The Mississippi Historical Society's Book of the Year Award, which carries with it a $700 stipend, is given for the best book on a subject related to Mississippi history or biography published in a given year. For example, the 2021 award will be given for a book published in 2020. The award winner is also invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Historical Society in March, which carries an additional $300 payment.
1. The winner of the award should be an important book, not simply the “best” one among the candidates. In other words, no selection is made if there is not an "important" book (there have been a few years when no winner was selected).
2. Eligible books should be substantially (though not exclusively) about Mississippi.
3. Normally, the award should go to works of original scholarship grounded in original sources and the documentary record rather than in secondary or published sources, although works that synthesize and offer breakthrough interpretations should not be ruled out.
4. Normally, eligible books should be on "big topics” that ask large questions, even about small places.
5. Elegance, clarity in writing, readability, and all those qualities that make a book truly important should be kept uppermost in mind.
To nominate a book, mail four copies by November 1 to:
Mississippi Historical Society
200 North Street
Jackson MS 39201