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Florida Book Awards at Florida Library Association Conference

May 17, 2010

Thinking Outside the Book!

For three years now the Florida Book Awards has been lucky to be included in the annual Florida Library Association (FLA) Conference. As one of the partner organizations that sponsor the awards, each year FLA includes an afternoon session dedicated to Florida Book Award winners during the conference, and hosts a banquet during which the Silver and Bronze winners receive their medals. Spirits are always high in celebration the library profession, and the recognition of Florida’s very own best authors is a welcome addition to the program.

L to R - Diane Stuckart, Micah Vandegrift and Jessica Critten

This year’s conference was no exception. The FBA staffers (Jessica and I) traveled from Tallahassee to Orlando and were immediately captured by the excitement of the conference attendees. The Florida Book Awards is gaining recognition amongst the Florida literati, and it was great to see our winning authors chatting with fans, readers and librarians.

The afternoon session featured five 2009 winners discussing their books. Glynn Marsh Alam (Gold–Popular Fiction), Jack Davis (Gold–Florida Nonfiction), Joan Hiatt Harlow (Gold-Children’s Literature), Rick Yancey (Silver-Young Adult) and A. Manette Ansay (Bronze–General Fiction) all spoke as part of a panel moderated by Dr. Wayne Wiegand, FBA’s director. As in previous years, the panel was well attended and engaging. Thanks to all who attended and especially to our winning authors who were able to come and join us!

That night the Florida Book Awards banquet was held in honor of all the winners, but particularly to bestow the awards on the Silver and Bronze medalists. Many of the winning authors were unable to attend due to another literary conference, but a great time was had regardless. Dr. Wiegand MC-ed the event, sharing a history of the competition, recent updates, and of course thanking all the partner organizations (especially the Florida State University Libraries, Florida Library Association, and the Florida Humanities Council who all had members/officials in attendance.) Aside from a great meal, the variety of conversations are always a highlight of the banquet. Jessica and I were honored to sit with Dean Julia Zimmerman of FSU Libraries, Dr. Corinne Jorgensen, Director of the School of Library and Information Studies at FSU in which we are both students, and Jonathan King, one of our winning authors.

FBA Winning authors signing books at FLA afternoon reception

Thanks again to all who sponsored, participated or helped out! Florida Book Awards loves being a part of the annual FLA Conference, and we look forward to many more years in partnership!

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Also, a special thanks to Orlando Public Library for hosting an event during the conference where Poetry Bronze Medal winner Peter Meinke, and Popular Fiction Bronze Medal winner Jonathon King gave short readings. We have done this also the past two years, and would really like to continue to grow in relationship with OPL.

Do you work for a local library branch? Want to have a Florida Book Awards winner come read at your library? Contact us for details!!

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