2021 Festival 2020 Festival 2020 Photo Album 2020 Photos

January 24 – 26, 2020

Celebrating Florida’s Literary Culture

Previous Festival Archive

This page, and those linked from it, allow you to see some of the features of our 2020 book festival.

Click the menu Home button to return to the main festival webpages.


The 2020 Sunshine State Book Festival celebrated Gainesville’s amazing literary history and culture with three days of events. A Friday night reception at the Matheson Historical Museum culminated with the presentation of Ernest Hemingway’s letters to Santa Fe College.

The Saturday Book Festival at the beautiful Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall brought 3,000 readers to meet 75 authors and hear presentations by six well-known authors.

The Sunday literary heritage tour portrayed three notable authors who wrote and lived in the area.

Hourly Drawings

Saturday festival attendees could win free books by visiting at least 10 author booths, and then entering a drawing.



museum exterior
Hemingway letters

Hilary Hemingway presented 75 of Ernest Hemingway’s letters to Santa Fe College

Fine Arts Hall

View Saturday Festival photo album

Book Festival

Saturday Presentations

Festival attendees were invited to attend six presentations and panel discussions by well-known authors and subject matter experts.

Hilary Hemingway

Remembering Uncle Ernest with Hilary Hemingway.

Kevin McCarthy

Gainesville’s Literary Heritage with author Kevin McCarthy.

Joe Haldeman

An Interview: Books, Movies, and War with Nebula Award winner Joe Haldeman.

Steve Noll

Florida Sports History: It's More than just Fun & Games with UF Professor Steve Noll

John Dunn

Drying Up, The Fresh Water Crisis in Florida with freelance author John Dunn

Lola Haskins

How Heeding Florida's Past and the Natural Beauty That Survived It Can Change Our Future with Award-winning poet Lola Haskins


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Literary Heritage Tour and reenactments of Gainesville literary figures

Kevin Rainsberger

Kevin Rainsberger reading Robert Frost at the Thomas Center where Frost resided.

J. D. Sutton

J.D. Sutton portraying William Bartram at Paynes Prairie State Preserve.

Mimi Carr

Mimi Carr read Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and prepared one of Marjorie’s recipes at Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ State Park.

The 2020 Sunshine State Book Festival

was made possible with the assistance of these gracious sponsors


The 2020 Sunshine State Book Festival was funded in part by Visit Gainesville, Alachua County, FL. 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.

Please consider becoming one of our sponsors for 2022. Download an information packet.