Kentucky Book Festival Online Event Schedule: November 9-14 

Below is a snapshot of the featured speakers for the 2020 Kentucky Book Festival Online. Register for virtual events on Zoom Webinar by clicking the REGISTER buttons below. By clicking the LEARN MORE buttons on the page below, you will be re-directed to the new Kentucky Book Festival website, which includes more detailed information about each author, their books, and links to purchase directly from Joseph-Beth Booksellers (you can register for book festival events at that site too; please only register once either way). 
In lieu of our in-person programs, we hope that you'll "attend" virtual sessions this year! Thank you for supporting the Kentucky Book Festival!
To download a printable schedule (PDF) CLICK HERE

Monday, November 9 - 7:00 pm EST

John Grisham in conversation with Kim Edwards

SPONSORED BY: Campbellsville University
Grisham and Edwards, two New York Times bestselling authors, will discuss their writing careers and Grisham’s newest book, A Time for Mercy, which brings Jake Brigance—the star of Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill—back to the courtroom.


Tuesday, November 10 - 12:00 pm EST

Let's Do the Time Warp (for Kids!): Shawn Pryor in conversation with George Ella Lyon, S. G. Wilson, and Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Teaching kids history and science doesn’t need to be boring. Whether writing fact or fiction, each of these talented authors artfully merges themes and concepts from past and present history and science to make a lasting impact on young readers. Tune in to this lunchtime session to learn more about how they do it!



Tuesday, November 10 - 7:00 pm EST

Writing Historical Fiction: Margaret Verble in conversation with Roxana Robinson, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

Each of the fascinating protagonists in these novels set from the 1860s to the 1960s and beyond navigate challenges of morality, political and social divides, culture clashes, family alliances, and destiny. Learn how these authors look to the past while writing poignant content for the present.  

Wednesday, November 11 - Noon EST

The Path to Publishing: Literary Agent Alice Speilburg in conversation with Courtney Maum, Beverly Bell, and Clint Edwards

How do authors go from writing in their spare time to holding a published book in their hands? It takes A LOT of writing and an uncanny persistence on success. Reading Courtney Maum’s latest book helps too! Tune in to this lively discussion, where agent and authors share behind-the-scenes knowledge about getting published.

Thursday, November 12 - 7:00 pm EST

“A Radical Patriot”: Frederick Douglass & His Legacy - Authors Amy Murrell Taylor and David Blight in conversation

SPONSORED BY: University of Kentucky Department of History
David Blight, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his most recent book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, will discuss Douglass’ personal and political life as well as his long and continued significance and impact on the history of the United States. Amy Murrell Taylor, a historian of the American South whose work focuses on the era of the Civil War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction, is the author of (most recently), Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps. She currently teaches history at the University of Kentucky. 

Friday, November 13 - 10:00 am EST

Spotlight Breakfast featuring Jim Host

EVENT PARTNER: Commerce Lexington
Jim Host, author of Changing the Game: My Career in Collegiate Sports Marketing, is the founder of Host Communications, Inc, a nationally renowned college sports marketing and association management company. He will discuss his book, published by the University Press of Kentucky earlier this year, with co-author, Eric A. Moyen.

Friday, November 13 - 7:00 pm EST

An Evening of Poetry, featuring Nikky Finney, Frank X Walker, and Reginald Dwayne Betts in conversation

SPONSOR: Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning
Join renowned poets Nikky Finney, Frank X Walker, and Dwayne Betts for an unforgettable evening in celebration of their work as poets, advocates, and educators.

Saturday, November 14 - 11:00 am EST

"Healthy at Home": Appalachia Then & Now - Michele Morrone in conversation with Chris Hamby, Eric Eyre, and Ben Westhoff

SPONSOR: University of Pikeville
How do environmental, cultural, and political conditions impact a region and the health of its occupants? Why does it seem certain parts of the U.S. are more negatively impacted by the opioid crisis than others? Learn how these investigative journalists and educators are fighting for justice, advocating for positive change, and informing the American public about the issues affecting its people at the intersection of economy and environment.

Saturday, November 14 - 12:00 pm EST

Women's Suffrage: Martha S. Jones, Elaine Weiss, and Melanie Beals Goan in conversation with Dr. Kathy Bullock

SPONSOR: Kentucky Historical Society
August 18, 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote. Elaine Weiss, Martha Jones, and Melanie Goan have all written engrossing and fascinating accounts of the history and impact of women’s suffrage. Their books work to depict a fuller view of the impact of the women’s suffrage movement, including its longer history in search of “equality for all.” Dr. Kathy Bullock, whose academic work includes documenting the journey and contributions of African American women in the struggle for the right to vote in the U.S., will moderate the discussion.

Saturday, November 14 - 1:00 pm EST

Understanding Appalachia: Journalistic Perceptions of a Region - Matthew Algeo, Jeff Young, and Samantha NeCamp in conversation with Sydney Boles of the Ohio Valley Resource

SPONSOR: Hindman Settlement School
From Samantha NeCamp’s scrutiny of stereotypes and misrepresentations about literacy in the region; to Matthew Algeo’s study of Robert Kennedy’s 1968 visit to the “heart of eastern Kentucky”; to Jeff Young and the Ohio Valley Resource examining the “heart of coal country,” hear from these authors about how and why Kentucky and the surrounding regions have changed over the past few decades, and why it matters for America today. 

Saturday, November 14 - 2:00 pm EST

Fantastic Realms and How to Write Them: Authors Terry Brooks and Alix E. Harrow in conversation

How on earth can an author have an imagination big enough to encompass another universe? Listen in as authors Terry Brooks—author of more than 30 books, including the Shannara series—and Alix E. Harrow—author of The Ten Thousand Doors of January and The Once and Future Witches—“talk shop” about how (and why) they write what they do, in worlds both real and imaginary.

Saturday, November 14 -  5:00 pm EST

Writing Romance: J. R. Ward in conversation with Christine Feehan

SPONSOR: Wildcat Moving
Between the two of them, these New York Times bestselling authors have written more than 100 books, including titles in paranormal romance, fantasy, and more, and they’ve amassed loyal fans across the world. Enjoy this live session, as Christine Feehan interviews J. R. Ward about her work and the latest book in her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, A Warm Heart in Winter.
*This is a ticketed event. Your $20 fee includes your entry into the virtual event and one copy of J. R. Ward's new book to be released on December 1.

Saturday, November 14 - 7:00 pm EST

Views of a Place: Writing Kentucky, Then & Now: Silas House, Ashley Blooms, Karen Salyer McElmurray, and Robert Gipe in conversation

SPONSOR: Berea College
How have these authors, whose books span decades of time across Kentucky, seen the landscape and people change over the years? What have they learned about the places they live and work while writing about them? How does “place” impact the stories they tell? Tune in to this live session, as the authors chat these questions and more with Silas House (and a special, drop-in guest!).