What to know about the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading before you go

The 2023 event is back at St. Petersburg’s Palladium on Nov. 11.
The stage is set for the 2023 Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading.
The stage is set for the 2023 Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading. [ LISA MERKLIN | Times ]
Published Nov. 2, 2023|Updated Nov. 5, 2023

Get ready to rock, book lovers. The 31st annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading is coming up on Saturday with an all-star array of authors on stage in St. Petersburg.

The festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N. in downtown St. Petersburg.

Nine authors will be on stage in the theater’s Hough Hall, with book signings and sales by local independent bookstore Tombolo Books in the Side Door space downstairs.

The exciting roster includes past festival favorites like Dave Barry, Michael Connelly and Lisa Unger, as well as first-time authors Martin Baron and Vanessa Riley, and Lauren Groff, in person for the first time after a virtual appearance in 2021. Times staffers Lane DeGregory and Stephanie Hayes will talk about their new books, as will Times contributing writer Roy Peter Clark.

All author interviews will be followed by questions from the audience. Three breaks for book signings are scheduled throughout the day. All festival authors’ books will be available for purchase on site from Tombolo. Attendees may bring up to two previously purchased books per author for signing.

Food trucks will be on site from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Palladium’s concessions will be open and are cash only; there is an ATM in the lobby.

Parking in the Palladium lot is limited, but there is street parking nearby. The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement has a parking garage at 350 Third St. N. for $1 per hour.

Tickets have sold out, so no day-of sales will occur.

Festival schedule

9 a.m. Doors open. Coffee hour in the Side Door for VIP ticketholders and authors.

10-10:45 a.m. Martin Baron (”Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and The Washington Post”) with Times editor Mark Katches

11-11:45 a.m. Michael Connelly (”Resurrection Walk”) with Times book editor Colette Bancroft

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Book signings and lunch

1-1:45 p.m. Dave Barry (“Swamp Story”) and Stephanie Hayes (“Be Serious”)

2-2:45 p.m. Lauren Groff (”The Vaster Wilds”) with Bancroft

2:45-3:30 p.m. Book signings

3:30-4:15 p.m. Lisa Unger (”Christmas Presents”) with Bancroft

4:30-5:15 p.m. Vanessa Riley (”Murder in Drury Lane”) with Bancroft

5:30-6:15 p.m. Roy Peter Clark (”Tell It Like It Is: A Guide to Clear and Honest Writing”) and Lane DeGregory (”The Girl in the Window and Other True Tales”)

6:15-7 p.m. Book signings