2017-03-02 / Arts & Entertainment News

Punta Gorda Literary Fair is a six-day celebration of reading and writing

ABRAHAM ABRAHAM Downtown Punta Gorda will rustle with the sound of turning pages during Southwest Florida’s Punta Gorda Literary Fair, running from Monday, March 6 through Saturday, March 11.

The sponsors will present a series of literary and arts events culminating from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in downtown Punta Gorda with a booksellers marketplace. From a children’s garden of fun and games to musicians and art, lively workshops and readings, the fair will have something for everyone — particularly readers and writers.

The event is sponsored by Copperfish Books, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Herald Court Centre, Book-broker Publishers of Florida, the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte Community Foundation and the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Last year, more than 721,000 books were published independently in the United States. Here in Southwest Florida, a quiet new industry — the writing and publishing business — has grown unnoticed. It’s a sleeping giant, a clean industry that brings enjoyment both to writers and readers and offers opportunities for tourism development.

The Punta Gorda Literary Fair is an effort to place Charlotte County on the map as the center of Southwest Florida’s writing and publishing boom.

The fair will promote Punta Gorda to friends and visitors alike, awakening all to the literary and cultural amenities Charlotte County has to offer.

“We’re happy to be a part of such an event,” says Cathy Graham, co-owner of Copperfish Books. “It fits into what we’re trying to do downtown.”

Nancy Staub, program director at FGCU, echoed those thoughts.

“We’ve been bringing lectures, workshops, movies and other cultural programs to the center of downtown since we arrived here seven years ago,” she said. “We hope to make this literary fair an annual event.”

The logistics and organizational work are being carried out by James Abraham, a veteran at book fairs who also runs Bookbroker Publishers of Florida.

“My mission has always been to bring people to the written word and vice-versa,” Mr. Abraham said. “That’s why the fee for authors and vendors is so low ($25). I’d like to see books become as popular down here as monster truck rallies.”


¦ Noon, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center, 75 Taylor St.

Kickoff luncheon and talk

Randy Jones, Author of “Show Me,” a collection of the life stories and lessons of some of America’s most successful and courageous people

Cost: $18

¦ 4 p.m. FGCU

Writing Historical Fiction

David Abraham, Naomi Pringle

¦ 6 p.m. FGCU

Writing Biography

Mark Byrd, Jeanne Kerestezi


¦ 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Copperfish Books

Book Club “Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist,” by Sunil Yapa

¦ 6 p.m. FGCU

Vernon Peeples: Living History

Theresa Murtha and James Abraham

Cost: $35


¦ Noon, Charlotte Harbor Event/ Conference Center

Keynote Speaker

Mark Antonacci
Cost: $22
¦ 2 p.m. FGCU
Writing About Women
Dr. Martha Bireda
¦ 4 p.m. FGCU
Writing the Suspense Novel
Sara Coast, Chuck Emma
¦ 6 p.m. FGCU
Writing About Trauma
Dr. Paul Thornton


¦ 4 p.m. FGCU

Writing the Offbeat Work

Malcolm Brenner

¦ 6 p.m. Copperfish Books

Local Authors in the Spotlight

Barbara Brunner, Dora Obi Chizea, Donn Fleming, Steven Hull, Mark James, Phillip Kolbe, Linda MacFarlane, David Martin, Kayla Smith


¦ 1:30 p.m. Charlotte Community Foundation

The Craft of Storytelling

Mary Lou Williams

¦ 2:30 p.m. Charlotte Community Foundation

E-books and You

Tami Patzer

¦ 4 p.m. Charlotte Community Foundation

Researching and Writing Oral Histories

Libby Schaefer


10 a.m. FGCU

Book fair opens, runs to 3 p.m.

¦ All day, FGCU

Kinesthetically Speaking

Education demonstrations by Angie Kopp and Jane Curran for parents and teachers.

¦ 10:30 Copperfish Books

Story Time

Janis Murphy, Lois Christie-Carme

¦ 11:30 FGCU

Lecture: Politics in a Divisive Age

Teresa Jenkins

¦ 12:30 FGCU

In The Money — Working the Stock Market

Mark Byrd

Cost: $25

¦ 12:30 FGCU

Lecture: Stories of Serving in the Reagan White House

Karna Small Bodman

¦ 1:30 FGCU

Lecture: Writing and Reading About the Criminal Justice System

Dr. Martha Bireda ¦

Punta Gorda Literary Fair

>> When: Times and events vary; March 6-11
>> Where: Downtown Punta Gorda; locations
>> Information: 258-2968

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