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

140 7th Avenue South
St. Petersburg


2019 Authors

Stephanie Anderson

Stephanie Anderson holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from Florida Atlantic University, where she also teaches literature, creative writing and composition. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Flyway, Hotel Amerika,, Grist Journal, Chronicle Review, Sweet and othersHer debut nonfiction book is One Size Fits None: A Farm Girl’s Search for the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture

Raymond Arsenault

Raymond Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. One of the nation’s leading civil rights historians, he is the author of several acclaimed and prize-winning books, including Arthur Ashe: A Life, 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.

Dave Barry

Dave Barry is the author of more bestsellers than you can count on two hands, including Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys, Dave Barry Turns Forty, and Dave Barry is Not Making This Up. His latest book is Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog. A wildly popular syndicated columnist best known for his booger jokes, Barry won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He lives in Miami.

Christian Blauvelt

Christian Blauvelt, is the managing editor of Indiewire. A St. Petersburg native now based in New York, he has been an entertainment and culture journalist for a decade, specializing in film, television, pop and classical music, and the visual arts. He is the author of Star Wars™ Made Easy, a primer to George Lucas’ saga for those who’ve never seen the films but want to know what all the fuss is about, and several other Star Wars -related books. His new book isTurner Classic Movies Cinematic Cities: New York, the Big Apple on the Big Screen. Blauvelt previously worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine and BBC Culture.

Gregory Byrd

Gregory Byrd’s poems have appeared widely in journals such as the Tampa Review, Apalachee Review, Cortland Review and Poeteka. Among his poetry books are Salt and Iron, At Penuel and Florida Straits. His most recent book, The Name for the God Who Speaks, won the Robert Phillips Prize in 2018. An excerpt from his WWI flying novel, Where Shadow Meets Water, appeared in Apalachee Review. He has received a Creative Pinellas Rapid Returns Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, an SPC Distinguished Teaching Award and a Pushcart Prize Nomination. Byrd has degrees in writing and literature from Eckerd College, Florida State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. When not working on his writing, he fishes the flats near Clearwater, rides his bicycle and works on his 1966 Ford pickup. He teaches writing and humanities at St. Petersburg College.  

Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction, she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction series The Princess Diaries. Her new novel for adult readers is No Judgments. Over 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Cabot lives in Key West with her husband.

Jill Ciment

Jill Ciment was born in Montreal, Canada. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, among them a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two New York Foundation for the Arts fellowships, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize and a Guggenheim fellowship. Ciment’s latest novel is The Body in Question. She is a professor at the University of Florida and lives in Gainesville and Brooklyn, New York.

John Cinchett

John Cinchett is a third-generation Tampa native with a passion for his hometown’s history, family history and historic preservation.  He is a history writer for local newspapers including the Penny Saver News, where he authors the weekly Looking Back column.  He is author of the Vintage Tampa series of history books, which celebrates life in Tampa during the 1950s and 1960s.  He is also a musician who has served as organist at historic churches in Tampa and St. Petersburg for 35 years and is currently the music minister and organist for the Veterans Memorial Chapel in Bay Pines.  His latest book, Historic Tampa Churches, celebrates the heritage of Tampa’s oldest congregations with more than 200 images collected from church archives of every denomination, along with fascinating stories of tragedy and triumph.

Roy Peter Clark

Roy Peter Clark has made more appearances at the Times Festival of Reading than any other author. For four decades he has taught writing at the Poynter Institute, one of the most prestigious schools for journalists in the world.  He has taught writing at every level, from schoolchildren to Pulitzer Prize-winning authors.  A writer who teaches and a teacher who writes, he has authored or edited 19 books on reading, writing and journalism, including How to Write Short, The Glamour of Grammar, and Writing Tools, which has sold almost a quarter of a million copies.  His new book is Murder Your Darlings:  And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser, a writing book about writing books. He plays in a St. Pete blues band and often incorporates live music in his writing workshops.  

Tom Clavin

Tom Clavin is the author or coauthor of 18 books. His latest book, co-written with Phil Keith, is All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard --­ Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy, about the first African-American military pilot. For 15 years Clavin wrote for the New York Times and has contributed to such magazines asGolf,Men's Journal Parade, Reader’s Digest and Smithsonian. He lives in Sag Harbor, New York.

Eoin Colfer

Eoin Colfer is the author of the New York Times bestselling Artemis Fowl series, which was adapted into a major motion picture from the Walt Disney Studios releasing in August 2019. His new book, The Fowl Twins, is about Artemis’ brothers, Miles and Beckett. Colfer also wrote the critically acclaimed WARP trilogy and many other titles for young readers and adults, including Iron Man: The GauntletAirmanHalf Moon InvestigationsEoin Colfer's Legend of... books, The Wish List, Benny and Omar, and Benny and Babe. In 2014, he was named Ireland's laureate for children's literature. He lives with his wife and two sons in Dublin, Ireland, where he is working on the next Fowl Twins novel. To learn more, visit  

Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat is the author of a new short story collection, Everything Inside, as well as The Art of Death, a National Book Critics Circle finalist; Claire of the Sea Light, a New York Times Notable Book; Brother, I'm Dying, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner and National Book Award finalist; The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the inaugural Story Prize; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah's Book Club selection; and Krik? Krak!, also a National Book Award finalist. A 2018 Neustadt International Prize for Literature winner and the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant, she has been published in the  New Yorker, the New York Times, Harper's Magazine and elsewhere. She lives in Miami.

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung’s first bylined story appeared in the St. Petersburg Times in 1976. The St. Pete native was arts and entertainment editor of the Gainesville Sun and for  Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in South Florida. DeYoung returned to his hometown in 2014 and writes and edits the arts section of the St. Pete Catalyst. His liner notes appear in more than 100 CDs, by artists as diverse as .38 Special, Cat Stevens, Patsy Cline, B.B. King, Rick Wakeman, Black Oak Arkansas, Sylvia Tyson and Stephen Stills’ Manassas. His new book is I Need to Know: The Lost Music Interviews. He is also the author of Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay’s Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought It Down and Phil Gernhard: Record Man.

Jaquira Diaz

Jaquira Díaz was born in Puerto Rico. Her work has been published in Rolling Stone, the Guardian, the Fader, and T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and included in The Best American Essays 2016. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Kenyon Review, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of South Florida and lives in Miami Beach with her partner, the writer Lars Horn. Ordinary Girls is her first book.  

Monique Fields

Monique Fields is an award-winning writer whose new children’s book is Honeysmoke. Her essays about race and identity have appeared on air, in print and online, including NPR’s All Things ConsideredEbony magazine, and She is the founder and editor of, a site for parents raising multiracial children, and she is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Monique is a former Tampa Bay Times reporter who covered education in Pinellas County. She now lives in Alabama with her husband and their two daughters. 

Kristen Hare

Author and journalist Kristen Hare never expected to stay in the Tampa Bay area, much less write a book about it. But seven years after moving here from Missouri, she’s learned to embrace all of Florida’s surprises. Hare’s book, 100 Things to Do in Tampa Bay Before You Die, is in its second edition. When she’s not in search of new places to delight locals and tourists, she stays busy covering the transformation of the local news business for the Poynter Institute and writing feature obits for the Tampa Bay Times. This year, Hare's work has helped her take her hometown tourist skills into the world, including Kenya, Ukraine, New Orleans, Detroit and Nashville. She can't tell you 100 things to do in any of those places, but probably has a solid five suggestions. She is a mom of two and married to Jai, whom she met in the Peace Corps.

Kristin Harmel

Kristin Harmel is the international bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amélie and The Sweetness of Forgetting, along with several other novels. Her latest book is The Winemaker’s Wife. Her work has been featured in PeopleWoman’s Day, Men’s HealthRunner’s World, and Ladies’ Home Journal, among many other media outlets. She grew up in St. Petersburg and lives in Orlando.

Julie Hauserman

Julie Hauserman has been writing about Florida for more than 30 years. She is a former Capitol bureau reporter for the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times, and reported for the Stuart News and the Tallahassee Democrat. She was a national commentator for National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday and The Splendid Table. She has won many awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work is featured in several Florida anthologies, including The Wild Heart of Florida, The Book of the Everglades and Between Two Rivers. Her new book is Drawn to the Deep, a biography of Florida cave diver and National Geographic explorer Wes Skiles.

Jeffery Hess

Jeffery Hess is the author of the novels No SalvationTushhog 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.

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. Cheryl and her husband design, create and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

Hollon is past president of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime and a member of Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. Her new novel is Down in Flames. She lives in downtown St. Petersburg.

Susan Isaacs

Susan Isaacs is the author of 13 novels, including As Husbands GoLong Time No SeeAny Place I Hang My Hat and Compromising Positions. Her new novel is Takes One to Know One. A recipient of the Writers for Writers Award and the John Steinbeck Award, Isaacs serves as chairman of the board of Poets & Writers and is a past president of Mystery Writers of America. Her fiction has been translated into 30 languages. She lives on Long Island with her husband.

Phil Keith

Phil Keith is the co-author, with Tom Clavin, of All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard --­ Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy, about the first African-American military pilot.  Keith is also the author of six books, including Blackhorse Riders, which won the 2012 USA Best Book Award for Military History, was a finalist for the 2013 Colby Award and earned a 2013 silver medal from the Military Writers Society of America. He holds a degree in history from Harvard and is a former navy aviator. During three tours in Vietnam, he served with distinction and was awarded, among other decorations, the Purple Heart, Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and the Navy Commendation Medal.

Brooke King

Brooke King’s latest book, War Flower: My Life after Iraq, has been called “searing with unapologetic candor and grit” by Tracy Crow and “will leave no reader unmoved, no soul unscathed” by David Abrams. Her chapbook of poetry, Love in the Shape of a Warzone, was published in 2015. King’s essays and short stories have been published in Prairie SchoonerO-Dark ThirtyWar, Literature, and the Arts and other journals. She has also appeared in anthologies such as It’s My Country Too: Women’s Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan. She has appeared as a featured veteran author on the KPBS literary series Incoming. Her essay “Redeployment Packing Checklist” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016. King served in the Army, deploying to Iraq in 2006 as a wheeled vehicle mechanic with 1st Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team 299th Forward Support. After leaving the Army in 2007, she earned her BA in English literature from Saint Leo University and her MFA from Sierra Nevada College. She teaches at Saint Leo University in the undergraduate program, as well as serving as the veteran faculty member in the MA program for Creative Writing. King is married to a fellow combat veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan. They have three boys and live in Land o’Lakes, Florida.

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.

Julia Koets

Julia Koets is the author of The Rib Joint: A Memoir in Essays, Hold Like Owls and the forthcoming Pine. Koets is the winner of the 2017 Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award, judged by Mark Doty, and the 2011 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize, judged by National Book Award winner Nikky Finney. Koets’ essays and poems have been published or are forthcoming in literary journals including Creative Nonfiction, Indiana Review, Nimrod, Los Angeles Review, Carolina Quarterly and Portland Review. She earned her MFA in poetry at the University of South Carolina and her Ph.D. in creative writing and literature at the University of Cincinnati. Koets is a visiting assistant professor of creative nonfiction at the University of South Florida.

Michael Koryta

Michael Koryta is the New York Times bestselling author of 13 novels, most recently How It Happened. His previous novels — including Rise the Dark, Last Words, Those Who Wish Me Dead and So Cold the River — were New York Times Notable Books and national bestsellers and have been nominated for numerous awards, and Envy the Night won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Those Who Wished Me Dead will come to movie screens in 2020, starring Angelina Jolie. Koryta is a former private investigator and newspaper reporter. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and Camden, Maine.

Ellen LaCorte

Ellen Lacorte worked for thirty-five years in the human resources field, then decided it was time to try something new. Having performed in community theater and pursued other artistic endeavors, she realized that she was never happier than when she was singing or dancing or writing or painting. The Perfect Fraud is her debut novel. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and Emma, a cat who is definitely a reincarnated dog.

Con Lehane

Con Lehane’s third entry in the 42nd Street Library Mysteries series is Murder Off the Page. Other titles in the series are Murder at the 42nd Street Library and Murder in the Manuscript Room.His stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and he is the author of the Brian McNulty bartender mysteries, Beware the Solitary Drinker, What Goes Around Comes Around and Death at the Old Hotel. He holds a master of fine arts in writing from Columbia University School of the Arts and teaches fiction writing and mystery and suspense writing at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Visit his web site

Art Levy

Art Levy is an associate editor of Florida Trend, a statewide news and business magazine based in St. Petersburg. Before that, he wrote for newspapers including the Durham (N.C.) Sun, the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times. His first book, Made in Florida: Artists, Celebrities, Activists, Educators, and Other Icons in the Sunshine State, includes 90 interviews with prominent Floridians, representing all regions of the state and all sorts of vocations and specialties, from athletes, astronauts and writers to politicians, social activists and entertainers. A 1984 graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism, Levy lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two sons.

Beth Macy

Beth Macy is the author of three New York Times bestselling books. Her latest book, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America, was short-listed for the Carnegie Medal, won the L.A. Times Book Prize for Science and Technology and was described as a “masterwork of narrative nonfiction” by the New York Times. Her first book, Factory Man, won a J. Anthony Lukas Prize, and her second book, Truevine, was a Kirkus Prize finalist. She is also the creator of the forthcoming Audible Original audio documentary, Dopesick: Finding Tess.

Thomas Maier

Thomas Maier is an award-winning author of six books, a television producer and a longtime investigative journalist for Newsday and News 12 Long Island in New York. His newest book is Mafia Spies: The Inside Story of the CIA, Gangsters, JFK and Castro. Maier was both the author and a producer of Masters of Sex, about researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson, which was adapted from his book for an Emmy-winning television series by Showtime. His 2014 book, When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys, was featured at a JFK Presidential Library forum and optioned by Sony Pictures Television. Maier’s other books include Newhouse: All the Glitter, Power and Glory of America’s Richest Media Empire and the Secretive Man Behind It, won the Frank Luther Mott Award by the National Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication as best media book of 1994. This book was recently been revised and updated, with the new title All That Glitters, published in September. As a journalist, Maier won the 2002 International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ top award for his investigation into the plight of America’s immigrant workers, about which he testified at a U.S. Senate hearing. At Columbia University’s Journalism School, he won the John M. Patterson Prize for a TV documentary on organized crime.

Erin Mauldin

Erin Stewart Mauldin is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. An award-winning environmental historian of the U.S. South, her book is Unredeemed Land: An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South, she is also the co-editor of the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Global Environmental History.Her work has appeared in the Journal of the Civil War Era, History Today magazine, The Alabama Review, and a number of anthologies, including the Oxford Handbook on Reconstruction. A Tennessee native and Florida transplant, she lives in St. Petersburg with her husband and son. Learn more at

Meg Medina

Meg Medina is the author of the Newbery Medal-winning book Merci Suárez Changes Gears, which was also a 2018 Kirkus Prize finalist. Her young adult novels include Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which won the 2014 Pura Belpré Author Award; Burn Baby Burn, which was long-listed for the National Book Award; and The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind. She is also the author of picture books Mango, Abuela, and Me, illustrated by Angela Dominguez, which was a Pura Belpré Author Award Honor Book, and Tía Isa Wants a Car, illustrated by Claudio Muñoz, which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. The daughter of Cuban immigrants, she grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Steven Murawski

Steven A. Murawski is a professor and holds the Downtown Partnership – Peter Betzer Endowed Chair of Biological Oceanography at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg. Murawski is an oceanographer specializing in marine population and ecosystem dynamics, with over 40 years of professional experience.  He has been actively involved in assessing the environmental impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its long-term implications for managing the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico.  The two-book series authored and edited by Murawski and colleagues,  Deep Oil Spills: Facts, Fate, and Effects and  Scenarios and Responses to Future Deep Oil Spills: Fighting the Next War, summarizes research efforts over the past decade to better understand, prevent and respond to future oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere around the globe.

G. Neri

G. Neri is the Coretta Scott King honor-winning author of Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty and the recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award for his free-verse novella, Chess Rumble. His novel Ghetto Cowboy was made into a movie starring Idris Elba, which will premiere in 2020. His books have been translated into multiple languages in over 25 countries. They include the novels Tru & Nelle, A Christmas Tale, Knockout Games, Surf Mules, and the free-verse picture book bios, Hello, I'm Johnny Cash and When Paul Met Artie. In 2017, he was awarded a National Science Foundation grant that sent him to Antarctica to research a new book

Steph Post

Steph Post is the author of the novels Miraculum, Walk in the Fire, Lightwood, A Tree Born Crooked and the forthcoming Holding Smoke. She graduated from Davidson College as a recipient of the Patricia Cornwell Scholarship and winner of the Vereen Bell award, and she holds a master’s degree in graduate liberal studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her work has most recently appeared in Garden & Gun, NonBinary Review, CrimeReads 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. She lives in Brooksville.

Clay Risen

Clay Risen, whose new book is The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and the Dawn of the American Century, is a senior staff editor at the New York Times op-ed section. He is the award-nominated author of The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights ActAmerican Whiskey, Bourbon and Rye: A Guide to the Nation’s Favorite Spirit; and A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination. He lives in Brooklyn.  

Kevin Robbins

Kevin Robbins is an award-winning veteran sports writer and the author of The Last Stand of Payne Stewart: The Year Golf Changed Forever. It is the story of legendary golfer Payne Stewart, focusing on his last year in the PGA Tour in 1999, which tragically culminated in a fatal air disaster that transpired publically on televisions across the country. Robbins’ first book, Harvey Penick, was co-winner of the 2017 Herbert Warren Wind International Book Award. He has written for the  New York TimesTexas Monthly, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Austin American-Statesman,, and Golf Journal. Robbins teaches journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sharon Robinson

Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction. She has also written several widely praised nonfiction books about her father, including Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By and Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America. Her latest book, The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend, is a SSYRA selection for 2017-2018 (grades 3-5).

Leigh Comacho Rourks

Leigh Camacho Rourks is a Cuban-American author who lives and works in Central Florida, where she is an assistant professor of English and humanities at Beacon College. Her new short story collection is Moon Trees and Other Orphans. She is the recipient of the St. Lawrence Book Award, the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award and the Robert Watson Literary Review Prize, and her work has been shortlisted for several other awards. Her fiction, poems, and essays have appeared in a number of journals, including Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, TriQuarterly, December Magazine and Greensboro Review.

Gianna Russo

Gianna Russo is the author of the poetry collections One House DownMoonflower, winner of a Florida Book Award; and two chapbooks, Blue Slumber and The Companion of Joy. She has published poems in Green Mountains Review, Negative Capability, Crab Orchard Review, Apalachee Review, The Sun, Poet Lore, saw palm, The MacGuffinFlorida Review, Tampa Review, Ekphrasis, Florida Humanities Council Forum and Calyx, among others. She is founding editor of YellowJacket Press. She was named Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay Local Poet in 2017. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Tampa and is assistant professor of English and creative writing at Saint Leo University, where she teaches and serves as editor in chief of Sandhill Review and director of the Sandhill Writers Retreat. She is a third-generation Floridian and a Tampa native.

Katie Sanders

Katie Sanders is the managing editor of PolitiFact. Previously, she fact-checked talking heads and opinion-shapers for PunditFact as well as the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott for PolitiFact Florida, reporting from the Tallahassee bureau of the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald. She is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she majored in English and journalism.

Rob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a writer who teaches and a teacher who writes. His newest books are for children are Ball & Balloon and Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution. He is also the author of Crystal Kite Award winner Outer Space Bedtime Race, Cowboy Christmas, Ruby Rose: Off to School She Goes!, Ruby Rose: Big Bravos!, Rodzilla and Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. Sanders lives in Florida, where he teaches elementary school. Visit him at

Eliot Schrefer

Eliot Schrefer grew up in Clearwater, where he attended Safety Harbor Middle School and Countryside High School. His latest book for young readers is The Lost Rainforest #2: Gogi’s Gambit. Schrefer is a New York Times-bestselling author and has twice been a finalist for the National Book Award. In naming him an Editor’s Choice, the New York Times has called his Ape Quartet novels “dazzling… big-hearted.” He is also the author of two novels for adults and four other novels for children and young adults. His books have been named to the NPR “best of the year” list, the ALA best fiction list for young adults, and the Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best. His work has also been selected to the Amelia Bloomer List, recognizing best feminist books for young readers, and he has been a finalist for the Walden Award and won the Green Earth Book Award and Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. He lives in New York City, where he reviews books for USAToday.

Aaron Sharockman

Aaron Sharockmanis the executive director of PolitiFact, the largest fact-checking organization in the United States. He leads the growth and development of PolitiFact, manages its outreach and news partnerships, and oversees new initiatives and product development. Sharockman has been with PolitiFact since 2010 and served most recently as the editor of PunditFact, a website dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows.

Les Standiford

Les Standiford is the author of the bestselling Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean, Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles, and Meet you in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America, among many other works of fiction and nonfiction. His latest book is Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America’s Xanadu. He has received the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, the Frank O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is founding director of the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami and directs the Writers in Paradise conference at Eckerd College. He lives with his wife, Kimberly, in Florida.  

R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine introduced his Goosebumps book series in 1992 with Welcome to Dead House. Twenty-seven years later, Goosebumps is now one of the bestselling children’s series of all time, with more than 350 million English language books in print and an additional 50-plus million international copies in 24 languages. The series made Stine a worldwide publishing celebrity (and Jeopardy answer). His other popular children’s book series include Fear Street (recently revived with all new books), Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room and Rotten School. The Goosebumps TV show was the No. 1 children's show in America for three years and can still be seen on Netflix. More recently, R.L.’s anthology TV series, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour, won the Emmy Award three years in a row as Best Children's Show. Goosebumps, a feature film starring Jack Black based on the series, was released in 2015 and generated over $150 million at the global box office. The sequel, Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween, was released in 2018. R.L. Stine lives in New York City with his wife Jane, an editor and publisher. You can connect with him on Twitter @RL_Stine or Facebook

Paul Wilborn

As a journalist, Paul Wilborn collected multiple awards from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. He won the Green Eyeshade Award from the Atlanta Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, the South’s top writing prize and was chosen for the Paul Hansel Award, Florida’s top journalism prize. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. His plays have been produced at Stageworks, Off-Center Theater, Radio Theater Project and University of Michigan. Wilborn is a pianist and singer, and his American Songbook Cabaret Series has been produced at American Stage Theater for the past eight seasons. Cigar City is his debut short story collection. He is currently at work on two novels set in Florida, Trickle Down and Moonlight Bay.  Wilborn is executive director of the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College and lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, the film actor Eugenie Bondurant.

Lori Roy

Lori Roy is the author of Bent Road, winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel; Until She Comes Home, finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel; Let Me Die in His Footsteps, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel; The Disappearing; and, most recently, Gone Too Long. She lives in St. Petersburg with her family.

James Swain

James Swain is the national bestselling author of 22 mystery novels and has worked as a magazine editor, a screenwriter and a novelist. His new novel is No Good Deed. His books have been translated into a dozen languages and selected as Mysteries of the Year by Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.  Swain has been nominated for four Barry Awards, has received a Florida Book Award for fiction and was awarded France’s prestigious Prix Calibre .38 for Best American Crime Writing. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys performing close-up magic at St. Petersburg’s Hollander Hotel.

Lisa Unger

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of 17 novels, including the new psychological thriller The Stranger Inside . 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 the 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 with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.

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