Category Archives: Academy Park Press

Janice Keck Literary Awards Postponed


The Williamson County Public Library regrets to announce that the Janice Keck Literary Awards have been postponed until 2016. Due to the low number of submissions in every category, the review committee has decided that no awards will be given this year. This decision in no way reflects on the quality of the submissions received, and we encourage authors who have already submitted their works to consider submitting again next year. The committee had not established a minimum number of entries, but feels that in order to insure a healthy competition, there should be a larger pool of entries.

The committee sincerely regrets any inconvenience that this decision may have caused to the authors who have used their valuable time and resources to prepare their entries for submission. We hope that they will resubmit those works to the 2016 Janice Keck Literary Awards. We will begin taking submissions in the winter of 2015, and will make an announcement at that time.

Questions should be sent to

Janice Keck Literary Awards 2015 – Revised!

REVISED Submission Guidelines


Accepting Submissions through April 30, 2015

The Williamson County Public Library is pleased to announce that submissions are being accepted for the 2015 Janice Keck Literary Awards to promote excellence in writing by authors currently residing in Williamson County, Tennessee.  These awards honor the memory of the late Janice Keck, Director of the Williamson County Public Library from 1979 until her death in 2011.  Keck, an author herself, was a strong supporter of writers and writing in the community. The awards given in her name recognize excellence in four categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry collections, and writing for children.  Only unpublished works will be considered for the awards, although authors who have previously had works published are encouraged to enter.

Submissions will be judged by an independent review committee made up of published authors who are not affiliated with the Williamson County Public Library. In the event that there are no submissions which meet the criteria in any given category, the review committee reserves the right not to make an award in that category. Submissions will be accepted through April 30, 2015.

The winning authors will receive a publishing package to include:

  • Assistance in setting up an account with IngramSpark
  • Assistance in obtaining copyright registration (the author will hold the copyright to the work)
  • One International Standard Book Number and barcode
  • Assistance with registration with online vendors
  • 10 hardback copies of the work

Eligibility Requirements

  • Authors must be over the age of 18.
  • Authors must live in Williamson County.
  • Employees of the Williamson County Public Library are not eligible to enter.
  • Authors who previously entered the Janice Keck Literary Awards competition may re-submit their work as long as the work has not been published.
  • Authors may submit work in more than one category, but only one submission per category.

Submissions may be made in one of the following ways:

  • Entries should be submitted in digital form, as a Word-compatible document or pdf.
  • Submissions should be uploaded to Google Drive, and shared with
  • Submissions may also be put on a disc or flash drive and mailed or delivered to the Williamson County Public Library, 1314 Columbia Avenue, Franklin, TN 37064, attention: Writing Contest Committee. Discs and flash drives will not be returned.

Submission Requirements

  • The author’s name should not appear anywhere in the manuscript.
  • The author must submit a separate cover sheet in addition to the manuscript that includes name, address, phone number, and email address. Entries that do not include the author’s address will not be considered.
  • Poetry collections should include not less than 24 poems, no more than one poem per page.
  • For collections (poetry and short stories) material in the manuscript may have been published previously in a chapbook, magazine, journal or anthology, but the work as a whole must be unpublished and we ask that no more than 50% of the individual poems or stories be previously published. Include a list of acknowledgements of any previously published poems or stories with the cover sheet, not in the manuscript itself.
  • Previously published books, including translations and self-published books, are not eligible.
  • All entries must be “publishing ready.” In this contest, “publishing ready” means that the manuscript:
    Must be carefully edited (edited for content and thoroughly proofed).
    Must include a concept of artwork for the book cover.
  • Manuscripts must be submitted as one complete document or file. Manuscripts sent with chapters and pages saved as individual files will NOT be accepted.
  • Times New Roman, 12-point font is preferred.
  • Manuscript pages must be numbered.
  • Children’s picture books must contain a minimum of 24 pages, and be laid out in portrait orientation.
  • Children’s picture books will NOT be considered if they do not include all illustrations.
  • Submissions must include a 200-word description of the work.

Submissions will not be returned.
No editorial feedback will be provided.

Questions should be sent to

Book Release Party

By Julie Duke, Youth Services Manager

The Book Release Party was a drop in program for families.  We had both soldiers and civilians, including ladies in beautiful hoop skirts, for the visitors to meet and greet.  General Grant was also there, and President Abraham Lincoln (aka Dennis Boggs, who to me is the quintessential Lincoln, charming and personable) gave the Gettysburg Address.  My husband, Lawrence, brought some of his collection of original Civil War artifacts, and the Tennessee State Museum loaned us a trunk of hands on CW clothing and equipment.  It was delightful to see the kids dress up in the period clothing.  On the Foundation’s Facebook page, you can see photos of the event,  I lost count, but  there was about 100 patrons on Sunday.

We had kids dressing up,PicMonkey Collage1

Everyone had fun interacting with the re-enactors,PicMonkey Collage2

We had tons of civil war items to look at,PicMonkey Collage3

And it was just a great fun event overall!PicMonkey Collage4

An Evening with Storytellers

By Julie Duke, Youth Services Manager

The Library’s Foundation’s ticketed event, An Evening with Storytellers, brought in over 60 library supporters, and the Foundation made over $1,000.  Speakers were Eric Jacobsen, CEO of Carter house and Carnton Plantation, Thomas Flagel, History Instruction at Columbia State CC, and Bryan Lane, who recently published a book on General Adams, on of the Generals killed at Franklin.

One gentleman, who had purchased a book at this event evening, was also at the Book Release Party.  He said he had read the book cover to cover, and it was “excellent”.  A woman who was at the Storytellers evening was back on at the Book Release to buy another book!  She said that she had company visiting from out of town.  They were seeing the sites in Franklin, and used our book as a guide as they toured.

indexEric Jacobson (left), Bryan Lane (middle), and Thomas Flagel (right).


Two of the authors and one of the editors for Bullets and Bayonets had requests for book signings.

index2Eric Jacobson and Bryan Lane discuss their books!

“Bullets and Bayonets” Book Release Party



Academy Park Press, an imprint of Williamson County Public Library, is proud to announce the release of its second book Bullets and Bayonets: A Battle of Franklin Primer, which is a sesquicentennial project of the Battle of Franklin especially for youth. The project was a collaborative creation by library staff, with text written and compiled by Leesa Harmon and Julie Duke, and by historian Lawrence C. Duke.

November 30, 2014, marks the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. The battle, dubbed the ‘Gettysburg of the West’, lasted only five hours, but more soldiers were killed in that time than during any other battle of the Civil War. Six Confederate generals were killed, and the entire town of Franklin became a hospital for the wounded. “Bullets and Bayonets” tells the story of the Battle of Franklin in the words of the participants. Soldiers and citizens bear witness to what they observed, experienced and felt about a battle that forever changed the lives of all who were there.

On Sunday, October 12, 2014 from 2 to 4 pm, the Library is celebrating the release of the book and copies will be available for purchase. Including in the “drop-in” program is President Abraham Lincoln who will give the Gettysburg Address at 2:30 pm. Local Civil War re-enactors, including General Ulysses S. Grant, will be in period dress, and Civil War artifacts will be on display, including a “hands on” traveling trunk from the Tennessee State Museum.

Your signed copies will make wonderful holiday gifts!   Bring the whole family to this free special event.

An Evening with Storytellers



Presented by the Library Foundation

Thursday, October 9, 2014
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

As part of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, the library will host An Evening with Storytellers, featuring Eric Jacobson and Bryan Lane. The presentation will highlight important aspects of the battle as well as the people involved, and the focus will be on why this one battle was so important to the outcome of the war and to the future of our town of Franklin.

Eric Jacobson is the Chief Executive Officer and Historian with the Battle of Franklin Trust, and has published several books about the impact of the Civil War in this area. The library has helped Bryan Lane publish his recent book on General Adams, one of the five generals killed during the battle.

Doors open at 6:00 for wine and appetizers, and the program begins at 6:30 on Thursday, October 9, at the main branch of the Williamson County Library at 1314 Columbia Avenue.  Tickets are $25 each.  Tickets are available for purchase online via EventBrite and will also be available at the door on the ninth.

The evening is sponsored by the Library Foundation, which exists to give support for the library above and beyond what county money can provide. The Foundation began in 1948 and has had varying levels of activity during that time. For the past several years their focus has been supporting children’s programs, funding the summer reading program and other events and activities. The program will also offer an overview of the many classes, events, and activities that YOUR library has to offer to the community.

Janice Keck Awards Ceremony

The Williamson County Public Library held the Janice Keck Literary Awards Ceremony in August with Bill Peach acting as the emcee.  The winners received their own Janice Keck Literary Award Medallions with family and friends, and many of the local community watching (unfortunately, Brad W. Hoover, the nonfiction winner for “Tears of Hope: Hero in a Bandanna”).

Clcik Image to Enlarge






Left: Sandy Coomer (Poetry: The Presence of Absence), holding book cover

Middle: John Neely Davis (Fiction: Bear Shadow), holding book cover

Right: Jean Simmons (Children’s Literature: Willy the Panther Cat), holding book cover


PicMonkey Collage

Top Right: Awards Seal Design

Center: Book Cover for Non-fiction (Tears of Hope: Hero in a Bandanna) winner, Brad Hoover

Middle Right: Emcee Bill Peach

Bullets and Bayonets


Award Winners Revealed!

Janice Keck

Award Winner Photo1

Left: Fiction Winner John Neely Davis, Middle: Children’s Literature Winner Jean Simmons, Right: Non-Fiction Winner Brad Hoover

Introducing “Bullets and Bayonets: A Battle of Franklin Primer”

Battle of Franklin

We are pleased to reveal the cover of Academy Park Press’s next book. It is a primer on the Battle of Franklin that we believe will assist 4th and 5th graders in learning about it. We are especially excited about this book because, not only will it be published by the library’s imprint, but it is also created completely by library employees!

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