What constitutes a debut book?
The book submitted must be the author’s first novel for adult readers in any form. A novel previously published either as an e-book or as a self-published print book will disqualify the entry.


Can a book of connected stories be eligible?
In some cases, stories in a collection may be so connected through character, theme, or otherwise that the book may be considered a “novel in stories” and qualify for entry. This judgment, which is necessarily subjective, will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Are genre novels eligible?
With the exception of Young Adult novels, which are not eligible, all genre classifications are acceptable. The winner will be judged solely on literary merit.


What constitutes “predominantly set in the American South”?
Again, the answer to this question is somewhat subjective, and will be made on a case-by-case basis. For example, a novel in which the protagonist lives outside the South but is profoundly influenced by events which took place in the South and which make up much of the action or occupy much of the character’s thoughts could be considered “set in the South.”