The Orlando Book Festival Returns To Orlando Public Library On May 18

ORLANDO – The Orlando Book Festival returns to the Orlando Public Library 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, with a day-long celebration of books. Attendees will hear from bestselling authors in panels, writing workshops and a keynote from Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage. Visit for a full schedule and more details.

Featured author panel discussions writing workshops for this year’s festival include:

10:30 a.m.

  • Romancing the Book with Kim Karalius, Nina Crespo, Elle E. Ire. Romance is the best-selling literary genre in the world. Come chat with the authors that make readers swoon.
  • Publishing Tell-All with Raquel Reichard, Thomas B. Cavanagh, David Pedreira. Authors share their behind-the-scenes knowledge and experience. Ask anything you want to know about the publishing process and industry.

11:30 a.m.

  • Let’s Talk About Florida with Rebecca Renner, Tyler Gillespie, Annabelle Tometich. From exotic reptiles to Florida Man, what a weird, wacky state we live in. These authors will discuss their experiences writing about the Sunshine State.
  • The Joys and Difficulties of Writing for Children with Amar Shah, José Pablo Iriarte, Taryn Souders. Learn how to write stories that will captivate young readers from three authors who write for children.

12:30 p.m.

  • Drawn to Life with Peter Raymundo, Jerry Craft, Michael Regina. Three author-illustrators will discuss their processes, careers, and what draws them to creating for kids.
  • Fact or Fiction: Researching History with Ana Veciana-Suarez, Vanessa Montalban, Luis Martinez-Fernandez. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, learn how these writers research history to write their books.

2:00 p.m. – Keynote

New York Times best-selling author Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, most recently An American Marriage. Published in 2018, An American Marriage is an Oprah’s Book Club Selection and appeared on Barack Obama’s summer reading list and his year-end roundup. The novel was awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Aspen Words Prize and an NAACP Image Award. It has been published in two dozen countries.

Registration is encouraged due to limited seating.

3:00 p.m.

  • Book sales and signing with all authors
  • Tayari Jones will be signing until 3:45 p.m.

Participating literary organizations include:

  • Society of Childrens Book Writers & Illustrators – Florida Chapter
  • Timucua Arts & Authentic Selves Poetry
  • The Jack Kerouac Project of Orlando
  • Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts
  • Orlando Area Poets
  • Orlando Area Science Fiction Society

Registration is strongly recommended for all in-person events due to limited capacity. If you have any questions about the information shared below, call 407.835.7323. Visit us online at to register, or to view a complete listing of both virtual and in-person library events.

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities. This event is free and open to the public.