Bringing a book festival to life

If you love books, you’ve probably thought to yourself at some point, “I’d love to work at a bookstore” or “I’d love to own a bookstore.” But we all know that even in the midst of what might be the world’s most perfect place to work—a bookstore—there are small headaches and tough decisions. There are bills to pay and heavy boxes to carry. 

But what about creating a book festival?

That is what mom, therapist, lawyer, and author Deedee Cummings is doing.

Technically, she has already done it virtually in 2020 and 2021, but this October will be the first time the Louisville Book Festival is in-person. And that means a lot more work. And a lot more partnerships.

It also means a lot more mail. Like hundreds and hundreds of books coming in the mail to the Louisville Book Festival office. This photo is a real photo from the Louisville Book Festival office after just one day of mail in July!

And while that might sound like a dream to a book lover, for Deedee and her staff, it means sorting through those books and the paperwork that authors and agents and publicists have completed.

It also means making some hard decisions that might hurt a writer who submitted a work.

It takes a tremendous amount of courage to write a book, and it takes even more to get it published. Sending it off for possible acceptance in a book festival is another risk and for some book festivals that even includes a fee (which means the writer has taken a risk and paid for the pleasure).

Authors put their time and energy into writing. They give us other opportunities in order to write. They give up relaxation if they are working through a plot. They may give up sleep if a plot isn’t doing what they want it to do.

Deedee knows she isn’t just looking at a stack of books in her office; she is looking at a stack of people’s dreams. As an author and book lover, she knows the risks and understands the dreams of the writers who have sent submissions.

And she is hoping that by building the Louisville Book Festival, she is inspiring other would-be authors to write their stories and take risks to bring them to the world.


About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All 15 of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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