Author Application

2021 Kentucky Book Festival Plans are Underway

The 40th annual Kentucky Book Festival will occur at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington on November 6, including 140 authors. Additional programs will occur November 1-5, featuring Jason Reynolds (virtual only), Chef Ouita MichelMargaret Verble, and T. W. Lewis. Saturday’s main stage programs will be hosted in-person at Joseph-Beth and livestreamed to facebook and Zoom. The author lineup and program schedule will be released in August.
The author application window for the 2021 event has closed. Author participation in the 2021 Kentucky Book Festival is by invitation only AFTER an author application form has been submitted through our website and reviewed by the Author Selection Committee. The Committee will choose authors and titles from those received by the May 31, 2021 submission deadline. Incomplete forms will not be reviewed, and online submissions are preferred. Authors who apply independently and are accepted are responsible for their own travel and expenses related to attending the event. Review the festival’s anti-harassment policy here.

Important Dates:

January 4, 2021: Submissions open
May 31, 2021: Deadline for submissions
June 15 – July 16, 2021 (rolling): Author invitations issued
July 30, 2021: Deadline for invited authors to confirm participation
November 6, 2021: Kentucky Book Festival at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (additional events Nov. 1-5 TBA)

Submission Guidelines:

  • Only ONE title can be submitted as the featured title; all other titles will be considered backlist.
  • The submitted title should be published after July 1, 2019. (Typically, only books that have been published within the last year are accepted, but—for the 2021 event only—titles published earlier will be considered due to the 2020 pandemic.)
  • Textbooks and other technical guides/manuals will not be considered.
  • Submitted title must be in publication and available to order by September 30, 2021.
  • Submitted materials cannot be returned and become property of Kentucky Humanities.
To submit your book, fill out an Application form and mail ONE COPY of a finished book or ARC (or a sample chapter if book is in pre-production) to:
Kentucky Humanities
attn. Kentucky Book Festival
206 E. Maxwell St.
Lexington, KY 40508
Note: Digital ARCs are acceptable if a physical book copy is not available and can be emailed to the Director. We are unable to return submitted materials. Incomplete forms will not be reviewed.
To be considered, books must be available to Joseph-Beth Booksellers through standard purchasing procedures, which include:
– The book must be 100% returnable
– The book must be eligible for a full discount (at least a standard 40% trade discount)
– The book must have an ISBN and a bar code
Joseph-Beth will, in partnership with Kentucky Humanities and the Kentucky Book Festival, determine the titles and quantities for each author accepted to the book festival (and festival events, if applicable). If Joseph-Beth is unable to order an individual author’s books through their normal ordering channels and under the terms outlined above, the author will be contacted to provide books for the event.
If invited to participate in the Kentucky Book Festival, some authors may be invited to do a reading or participate in a panel discussion.