“When I was a little girl one of my favorite things was when my grandmothers came and told me stories,” said Mary Powers, director of the Women’s Center here at U of L.

“One day I went to school [and] when I got home I said I wasn’t going back. I could read, and I realized that I could get stories out of book on my own, so I didn’t need school.”

The second annual Women’s Book Festival is an event held by the University of Louisville Women’s Center. According to Powers the festival is meant not only to bring together a bunch of women who write, but also a bunch of women who read.

“Ever since I realized I could get stories from books, I’ve loved to read,” said Powers. “It [the book festival] is just a continuation of my love of reading.”

The first WBF was held last year in September on Spalding University’s campus. It was the brain child of Rita Jones, who is retired from U of L.

Jones is a playwright and during her time at U of L she founded a group call “Women who write.”

In 2005 Jones had an idea to bring women in Kentucky who write, together so they could meet, trade ideas and help support each other.

“[Last year] we probably had 800 people attend each session, some of whom may have gone to two,” said Powers. It was so successful in fact that the Women’s Center decided they’d like to do it again.

WBF is going to be on Feb. 16 at Ekstrom library. The event starts at 9 a.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. During the event attendees will have a chance to hear several speakers including three keynote speakers.

“What’s interesting to me is how many authors have roots right here in Kentucky,” said Powers. The keynote speakers are poet Crystal Wilkinson, at 9:45 a.m., New York Times bestselling author Kim Edwards at 12:15 p.m., and Courier-Journal columnist Betty Baye at 4:30 p.m.

In between the keynotes, there will be other presentations and workshops, all by people who are associated with U of L.

In the morning the workshops are more orientated to the technical aspects of writing: how to get published, etc. In the afternoon they will shift their focus to people talking about writing in general.

Two of the three keynote speakers are African-American and will be highlighting black literature during their keynotes in celebration of black history month.

“The WC really tries to highlight to contribution of women in our culture,” said Powers.

The event is free to the public, except the luncheon which costs $25, to cover the food. If you are a U of L student and have your student ID you can register and eat for free.

Register and learn more about the KWBF at