SW Florida Reading Festival set for March 5

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More than 20 acclaimed and bestselling authors are coming to Fort Myers to showcase their books and meet fans at the 23rd annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival on Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The festival will be held on the downtown Fort Myers Regional Library campus located at 2450 First St.
The Southwest Florida Reading Festival is a free, all-ages, annual outdoor event. Fans have the opportunity to listen to and meet a diverse line-up of bestselling authors, participate in contests and activities and find the latest and greatest in books and technology. In addition to author appearances and autograph sessions, there will be food truck vendors, storytelling programs, arts and crafts, youth writing contests and a free book for every child and teenager.
The lineup of award-winning authors scheduled to attend the next festival includes adult authors Alafair Burke, Tim Dorsey, J.A. Jance, Nathaniel Philbrick, Kate Quinn and Brad Taylor, among others. Some of the youth and teen authors include Adrianna Cuevas, Stacy McAnulty, Jenna Evans Welch, Alex Willan and Adrienne Young. The complete list of authors can be found by downloading the festival’s new, mobile app “SWFL ReadFest” at the App Store, Google Play or by visiting the festival website at www.ReadFest.org.
“We are so excited to be able to introduce a new, mobile app for the festival this year,” said festival organizer Melissa Baker, manager of programming and community outreach for the Lee County Library System. “We encourage everyone to download the app to learn more about our fabulous authors and stay up to date about the event as it develops.”
In addition to the daylong community event, Lee County Library System will offer virtual components for festival participants to enjoy. Among the activities planned are virtual author presentations, an online book discussion, grab-and-go festival bingo and virtual reading and activity challenges through the READsquared app.
“However people choose to engage with our event, in-person or virtually, we hope they will find the Reading Festival to be a fun and memorable experience,” Lee County Library System director Mindi Simon said. “Having the opportunity to meet an author, learn about the writing process, and the story behind the stories is a centerpiece of our festival.”
Attendees who want more exclusive access to meet and mingle with this year’s festival authors can participate in An Evening with the Authors, a fundraising dinner scheduled to take place at the Edison Restaurant, Bar and Banquet Center on March 4. Tickets can be purchased online at the Reading Festival website www.ReadFest.org.
The Southwest Florida Reading Festival is free and community-supported through donations, sponsorships and grants. To help ensure the continuation of this free community event, please visit www.ReadFest.org to make a secure online donation. More info is available at www.ReadFest.org or call 239-533-4832.


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