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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 Local Author Showcase. Writers’ of all ages are encouraged to submit their work. The Showcase includes books written by adults, teens and children. In its 54th 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 inviting San Diego County authors who published books in the current year to register for the program and submit their book. The annual deadline for submitting books is typically in late November.
Qualified books are displayed in the Dickinson Popular Library at the San Diego Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common. The Showcase runs throughout the entire month of February Participants are invited to attend a special preview of the Showcase prior to the public unveiling. Submitted publications are also showcased in an PDF icon Online Gallery that lasts throughout the year and features author information, book cover images, title and publishing information. In March, the books will be available for public check-out for one year.
The San Diego Public Library has long hosted special events for authors including book discussions, writing workshops and author talks. We encourage writers to interact directly with their peers and readers by offering opportunities where they can share, collaborate, sell, and sign their books. Please check the library’s event calendar regularly for author related programs. The Local Author Program is presented for reading interest as well as the opportunity to highlight the diverse and abundant talent we have locally.
San Diego Public Library is grateful to the Friends of the San Diego Central Library for their generous support and sponsorship of the Local Author Showcase.

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 is a component of the Local Author Program. It began during the Golden Anniversary of the Local Author Program in 2015 to accommodate the increasing number of children authors who enter the Local Author Program every year.

What is Teen Local Authors?

Teen Local Authors, another component of the Local Author Program, features writers between the ages of 12 and 18 who enter and submit a book. 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 Showcase held?

The Showcase will be on display in the Dickinson Popular Library of the San Diego Central Library for the entire month of February 2020.

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

Please submit only one (1) book per author. We want 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 2018?

We’ll accept books published the year before (in 2018) that did not participate the previous year. Books published before 2018 do not qualify.

What is the Online Showcase?

The Online Showcase features 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 February of the following year.

Can I submit an ebook?

eBooks are accepted for display purposes only. To participate authors must upload an image of the book’s cover through the online registration form.  Afterwards, 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 Friday, November 29, 2019.

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?

Books in the Showcase circulate for one year (3/20 – 3/21). Afterwards qualified books may be added to the collection in compliance with SDPL’s PDF icon Collection Development Policy, including whether or not there exists professional reviews of the books. eBooks cannot be added now unless they are available through the library’s digital format vendor.

Can my book be checked-out?

Yes. After the Showcase ends in February, books will be shelved alphabetically by author last names in the Local Author Collection located in the Dickenson Popular Library on the first floor. Books won’t be searchable in the library catalog, but author and book title can be found in the Online Showcase. Press “Crtl+F” to search by author name or book title.

What happens to the books not included in the collection?

During the registration process authors can choose whether they want their books returned to them or donated to the Friends of the Library where it may be sold to benefit the library.

Contact Us

For more information about the Local Author Program contact us at localauthor@sandiego.gov. 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 www.SanDiegoLibrary.org or call the San Diego Public Library at (619) 236-5800.

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