The Kansas Book Festival, under it’s current leadership, began in 2011 by First Lady Mary Brownback. The first event was held Saturday, September 24 at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka. Approximately 900 were in attendance to hear more than 30 authors, including David Eisenhower, present their most recent books. Since then, attendance has grown to more than 2,000 people. Authors such as WWII Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez, Joel Rosenberg, Alexandra Robbins, Clare Vanderpool, Frank White and Sara Paretsky have joined us for author presentations and signings.
In March 2012, the first round of Kansas Book Festival Library Grants were awarded with a total of nearly $15,000 being distributed to public and school libraries across the State. We’ve now been able to distribute more than $48,000 with the next round of monies being awarded in March 2016. This was also the first year for the KBF Writing Contest which ran from January 1 through April 30.
The Kansas Book Festival Board of Directors was formed at the beginning of 2013 to help ensure the longevity of the Kansas Book Festival Foundation. They meet quarterly to discuss ways to improve the foundation as a whole and the festival.