Sparks to be among authors at book fest

Kevin Allen

Authors of all genres are coming to Bowling Green today and Saturday for the 13th Annual Southern Kentucky Book Fest.

The SOKY Book Fest provides an opportunity for people to talk with well-known and successful authors, get books signed and celebrate literature in general, said Tracy Harkins, a community outreach manager for WKU Libraries and organizer of the event.

Authors attending the Book Fest include Nicholas Sparks, author of books such as “The Notebook” and “A Walk to Remember,” as well as Jean Auel, who wrote “Clan of the Cave Bear.”

Harkins said she is particularly excited about Children’s Day, which allows authors of children’s books to meet with children from local schools and others who remember the books from their childhood.

Authors arriving for Children’s Day, which is today, include WKU alumna Jennifer Bradbury and Judith Viorst, author of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” A writers’ conference is also taking place today and tomorrow, said Kristie Lowry, a community outreach assistant and organizer of the conference.

At the writers’ conference, authors will speak about creative issues such as character development and story lines, as well as practical issues such as how to get stories published, Lowry said.

Attending the conference last year helped Donna Wilkerson of Russellville and Dawn Scruggs of Lafayette, Tenn., who have now signed a contract to get the novel they wrote together published.

Wilkerson said she doesn’t think the book would be getting published now if she hadn’t gone to the conference.

“We had been working on our book for close to a year,” Wilkerson said. “It was energizing and confidence building. It set a fire under us to finish.”

All events are in the Carroll Knicely Conference Center and are free and open to the public.

The writers’ conference is divided into sessions running from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Children’s Day is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday’s events will last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Nicholas Sparks’ presentation will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday. In order to attend that event, participants must get one of the free tickets, which will be handed out beginning at 9 a.m. until all the seats are filled.

More information and a schedule of events can be found at