NOVEMBER 09, 2019 | 140 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg | FREE ADMISSION
NOVEMBER 09, 2019

140 7th Avenue South
St. Petersburg


2018 Authors

José Andrés

DUE TO A FAMILY EMERGENCY, José Andrés IS NO LONGER ABLE TO ATTEND THE FESTIVAL. He sends his deepest apologies and hopes to share the story of We Fed an Island with the Tampa Bay community in the future.

Raymond Arsenault

Raymond Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. His new book, Arthur Ashe: A Life, is the first comprehensive, authoritative biography of the American icon and pioneering athlete. Arsenault, one of the nation’s leading civil rights historians, is the author of several acclaimed and prize-winning books, including Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice and The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America. He lives in St. Petersburg.

Ace Atkins

Ace Atkins is the author of 23 books, including eight Quinn Colson novels, the first two of which, The Ranger and The Lost Ones, were nominated for the Edgar Award for best novel. His latest novel about Colson, The Sinners, was published in July.  In addition, he is the author of seven New York Times bestselling novels in the continuation of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series, most recently Old Black Magic.  Before turning to fiction, he was a correspondent for the then-St. Petersburg Times and a crime reporter for the Tampa Tribune.  In college, he played defensive end for the undefeated Auburn University football team (for which he was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated). He lives with his family in Oxford, Miss.

C. Morgan Babst

Morgan Babst is a native of New Orleans. She studied writing at NOCCA, Yale and NYU, and her essays and short fiction have appeared in Garden and Gun, Oxford American, Guernica, the Harvard Review, Lenny Letter and the New Orleans Review, among others. Her debut novel, The Floating World, was named one of the best books of the year by Amazon and Kirkus Reviews and was a New York Times Editors’ Pick

Sorboni Banerjee

Sorboni Banerjee is an Emmy Award-winning television news reporter and anchor. She spent a decade on the air in Boston before moving to Tampa to be a consumer reporter and anchor at Fox 13 Tampa Bay. She's the daughter of an Indian physicist who made her a storyteller and showed her the world and a mother from Maine who taught her to love books and save the world, and she has a little brother who probably will. Sorboni lives in Florida with her investigative reporter husband, adorable son and giant dog. Her YA novel Hide With Me is her first book.  

Vanessa Blakeslee

Vanessa Blakeslee's most recent book, Perfect Conditions: Stories, is a Chicago Tribune 2018 Summer Reads pick. Her debut novel, Juventud, was hailed by Publisher's Weekly as a "tale of self-discovery and intense first love." Train Shots, her debut story collection, won the 2014 IPPY Gold Medal in Short Fiction. The book was also long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and has been optioned for a feature film. A previous recipient of the Fellowship in Literature from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Blakeslee has also been awarded grants and residencies from Yaddo, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Ledig House/Writers Omi, the Banff Centre, and many others. Find her online at

Christian Blauvelt

BBC Culture deputy editor Christian Blauvelt, based in New York, has been an entertainment and culture journalist for a decade, specializing in coverage of film, television, pop and classical music and the visual arts. He regularly appears on CBS New York, has been a frequent contributor to BBC World News’ Talking Movies, recently introduced a night of films on Turner Classic Movies based on BBC Culture's 100 Greatest Comedies list he compiled, and has given many talks at South by Southwest and San Diego Comic-Con, as well as regularly serving as a host and moderator for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation and BAFTA. He is the author of Star Wars Made Easy, a primer to George Lucas’ saga. His new books are Star Wars: Be More Yoda: Mindful Thinking from a Galaxy Far, Far Away and Star Wars: Be More Vader: Assertive Thinking From The Dark Side


Karen Brown

Karen Brown’s Little Sinners and Other Stories was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2012; her previous collection, Pins and Needles, received AWP's Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction, and her first novel, The Longings of Wayward Girls, was published in 2013 by Washington Square Press to rave reviews. Her work has been featured in The Pen/O. Henry Prize StoriesBest American Short Stories, and The New York Times. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of South Florida. 

Robert Olen Butler

Robert Olen Butler is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 17 novels, including Hell, A Small Hotel, Perfume River and the Christopher Marlowe Cobb series. His latest novel is the fourth in the Cobb series, Paris in the Dark. Butler 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 in Fiction and received the 2013 F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature. He teaches creative writing at Florida State University.

Jon Chopan

Jon Chopan is a writer, teacher and editor. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Glimmer Train, Hotel Amerika, Southampton Review, Post Road and elsewhere. He has worked as an editor and reader for Sweet, Prime Number Magazine and Epiphany. His first book was a memoir in stories, Pulled From the River. His second book is Veterans Crisis Hotline, a collection of linked short stories about the war in Iraq. It was the winner of the 2017 Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction.

Roy Peter Clark

Clark has taught writing at the Poynter Institute for more than 40 years. Poynter, which owns the Tampa Bay Times, is one of the most prestigious schools for journalists in the world. Clark has taught writing at every level – to schoolchildren and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. A writer who teaches and a teacher who writes, he has authored or edited 18 books on writing and journalism, including Writing Tools, How to Write Short and The Glamour of Grammar. He has lived in St. Petersburg since 1977 and can often be found talking about writing at his favorite coffee shop. He has been called "America's writing coach." He thinks of himself as a "garage band legend."

Tom Clavin

Tom Clavin is the author or coauthor of 18 books. His latest book, co-written with Bob Drury, is Valley Forge, the story of how George Washington and the Continental Army turned the tide of the Revolutionary War in 1777. For 15 years Clavin wrote for the New York Times and has contributed to such magazines as Golf, Men's Journal, Parade, Reader’s Digest and Smithsonian. He lives in Sag Harbor, New York.

Jack E. Davis

Jack E. Davis is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who grew up in Pinellas County. A professor of environmental history at the University of Florida, he is the author or editor of several books, including An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century, a Florida Book Awards gold-medal winner in nonfiction. His latest book, The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in history and the 2017 Kirkus Prize in nonfiction. It was also a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for nonfiction, a New York Times Notable Book, and made several “best of the year” lists, including those of the Washington Post, NPR, Forbes, and Tampa Bay Times. Davis has written for the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Tampa Bay Times, and is working on a new book, Bird of Paradox: How the Bald Eagle Saved the Soul of America.

Erica Dawson

Erica Dawson is the author of When Rap Spoke Straight to God and two other collections of poetry, The Small Blades Hurt, winner of the 2016 Poets’ Prize, and Big-Eyed Afraid, winner of the 2006 Anthony Hecht Prize. Her poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Birmingham Poetry Review, Blackbird and other journals and have been featured in several anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2008, 2012 and 2015, and The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets. Born and raised in Maryland, Dawson holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, an  MFA from Ohio State University and a PhD from University of Cincinnati.  She is the director of the University of Tampa’s low-residency MFA in creative writing and an associate professor of English and writing. She lives in Tampa.

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was born and raised in St. Petersburg and returned to his hometown in 2014 after more than three decades as a writer and editor at newspapers across Florida (plus one in Savannah, Ga.). He is the author of two books about Florida history: Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay’s Signature Bridge and The Man Who Brought It Down and his latest, Phil Gernhard, Record Man. Bill loves his family, Florida and the Beatles.

Andre Frattino

Born and raised in the wilds of North Florida, Andre Frattino has cultivated his love for history, storytelling and illustration in his life’s work. His new book is A Land Remembered: The Graphic Novel, based on Patrick Smith’s beloved novel of Florida’s pioneer days. Frattino holds an MA in art education from the University of Florida and utilizes his degree in educating others in the field of sequential art, which is the basis for comics and graphic novels. Frattino’s other passion is the paranormal. He has conducted more than 50 haunting investigations along the East Coast and worked as a consultant for SyFy’s Ghosthunters. He currently resides in Savannah, Ga., where he works at the Savannah College of Art and Design by day and conducts ghost tours by night.

Lauren Gibaldi

Lauren 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 Master’s in Library and Information Studies. She lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband and daughters. Her YA novels include The Night We Said YesAutofocus and her latest, This Tiny Perfect World.  

Tyler Gillespie

Tyler Gillespie is a pale Floridian and author of the recent collection Florida Man: Poems. He is a contributing writer for Playboy and an award-winning journalist who has written for Rolling Stone, GQ, the Guardian, VICE, the Nation and Salon. His poetry appears in journals such as the Los Angeles Review, PANK, Hobart, and Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment.  He recently finished a master’s degree in journalism and media studies from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Kristen Hare

When Kristen Hare graduated from journalism school, she joined the Peace Corps and moved to Guyana. She figured if she was going to spend the rest of her life telling other people’s stories, she needed to have some adventures of her own. Since then, Kristen covered life in rural Missouri; race and immigration in St. Louis; and the decline and revival of local media around the country. In the past six years, she’s also spent nearly every spare moment as a determined hometown tourist for her book, 100 Things to do in Tampa Bay Before You Die. Kristen’s husband and their two kids join her in most of the exploring. Sixteen years after leaving the country in search of great stories, she gets how silly that was. So far, the adventures haven’t stopped. 

Jean Heller

Jean Heller’s latest crime fiction novel, Burning Rage, is the third in her series about Deuce Mora, a political columnist for a Chicago newspaper whose search for a good story sometimes brings her face to face with more trouble than she can handle. The earlier books in the series were The Someday File and The Hunting Ground. Heller is a former staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times; her news career also included serving as an investigative and projects reporter and editor for the Associated Press in New York and Washington, D.C., and for Cox Newspapers and New York Newsday in Washington. She has won multiple journalism awards, including the Polk Award, and is an eight-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.

Jeffery Hess

Jeffery Hess is the author of the novels Tushhog and Beachhead and the story collection Cold War Canoe Club, as well as the editor of the award-winning anthologies Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform and Home of the Brave: Somewhere in the Sand. Prior to earning an MFA in creative writing from Queens University of Charlotte and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of South Florida, he served aboard the Navy’s oldest and newest ships. Hess has held writing positions at a daily newspaper, a Fortune 500 company and a university-based research center. He lives in Florida, where he writes and leads the DD-214 Writers’ Workshop for military veterans.

Graham Hill

“To Whom It May Concern,” Grand Prize Winner, 2018 Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Award


Graham Hill is a junior at Henry B. Plant High School in Hillsborough County. His main interests include reading and writing, and he also works for the school newspaper.


The Tampa Bay Times Newspaper in Education Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Award seeks to nurture and recognize the creativity and talent of young writers in the Tampa Bay area. It was established to encourage aspiring authors to explore the genres of science fiction and fantasy and to experiment with the short story format. Learn more at

Melanie Hobson

Melanie Hobson holds a BA summa cum laude in classical studies from McMaster University, and was a Michener Fellow in the MFA program at the University of Miami and a Kingsbury Fellow in the PhD Program at Florida State University.  She was born in New Zealand and immigrated to Canada with her family as a child.  After a few summers working on archaeological excavations in Greece, she moved to the United States and now lives in Florida with her husband and two children. Summer Cannibals is her first novel.

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 lifelong dream, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. Cheryl is President of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, a member of Mystery Writers of America and Novelists, Inc. A mystery conference addict, she regularly attends SleuthFest in Florida, Malice Domestic in DC, and Killer Nashville in Tennessee. 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.

Ladee Hubbard

Ladee Hubbard teaches Africana Studies at Tulane University. The Talented Ribkins is her first novel. She studied English at Princeton before earning an MFA in creative writing from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in folklore and mythology from UCLA. Her short work has appeared in renowned journals, including Callaloo and Guernica. Hubbard was born in Massachusetts and raised in Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She is a recipient of a 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award.

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones is the author of the novels Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, Silver Sparrow and most recently An American Marriage, an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Jones’ writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, the New York Times and Callaloo.  A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Silver Sparrow was added to the NEA Big Read Library of classics in 2016. Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa and Arizona State University. She is a professor of creative writing at Emory University.

Gilbert King

Gilbert King was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction for The Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, which was also a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. A featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine and the Marshall Project, King also writes about justice for the New York Times and Washington Post. His new book is Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found. Like The Devil in the Grove, it is the story of real crimes in Florida. King lives in New York City.

Steve Kistulentz

Steve Kistulentz published his first novel, Panorama, this year. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Florida State University. His fiction has appeared, among other places, in Narrative and a special issue of Mississippi Review on emerging writers guest edited by Rick Moody. He is also the author of two books of poetry: The Luckless Age, which won the Benjamin Saltman Award, and Little Black Daydream. He is the director of the graduate creative writing program at Saint Leo University in Florida. Prior to that, he spent 15 years working in national politics in his hometown of Washington, D.C. He now lives in Safety Harbor and is working on a second novel.

Jeff Klinkenberg

Jeff Klinkenberg wrote for the Tampa Bay Times from 1977 to 2014. He is a two-time winner of the Paul Hansell Distinguished Journalism Award, a recipient of the 2018 Florida Folk Heritage Award and the winner of the Florida Humanities Council’s 2018 Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing. His latest book is Son of Real Florida: Stories Fromm My Life; his other books include Alligators in B-Flat, Pilgrim in the Land of Alligators and Seasons of Real Florida.

Fred Koehler

Fred Koehler is an artist, entrepreneur, and adventurer who feels most at home mucking about in the Florida scrub or along the coast. At age seven, he wrote and illustrated his first book, which won a shiny gold sticker and an iced cinnamon bun from the vending machine in the teachers’ lounge. Since then, his books have garnered numerous national recognitions including a Boston Globe Horn Book Honor, multiple Kirkus Stars, Bank Street College's Best Books of the Year, and inclusion in the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. When he's not making books, Fred can be found backpacking, free diving, or otherwise adventuring across Florida and around the world. Visit him online at or on social media @superfredd.

Michael Koryta

Michael Koryta is the New York Times bestselling author of 13 books, most recently How It Happened. His previous novels -- including Last Words, Those Who Wish Me Dead and So Cold The River -- were New York Times notable books and national bestsellers. They have been nominated for numerous awards, and his first book won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Koryta is a former private investigator and newspaper reporter. He lives in Bloomington, Ind., and Camden, Maine.

Eleanor Kriseman

Eleanor Kriseman is a social worker in New York City. She was born and raised in Florida. The Blurry Years is her first novel.

Hugh LaFollette

Hugh La Follette has held the Marie and Leslie E. Cole Chair in Ethics at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg since 2004. He has written and edited numerous books and published dozens of scholarly papers. Most recently, he is the author of In Defense of Gun Control.

Danny Lopez

Danny Lopez is a pen name. The author was raised in Mexico, Texas and Florida. He worked numerous menial jobs before becoming a photojournalist, which allowed him to travel around the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean and meet many of the characters that populate his stories. When he finally decided to get serious about writing, he went back to college for an MFA in creative writing. His new book, The Last Breath, is the second in the Dexter Vega series. It is set in Sarasota, where the author lives.

Gale Massey

Gale Massey lives in St. Petersburg. Her stories have appeared in the Tampa Bay Times, Walking the Edge, Sabal, Seven Hills Press and other journals. She has been the recipient of scholarships and fellowships at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Writers in Paradise, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The Girl From Blind River is her debut novel.

Joyce Maynard

A native of New Hampshire, Joyce Maynard began publishing her stories in magazines when she was 13 years old and first came to national attention with the publication of her New York Times cover story, “An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life,” in 1972, when she was a freshman at Yale. Since then, she has been a reporter and columnist for the New York Times, a syndicated newspaper columnist and a regular contributor to NPR and national magazines. She is a longtime performer with the Moth. Maynard is the author of 17 books, including the novel To Die For and the bestselling memoir At Home in the World. Her latest book is The Best of Us, a memoir about marrying at 59 and, less than two years later, losing her husband to cancer. She lives in California.

Peter and Jeanne Meinke

Jeanne Clark Meinke has been publishing her drawings for over 50 years; they have appeared in the New Yorker (over a hundred times), Gourmet, Yankee, Early American Life and most recently Gastronomica, as well as literary magazines including Western Humanities Review, Tampa Review, and Konglomerati.  She has also collaborated with her husband on two children’s books, The Elf Poem and The Legend of Larry the Lizard; a bilingual poetry book, Maples & Orange Trees; and six poetry chapbooks, including the prize-winning Campocorto. Peter Meinke served as the first poet laureate of St. Petersburg and in 2015 was appointed poet laureate of Florida. He directed the Writing Workshop at Eckerd College for several  decades and has often been a distinguished writer-in-residence at other colleges and universities. His poems have appeared in Poetry, the Atlantic, the New Republic, the New Yorker and many other magazines.  He has published seven chapbooks and eight books in the prestigious Pitt Poetry Series, the latest being Lucky Bones.  He’s also published two books of short stories, The Piano Tuner, which won the 1986 Flannery O’Connor Award, and The Expert Witness. His work has received many awards, including two National Endowment  from the Arts fellowships, and three awards from the Poetry Society of America. Jeanne and Peter's new collaboration is The Taste of Gravity. Since 2007 the two have been collaborating on a biweekly column, “The Poet’s Notebook,” for Creative Loafing, an alternative newspaper in the Tampa Bay area.

Ben Montgomery

Ben Montgomery is a former enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and founder of the narrative journalism website His new book is The Man Who Walked Backward: An American Dreamer’s Search for Meaning in the Great Depression. In 2010, Montgomery  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 three children. He is the author of Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.

Greg Neri

Greg Neri is the Eisner-nominated, Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author of Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty, which Flavorwire hailed as one of the top 25 essential graphic novels of all time. He has written ten books for young people, including the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award-winner, Chess Rumble, and his books have been translated into multiple languages in more than 25 countries. His new book, Grand Theft Horse, is a graphic biography of his cousin.  Neri lives on the Gulf coast of Florida with his wife and daughter. For more information, visit his website at

Dave Pedreira

David Pedreira is a science fiction author whose debut novel, Gunpowder Moon, was released by Harper Voyager in February. Amazon named it one of the “Best Books of the Year So Far” in June. Pedreira is a former award-winning reporter for newspapers including the St. Petersburg Times and The Tampa Tribune, and he’s written about space and military affairs for media outlets including CNN. He has also served as a corporate communications director for enterprise software and telecommunications companies, and he currently co-owns a legal and executive recruiting business. He lives in Tampa. 

Dr. Deborah Plant

Deborah G. Plant is an African American and Africana Studies Independent Scholar and literary critic specializing in the life and works of Zora Neale Hurston.

She is editor of the recently published Barracoon:  The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” a New York Times Bestseller, by Zora Neale Hurston.  And author of Alice Walker: A Woman for Our Times (2017), a philosophical biography.  She is also editor of The Inside Light: New Critical Essays on Zora Neale Hurston (2010); and author of Zora Neale Hurston: A Biography of the Spirit (2007) and Every Tub Must Sit On Its Own Bottom: The Philosophy and Politics of Zora Neale Hurston (1995).

She holds MA and Ph. D. degrees in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She was instrumental in founding the University of South Florida Department of Africana Studies and chaired the department for five years.  Plant resides in Lutz, Florida.

Steph Post

Steph Post is the author of the novels Lightwood and A Tree Born Crooked, and her short fiction has most recently appeared in Haunted Waters: From the Depths, Nonbinary Review and the anthology Stephen King’s Contemporary Classics. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award and was a semi-finalist for the Big Moose Prize. Her new novel is Walk in the Fire. Post lives in Florida.

Lori Roy

Lori Roy's new novel, The Disappearing, draws on the real-life abuses at the Dozier School for Boys in the Florida Panhandle. Her debut novel, Bent Road, received the Edgar Allen Poe Award for best first novel by an American author. Her work has been twice named a New York Times Notable Crime Book and included on various best of lists and summer reading lists. Her third book, Let Me Die in His Footsteps, received the 2016 Edgar for best novel, making Roy the first woman to receive an Edgar for both best first novel and best novel, and only the third person to have done so. Roy lives with her family in west central Florida.

B. A. Shapiro

B.A. Shapiro’s latest work of historical fiction is The Collector’s Apprentice, set in Paris between the world wars. Shapiro is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Muralist, The Art Forger and five other novels. She has also written four screenplays and the nonfiction book The Big Squeeze. The Art Forger won the 2013 New England Book Award for Fiction. Shapiro lives in Boston.

Enid Shomer

Enid Shomer is the author of four books of poetry and three of fiction, most recently the novel The Twelve Rooms of the Nile. Her work has been collected in more than 50 anthologies and textbooks, including Poetry: A Harper Collins Pocket Anthology, Best American Poetry and New Stories from the South. In 2013, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Writing from the Florida Humanities Council. In her recent anthology, All We Know of Pleasure: Poetic Erotica by Women, editor Shomer provides groundbreaking work by some of the century’s most prominent poets, among them Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Louise Gluck, Dorianne Laux and Sharon Olds. The poets in the book represent different ethnicities, geographies, social classes and sexual orientations.

Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Little Failure (a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist) and the novels Super Sad True Love Story (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook (winner of the Stephen Crane Award for first fiction and the National Jewish Book Award for fiction). His books regularly appear on best-of lists around the world and have been translated into 29 languages. His new novel is Lake Success.

David Small

David Small, author of the #1 New York Times best-selling Stitches, is the recipient of the Caldecott Medal, the Christopher Medal, and the E. B. White Award. His graphic novel, , was published in September 2018. He and his wife, the writer Sarah Stewart, live in Michigan.


James Swain

James Swain is the nationally bestselling author of 20 mystery novels. His books have been named Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews best mystery books of the year, and he has received three Barry Award nominations and a Florida Book Award for fiction. In 2006, he was awarded France’s prestigious Prix Calibre .38 for best American crime writing. Born in Huntington, N.Y., he graduated from New York University and worked as a magazine editor and screenwriter before moving to Florida to run a successful advertising firm. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys performing closeup magic. His new thriller is The King Tides.

Marc Topkin

Marc Topkin has written about baseball in the Tampa Bay area for the Times before there was a team to cover. After joining the then St. Petersburg Times from Drake University in 1983, Marc started covering baseball in 1987 just as the lengthy pursuit of a team was advancing. He was there for every step from the award of the franchise in March 1995 through the building of the organization and to the first pitch in 1998, and for every season since, chronicling highs, lows and plenty in between. A senior sports writer at the now Tampa Bay Times, Marc has also covered more than 25 All-Star Games and World Series, several Super Bowls and college football bowl games, and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece. A New York native, Marc and his wife Sue currently live in St. Pete Beach; their daughter, Carlyn, is a PR executive in New York City..

Lisa Unger

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of 16 novels, including the new psychological thriller Under My Skin. Her books are published in 26 languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been named best of the year or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, Indie Booksellers, Goodreads and Sun Sentinel. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel+Leisure Magazine. Unger lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.

Rick Wilber

Rick Wilber’s alternate-history stories about famous baseball player and spy Moe Berg have been appearing in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, and they are gathered and reprinted in The Moe Berg Episodes from New Word City Press. Wlber’s 2016 novel Alien Morning was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel of the year. He has published more than 50 short stories, several novels, a memoir, two collections and several college textbooks on writing and the mass media. Wilber is a son of Major League Baseball player, coach, scout and manager Del Wilber, and baseball is frequently found in Rick’s stories and novels. He is a past winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History. He is a visiting assistant professor of creative writing in Western State Colorado University’s low-residency MFA program in genre fiction. He lives in Tampa.

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