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State Seal Kentucky State Fair Board
Press Release Date:  April 22, 2005
Contact:  Amanda Storment
VP / Media & PR
(502) 367-5180

Louisville, KY … The writing is on the wall – literally. Or at least it will be August 18-28 during the Kentucky State Fair. This year, as the thousands of Bluegrass-crafted entries again find their way into the display cases of the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center in Louisville for the annual state fair, student-authors in grades K-12 who explore the “Unbridled Spirit” of Kentucky will also have the chance to place their creative writing on display. “Kentucky, by the Book” – a component of the Fair’s new Kaleidoscope Discovery Zone exhibit – will highlight fictional books set in Kentucky or written by Kentucky authors and feature a selection of these student-written pieces for fairgoers to view.

“Showcasing the talents of Kentucky students has always been a big part of the Fair,” commented exhibit curator, Stephanie Darst. “If we can encourage them to read and write about Kentucky as well, ‘Kentucky, by the Book’ will be a great success.”

Student-authors are encouraged to use their imaginations and follow their own interests as they write and explore what the state’s “Unbridled Spirit” theme means to them. Participants must submit either an original work of fiction that tells a story reflecting the “Unbridled Spirit” theme, or review a book set in Kentucky or written by a Kentucky author that also captures the idea of Kentucky’s “Unbridled Spirit.” The original works of fiction can be 1,000 words or less, written for readers ages 9-12 and may be illustrated if the student-author so desires. The book reviews should be no longer than 250 words and may cover children’s, young adult or adult works, either fiction or nonfiction.

“Kentucky literature beautifully captures the character and spirit of the Commonwealth,” added Darst. “We hope that students who are inspired by reading about Kentucky will enjoy writing about Kentucky, too.”

A complete list of writing requirements for both types of entries is available on the Kentucky State Fair’s web site, Students must mail in their work by June 1 to: Alice Timberlake, Kentucky State Fair, P.O. Box 37130, Louisville, KY 40233-7130, or e-mail an electronic version to: It is also important for students to label their work with their name(s), grade, school, teacher, teacher’s e-mail address and school phone number.

“‘Kentucky, by the Book’ supports statewide educational initiatives to raise the reading grade levels for Kentucky children,” said Darst. “Working with library resource contacts in the schools, we're developing reading lists to encourage students to read books that tie into our theme: books set in Kentucky or written by Kentucky authors.”

While “Kentucky, by the Book” is largely about the students and their writing, it is not an exhibit just for the authors; fairgoers will be able to get into the act, too. Computer games and participatory storytelling are among the many different interactive activities planned for the exhibit’s layout, and some of the students’ works will be read aloud at the exhibit’s storytelling stage. Other aspects of the Kaleidoscope Discovery Zone exhibit – like the SQI Lab (where Science Questions are Investigated) featuring “The Science of Tsunamis,” and “Project Global: Asia” – are also designed to engage as well as educate fairgoers.

For additional information about the Kentucky State Fair’s new educational exhibit and other activities, visit



Last updated: Friday, April 22, 2005