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.
Are novellas eligible?
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.”
What is the selection process?
Eligible submissions are read by at least two of our dedicated first readers, who give the books a preliminary rating. The Longlist and Shortlist are chosen by the board of directors, who then forward the Shortlist to the judge to make the final selection of the winner.