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Writer Richard Taylor hands a book to a reader at the 11th annual Gathering of Authors at the Paul Sawiyer Public Library. (Photo provided by PSPL)

Kentucky has a rich literary tradition, and Paul Sawyier Public Library is planning to honor that history this weekend. 

The library Saturday will host its 12th annual Gathering of Authors, which brings Kentucky authors and readers together. 

Community Service Librarian Diane Dehoney said the first gathering was hosted as part of a series of celebrations of the library’s centennial year and was planned by herself and co-worker Mark Kinnaird. Subsequent success encouraged the library to continue sponsoring the event.

“It went so well that we said, ‘We should do that again.’ And it’s built every year,” Dehoney said.

Dehoney said that all authors invited to the event have some tie to Kentucky, whether they currently live in the state, previously lived in the state or are a native Kentuckian. That common theme highlights how many successful authors and writers are from the commonwealth, she said. 

“Kentucky has such a literary tradition that we want to highlight and celebrate it,” Dehoney said.

Since the first event, authors have started to contact the library throughout the year in order to be included in the next event. Dehoney said PSPL also sends invitations to authors about being part of the event. Most genres, from romance to science fiction, are represented. 

Gathering of Authors brings readers and authors together in a casual atmosphere to discuss books. Authors can hear feedback on their work directly from readers, while readers can ask questions about authors’ works. Some aspiring writers ask about getting into the industry. 

Dehoney said the library holds the event primarily for its patrons, but some authors’ fans do come to Frankfort from out of town, mainly from elsewhere in Kentucky. One author told Dehoney that a couple of readers will drive to Frankfort from Tennessee this weekend. Several hundred people typically attend. 

Capital City Museum Historian Russ Hatter is among the 29 authors and one book publisher who will be featured in Saturday’s gathering. He said he has gone to previous Gatherings of Authors and enjoyed them. The museum brings a selection of works that it has published. 

“The thing that is so neat about it is that you not only get to speak to other authors … but to the people as well,” Hatter said. 

On Saturday, Hatter and the museum will have second edition copies of “Historic Frankfort: Yesterday & Today,” which came out a few years ago and featured past and present photos of buildings in the area.

The book was recently revised. When the first edition was published, some residents came forward with details about the photos or places featured in the book. Some of those conversations took place at a Gathering of Authors, Hatter said. 

Gathering of Authors will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the River Room at the library. Authors will sell some of their works during the event, but there is no cost to attend, Dehoney said. 

Featured authors include: 

  • Carolyn Bond

  • Gene Burch

  • P.A. Cotchery

  • Don Dampier

  • Steve Demaree

  • Amanda Driscoll

  • Ron Elliott

  • Ann Gabhart

  • Russ Hatter

  • Blair Thomas Hess

  • Pamela Hirschler

  • Tonya Kappes

  • Shannon McRoberts

  • Lynwood Montell

  • Christina Murphy

  • Bill Noel

  • Kurt Robinson

  • Sherry Robinson

  • Charles Roe

  • Kyle Romines

  • Graham Smith

  • Virgina Smith

  • Bonnie Strassell

  • Richard Taylor

  • Mary Ann Taylor-Hall

  • Lynn Tincher

  • Bertena Varney

  • Steve Vest

  • Ben Woodard

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