What is SOKY Book Fest?

Southern Kentucky Book Fest is one of the state’s largest literary events! Our mission is to encourage literacy and the love of books in our community and beyond. Book Fest is presented by Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Warren County Public Library. SOKY Book Fest draws thousands of readers of all ages from across the U.S. who come to meet their favorite authors, purchase signed copies of their books, and learn from them in exciting panels, presentations, and workshops.

  • Friday, March 24, 2023: 9 am – 1 pm
  • Saturday, March 25, 2023: 9 am – 3 pm
Who’s behind this event and the other events on your website?
SOKY Book Fest events are organized by a team of book-lovers like you who work all year long to organize programs which promote reading and writing, both in and outside of the classroom.
When is it?

SOKY Book Fest is typically in March or April. This year: March 24-25, 2023.

Where is it?

The Knicely Conference Center (2355 Nashville Rd.) in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

For a map & more information, please visit WKU’s site.

Do I have to pay anything to attend SOKY Book Fest?
Nope. SOKY Book Fest is always FREE and open to the public. Bring your friends, family members, book clubs, classes, etc.
Can I bring books with me to get them signed at SOKY Book Fest?
Sorry, but previously purchased books are not allowed to be signed. All signed books must be purchased at Book Fest Friday and/or Saturday.
Where is the schedule for the weekend posted?
The schedule for panels and presentations will be posted on our website as soon as it is finalized (typically late winter / early spring). It will also be sent out in a special Daily News insert each spring, typically several weeks before the event. to residents of Bowling Green and surrounding areas. The schedule is subject to change.
Which authors are attending this year? How many come?

The Author List will be updated continually on our website starting in November. 75+ authors and illustrators attend each year representing all literary genres, including many from right here in Kentucky!

I want my favorite author to come to this event. Can I send author suggestions?
Absolutely! Send them to us, or post them to our Facebook.
What is Teen & Children’s Day?
Children’s Day is a full day devoted to school children in grades K-8, librarians, and to celebrate reading, learn from authors and illustrators, and buy signed books. It’s always the Friday before SOKY Book Fest. Children’s & Middle Grades authors will be selling and signing books from 9 am – 1 pm at the Knicely Conference Center. Patrons are invited to attend panels and presentations throughout the day. Lunch is provided to all students through our generous sponsors, and there are concessions available on site as well.
When/what is the Kentucky Writers Conference?

A conference for adults, taught by accomplished adult writers. It’s like college, but free. Workshops vary each year, and have covered screenwriting, poetry, editing a manuscript, finding an agent, revising your work, and more. Register online in February.

What is the difference between the Kentucky Writers Conference and the Panels and Presentations?

The writers conferences are craft workshops led by one or two authors. Panels are discussions with up to 5 authors on a variety of writerly/bookish topics, from writing fantasy to illustrating a book and more. Please do not hop from one panel to another.

Do I need to register to attend panels or presentations on Saturday?

No, all panels and presentations on Saturday are open to the public.

How do I volunteer?

Contact us and we’ll get back to you with an assignment. We only need volunteers for Saturday, but you can help by spreading the word about this event year-round!


How can I apply to be an attending author?
Please review the Author Application Guidelines. You must fill out a form to be considered and receive official confirmation of attendance.
If accepted to be an attending author, what hotel will I need to stay at?
Never fear – we’ll send that info out once you’re accepted.
Am I in charge of bringing my own books?
Our bookseller takes care of books. If you need to bring your own, you will be contacted. Otherwise, don’t worry; you’re covered.

Travel and Accommodations

Driving directions from Nashville Airport:
From Nashville airport: Head south on Terminal Drive and stay on it, then merge onto I-40W. Take exit 215B to merge onto TN-155 N/Briley Pkwy. Take exit 15 for Interstate 65 N/US 31E S/Ellington Pkwy/Briarville Rd. toward Louisville. Keep left at the fork to continue on Exit 15C, follow signs for I-65 N/Louisville and merge onto I-65 N. Keep left at fork to stay on I-65 N. Wave hello to Kentucky. Take exit 20A-B for William H. Natcher Parkway toward Scottsville/Owensboro. Keep left at yet another fork to continue toward KY-9007 N. Keep right at the next fork and merge onto KY-9007 N. Take Exit 6 for US-31W toward Bowling Green. Turn right onto US-31 W N/Nashville Rd. Keep on keeping on until you see the Knicely Center on your left (1.7 miles).
Any suggestions on where to stay?

The Hilton Garden Inn (1021 Wilkinson Trace) is our partner location. There are a bunch of options if you take Exit 22 off I-65 coming towards Bowling Green (Days Inn, Hampton Inn, Ramada, etc.), and they’re about 15 mins from the Knicely Center.

See a map of the local area on our Directions page.

How can I better manage my budget for Book Fest?
Our intern actually budgets for Book Fest by putting 10% of her paychecks into a savings account. She also makes a list of the authors coming that she is interested in and makes a list of the books she would like to buy. She lists them from the ones she is most interested in to least interested in and then goes to Barnes and Noble’s website to get a price for each book. This is a dedicated approach. Put aside money under your mattress or in a jar or shoebox or something so you can pick up some awesome books at Book Fest. You can try, but you may never surpass the amount of signed books our partner at the public library has.

I have a question you didn’t answer here. Help?!

Oh no! Sorry about that. Contact Us and we’ll do our best to answer.

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Invite your friends and family to your favorite Southern Kentucky Book Festival.