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Local Author Program

About the Program

The Local Author Program highlights the intellectual and creative accomplishments of writers in the San Diego region. A centerpiece of the Local Author Program is the annual Local Author Showcase. In its 52nd year, the aim of the Showcase is to bring exposure to local talent and nurture the pursuit of the writing arts in San Diego.
A call for submissions goes out in September alerting all San Diego county authors who published books in the current year to submit them. The annual deadline for submitting books is in late November.
The Showcase runs throughout the entire month of February in the lobby of the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common. Participants are invited to attend a special exhibition preview prior to the public unveiling. Submitted publications are also exhibited in an Online Gallery that lasts throughout the year and features author information, book cover images, and title and publishing information. In addition your books will be available for public check-out for the remainder of the year.
The Local Author Showcase features a special Little Local Authors exhibit for writers ages 11 and under, conceived in order to accommodate the increasing number of young authors who enter the Local Author Showcase every year. Little Local Authors takes place in March following the adult exhibit in February. Teen Local Authors will be highlighted and featured as well for writers between 12 and 18 years of age.
The San Diego Public Library has long hosted special events for authors including book discussions, writing workshops and author talks, where writers are able to interact directly with their readers as they share, sell and sign their books. The Local Author Showcase is presented for reading interest as well as the opportunity to highlight the diverse and abundant talent we have locally.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Local Author Showcase?

It is an annual program open to present San Diego County residents who published a book in the current year. Qualified participants must currently reside within zip codes 91901 - 92199.

What is the Little Local Authors?

Little Local Authors began during the Golden Anniversary of the Local Author Showcase in 2015 in order to accommodate the increasing number of children authors who enter the Local Author Showcase every year. It takes place in March following the adult Showcase in February. Children authors may enter zines, chapbooks, and other unbound booklets.

What is Teen Local Authors?

Teen Local Authors features writers between the ages of 12 and 18 who enter and submit a book in the Local Author Exhibit. It takes place in the spring following the adult Exhibit in February. Date to be determined. Teen authors may enter zines, chapbooks, and other unbound booklets.

What is the goal of the Local Author Showcase?

The San Diego Public Library sponsors the Local Author Showcase to nurture and foster local writing and talent in the Greater San Diego area.

When and where is the Exhibit held?

The Exhibit will be on display in the Dickinson Popular Library of the San Diego Central Library for the entire month of February 2017. Little Local Authors exhibit for authors ages 12 and under will take place in the spring. Teen Local Authors exhibit for teen writers between the ages of 12 – 18 will also take place in the spring.

How do I participate in the Showcase?

The general call to authors for submission goes out in September every year. All correspondence is done electronically.

How many books am I allowed to submit? How many copies do you need?

Please submit only one (1) book per author. We need only one copy.

May chapbooks, pamphlets and individual chapters by local authors be submitted?

Except for poetry chapbooks, only books with proper bookbinding and format may be submitted. Books must look like books. No pamphlets, brochures or stapled material can be accepted.

What if I just heard about the Showcase this year or my book was published before 2017?

We’ll accept books published the year before (in 2016) that missed the call for submissions deadline. Books published before 2016 do not qualify.

What is the Online Gallery?

The Online Gallery showcases authors and their information throughout the year including books, photos, publishers and bios. It opens at the same time as the live Showcase in February, and closes in December.

Can I submit an ebook?

eBooks are accepted as long as they were published in the current year. For display purposes, please upload an image of the cover of your book on the online registration form. Your submission is complete. You don’t need to do anything else.

My book is in both print and ebook format. Which do you prefer?

Please register and submit only the print edition.

What is the deadline to enter the Local Author Showcase?

Registration must be completed and books received by Monday, November 27, 2017.

Can self-published materials be submitted?

Yes. The Local Author Showcase reflects the diversity of the publishing world.

What happens to the books submitted for the Showcase?

All items submitted to the San Diego Public Library for the Local Author Exhibit are unconditional gifts which will not be returned. As gifts, the books may be added to the collection in compliance with the Library's collection guidelines including whether or not there exists professional reviews of the books.* eBooks cannot be added at this time unless they are available through the library’s digital format vendor.
PDF icon *SDPL's selection criteria

Can my book be checked-out?

Yes. After February when the live Exhibit ends your book will be shelved alphabetically by author last names in the Local Author collection in the Dickenson Popular Library on the first floor. It will not be searchable in the library catalog but author and book title can be found in the Online Exhibit. In February 2019 after a year in the local author collection, books entered in the 2017 Local Author Showcase will be evaluated for possible inclusion in the library collection, pending compliance with the Library’s collection development policy.

For more information about the Local Author Program contact us at [email protected]. For other events at the San Diego Public Library's Central Library and 35 branches, or to search for materials in the Library's catalog or to find links to numerous additional resources, please visit or call the San Diego Public Library at (619) 236-5800.

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