For a fine crop of summer reading, you can depend on the Florida Humanities Council's magazine, Forum.
The quarterly publication, available in print or online at flahum.org, builds its summer issue around the winners of the Florida Book Awards. This year its online edition includes excerpts from books by David Kirby, Laura Lee Smith and Randy Wayne White, a photo slideshow from a book by Carlton Ward Jr., audio and video interviews with authors and historians, and more.
Forum also has an engaging interview with the author most recently honored with FHC's Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing, Janet Burroway. The prolific novelist, playwright and longtime Florida State University creative writing professor talks about her life as a writer.
A first this year is FHC's Florida microfiction contest (for which I served as one of the judges). More than 400 people from around the state submitted stories of 250 words or less based on the prompt "They named the gator ..." You can read the winning very short story by Katina Billias, as well as one written for the magazine by bestselling Tampa author Tim Dorsey.
The issue also includes a letter from FHC director Janine Farver detailing the organization's successful effort to push the Legislature to establish a selection process and four-year term for a poet laureate for Florida. The state teems with worthy poets, so I'm looking forward to seeing who is chosen.