NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville Public Library and the Nashville Public Library Foundation are proud to honor award-winning and New York Times best-selling author, Kate DiCamillo, as the 2023 Literary Award winner. DiCamillo’s impressive collection of children’s literature is impactful for readers of all ages, which makes her the ideal recipient for this award, sponsored by UBS and Sandra Schatten Foundation. She will be celebrated during a Public Lecture, sponsored by Dollar General, which is free and open-to-the-public, at a private reception sponsored by Pinnacle Financial Partners, as well as at the Literary Award Gala on Saturday, Nov. 4 presented by Amazon and James Stephen Turner Family Foundation, and co-chaired by Cassidy and Dierks Bentley, Johari and Lonnell Matthews, and Kristin and Carter Paine. 

“For the first time in the Literary Award’s 19-year history, we will be honoring an author known for her groundbreaking work within the children’s literature genre, though her stories resonate with all ages,” said Shawn Bakker, president of the Nashville Public Library Foundation. “Honoring one of the foremost living authors of children’s literature enables us to celebrate early literacy in Nashville. In coming months and years, we are anticipating big conversations led by Nashville Public Library about this important topic. In many ways, Literary Award Weekend will be a kick-off of this focus.” 

The community will have a chance to hear from DiCamillo during the free Public Lecture on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. High School. The Literary Award Gala will follow that evening at 6:30 p.m. in the breathtaking Grand Reading Room of the Main Library. These highly anticipated annual events will celebrate DiCamillo and the Library’s unparalleled impact on the community. 

In addition to these two signature events, Wishing Chair Productions is developing a puppet show, sponsored by the Bentley Family, that will be based on DiCamillo’s book, La, La, La, and premiered at the events of the Literary Award Weekend. 

“It’s imperative that we include children, who are Ms. DiCamillo’s most ardent supporters, in the celebration and the creation of this signature puppet show will do just that,” continued Bakker. “This puppet show will not only engage Ms. DiCamillo’s fans in a meaningful way but will be included in the regular repertoire of the library’s Wishing Chair Productions for all of Nashville to enjoy for years to come. It will enable readers and pre-readers not yet familiar with her work an entry point to her stories.” 

The Public Lecture is free to the public and tickets can be reserved at Tickets for the Gala are available now at For more information on NPLF or to make a gift, visit

About the 2023 Literary Award Honoree Kate DiCamillo 

Kate DiCamillo is an American children’s fiction author. She has published over 25 novels, including Because of Winn-Dixie, The Tiger Rising, The Tale of Despereaux, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The Magician’s Elephant, the Mercy Watson series, and Flora & Ulysses. Her books have sold around 37 million copies. Four have been developed into films and two have been adapted into musical settings. Her works have won various awards; The Tale of Despereaux and Flora & Ulysses won the Newbery Medal, making DiCamillo one of six authors to have won two Newbery Medals. From 2014 to 2015 DiCamillo was the American National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Her upcoming novel, The Puppets of Spelhorst, will be published in October 2023. 

Literary Award Weekend Events presented by UBS and Sandra Schatten Foundation 

Public Lecture and Puppet Show Premiere 

Free and open to the public 

Saturday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m.  

Martin Luther King Jr. High School, 613 17th Ave. N., Nashville, Tenn. 37203 

Sponsored by Dollar General 

Puppet Show Sponsored by The Bentley Family  

Literary Award Gala 
Saturday, Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. 

Nashville Public Library Main Branch, 615 Church St., Nashville, Tenn. 37219 

Sponsored by Amazon and James Stephen Turner Family Foundation