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Book Festival Offers Scholarships and Writing Contest

Good news for students:

The Amelia Island Book Festival is much more than a three- day festival in February that brings best-selling authors to this community. It also focuses the year around on literacy and lifelong learning. Right now, opportunities are open for Nassau County students to participate in a short story writing contest, and to apply for two college scholarships.

“Programs like these provide a vital way for the Amelia Island Book Festival to connect students, authors and books for life-long learning. Students can test their skills, expand their creativity, and if they aspire to greater things through writing, scholarships can help. Our generous sponsors make such programs possible,” said Larry Williams, president of the Amelia Island Book Festival.

Thanks to sponsors Paul and Annie Burns, and the David Miller Family, this year’s Short Story Writing Contest offers several prizes to encourage creativity. Launched in October for Nassau County’s middle and high school students, the 2019 theme is “Once Upon a Time.”

As in prior years, each short story must be between 500-1,000 words, and must be a new, original work. The submission deadline for all entries is Sunday, December 15, 2019, no later than 5:00 p.m. Late submissions will not be accepted. You’ll find guidelines and more information on the website.

The Amelia Island Book Festival is also pleased to present two scholarship opportunities to the high school students of Nassau County. 

Applications are now open for the Christa Powell Walley Scholarship for $2,000, available for high school seniors seeking college education in the communications or creative writing fields.

In memory of their late daughter, the Powells joined with the book festival a number of years ago to establish an annual college scholarship dedicated to encouraging young writers in their pursuit of a literary or communications career.

In addition, the new Amelia Island Book Festival Scholarship, funded by the AEL Family Foundation, offers the successful candidate $5,000, available for any area of study. However, this scholarship requires a writing sample based on a specific topic. This year the topic is: "Why does education matter to you?"

The application deadline is also Sunday, December 15, 2019.

Students can elect to apply for either or both scholarships in one online application process. More details and the application form can be found on the AIBF website.

Winners of the Short Story Writing Contest and the two scholarships will be announced Saturday, February 15, 2020, during the Author Expo at Fernandina Beach Middle School.


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