Lifestyle news Newsletter Top Featured Top Story

Authors announced for 20th annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival

Authors announced for 20th annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival


Almost 20 acclaimed and best-selling authors are coming to Lee County to satisfy followers and speak about their books on the 20th annual Southwest Florida Studying Pageant from 10 a.m. to four p.m. Saturday, March 2, on the downtown Fort Myers Regional Library campus, 2450 First St.

The Southwest Florida Studying Pageant includes a numerous line-up of nationally acclaimed, best-selling authors for adults, teenagers and youngsters. This free, enjoyable occasion welcomes many attendees who come again yr after yr, and it attracts about 10,000 individuals to downtown Fort Myers for the day. The followers attend to listen to and meet best-selling authors, take part in contests and actions and discover the newest and biggest in books, know-how and equipment. Along with writer appearances and autograph periods, there are storytelling packages, arts, crafts, youth writing and coloring contests and a free guide for each baby and teenage.

“The pageant invitations well-liked authors to take part by sharing their actual life experiences, thought processes and the evolution of their characters,” stated Lee County Library System Director Mindi Simon. “It’s fascinating to listen to the story behind the story.”

Along with the daylong group occasion, Lee County Library System hosts a number of preview occasions at library branches main as much as the pageant. Among the many actions at department websites this yr are writer visits round Lee County, together with worldwide best-selling writer Alyson Richman, visiting the Lakes Regional Library Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The spotlight of the preview occasions might be An Night with the Authors fundraiser 5:30 to eight:30 p.m. Friday, March 1, which can permit attendees to have the chance to satisfy and mingle with the complete line-up of pageant authors aboard a sundown dinner cruise alongside the Caloosahatchee River. Among the many award-winning authors scheduled to attend the pageant this yr are Lauren Willig and Karen White, B.A. Shapiro, Thomas Mullen, youth writer Jackson Pearce and teenage writer Maureen Johnson, in addition to award-winning audiobook narrator Johnny Heller. The entire listing of authors could be discovered at

“This yr for our 20th annual studying pageant, we needed to make the occasion additional particular with some new choices,” states Melissa Baker, Library Supervisor of Programming and Group Outreach. “New this yr might be quite a lot of meals vans stationed on First Road, and naturally the sundown cruise aboard the Capt. JP can be a deal with for our friends and library supporters on the Night with the Authors occasion too.”

The Southwest Florida Studying Pageant is free and community-supported by way of donations, sponsorships and grants. To assist make sure the continuation of this free group occasion, go to to make a safe on-line donation. Extra info is obtainable at or by calling 239-533-4832.

Saturday, March 2, 2019
10 a.m. – four p.m.
Fort Myers Regional Library Campus
2450 First St, Fort Myers, FL



Tara Conklin is a author and former lawyer whose first novel, “The Home Woman,” was a New York Occasions bestseller, #1 IndieNext decide, Goal ebook membership decide and has been translated into eight languages. Her second novel, “The Final Romantics,” revealed February 2019 by William Morrow/Harper Collins. Earlier than turning to fiction, Tara labored for a world human rights group and as a litigator at a company regulation agency in London and New York. Her writing has appeared in “That is the Place: Ladies Writing About Residence,” “The Bristol Prize Anthology and Pangea: An Anthology of Tales from Across the Globe.” Tara was born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and grew up in western Massachusetts. She holds a bachelor’s diploma in historical past from Yale College, a J.D. from NYU Faculty of Regulation and a grasp’s diploma in regulation and diplomacy from the Fletcher Faculty at Tufts College. She lives in Seattle together with her household.

Thomas Mullen is the writer of 5 novels, together with “Darktown,” an NPR Greatest Ebook of 2016; “Lightning Males,” named a Prime Ten Crime Novel of 2017 by The New York Occasions; and “The Final City on Earth,” named Greatest Debut Novel of 2006 by USA Right now. Go to www.thomasmullen.internet.

Lisa Patton is a Memphis, Tennessee, native who hung out as a Vermont innkeeper till three subzero winters despatched her rushing again down South. She labored 25 years within the music and leisure business earlier than discovering her ardour for novel writing and is now the bestselling writer of what Library Journal calls, “the beloved Dixie collection: “Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter,” “Yankee Doodle Dixie” and “Southern as a Second Language.” Her newest novel, “Rush,” a summer time 2018 Okra Decide from the Southern Unbiased Booksellers Alliance and a SIBA bestseller, has been praised by the Atlanta Journal Structure as “a narrative about proper versus mistaken, previous traditions pitted towards trendy concepts and altering occasions.” Go to

Lori Roy was born and raised within the Midwest the place she attended and graduated from Kansas State College. She is the writer of the Edgar Award-Profitable “Bent Street.” Her most up-to-date novel, “Let Me Die in His Footsteps,” acquired the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Greatest Novel of 2015, making Lori the primary lady to win Greatest First and Greatest Novel and the third individual to take action. Go to

B.A. Shapiro is the New York Occasions bestselling writer of “The Muralist,” “The Artwork Forger,” “The Protected Room,” “Blind Spot,” “See No Evil,” “Innocent” and “Shattered Echoes.” She has additionally written 4 screenplays and the nonfiction e-book, “The Massive Squeeze.” “The Artwork Forger” has been on many bestseller lists together with the New York Occasions, Boston Globe, LA Occasions, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Amazon, and Kindle and has gained many awards together with The 2013 New England Guide Award for Fiction. She lives in Boston and is engaged on her eighth novel. Go to

Peter Swanson is the writer of 4 novels: “The Woman With a Clock For a Coronary heart,” an LA Occasions E-book Award finalist; “The Variety Value Killing,” winner of the New England Society Ebook Award; “Her Each Worry,” an NPR ebook of the yr; and his most up-to-date, “All of the Lovely Lies.” Go to

Kiki Swinson is the bestselling writer of over 30 novels and brief tales. Swinson’s works function resilient ladies making robust—and typically not fairly authorized—selections to outlive. Her novels, impressed by her experiences and a five-year stint in federal jail, have bought over 1 million copies. Go to www.kikimedia.internet.

Common Anthony Tata has greater than three many years of service in the private and non-private sectors. His final tour was because the Deputy Commanding Basic of the 10th Mountain Division and Joint Activity Pressure in Afghanistan, commanding 25,000 troops. He’s writer of nationwide bestselling thrillers “Overseas and Home,” “Three Minutes to Midnight,” and “Besieged.”“Direct Hearth” revealed in fall 2018. Go to

Wendy Waxs modern ladies’s fiction revolves round journeys of self-discovery and explores the bonds of friendship that get us via the hardest occasions. Her works embrace “A Week on the Lake,” “Whereas We Have been Watching Downton Abbey” and her Florida-set “Ten Seashore Street” novels: “Greatest Seashore Ever,” “One Good Factor,” “Sunshine Seashore,” “The Home On Mermaid Level,” “Ocean Seashore” and “Ten Seashore Street” and have been featured in nationwide media together with USA Immediately, Women’ House Journal and Lady’s World.  

Her different works embrace “Magnolia Wednesdays,” “The Unintentional Bestseller,” “Hostile Makeover,” “Depart it to Cleavage,” “Single in Suburbia,” and “7 Days and seven Nights.” Lots of her novels have been revealed internationally.

A former broadcaster and the mom of two grown sons, Wendy has left the suburbs of Atlanta for an in-town high-rise the place she and her husband are fortunately downsized. Her latest novel “My Ex-Greatest Good friend’s Wedding ceremony” will probably be launched in Might 2019. Go to

Karen White is the New York Occasions bestselling writer of over twenty books, together with “The Night time the Lights Went Out,” “Flight Patterns,” “The Sound of Glass,” “A Lengthy Time Gone” and “The Time Between” and a coauthor, with Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig, of “The Forgotten Room.” Go to

Lauren Willig is the New York Occasions and USA In the present day bestselling writer of a number of works of historic fiction, together with “The English Spouse,” the RITA-winning Pink Carnation collection, and two novels co-written with Karen White and Beatriz Williams. An alumna of Yale, she has a graduate diploma in historical past from Harvard and a J.D. from Harvard Regulation. She lives in New York Metropolis together with her husband, preschooler, child and plenty of espresso. Go to


Johnny Heller has narrated over 700 audiobooks in each style. He’s a 2005 and 2009 Audie Award Winner, a double nominee in 2015, a 2014 Nominee for Greatest Male Narrator, a double nominee in 2012 and was named a Greatest Voice of 2008 – 2011, 2014, 2015 and a Publishers Weekly Pay attention Up Award Winner 2008-2013. A winner of over 25 Earphone Awards, Audiofile Journal named Heller one of many prime 50 voices of the 20th Century. Johnny coaches actors in audiobook narration and business VO regionally, nationally and internationally. Go to


Drew Brockington has flown an area shuttle, repaired the area station, and labored in Mission Management, all whereas attending Area Camp. He’s the writer and illustrator of the Indiebound bestselling graphic novel collection “CatStronauts!” He lives together with his household in Minneapolis. Go to

Jessica Day George is The New York Occasions bestselling writer of over a dozen fantasy books for center grade and younger grownup readers. Born in Idaho, she has a level in Humanities and Scandinavian Research from BYU and lived in Delaware and New Jersey earlier than settling close to Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah, together with her husband, three youngsters and fluffy canine. She likes books, darkish chocolate, knitting, films, Disney holidays and really small canine. Go to

Joan Holub is a New York Occasions bestselling youngsters’s ebook writer of “Mighty Dads,” “Little Purple Writing,” “Zero the Hero,” “This Little Trailblazer,” “Who Was Babe Ruth,” and “Hiya Ninjas.” She co-writes the collection “Goddess Women,” “Heroes in Coaching,” and “Grimmtastic Women.” Go to

Hilde Lysiak is the 11-year-old writer of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania’s newspaper, the Orange Road Information. The paper has 700+ paid subscribers and is learn by hundreds extra on-line. Hilde’s journalism efforts have been profiled by The New York Occasions, Columbia Journalism Assessment, NBC In the present day and lots of of different newspapers and tv stations all over the world. Hilde is co-writing the Scholastic Branches collection “Hilde Cracks the Case” together with her dad, Matthew Lysiak. Go to

Jackson Pearce is the writer of many titles for younger readers, together with the “Ellie Engineer” collection, the “Doublecross” collection, the “Pip Bartlett” collection and the “Sisters Pink” collection. Her books, “The Doublecross” and “Pip Bartlett’s Information to Magical Creatures” have each appeared on the Sunshine State Younger Readers Award listing. Go to


Maureen Johnson is the New York Occasions and USA At the moment bestselling writer of a number of younger grownup novels, together with “13 Little Blue Envelopes,” “Suite Scarlett,” “The Identify of the Star,” and “Really Devious.” She has additionally finished collaborative works, corresponding to “Let It Snow” (with John Inexperienced and Lauren Myracle) and “The Bane Chronicles” (with Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan). Her work has appeared in publications akin to The New York Occasions, Buzzfeed and The Guardian and she or he has served as a scriptwriter for EA Video games. She has an MFA in Writing from Columbia College and lives in New York Metropolis. Go to

Ashley Poston is the writer of “Geekerella” and “Coronary heart of Iron.” Her fangirl coronary heart has taken her in all places from the homes of Hollywood screenwriters to the levels of music festivals to geeked-out conventions (in cosplay, in fact). When she isn’t inventing new recipes with peanut butter, having passionate dance-offs together with her cat or geeking out everywhere in the web, she writes books. She lives in small-town South Carolina, the place you’ll be able to see the celebs impossibly nicely. Go to