Designating a Literary Landmark

ALTAFF invites you to apply for a Literary Landmark designation for any special location in your community that is tied to a deceased literary figure, author or his or her work.

The Literary Landmarks Association was founded in 1986 by former FOLUSA president Frederick G. Ruffner to encourage the dedication of historic literary sites. The first dedication was at Slip F18 in Bahia Mar, Florida, the anchorage of the Busted Flush, the houseboat home of novelist John D. MacDonald’s protagonist Travis McGee. Since that time, more than 60 Literary Landmarks have been dedicated across the country.

The cost for a Literary Landmark is payable to ALTAFF upon acceptance of the application and in advance of the event. Please call the ALTAFF office for more information concerning the fee. This fee covers all administrative fees and materials including:

  • A bronze plaque, foundry crafted, with the Literary Landmark insignia and verbiage of your choosing. (ALTAFF will guide you in this).
  • Press release provided by ALTAFF for use in local media outlets.
  • Press release furnished to national library and literary journals with photo (provided by the locality) post-event.
  • Listing of the Literary Landmark on ALTAFF’s Web site and other ALTAFF materials relating to Literary Landmarks.
  • Link from ALTAFF’s Web site to the site of the designated site, the library site, and/or the site of the organization applying for the designation.

To apply for a Literary Landmark:

  • Identify a group or individual who will be responsible for the site and guarantee its continued designation.
  • Compile background material that corroborates the role of the site, and a bibliography of the author’s work and related writings.
  • A minimum of eight weeks in advance of the program, apply for Literary Landmark designation by writing to ALTAFF/Literary Landmarks Register, 109 S. 13th St., Suite 3N, Philadelphia, PA 19107, and include material from #2 above.
  • Discuss cooperative efforts for co-sponsorship with other local or state groups (e.g., historical society, Federation of Women’s Clubs, Chamber of Commerce, Restaurant and Hotel Association, colleges and newspapers).

To host a Literary Landmark event:

  • Identify a speaker on the subject for the ceremony. It is also probable that there is an individual to honor who has made a special effort on behalf of the site.
  • Plan a public event. Line up a co-sponsor for the event. A local newspaper, business, or bookstore are good options (see Fact Sheet #9: Planning a Book and Author Event).
  • Invite local decision makers who finance cultural institutions and people on mailing lists of the co-sponsors.
  • Publicize the event widely in your community via library newsletter, local newspaper and other media outlets. Send special invitations to organizations and agencies that might be affiliated with the chosen site.
  • Send post-event publicity, including photos, to ALTAFF.