The SC Center for the Book Awards were formerly a single award known as the Palmetto Book Award. In 2008, the Palmetto Book Award expanded the award to honor excellence in three categories:
- Writing: SC writer of any genre whose work has been published in the last year.
- Teaching: SC teacher of the literary or language arts (at any level or type of school)
- Advocacy: SC person or organization that works to promote the literary arts and to foster a creative atmosphere in the state
In 2010, the State Library joined the awards by creating the South Carolina State Library Partnership and Collaboration Award.
The criteria for nominees are:
- The nominee must be a living South Carolina resident or an active South Carolina organization.
- The nominee must be a published writer, a current teacher, or an active promoter of the literary arts in South Carolina, as described in a one page nomination letter.
Past recipients include:
- 2010 – Literary Arts Advocacy: Irvin Department of Rare Book and Special Collections at USC; Teaching: Dr. Tom Mack of USC-Aiken; Writing: Batt Humphreys. State Library Partnership & Collaboration: Helen Fellers, Coordinator of the USC School of Library and Information Science’s South Carolina Center for Children’s Books and Literacy.
- 2009 – Literary Arts Advocacy: the Free Times; Teaching; Libby Collins of Dent Middle School in Columbia; Writing: Leonard Todd.
- 2008 -Literary Arts Advocacy: Beaufort County Arts Council; Teaching: Eileen Bergreen, Hilton Head Island Middle School; Writing: Mary Alice Monroe. Videos of awards: Introductions , Literary Arts Advocacy , Teaching , Writing .
- 2007 – Dr. Walter Edgar
- 2006 – South Carolina Young Writers Conference
- 2005 – Hub City Writers Project
- 2004 – Beaufort County Library
- 2003 – Tom Johnson, South Caroliniana Library,University of South Carolina
- 2002 – Sara Breibart, Charleston County Public Library