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Sunshine State Book Festival January 30, 2021

Bringing Readers and Writers Together – Digitally

Note to Authors

Registration is now closed.

Welcome to the Sunshine State Book Festival. Last year’s festival brought 75 authors and 3,000 readers together in the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall in Gainesville, Florida. Mindful of everyone’s safety, the 2021 Sunshine State Book Festival is 100% digital, yet retains popular aspects of our previous festival.

What will our online book festival look like?

Prominent guest speakers will give featured talks—all free and open to the public.

Author booths allow you to virtually “stroll” aisles of our festival from the comfort and safety of your home. Meet authors via brief videos they have provided. Enjoy the experience of book browsing? Click on a book cover, then on Amazon’s “Look inside” feature to view the back cover copy, table of contents, and even read a few pages of the book.

Authors of children’s books will have a separate area of the festival site featuring picture books, chapter books, and middle-grade readers. Several authors are providing fun or educational activity worksheets that visitors will be able to print or download to their computer

Want a sneak peek at example booths? Click the Preview option.

Help us spread the word

The festival will open January 30, 2021, and remain accessible to visitors through June 30, 2021. But we need your help to get the word out. Please mention us to friends in your book club, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media. Send them the link SunshineStateBookFestival.com and be sure to join us January 30, 2021.

A celebration of learning and literacy

A book festival is a celebration of learning and literacy that should be fun as well as educational, bringing together people of all ages who share a love of reading and who will leave the event inspired by their experiences.

Florida has an amazing literary history dating back to William Bartram nearly 250 years ago. Today, Gainesville is a leading center of literary culture and home to hundreds of writers, novelists, playwrights, and poets. And holding the 2021 festival online allowed participation from authors from as far away as Singapore and Qatar.

This year’s festival features 100 authors writing in 18 genres. Over a third of them have won literary awards.

Visit Safely From Home

Pulitzer Prize for History: Jack Davis

Charles S. Sydnor Prize for the best book in southern history: Jack Davis

The Iowa Poetry Prize: Lola Haskins

Florida Book Award: Jack Davis, John Dunn, Veronica Helen Hart, Lola Haskins, Laura Lee Smith

Florida Historical Society’s Stetson Kennedy Award: John Dunn

Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Award: Nancy Blanton, John Hope, Harriet Hunter, Mallory M. O’Connor, N. L. Quatrano, Elizabeth Randall

Florida Outdoor Writers Association Award for Excellence-in-Craft: Bob H. Lee

Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award: Susie H. Baxter, Nancy Blanton, Bria Burton, Loren Colden, L. L. Eadie, Richard Gartee, Veronica Helen Hart, Arielle Haughee, Chris Holmes, John Hope, Elle Andrews Patt, N. L. Quatrano, Elizabeth Randall, LM Reynolds, JW Robitaille, Marie Q Rogers

African-American Literary Show Award: Lisa Washington

Author Elite Award: Lisa Washington

Best Medical Fiction: Joel Shulkin, MD

Book Excellence Award: Cheryl Denise Bannerman

Feathered Quill Book Award: Nancy Blanton

Gourmand World Cookbooks Award: Cynthia D. Bertelsen

L. Ronald Hubbard Writers of the Future: John Hope, Elle Andrews Patt

Literary Titan Silver Medal: Mallory M. O’Connor

MM Bennetts Award: Nancy Blanton

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award: John Hope

National Indie Excellence Award: John Hope, Elle Andrews Patt

Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Adventure: Lacy Dancer (aka Sydney Clary)

Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Series Romance Love and Laughter: Lacy Dancer (aka Sydney Clary)

SheWrites New Novelist competition: Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

The Oshima International Hand-Made Picture Book Competition: Melinda Falgoust

Writers Unlimited Annual Literary Competition: Melinda Falgoust

Guest Speakers

The following noted authors will speak at our festival. Check back January 2021 for program times and details.

Jack Davis

Jack Davis

Pulitzer Prize winner

Kim & Gilly

Kimberly Jones
& Gilly Segal

NAACP Image Award Nominees

Stanley Richardson

E. Stanley Richardson

Alachua County Poet Laureate

Laura Lee Smith

Laura Lee Smith

Award-winning Novelist

Tom Wiggins

Dr. Tom A. Wiggins


The Sunshine State Book Festival

is made possible with the assistance of gracious sponsors like:

and The Opinionated Ladies Book Club.

Please consider becoming one of our corporate sponsors. Download an information packet.

Make a Donation

Personal donations make a difference, too. Support the Sunshine State Book Festival by clicking the button below.


WAG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donation is tax deductible.