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Half-Day Writers’ Workshop

Features NYT Best-Selling Author Sandra Brown

Amelia Island Book Festival and the Florida Authors and Publishers Association have teamed up once again to present a half-day workshop for writers on Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14, 2020, as part of the annual three-day book festival.

A stellar lineup of professionals will address the interests of both aspiring and accomplished writers about the craft and business of writing. And special guest, New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown, provides the keynote luncheon speech.

Brown is known internationally among murder-mystery fans. She’s written 70 bestsellers, including her latest, Outfox, released in August 2019 by Grand Central Publishing. Her books have inspired television series episodes, and movies such as French SilkSmoke Screen, and Ricochet.

Registration for the workshop is now open via the book festival website at

All sessions will be held at Florida State College, Betty P. Cook Nassau Center, The Bean Center, 76346 William Burgess Blvd., Yulee. Doors open for the workshop at 7:30 a.m., and sessions begin at 8:15, 9:40 and 11 a.m. The luncheon featuring Sandra Brown begins at 12:30 p.m.

“This workshop is eagerly anticipated each year, and our partnership with FAPA helps ensure that our speakers are truly delivering the inspiration and edge writers often need to propel them forward in their work. But we couldn’t present the workshop without the generous support of our presenting sponsor, Institute for Enterprise, Inc. We’re also excited that the William L. Amos Sr. Foundation will sponsor five students to attend the workshop,” said Kim Sartor, book festival board member and workshop committee chair.

This year’s workshop features six sessions divided into two tracks—The Writing Craft and Publishing/Marketing. The sessions run concurrently in each time slot (one hour and 15 minutes) and each offers a dynamic speaker or panel of professionals, with tips, discussion, insider advice, and opportunities for questions and answers.

A bonus option, for an additional $50 over the $125 workshop registration fee, is the chance for writers to have their manuscripts critiqued by author and publisher Steve McCondichie of SFK Press. During the 15-minute individual meeting, McCondichie will share his evaluation and talk with the writer about the project.

For a novel, the writer must submit the first 19 pages of the manuscript, plus a query letter and one-page synopsis. For a nonfiction book, submit a 21-page book proposal. The submissions deadline is January 14, 2020. The fee goes to support the AIBF’s Authors in Schools Program, which provides each student in Nassau County with a book by a festival author. 

In addition to McCondichie, who also leads an opening session on how to create a riveting story, other workshop leaders include author and humorist Angela Assanti; journalist, author and publisher Richard Ballo; award-winning mystery writer Nancy Cohen; English professor and literary novelist George Hovis; award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Patty Brassard Jefferson; and publisher, author, illustrator Jenn Smith.

These authors will also be exhibiting their books at the Author Expo and Reader Extravaganza on Saturday, February 15. There is no charge to attend the Expo, open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and parking is free at Fernandina Beach Middle School, Citrona Avenue.

For additional information about the Writers’ Workshop, session details and speaker bios, please visit the festival website:


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