The Southern Regional Council (SRC), founded in 1919 to combat racial injustice, established the Lillian Smith Book Awards in 1966 to recognize writing which extends the legacy of the outspoken writer who challenged all Americans on issues of social and racial justice.
Since 2004 the awards have been presented by SRC in a partnership with the University of Georgia Libraries, whose Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library houses a historic collection of Lillian Smith's letters and manuscripts. Since 2007 this partnership has also included Georgia Center for the Book, and the awards ceremony is now presented on the Sunday of the Labor Day Weekend as part of the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia. Excerpts from the 2008 and 2009 awards ceremonies may be viewed through the links on this page and through the Video Bar.
The 2012 awards ceremony will be held at the Decatur Branch of the Dekalb County Courthouse on Sunday, September 2nd.
The jury for this year's awards is again chaired by Mary A. Twining, emeritus professor of English and Folklore at Clark Atlanta University. Professor Twining previously served on the faculties of a variety of institutions including the University of Kentucky and the State University of New York at Buffalo.
She has also contributed music reviews to Southern Changes, the Journal of The Southern Regional Council.