The Lake County Library System’s Festival of Reading is a 2008 recipient of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award. The Festival of Reading strives “To present the highest quality literary and cultural events and activities to encourage the love of reading and to connect readers and writers in a way that enriches both by providing informative and entertaining programs to the community.” The events are designed to promote reading and the love of literature through enhancement activities such as meeting the authors, sharing thoughts about books and writing, attending music and dance performances, and sharing personal poetry and writing. It presents an opportunity to promote the vast array of programs and services available at the library system’s libraries and opens the minds of the community to new experiences, services and benefits of living in Lake County.
The 5th annual Festival of Reading Romancing the Book, was the most ambitious project to date with over 35 authors. Featured authors included the 2007 RITA Award Winners Roxanne St. Claire, and Caridad Ferrer; 2006 Winner Linnea Sinclair; 2006 Reader’s Choice Award winner, Elizabeth Sinclair; Carolina Romance Writer of the Year, Leigh Greenwood; Holt Medallion Winner Nancy J. Cohen; Christian Romance novelist Angela Hunt who received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Romantic Times Book Club; Mystery superstars Jo Dereske and the only author ever to be awarded an Agatha in three different categories, Katherine Hall Page.
Throughout the week, workshops and seminars on writing, publishing and related topics were offered for fledgling writers including the following: “Writing the Synopsis”; “Novel Do's and Don'ts”; “Writing the Mystery and the Mystery Series”; “Creating the Twists and Turns of a Good Mystery”; and a full day event “Fiction Writing 101”. Writing instruction has increased exponentially each year as a response to persistent requests.
We are able to accomplish goals for growth through developing community partnerships such as Raintree Books, local independent book seller; Lake & Sumter Style Magazine; Lake Front TV; The American Culinary Federation; Lake Sumter Community College; Kiwanis; Clermont Woman’s Club; Leesburg Downtown Partnership; the City of Leesburg; the City of Tavares; Lake County Historical Museum; Lake County Cultural Affairs Council and the Mount Dora Library Association.
For information on the Lake County Library System Festival of Reading, please go to our website at www.mylakelibrary.org.