Annual festival to connect authors to readers, would-be authors


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Participants at the May 21 Kentucky Women’s Book Festival will hear from nationally acclaimed authors with Kentucky ties and learn the nuts and bolts of writing and publishing. The festival will be at the University of Louisville’s Ekstrom Library.

    Tania James, author and film maker, will present the keynote talk at lunch. James’ debut novel, “Atlas of Unknowns,” is about sisterhood and deals with the pressures of cultural experiences played out in family life. The novel was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. James grew up in Louisville and lives in Washington, D.C.

    Alanna Nash, journalist and biographer, will open the day’s event. Nash’s latest book, “Baby, Let’ Play House: Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him,” is the first book to focus solely on the singer’s complex relationships with women. Her other books have been about Jessica Savitch; Dolly Parton and Col. Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager. Nash also has written for such publications as “Reader’s Digest,” “People,” “Esquire,” “TV Guide,” “The New York Times,” “Wired,” “Playboy,” “Entertainment Weekly,” “Good Housekeeping” and “USA Weekend.” She lives in Louisville.

    Sena Jeter Naslund, author of “Abundance, a Novel of Marie Antoinette,” &#8220Ahab’s Wife,” “Four Spirits” and “Adam & Eve,” will present the closing talk. Naslund is UofL’s writer-in-residence and program director of Spalding University’s brief-residency Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. She also lives in Louisville.

    Besides these talks, the day’s schedule includes free, public sessions on such topics as writing plays and blogs and getting published and opportunities for book signing and informal networking.

    The festival opens at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The lunch session is the only one that requires registration and has a charge. Registration for it is required by Tuesday, May 17, and can be made by calling the UofL Women’s Center at 502-852-8976. The cost is $16.

    Information is online at Or, for more information, contact Phyllis Webb at 502-852-8976 or