Outstanding Southeastern Author Award



  1. Authors must be native or bona fide residents of a SELA state at the time the work was written or published.
  2. Works must be chosen based on literary merit.
  3. Two awards may be made: one in fiction and one in non-fiction.
  4. In each category, works must have been published within five years prior to December 31 of the year preceding the biennial conference.
  5. The person making the nomination must be a member of SELA.


Submit nominations on this form along with any accompanying material (not to exceed four pages for each entry). Include reason(s) for nomination, book reviews, biography, and the like to the committee chair. Copies of the nominations will be distributed to all committee members.

Click below to nominate an author for this award (Deadline June 26, 2020):
Submit Online Form  |  Print and mail Word or PDF form


For more information contact:
Nacole Adams, Chair
SELA Outstanding Author Award Committee
Email: nadams@holmescc.edu
Phone: (601) 605-3304


Previous Outstanding Southeastern Author Award Winners List

1978 Eudora Welty
1980 Richard Beale Davis
1982 Dumas Malone
1984 Gail Godwin
1986 No Award Given
1988 Ernest J. Gaines
1990 Lee Smith, Fair and Tender Ladies
1992 Terry Kay (Fiction) and Louis D. Rubin, Jr. (Non-Fiction)
1994 John Grisham (Fiction) and Willie Morris (Non-Fiction)
1996 Doris Betts (Fiction) and John Edgerton (Non-Fiction)
1998 Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain (Fiction) and John F. Marszalek, The Petticoat Affair (Non-Fiction)
2000 E.L. Konigburg, The View from Saturday (Fiction) and Rick Bragg, All Over But the Shoutin' (Non-Fiction)
2002 Ann Patchett, Bel Canto (Fiction) and Jimmy Carter, An Hour Before Daylight (Non-Fiction)
2004 Sena Jeter Naslaund (Fiction) and Louis D. Rubin, Jr. (Non-Fiction)
2006 Sue Monk Kidd, Secret Life of Bees (Fiction) and Pat Conroy, Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life (Non-Fiction)
2008 Ravi Howard (Fiction) and Robert Morgan (Non-Fiction)
2010 Ron Rash, Burning Bright (Fiction) and Neil White, In The Sanctuary of Outcasts (NonFiction)
2012 No Award Given
2014 No Award Given
2016 Greg Iles for Natchez Burning (Fiction) and Rick Bragg for My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South (Non-Fiction)
2018 Donna Everhart, The Road to Bittersweet (Fiction) and Douglas Higbee, James Garvey, and Hebert Van Tuyll, In Their Own Words: Augusta and Aiken Area Veterans Remember World War II (Non-Fiction)
2020 Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give (Fiction) and Kiese Laymon, Heavy: An American Memoir (Non-Fiction)