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2023 Registration is open!

Register now for discount.

January 27 – 28, 2023

Bringing Readers and Writers Together in ‘23

Welcome to the 2023 Sunshine State Book Festival—bringing readers and writers together again. This year we’ve made several changes important to participating authors.

  • Our 2023 festival will be held in a new, better venue. We have found a facility that will accommodate all author tables in one large hall, like our successful 2020 festival at Santa Fe College, but with twice as much space.
  • New! A select number of registered authors will have an opportunity to do readings during the day of the festival. If interested, see details below.
  • New! A free author reception the night before will allow you to meet and mingle with fellow authors and interested members of the public and become familiar with the venue for the book sale the next day.
  • Keynote address by noted author Janis Owens will draw community attention to the festival and increase attendance.
  • A discount is being offered to authors who register for 2023 before September 1, 2022.


Reinfred Addo and Nathan Brooken Authors of all genres are invited to participate in the 2023 festival. The goal of Writers Alliance of Gainesville (WAG) is to promote, encourage, and support writers. The Sunshine State Book Festival is one of the ways WAG does that.

In this, our fourth year, the Sunshine State Book Festival is proud of what we have accomplished, and invite you to view photos of our past festivals.

Don’t delay. Author tables have sold out for every previous festival. Secure your place in the festival by registering now! View a list of authors who have already registered for 2023.

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.

poet Lola Haskins Florida has an impressive 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, many of whom you can meet at the Sunshine State Book Festival on Saturday, January 28, 2023, and at the author reception the night before.

Last year over one-third of our festival participants were prize-winning authors.


Janis Owens to Be Keynote Speaker

Janis Owens

We are pleased to announce that noted author Janis Owens has agreed to be our keynote speaker. She is the author of four novels, a regional cookbook, and a book of nonfiction.

The only daughter of a Pentecostal preacher turned insurance salesman, she inherited her love of storytelling from her parents. Born in Marianna, Florida, she now lives in Newberry, Florida. Owens attended the University of Florida and studied under famed novelist Harry Crews. Her novels include My Brother Michael,The Schooling of Claybird Catts, Myra Sims, and American Ghost.

Owens’s essays on Florida life have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Writer’s Digest, and many other publications. She also published a memoir cookbook, The Cracker Kitchen, with an Introduction by Pat Conroy. Her latest book, Hidden in Plain Sight: A History of the Newberry Mass Lynching of 1916, concerns the aftermath of a dark period in the history of the American South.

Free Admission for the public


Letting visitors know about our festival is obviously important. Our marketing and publicity plan includes both print and electronic media. Media outlets have been identified, including newspapers, magazines, area radio and television stations, and online community calendars. We also plan to initiate a social media campaign to advertise the event and promote interaction among participants and their followers. Schools, libraries, bookstores, retirement homes, museums, and other organizations are part of our outreach program.

Help Spread the Word

We’d appreciate your help to get the word out. Please mention to fellow authors that festival registration is now open, but spaces are limited. Send them the link: SunshineStateBookFestival.com.

After you’ve registered, share our link on social media and add it to your blog or website.


  • Friday, January 27, 2023

    7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church Directions

  • Author Reception
  • Meet and mingle with fellow authors and interested members of the public.
  • Free refreshments.


Sunny or Not

The festival is completely indoors and will be held January 28, 2023, rain or shine.

Festival Location

Trinity United Methodist Church

Trinity building

4000 N.W. 53rd Ave
Gainesville, Florida

Easy access and plenty of free parking.

Food trucks will provide dining choices.

Trinity United Methodist Church is located on NW 53rd Ave., just east of NW 43rd St. Look for festival signs at the driveway entrance.


Best Western Gateway Grand

4200 NW 97th Blvd
Gainesville, Florida
Phone: (352) 331-3336

Closest hotel to the Festival.

Discounted room rate.

Located just west of I-75, exit 390.

Recommended hotel for out-of-town Festival attendees.

Gateway Grand hotel entrance

Nearby Best Western Gateway Grand hotel has reserved a block of rooms at a discounted rate for festival attendees. To get the special rate, call (352) 331-3336 for reservations and ask for the Sunshine State Book Festival rate. Note: the discount is not available from Best Western's nationwide reservation number or website. Call the hotel directly.

The Sunshine State Book Festival

is made possible with the assistance of our gracious sponsors.

We again look to the business community, non-profit organizations, and government agencies for their generous support.

Please consider becoming one of our sponsors.  Download a Sponsor Brochure

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.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: DTN: 3642940 License #: CH66096
A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free within the state. 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com.
Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.