Preparations under way for the Amelia Island Book Festival

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The Amelia Island Book Festival will be here before you know it.

The festival is a two-day event in mid-February. It begins with an award-winning Authors In Schools program where organizers put a book in the hand of every student in Nassau County and invite the author to visit the students at their school.

Authors are selected by the schools and include New York Times bestselling authors and award-winning authors of note. Each year, authors speak to more than 13,000 students at Nassau County public and private schools.

The festival continues with its Celebrity Author Gala, a chance to celebrate literacy by engaging with New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors and helping to raise funds for literacy programs.

The gala is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at Ritz Carlton Amelia Island, 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy., Fernandina Beach.

Here’s a look at the featured authors:

  • David Baldacci, New York Times bestselling author and festival honorary chair
  • John Grisham: New York Times bestselling author of 47 consecutive No. 1 books
    Melissa de la Cruz: New York Times bestselling author of award-winning novels for readers of all ages
  • Terah Shelton Harris: Writer of Southern fiction with bittersweet endings
  • Eileen Meyer: Writer of picture books and poetry
  • Kevin Powers: National Book Award finalist, American fiction writer, poet and Iraq War veteran
  • Deborah Royce: Television and film actress, author of critically-acclaimed thrillers
  • James Spooner: Graphic novelist, illustrator, filmmaker and cofounder of the Afropunk Festival

The evening will begin with an open-bar cocktail reception with the celebrity authors followed by a seated dinner and live auction. An author discussion with Q&A will be held at 8 p.m. and the celebrity author book signing will start at 8:45 p.m.

Tickets are $235 per person and will go on sale Nov. 1 for Amelia Island Book Festival members and Nov. 15 for the public. There will be a select number of celebrity author table tickets available for $550 per person.

Proceeds benefit the Authors in Schools Literacy Program.

Then, the 2024 Authors’ Expo & Readers’ Extravaganza will be held on Feb. 24 at Fernandina Beach Middle School, 315 Citrona Drive.

Here, more than 100 exhibiting authors will have opportunities to interact with more than 1,300 readers as they showcase and sell their books.

There will be celebrity author breakout presentations led by New York Times bestselling authors, a book signing session, food trucks and more.  β€‹

​​​For children, there will be a Kids Zone.

The first Amelia Island Book Festival was held in 2001, and it has built a reputation for promoting literacy throughout the region. It conducts a short story writing contest, scholarship contest and the annual One Book, One Community event.

For further information about the Amelia Island Book Festival, go to ameliaislandbookfestival.org.