In the Community
Dozens of best- selling authors liven up downtown Fort Myers at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival
Twenty- eight best- selling authors came to Fort Myers to meet their fans and discuss and autograph their books at the 15th annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival. The March 15 event presented popular authors for adults, teens and children from all over the country to encourage a community- wide culture of reading for pleasure and personal development. The festival was filled with dynamic author presentations, activities for teens and children, the latest library technology, contests, local authors and booksellers and book signings. There was also a free book for every child and teen, and the Reading Rocks! Teen Battle of the Bands finals. Festival attendance was estimated at 18,000.
The authors had a fantastic time in Fort Myers, as evidenced by their own words.
“I had such a good time— great reader attendance, good responses, amazing weather,” said award- winning mystery writer Margaret Maron. “And I was so impressed by your beautiful new library. Kudos to Lee County for being so supportive.”
“I really had a lot of fun and sold a decent bunch of books,” said Andrew Gross, author of numerous thrillers, including six collaborations with James Patterson. “And since I don’t do many of these— maybe one or two a year— the blending of the group of authors always helped, and our group had a blast.”
Children’s authors Betsy and Ted Lewin said, “Everyone involved was so helpful and friendly, and the audiences were among the most attentive and appreciative we’ve ever presented to. It was an altogether satisfying weekend.”
Save the date for next year’s reading festival: March 21, 2015. Guest contributor Margie Byers is the library development specialist for the Lee County Library System. Each year, she coordinates the Southwest Florida Reading Festival.