november 11, 2017 | 140 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg | FREE ADMISSION
november 11, 2017

140 7th Avenue South
St. Petersburg


2016 Authors

Ace Atkins


Atkins is the New York Times bestselling author of 19 novels, including The Innocents and Robert B. Parker’s Slow Burn, both published in 2016. Atkins has been nominated for every major award in crime fiction, including the Edgar three times, and twice for his novels about former U.S. Army Ranger Quinn Colson. A former newspaper reporter at the then-St. Petersburg Times and the Tampa Tribune and an SEC football player, Atkins writes essays and investigative pieces for several national magazines, including Outside and Garden & Gun. He lives in Oxford, Miss., with his family, where he’s friend to many dogs and several bartenders. Read a review of The Innocents at

Rosemary Yvonne Borel


Borel was born in Jamaica. A graduate of the University of Leeds, England, and a Carnegie Fellow in Diplomacy, she served at the Jamaican Mission to the United Nations and also at the Jamaican High Commission in London. She lived for 16 years in Trinidad & Tobago as a wife, mother and high school teacher, afterward migrating to the United States. A longtime resident of the Tampa Bay area, Borel lives in Wesley Chapel and volunteers actively at her church and at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Her memoir is Thriving in the Care of Many Mothers.

Robert Olen Butler


Butler is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of sixteen novels, including A Small Hotel, Hell and the Christopher Marlowe Cobb series. He is also the author of six short-story collections and a book on the creative process, From Where You Dream. He has twice won a National Magazine Award for Fiction and received the 2013 F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University. His latest novel is Perfume River, which looks at family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam War through the portrait of a single family.


Roy Peter Clark


Clark has taught writing at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies since 1979. Over three decades he has served the institute as dean, vice president, senior scholar and member of the board of trustees. Clark has written or edited 17 books on writing and journalism, the most popular and influential being Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer. Podcasts of the book have been downloaded more than a million times, and a 10th anniversary edition was recently published. His most recent work includes Help! for Writers and How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times. His work has been featured by NPR, Today and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Clark has played in rock bands since high school and often uses music to illustrate strategies of reading and writing.

Laura T. Coffey


Coffey is author of the bestselling book My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts and a longtime writer, editor and producer for, the website of NBC’s Today Show. A journalist with more than 25 years of experience, she has written and edited hundreds of high-profile stories over the years. Coffey’s writing career began in the Tampa Bay area. After graduating as valedictorian of both Largo High School and the University of South Florida, she worked as a reporter at the St. Petersburg Times and continued to write a personal finance column called "Ten Tips" for the Times for many years. In recent years, she has earned first-place writing awards from the Society for Features Journalism and the Dog Writers Association of America. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Michael, their son, Tyler, and their two senior dogs, Frida and Manny.

Michael Connelly


Connelly is the author of 28 previous novels, including the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers The Crossing and The Burning Room. His books, which include the Harry Bosch series and Lincoln Lawyer series, have sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. Connelly is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels and is the executive producer of the Amazon TV series Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. Connelly’s new book is The Wrong Side of Goodbye, the latest in the Bosch series. He spends his time in California and Florida.


Anthony Cormier


Cormier is an investigative reporter at the Tampa Bay Times. He was part of a team of journalists who won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories that showed how Florida’s mental hospitals were overrun by violence and neglect after lawmakers quietly cut their budgets. He has been a reporter for 15 years..

Tim Dorsey


Dorsey was a reporter and editor for the Tampa Tribune from 1987 to 1999. He is the author of 19 novels about Florida history buff and serial killer Serge Storms; the latest is Coconut Cowboy. Dorsey lives in Tampa. Read a review of Coconut Cowboy at

Paul Durham


Durham is the award-winning children’s author of The Luck Uglies fantasy trilogy and the forthcoming middle grade series Goyle. The Luck Uglies was named an ALA Notable Book, a New York Public Library Top Book for Reading and Sharing, the 2015 CYBILS Award winner and an ALA Booklist Top Ten First Novel for Youth. It has also been named to numerous state reading lists, including Florida’s Sunshine State Young Readers Award list for 2016-2017. Durham hosts Telling Lies to Children, a weekly podcast where he and his guests give listeners a behind-the-scenes look at the children’s publishing industry. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife, two daughters and an enormous, bushy creature the local animal shelter identified as a cat. He writes in an abandoned chicken coop at the edge of a swamp and keeps a tiny porcelain frog in his pocket for good luck.


William F. Felice


Felice is a professor of political science at Eckerd College. He was named the 2006 Florida Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and received Eckerd College’s Lloyd W. Chapin Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Art and the John M. Bevan Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award, and he has been recognized by the students as Professor of the Year (2003) and by the faculty as the Robert A. Staub Distinguished Teacher of the Year (1999). Felice is the author of The Global New Deal: Economic and Social Human Rights in World Politics; How Do I Save My Honor: War, Moral Integrity and Principled Resignation; Taking Suffering Seriously: The Importance of Collective Human Rights and numerous articles on the theory and practice of human rights. His latest book is The Ethics of Interdependence: Global Human Rights and Duties.

Herb Frazier


Frazier is one of the co-authors of We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel. He has edited and reported for five daily newspapers in the South, including his hometown paper, the Post and Courier. In 1990, the South Carolina Press Association named him Journalist of the Year. He has taught news writing as a visiting lecturer at Rhodes University in South Africa. He is a former Michigan Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. He is the marketing and public relations manager at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens near Charleston, S.C. Frazier is the author of Behind God’s Back: Gullah Memories.

Thomas French and Kelley Benham French


The Frenches are co-authors of Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon, the true story of their daughter, who was born four months early, weighing only 1 pound, 4 ounces. Kelley Benham French is a professor of practice in journalism at Indiana University. A former reporter and editor for the Tampa Bay Times, she was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Never Let Go,  a series about Juniper’s survival. Thomas French is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and holds the Riley Endowed Chair in Journalism at Indiana University. He is the author of Unanswered Cries, South of Heaven and the New York Times bestseller Zoo Story. For an interview with the Frenches, go to


Ted Geltner


Geltner is an associate professor of journalism at Valdosta State University, adviser to the campus newspaper and author of Blood, Bone, and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews and Last King of the Sports Page: The Life and Career of Jim Murray. Geltner worked for 17 years as a writer and editor at a number of newspapers, including the Gainesville Sun, the Scranton Times-Tribune and the Ocala Star-Banner. For a review of Blood, Bone, and Marrow, go to

Lauren Gibaldi


Gibaldi is a public librarian who’s been, among other things, a magazine editor, high school English teacher, bookseller and circus aerialist (seriously). She has a BA in literature and a master’s degree in library and information studies. She lives in Orlando with her husband and daughter. Her books include The Night We Said Yes and her latest, Autofocus.

Kristy Woodson Harvey

Harvey is a born-and-bred North Carolina girl who loves all four seasons — especially fall in Chapel Hill, where she attended the University of North Carolina’s school of journalism and mass communication, and summer in Beaufort, where she and her family spend every free moment. She is the author of the forthcoming Slightly South of Simple, Dear Carolina, which was longlisted for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize and has been optioned for film, and Lies and Other Acts of Love, a Southern Indie Bestseller and Okra Pick. Between her 4-year-old’s soccer games, she is working on her next novel.


Albert Hine


Hine is a professor in the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science as a geological oceanographer. A recipient of the Francis P. Shepard Medal for sustained, outstanding research in geological oceanography, Hine has participated in research projects worldwide as co-chief scientist on approximately 75 research cruises involving nearly 800 days at sea. He has published more than 150 research papers in scientific journals and is the author of Geologic History of Florida: Major Events That Formed the Sunshine State and, most recently, the coauthor of Sea Level Rise in Florida: Science, Impacts, and Options.

Alex Prud’homme


Prud’homme is cookbook author and television star Julia Child’s great-nephew and the coauthor of her autobiography, My Life in France, which was adapted into the movie Julie & Julia. His new book is The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act. Prud’homme is also the author of The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century; Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know and The Cell Game, and he is the coauthor (with Michael Cherkasky) of Forewarned: Why the Government Is Failing to Protect and What We Must Do to Protect Ourselves. Prud’homme’s journalism has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time and People.

Amor Towles


Towles was born and raised just outside Boston, Mass. He graduated from Yale University and received an MA in English from Stanford University. For many years a principal at an investment firm in Manhattan, he now devotes himself full time to writing. His first novel, Rules of Civility, published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. His new novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, is set in that city’s Hotel Metropol over the span of more than 30 years. Towles lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children. He is an ardent fan of early 20th century painting, 1950s jazz, 1970s cop shows, rock & roll on vinyl, manifestos, breakfast pastries, pasta, liquor, snow-days, Tuscany, Provence, Disneyland, Hollywood, the cast of Casablanca, 007, Captain Kirk, Bob Dylan (early, mid, and late phases), the wee hours, card games, cafés, and the cookies made by both of his grandmothers.


Beth Macy


Beth Macy writes about outsiders and underdogs, and she is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Factory Man. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, and The Roanoke Times, where her reporting has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard and the Lukas Prize from the Columbia School of Journalism. She lives in Roanoke, VA.

Bob Shacochis


Shacochis’ first collection of stories, Easy in the Islands, won the National Book Award for First Fiction, and his second collection, The Next New World, was awarded the Prix de Rome from the Academy of Arts and Letters. He is also the author of the novel Swimming in the Volcano, a finalist for the National Book Award, and The Immaculate Invasion, a work of literary reportage that was a finalist for the New Yorker Literary Award for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year. His novel The Woman Who Lost Her Soul won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, was a Best Book of the Year in ten major publications and on NPR, and was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Shacochis is a member of the faculty of the creative writing program at Florida State University and a contributing editor for Outside, and his op-eds on the U.S. military, Haiti and Florida politics have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, Kingdoms in the Air, collects 13 of his travel and adventure essays from around the globe.

Brad Meltzer


Meltzer is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate and ten other bestselling thrillers, including his most recent, The House of Secrets, co-written with Tod Goldberg. In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the few authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for nonfiction (Decoded), advice (Heroes for My Son, Heroes for My Daughter), children’s books (I Am Amelia Earhart, I Am Abraham Lincoln) and comic books (Justice League of America). He is also the host of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded and Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on the History Channel. He lives in Florida.


Caroline Leavitt


Caroline Leavitt is the award-winning author of eleven novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Pictures of You and Is This Tomorrow. Her essays and stories have been included in New York magazine, Psychology Today, More, Parenting, Redbook, and Salon. She’s a book critic for People, The Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and she teaches writing online at Stanford and UCLA.

Cheryl Hollon


Cheryl Hollon writes full time after leaving an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling a lifetime dream, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In a small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.
Cheryl is an officer of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, and a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Romance Writers of America. She regularly attends SleuthFest in Florida, Malice Domestic in DC, Thrillerfest in NYC, and Magna Cum Murder in Indianapolis, IN. You will also find her at Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon, wherever they are being held.
Cheryl and her husband live in St. Petersburg, FL in a 1920’s Craftsman Bungalow.

David Kirby


Kirby’s collection The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2007. Kirby is the author of Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which the Times Literary Supplement of London called "a hymn of praise to the emancipatory power of nonsense." He teaches at Florida State University, where he is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English. Kirby’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation; in 2016, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Humanities Council. His latest poetry collection is Get Up, Please.


David Kushner


A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, Kushner also writes for publications including the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, New York Times Magazine, New York, GQ and Details. Kushner served as the digital culture commentator for National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday. His e-book, The Bones of Marianna: A Reform School, a Terrible Secret, and A hundred-Year Fight for Justice, was chosen by Amazon as a Best Digital Single of the Year. His latest book is Alligator Candy, a memoir about the 1973 murder of his brother, Jonathan, in Tampa. His other books include Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto and Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture. Several of his works are in development for film or television; James Franco has announced he will direct the film adaptation of Kushner’s Rolling Stone article "Zola Tells All." Kushner is currently a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. Read an interview with David Kushner at

Dawn Maslar


Dawn Maslar MS. is an award-winning author, adjunct biology professor, and researcher of the science of love. She is a TEDxBocaRaton 2016 speaker on How Your Brain Falls In Love and worked with the TED Education division to create their Science of Attraction video. She was voted one of the Top 20 Most Followed Dating Experts on Twitter and Best 28 Dating, Marriage and Relationship Blogs in the UK to follow in 2015. Her latest book is Men Chase, Women Choose: The Neuroscience of Meeting, Dating, Losing Your Mind, and Finding True Love. Her work has been featured on South Florida Today, Pittsburgh Tribune and NPR.

Ellen Prager


Prager is a marine scientist and author, widely recognized for her expertise and ability to make science entertaining and understandable for people of all ages. She has written popular science and children’s books, is a frequently requested speaker and has appeared as an expert on the Today Show, NBC News, CNN, Good Morning America and more. Her latest publication, Stingray City, is the third book in an exciting eco-adventure series, Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians, that combines fast-paced action, humor, and ocean science. The first book in the series, The Shark Whisperer, has been called "an underwater Harry Potter." She was formerly an assistant dean at the University of Miami and at one time the chief scientist at the world’s only undersea research station. Prager is currently a freelance writer, consultant and advisor to Celebrity’s ship Xpedition in the Galapagos Islands.


Eliot Kleinberg


Eliot Kleinberg is that rarest of Floridians: a native. Born in South Florida, he has spent nearly four decades as a journalist and author, 29 years of that at the Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach. In addition to covering local news for the Post, he also writes extensively about Florida and has written a weekly local history column since 2000. He has produced 10 books, all focusing on Florida. His 10th, his first fiction effort, is Peace River, a historical novel based at the end of the Civil War. Eliot, son of longtime South Florida journalist Howard Kleinberg, was born in Coral Gables, graduated Miami-area public schools, and earned two degrees at the University of Florida. He is a member of the Florida, South Florida and Palm Beach County historical societies. He and his wife have two adult sons and live at Casa Floridiana in suburban Boca Raton.

Jason Vuic


Vuic is a writer and historian from Fort Worth, Texas, who has authored three books: The Yucks: Two Years in Tampa with the Losingest Team in NFL History (2016), The Sarajevo Olympics: A History of the 1984 Winter Games (2015), and The Yugo: The Rise and Fall of the Worst Car in History (2010). He has appeared on NPR’s Weekend Edition and APM’s Marketplace, on Fox and Friends in the Morning and on a live segment of Bloomberg News. A graduate of Wake Forest University, he holds an M.A. in history from the University of Richmond and a Ph.D. in history from Indiana University Bloomington. He has been both a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar, and has given invited talks at such prestigious institutions as Washington and Lee University and the Harvard Business School.

Gary Monroe


Focusing on self-taught and vernacular art, Gary Monroe began his literary pursuits with The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters in 2001, reviving public interest in these compelling but forgotten artists. In subsequent books, including Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman, The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black’s Concrete Dreams and Mary Ann Carroll: First Lady of the Highwaymen, Monroe continued to tell this inspiring story. Based on his nomination, these painters were inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004. He has written other books about Florida art, the most recent of which is E. G. Barnhill: Florida Photographer, Adventurer, Entrepreneur. Monroe’s photography can be found at his website His work about outsider and vernacular arts in Florida can be seen at


Dave Scheiber


Dave Scheiber, a national award-winning journalist and author of the books “Covert,” “Surviving the Shadows,” and “Position to Win,” served as a member of the St. Petersburg Times investigative team nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and is a past winner for investigative reporting and feature writing in the Associated Press Sports Editors competition. His work has appeared in a wide variety of publications – from cover stories in Sports Illustrated to The Washington Post to Fox Sports. Scheiber earned a Mark of Excellence Award from the Florida Hospital Association for his work at All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine, where he specialized in telling the human stories of both patients and those who care for them. An accomplished guitarist, Scheiber and his wife, Janie – parents of six children – perform with the Ocean Road Band, a popular classic rock band in the Tampa Bay area.

Greg Neri


Neri’s latest book is Tru & Nelle, a novel for young readers based on the real-life childhood friendship of writers Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Neri has written many books for children, including Coretta Scott King Author Honor winner Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, Knockout Games, Hello, My Name Is Johnny Cash and Ghetto Cowboy. He lives in Tampa with his wife and daughter.

Jeff Hess


Jeffery Hess is the author of the novel, Beachhead, and the editor of the award-winning anthologies Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform, and Home of the Brave: Somewhere in the Sand. He served six years aboard the Navy’s oldest and newest ships and has held writing positions at a daily newspaper, a Fortune 500 company, and a university-based research center. He holds writing degrees from the University of South Florida and Queens University of Charlotte. He’s a member of the Military Writers Society of America, the Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (where he has served as a mentor). His stories, essays, and articles have appeared widely in print and online. He lives in Tampa, where he leads the DD-214 Writers’ Workshop for military veterans.


Jim Webster


Webster, a former Tampa Bay Times staffer, works at the Washington Post as a copy editor and a contributing writer to the Food section. He was the co-author with chef and television star Mario Batali of America — Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating Local Farmers. His new collaboration with Batali is Mario Batali’s Big American Cookbook: 250 Favorite Recipes From Across America.

Johnathan Moody


Moody holds an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh.  He’s also a Cave Canem graduate fellow whose poetry has appeared in various publications such as African American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Borderlands, Boston Review, The Common, Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast,and Harvard Review Online.  Moody is the author of The Doomy Poems.  Olympic Butter Gold, his second collection, won the 2014 Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize.  He lives in Fresno, Texas, with his wife and son and teaches English at Pearland High School.

Joyce Maynard


Maynard has been a reporter for the New York Times, a magazine journalist, a radio commentator and a syndicated columnist, as well as the author of nine novels, the latest of which is Under the Influence. Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into 16 languages. Maynard’s bestselling novel Labor Day was adapted for film by Academy Award-nominated director Jason Reitman and stars Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Maynard makes her home in California.


Kelli Stuart


Stuart, a storyteller at heart, is the author of Like a River From Its Course, a historical fiction novel set in World War II Soviet Ukraine. She graduated from Baylor University with a degree in English professional writing, and a minor in the Russian language. Stuart lived for a short time in Kiev, Ukraine, where she met a woman named Maria Ivanovna, the survivor of a World War II Nazi slave labor camp. Immediately drawn into the fascinating history of the former Soviet Union, Stuart spent ten years researching the effects of World War II on Ukraine. She interviewed over 100 Ukrainian veterans and partisans, and their stories shaped her novel. Kelli is also a noted blogger, having written for numerous sites including the Huffington Post, Compassion International and Short Fiction Break. Stuart lives in Tampa with her husband and four children.

Kim Karalius


Karalius is the author of Love Fortunes and Other Disasters and its sequel, Love Charms and Other Catastrophes. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of South Florida. Although Karalius lives in sunny Florida, she prefers to stay indoors and sometimes buys a scarf in the hopes of snow. She loves watching old cartoons and silent films. Being in Florida certainly has one big perk: going to Disney World. Which she does. Frequently

Lisa Unger


Unger is the New York Times bestselling author of 14 novels, including her latest thrillers, Ink and Bone, and In the Blood, a 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best Book, Amazon Best Book of the Month, Indie Next Pick and Suspense Magazine and Sun Sentinel Best Books of 2014. Additional accolades include selections as a finalist for International Thriller Writers Best Novel Award and a winner of the Florida Book Awards. Her books are published in 26 languages worldwide and have been named top picks by the Today Show, Good Morning America, Walmart Book Club, Harper’s Bazaar, Publishers Weekly and Amazon (Top Ten Thriller of the Year.) She lives in Clearwater with her family.
Read a review of Ink and Bone at


Michael Koryta


Koryta is the New York Times bestselling author of 12 novels, most recently Rise the Dark. Several of his previous novels — including The Prophet, The Ridge and So Cold the River — were New York Times Notable Books and national bestsellers. His books have been nominated for numerous awards, and Envy the Night (2008) won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for the year’s best mystery/thriller. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice. He lives in Bloomington, Ind. Read a review of Rise the Dark at

Mike Maihack


A graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design, Maihack is the creator of the Cleopatra in Space graphic novels published by Scholastic/Graphix. The series has earned him a Florida Book Award, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection, a starred review from School Library Journal and a wealth of sharable knowledge about sequential storytelling. He has also contributed to books like Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman; Jim Henson’s The Storyteller; Cow Boy; Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities; and Comic Book Tattoo. Maihack lives with his wife, two sons and Siamese cat in Lutz and can be followed online at or on twitter @mikemaihack.

Peter Meinke


Meinke is Florida’s poet laureate, but his new book, The Expert Witness, is a collection of short stories. Meinke’s work has appeared in Poetry, the Atlantic, the New Yorker and scores of other journals; he has received many major awards, including a Fulbright, two NEA Fellowships and three prizes from the Poetry Society of America. He retired from Eckerd College in 1993, having received its Distinguished Teacher Award in 1990. His book about writing and reading poems, The Shape of Poetry, has been used at many colleges


Randy Wayne White


White is the New York Times-bestselling author of four Hannah Smith novels as well as 23 Doc Ford novels. White has been awarded the Conch Republic Prize for Literature, as well as the John D. Macdonald Award for Literary Excellency. In 2011, White was named a Florida Literary Legend by the Florida Heritage Society. He also won the Florida Book Award for Popular Fiction two years in a row for his Hannah Smith novels Deceived and Haunted. He is one of only four writers named as an editor at large by Outside magazine. He lives on Sanibel Island, where he was a light-tackle fishing guide for many years, and spends much of his free time windsurfing, playing baseball, and hanging out at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. His latest novel, Seduced, is the fourth about fishing guide Hannah Smith.

Rick Wilber


Wilber has been a prolific writer of short fiction, which has been published in several major science fiction magazines, including the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He has also edited an anthology on the future of journalism titled Future Media and is a professor of mass communications. Parts of his latest novel, Alien Morning, have been published in Asimov’s Science Fiction. Wilber lives in the Tampa Bay area.

Shana Smith


Smith is a mom, musician, meditator, marine biologist, teacher and writer. She is an avid and longtime student of Zen and Buddhism, a decadeslong yogi and a much sought-after kirtaniya, or devotional chanting leader. Known across the state of Florida and the United States for 20 years as her children’s entertainment persona "Shana Banana," Smith and her family (husband Dan, daughter Grace Ohana and son Benny Albert) have settled in Gainesville to run their meditation- and yoga-based Gainesville Retreat Center, which attracts many renowned teachers and practitioners. Her new book is Meditations for Moms and Dads: 108 Tips for Mindful Parents and Caregivers.


Thomas Smith


Thomas W. Smith is associate professor of politics and director of the Honors Program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the College of William & Mary and a Ph.D. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. He has taught at USF St. Petersburg since 2000. From 1997-2000 Dr. Smith was an assistant professor of International Relations at Koç (sounds like “coach”) University in Istanbul. He is co-founder of the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs, held annually on the campus of USF St. Petersburg. Dr. Smith is the author of Human Rights and War Through Civilian Eyes (University of Pennsylvania Press), History and International Relations (Routledge), as well as numerous journal articles in the fields of human rights, international humanitarian law, and Turkish politics.

Bernard E. Powers Jr.


Bernard E. Powers Jr. is professor of history at the College of Charleston, where he teaches United States and African American history. He has been a consultant to historic sites and served on the boards of history-oriented nonprofits, such as the Historic Charleston Foundation and Charleston’s International African American Museum. Powers has been seen in PBS films, such as The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross and Slavery and the Making of America and has served as manuscript referee for academic presses and journals. His work on African American social history has been published in book chapters, journals, and encyclopedias. One article was selected for republication by the South Carolina Historical Magazine in its Articles from a Century of Excellence Centennial, Volume 1900-2000. He has been an associate editor for the South Carolina Encyclopedia and editor of The Legacy of African American Leadership for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Powers’s major publication is Black Charlestonians: A Social History 1822–1885, which won a Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award. He is presently conducting research on African Methodism in South Carolina.

Marjory Wentworth


Wentworth is one of the co-authors of We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times. Her books of poetry include Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle and New and Selected Poems. She is the cowriter with Juan Mendez of Taking a Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights and the author of the prizewinning children’s story Shackles. She is the cofounder and former president of the Lowcountry Initiative for the Literary Arts. She serves on the editorial board of the University of South Carolina’s Palmetto Poetry Series, and she is the poetry editor for Charleston Currents. Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University, and she is the poet laureate of South Carolina.


Ben Montgomery


Montgomery is an enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and author of the New York Times bestseller Grandma Gatewood’s Walk and the new biography The Leper Spy. He is founder of the journalism website and co-founder of the Auburn Chautauqua, a Southern writers collective. Montgomery grew up in Oklahoma and studied journalism at Arkansas Tech University, where he played defensive back for the football team, the Wonder Boys. He worked for the Courier in Russellville, Ark., the Standard-Times in San Angelo, Texas, the Times Herald-Record in New York’s Hudson River Valley and the Tampa Tribune before joining the Times in 2006. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for a series called "For Their Own Good," about abuse at Florida’s oldest reform school. He lives in Tampa with his wife, Jennifer, and three children.

Craig Pittman


Pittman is an award-winning reporter and native Floridian. Born in Pensacola, he graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him "the most destructive force on campus." Since then he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. Since 1998, he has covered environmental issues for the Tampa Bay Times. He’s the co-author, with Matthew Waite, of Paving Paradise (2009), and the author of Manatee Insanity (2010) and The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World’s Most Beautiful Orchid (2012). His new book, Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, was published this summer, and according to the New York Times it is "compulsively readable."

Frank Morsani


Morsani, the author of To Be Frank: Building the American Dream in Business and in Life, has made a lasting mark throughout Florida and the nation as a philanthropist, businessman and community leader whose achievements have resonated for decades. A past chairman of the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Morsani developed management skills that made him a vital voice for small business with the administrations of Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. A Korean War veteran and retired chairman of Automotive Investments Inc., Frank and his wife, Carol, have been dedicated supporters of their alma mater, Oklahoma State University, as well as the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa. Their committed support of medical, cultural and artistic efforts continues to enrich many lives, both locally and across the state they call home. The Morsanis have two daughters and two grandchildren.


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