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Sunshine State Book Festival January 24-26 2020

Celebrating Florida’s Literary Culture

Free Admission

Florida has an amazing literary history dating back over two centuries, and Gainesville is a leading center of literary culture where over two hundred writers, novelists, playwrights, and poets call home.

From naturalist William Bartram’s book Travels, penned in the 1770s, to bestselling authors of today, writers have succumbed to the charm of our area. The Sunshine State Book Festival will further an appreciation of reading and provide the opportunity for readers to meet and interact with authors.

   Free Prizes

A Sample of Noted Authors Who Resided In Gainesville:

Robert Frost

Robert Frost


Harry Crews

Harry Crews


Joe Haldeman

Joe Haldeman


Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings


Notable Regional writers († indicates author is deceased)

Literature/Novels: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings†, Harry Crews†, Zora Neale Hurston, Padgett Powell, Lauren Groff, Joe Haldeman, Jill Ciment, Lawrence Dorr, Charlotte Porter, James Haskins

History/Memoir: Michael Gannon†, Sudie Cauthen, 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

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

Poetry: Lola Haskins, Jimmy Schmidt, Robert Frost†, Angie Mlinko


Saturday Presentations

Free and open to the public

Festival attendees are invited to seven presentations and panel discussions by well-known authors and subject matter experts.

Programs start on the hour and will last approximately 45 minutes.

A children’s area will feature storytellers and kid-friendly activities throughout the day.

11:00 – 11:45 AM

Remembering Uncle Ernest
with Hilary Hemingway

12:00 – 12:45 PM

Gainesville’s Literary Heritage
with author Kevin McCarthy

1:00 – 1:45 PM

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


2:00 – 2:45 PM

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

3:00 – 3:45 PM

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

4:00 – 4:45 PM

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


Festival Location

Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall

Fine Arts Hall

3000 NW 83rd Street
Gainesville, Florida

Easy access from I-75 and NW 39th Ave.

Plenty of Free Parking

On Campus Food Court

Fine Arts Hall map

Best Western Gateway Grand

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

Closest hotel to SFC Campus

Recommended hotel for out-of-town Festival attendees.

hotel entrance

Nearby Best Western Gateway Grand hotel — Call (352) 331-3336 for reservations.

Sunshine State Book Festival

is made possible with the assistance of these gracious sponsors

Santa Fe College Florida Humanities Council Florida Humanities Council visit gainesville SFC Foundation Friends of the Library Bosshardt Realty Huntley Johnson TV-20 WSKY WKTK


The Sunshine State Book Festival is 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  Download a Sponsor Information Packet