There’s nothing like a great read - and nothing like being able to share the experience with fellow book lovers, authors, and creative individuals, all in a charming island with a beach that beckons for a chair and a pile of books to enjoy under the sun. The 16th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival is on February 16-18.
Honorary Festival Chair Steve Berry, whose books have over 20,000,000 copies in print worldwide, is back on Amelia Island and he’s brought his newest work, the 14th Colony. According to Berry, who, at the start of his career did his very first book signing at the Book Loft in Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach, “Amelia Island just gets better and more vibrant. The people are nice, the atmosphere is great…and seeing all of these authors here at the Festival is an impressive sight. It’s a great place to read a book - or write one."
Get Goosebumps (and more) for all ages. The completely free and family-friendly Author’s Expo/Readers’ Extravaganza) on Saturday, February 18th has something for every age and style of reader. Meet and mingle with over 100 authors; make some new discoveries; buy a book; get it signed; get your photo taken with your favorites; attend author breakout sessions and special presentations; and just bask in excitement of being able to talk books and meet their authors. Special guests Jacques Pépin (whose book signing last year at the Amelia Island Farmers' Market was a highlight of the season) will be on hand and Goosebumps author R.L. Stine will speak in a free ticketed session in the auditorium. Fernandina Beach Middle School, 310 Citrona Drive
See bestselling authors face off in style. The Author Face-off Gala dinners give guests a chance to mingle with top scribes in a freewheeling and intimate atmosphere, cocktail reception followed by an elegant sit-down dinner at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation. This years authors are R.L. Stine, David Baldacci, Joseph Finder, Lara Adrian, and Mary Kay Andrews. The live auction, hosted by State Senator Aaron Bean, is always spirited and includes unique experiences you can’t bit on anywhere else. Ticketed Festival events with leading authors support the Festival’s Authors in Schools Literacy Program. February 17th, tickets are $175 per person, available here.
Learn secrets of writing your own bestseller. For all who dream of following in Berry’s footsteps, he and his wife Elizabeth will be sharing “Lessons from a Bestseller” in a special Writers’ Workshop for authors in all stages of the creative process. on February 17th. Participants will learn about the craft of writing, including story structure, effective dialogue, point of view and Berry's '10 Rules of Writing.' Bean Technical Center, 76346 William Burgess Blvd., Yulee, FL 32097. 8:30 am to - 1 pm, box lunch and discussion follow.
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This year's Festival is sure to be a page-turner - and a great place to pick up beach reads, winter reads, and perhaps discover your next favorite writer.