Lynn Renau

The Road to Publication

10:30 a.m.
Session 1


The path from our first imaginative glimmer to words on the printed page can offer many twists and turns. As the publishing industry becomes more complex and offers more options than ever before, a diverse group of Kentucky authors relate their personal journeys to publication. The panelists will also discuss the strong points and/or drawbacks of their particular publishing situations.

In 1992, a Churchill Downs executive told then-Kentucky Derby Museum curator Lynn Renau “You can do all the research you want, but no woman is ever going to write a history of our racetrack!” Answering that challenge, she self-published Racing Around Kentucky in 1995, then edited and republished the information as Jockeys, Belles and Bluegrass Kings, a user-friendly Kentucky racing guide. For her research on long-forgotten African American contributions to the sport of kings she received the Isaac Murphy Award in 1996.

In 1997, she published Freebee: The Story of a Good-for-Nothing Horse, a fictionalized autobiography. A 5-year research project, So Close from Home: The Legacy of Brownsboro Road was published in March 2007.

Renau earned her BA and MSSW degrees from the University of Louisville. She is a former Filson Historical Society museum curator who lectures on antiques and preservation and has contributed articles to The Kentucky Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Louisville, Encyclopedia of Ethnicity and Sports in the United States, SPUR Magazine, Arts Across Kentucky, and P. A. S. T. (Pioneer America Society Transactions).

With computer-savvy colleagues she is now developing an interdisciplinary community website from her multi-cultural, multi-faceted history of Brownsboro Road, and planning presentations of “Hearing Harry Out”, a program based on the 1891 autobiography of enslaved Kentuckian Harry Smith.