Amelia Island Book Festival
Submitted by Diana Frank
January 26, 2022
The AIBF planned to celebrate its 20th anniversary with a return in February of the Gala at the Ritz Carlton and the Author Expo with 100 exhibiting authors showcasing, autographing, and selling their books. With great regret, due to the predicted surge of Omicron, the February events have been canceled, but future events remain on the schedule.
In the past 20 years, the Amelia Island Book Festival has brought more than 1,500 authors and over 100 New York Times bestselling authors to the book festival. The AIBF’s mission is to enhance the overall life skills of Nassau County children and adults by generating a lifelong love of books through an appreciation of reading, writing, and authors. It has invested over $2 million in Nassau County literacy.
The primary goal of the AIBF is to promote literacy through the Authors in Schools program. This event is scheduled for February 18, 2022 and will continue as planned. From a selection of 80 authors, teachers choose the author’s books that would be age-appropriate for their classes. The 40 authors who are selected visit classes to do a reading, then each student gets a book by that author. This year, 10,000 books will be given to students and schools. All Nassau County students through middle school will receive a book by authors selected by their teachers. This year, high school students who sign up will also receive books. To become a sponsor, visit ameliaislandbookfestival.org.
On April 7, 2022 , One Book, One Community returns. It is a reading project that centers on the community-wide reading of a single book and is dedicated to creating a shared conversation with the author. This event is in partnership with the Nassau County Public Library and The Book Loft. In collaboration, the Amelia Island Book Festival and Nassau County Public Libraries have selected the newly released, The Shop on Royal Street by New York Times bestselling author Karen White. Tickets go on Sale February 1. Also in April there will be an online auction, and one of the unique items offered will be naming rights for a character in David Baldacci’s next thriller. For details, check the AIBF website.
The AIBF supports and encourages emerging student authors by providing a short story writing contest each year. The 2022 short story writing contest is underway. In honor of the 20th year anniversary, AIBF is celebrating authors who captured the imagination. The theme for stories is to write a Rudyard Kipling style Just So Story. Examples of Just So Stories include: The Cat that Walked by Himself, How the Alphabet was Made, The Crab that Played with the Sea, The Elephant’s Child among many others! Applications must be submitted by March 1. Cash prizes will be awarded, and the top 50 stories will be published in an anthology.
In celebrating 20 years of enriching lives with literacy in Nassau County the AIBF is pleased to be offering two $5,000 scholarship awards provided by the AEL Family Foundation as well as the Brown Family. One scholarship will be awarded to each of the top two finalists in the contest. This year’s scholarship contest will focus on the following topic: What author or story has most inspired you, and how? Check the AIBF website for details.
AIBF is planning more events to look forward to. In July the Made in the South program is scheduled. It features Southern authors, and will include author discussion, cocktails, and refreshments. In September it’s time for the Children’s Author Party featuring a children’s author, books, and costumes. Finally in October it’s the return of the Celebrity Author Luncheon, an entertaining and informative event.