BOOK BEAT 56 – Florida Book Events

Florida Fall Book Events 

BOOK BEAT   Naples Sun Times   October 17-23, 2007

by Philip K. Jason

Florida event planners know that by November the early fall trickle of vacationers and snowbirds turns into a stream. Even booklovers find a proliferation of events focused on their interests. Here are some upcoming book events for the calendars of readers and writers.

Locally, M. B. Weston continues to give writing workshops at the Naples Barnes and Noble at Waterside Shops. A young adult workshop on the art of storytelling will take place on October 25 at 7:30pm. Weston’s book signing will follow at 9pm.

On November 24 & 25 on 10th Street South near the Naples Depot, the Naples Art Association will hold its Naples Renaissance Fall Art Festival. Several local authors will be exhibiting, selling, and signing their books at the Naples Press Club’s tent. These authors will include Leon Hesser, Virginia Saalman, and Sandy Lender. The exhibit, open from 10am to 5pm each day, will preview the Authors & Books Festival and Naples Writers’ Conference that will take place at the von Liebig Art Center on April 5 & 6.

Florida best-seller Robert Macomber will be making an appearance at Mina Hemingway’s Bookstore in its new location on Immokalee Rd. just east of Sam’s Club. This wine and cheese gathering, on November 27 from 5-7pm, will be part of Macomber’s book tour for his latest title, A Different Kind of Honor. Macomber is a fine writer of historical fiction and a fine entertainer as well.

On the evening of Sunday, Dec 2nd, Macomber will be the guest author and speaker for the 50th anniversary dinner gala of the Collier Library. This event, in part a fund-raiser, is primarily for members of the Friends of the Library, but it is easy enough to join and sign up for the gala if there is still room. Visit for more information.

Now here’s the lowdown on the major upcoming Festivals, Fairs, and Conferences.

The 2007 Sarasota Reading Festival will take place from 9:30am to 4:30pm on Saturday, Nov. 3 in downtown Sarasota. Presenting sponsors are the “Sarasota Herald-Tribune” and SNN6. Comcast is the producing sponsor. More than 75 author readings and panel discussions, children’s events and performances are planned for this 10th anniversary reading festival, which runs from 9:30am to 4:30pm on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. Headliners include Lou Dobbs, Gene Wilder, and Barbara Taylor Bradford. For a complete list of authors and presentation schedules, visit

The Miami Book Fair International is truly the big deal of book events in our state – and one of the major events in the nation. The principal exhibitions and presentations take place on November 10 and 11 on the Wolfson campus of Miami-Dade College, just across Biscayne Blvd. from the Bayside shopping area. Though there are eight days of events, it’s the weekend Street Fair that you must not miss. More than 250 publishers and booksellers exhibit and sell books in a festive atmosphere. The International Pavilions Village showcases the literature, fine arts and folklore of many nations. The Children’s Alley includes book-inspired theater and arts-and-crafts, storytelling, and readings by children’s book authors from around the world. The Antiquarian Annex showcases rare books, signed first editions, original manuscripts and other collectibles. On Saturday and Sunday, the Festival of Authors – which runs on a limited scale earlier in the week –

continues, as more than 350 authors present their works, including the Latin American and Spanish authors who participate in the Ibero-American Authors Program, and the up-and-coming Florida writers who participate in the Write Out Loud Reading Series. Celebrity authors are too numerous to mention. Check out the entire dazzling program by exploring

James Born & S.V. Date

The Florida Writers’ Association Conference runs from November 9 through November 11 with multiple concurrent sessions through Friday, Saturday, and half of Sunday. It will be held at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort Convention Center in Orlando. The problem with a conference program this ambitious is that for every workshop you attend, you miss another three or four scheduled at the same time. Still, having a range of choices can be a plus for attendees. Many of the weekend’s workshop leaders are giving several presentations. You can find the details on the website

Philip K. Jason, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of English from the United States Naval Academy.  A poet, critic, and free-lance writer with twenty books to his credit, this “Dr. Phil” chairs the annual Naples Writers’ Conference and Authors & Books Festival presented by the Naples Press Club.

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