe 2015 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction has been won by Katherine Clark for her The Headmaster’s Darlings. The novel, Clark’s first, is the initial installment of a quartet of books set in Mountain Brook, Alabama. Reba White Williams, sponsor of the award, praised The Headmaster’s Darlings for “its originality, Southerness, and uplifting message, all requisite qualities for the Willie Morris Award.”

Sarah Addison Allen was recognized for her six novels published over the past eight years, beginning with Garden Spells (2007) and more recently First Frost (2015). Allen’s novels are noted for their appealing characters, some appearing in more than one book, and the magical realism that infuses people, places and things. Allen sums up her style as “Southern-fried magic realism.” Her Special Recognition is the first-ever for the Willie Morris Award.

The Headmaster’s Darlings is the ninth Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, which is given annually. For more information, see https://williemorrisaward.org/.

Tags:  inkreadible  katherine clark  reba white williams  sarah addison allen 

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