Fifth Annual Sunshine State Book Festival

Gainesville, Florida

January 26-27, 2024

Bringing Readers and Writers Together

Author Registration is Now Open!

Register today! The number of spots is limited. Registration closes December 31, 2023, or sooner if the limit is reached. Last year, exhibit spaces sold out five months before the festival, so don’t delay.

Registration includes:

  • Half of a six-foot table to sell books on Saturday (chairs and tablecloth provided)
  • Saturday morning breakfast of coffee, tea, and pastries 
  • Free lunch for authors at midday
  • An invitation to Friday night’s reception with appetizers and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Your name, photo, link to your website, and image of your latest book cover on the festival’s “Meet the Authors” page
  • Your photo, name, exhibit-space number, and brief bio (50 words max) in the printed festival program


Come and enjoy a day of browsing—books by 200 local and regional authors

An opportunity to meet outstanding authors who write in many genres

Authors from around Florida and the nation will gather at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center on January 27th, from 10 am to 5 pm to sell books and talk about their work

Festivities include guest speakers, giveaways, storytelling, and more

Find festival information here

Be sure to bring the kids for story time—from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday 

Supporting Florida Literacy

A celebration of learning and literacy for all ages! Fun and educational!

  • Hourly drawings to win an autographed book
  • Informal opening-night reception Friday, January 26 from 7 to 9 pm:
  • Readers, sponsors, and interested members of the public—come mingle with the authors 
  • Scholarships for Essay Contest Winners

Area middle and high school students are invited to participate in our essay contest on the topic “Freedom to Read.” Win one of ten scholarships. Details will be forthcoming. Scholarships will be awarded to winning students at the opening-night reception on January 26.

Celebrating Florida’s Literary Culture

Florida’s amazing literary history dates back over two centuries. Today, Gainesville is a leading center of literary culture which more than two hundred writers, novelists, playwrights, and poets call home.

From naturalist William Bartram, who penned his book Travels in the 1770s, to bestselling authors of today, writers have succumbed to the charm of our area. These include poet laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and winners of the science-fiction Nebula Award. The Sunshine State Book Festival’s goal is to further an appreciation of reading and provide the opportunity for readers to meet and interact with authors.

Florida’s Notable Regional Writers

Florida boasts of a diverse group of notable authors who have made significant contributions to the world of literature. From iconic authors Ernest Hemingway and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to the celebrated poet Robert Frost, Florida has been home to writers who have left an indelible mark on the literary landscape. Many of these authors were inspired by Florida’s unique scenery, culture, and history, and their works continue to captivate readers around the world.


Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings†, Harry Crews†, Zora Neale Hurston, Padgett Powell, Lauren Groff, Joe Haldeman, Jill Ciment, Lawrence Dorr, Charlotte Porter, James Haskins, Rick Yancy, Janis Owens


Michael Gannon†, Sudie Cauthen, Paul Ortiz, Bob Mason, Kevin McCarthy, James Haskins†, Rick Kilby, David Coburn, Gary Mormino, Chris Monaco, John Pickard, Sidney Lanier†, George Barbour†, Daniel Schafer, Barbara Purdy, Jerry Milanich, Gary Libby, David Leavitt, Steve Noll


William Bartram†, John Muir†, Jack Davis, Archie Carr†, Bob Knight, Bill Belleville, Lars Andersen, Cynthia Barnett, Steve Noll, David Tedeger, Stetson Kennedy†, Margaret Tolbert, Murray Laurie, Gary Monroe

Poet Laureates

Robert Frost†, Lola Haskins, E. Stanley Richardson

Thank You to Our Sponsors

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The Sunshine State Book Festival is funded in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County, FL. This program/event is funded in part by a grant from the City of Gainesville, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. Additional funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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) Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.

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