Literary Award

Public Lecture

Historically, the NPL Literary Award weekend honors a renowned author, and the free Public Lecture provides an opportunity for the entire community to hear the author speak about their body of work.  This year’s award weekend will honor a diverse group of individuals and families whose lives have been transformed by Nashville Public Library. From a bilingual family instilling a love of reading in their toddler to a senior who is overcoming health and literacy challenges to pursue her dream of being a Registered Nurse– the Public Lecture will be a true celebration of literacy and learning at Nashville Public Library.

All are invited to join this free celebration, but we ask that you kindly reserve your spot below. If you are able to make a gift to support our remarkable library, your generosity would be greatly appreciated.

The Literary Award Public Lecture emcee is Ketch Secor, a founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, a Grammy Award—winning group that has been inducted as members of the Grand Ole Opry. Ketch is also the author of the children’s book Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away, illustrated by Higgins Bond. Lorraine was adapted into a Nashville Public Library Wishing Chair Productions puppet show.



The following special literary guest will be joining the celebration to introduce our NPL patron stories:

Higgins Bond has been a freelance illustrator and fine artist for over forty years. She earned a BFA Degree in Advertising Design from The Memphis College of Art. She has received many honors such as a medal of honor from Governor Bill Clinton, the 2007 Green Earth Award for illustrating A Place For Butterflies, and the 2009 Ashley Bryan Award for outstanding contributions to children’s literature. Her book, A Place For Turtles by Melissa Stewart, was the winner of the 2014 Green Earth Award and the Sigurd F. Olson Nature writing award for children’s literature. She has exhibited work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, and the DuSable Museum of African­American Art in Chicago, Illinois. She is the illustrator of three Black Heritage stamps for the United States Postal Service and four stamps for the United Nations Postal Administration on endangered species. She is the first African-American woman ever to illustrate a stamp for the United States Postal Service.

Andrew Maraniss is a New York Times-bestselling author of narrative nonfiction. His first book, STRONG INSIDE, was the recipient of the 2015 Lillian Smith Book Award and the lone Special Recognition honor at the 2015 RFK Book Awards. The Young Reader edition was named one of the Top 10 Biographies and Top 10 Sports Books of 2017 by the American Library Association and was selected as a Notable Social Studies Book for 2019 by the National Council for the Social Studies.

His second book, GAMES OF DECEPTION, received the Sydney Taylor Book Honor from the Association of Jewish Libraries, was named a Notable Social Studies Book by the NCSS, and was named one of the Best Books of 2019 by Amazon. Follow Andrew on Twitter @trublu24 and visit his website at

Jamie Sumner is the author of the acclaimed middle grade novels Roll with It and Tune It Out. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications. She loves stories that celebrate the grit and beauty in all kids. She is also the mother of a son with cerebral palsy and has written extensively about parenting a child with special needs. She and her family live in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit her at

Yuyi Morales was born in Xalapa, Mexico, the city of flowers and springs. After migrating to the US in 1994, she struggled with English and loneliness in a culture foreign to her but found solace in public libraries, where she read children’s books with her son and discovered a renewed interest in stories and art. She is now the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the New York Times bestseller Dreamers, Nino Wrestles the World, and she is a six-time winner of the Pura Belpre Medal for an outstanding work of literature for children that best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience. Other honors include the Americas Award, the Golden Kite Medal, the Christopher Award, the Jane Adams Award, and the Tomas Rivera Award. In 2015 she received the Caldecott Honor for her book Viva Frida.