Lake BookFest is a series of events devoted to the celebration, discovery, and discussion of books and writing. Our mission is 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 2014 BookFest, Delicious Reads featured 28 separate events and 15 best-selling authors. Libraries featured writing workshops, informative history programs and author events, with an attendance of approximately 2,144 people.
Thanks to increased support from new sponsors, the Mystery Writers’ of America, Florida Chapter and the Capital Crime Writers, Ottawa, Canada, and The Bay Street Players, we were able to successfully host events featuring nationally recognized authors Elaine Viets, Deborah Sharp, Nancy J. Cohen, Julie Compton, Historians Dr. James C. Clark, Bob Grenier, and HarperCollins New York Times bestseller Robin Burcell. These Premiere Sponsors contributed money, authors or facilities to benefit the festival. Our returning Premiere Sponsors, HarperCollins Publishers, Insight Credit Union, SECO, Lowe’s and the Lake County Department of Economic Development and Tourism, we were able to continue the quality events our community has come to expect.
In 2014 we welcomed the Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America as a Premiere Sponsor! Mystery is still the most popular genre with Lake County patrons who are passionate about their favorite characters. The MWA is an organization of published and aspiring authors, editors, agents, screenwriters, readers and other professionals in the crime genre field. The Florida Chapter sponsors one of the best mystery writers’ conferences in the country, SleuthFest.
The BookFest added an international component with best-selling authors Vicki Delany, CB Forrest and RJ Harlick from the Capital Crime Writers, Ottawa, Canada! Over the past decade, Canadian mystery writers have made a splash on bestseller and award lists around the globe. This was our community’s first experience with our Canadian neighbors.
Dangerously Delicious featured best-selling author Lisa Black and members of the Mystery Writers’ of America, Florida Chapter. The opening event honored authors with food, music and fun. Bite size desserts were provided by the Mount Dora High School Culinary Department under the direction of Chef Carol Hass and Chef Tim Dobbs. Best Book Bytes Recipes were announced and attendees were given a free copy of the recipes! Entertainment was fantastic with Captain Harry, singer-guitarist-songwriter from South Florida.
The third annual Friends of the Library Tea had 58 people in attendance to celebrate the outstanding contributions the Friends have made to the libraries in the Lake County Library System. Each contributing group was honored with a recap of their service. BookFest display awards were presented to the libraries and best-selling author.
New writing workshops drew a record 248 people. This year we addressed to popular topic of self-publishing with Authors "Going Rogue": Why some authors have left traditional publishing for the wild world of DIY(do it yourself). MWA Authors, Julie Compton, Vicki Landis, Ann Meier presented traditional publishing and self-publishing and the respective pros and cons followed by How to Get Published with MWA President – elect, Nancy J. Cohen.
Part-Time Writer - A Workshop for the Rest of Us with Chris Tozier discussed ideas on how to pursue the dream of being a writer when you barely have time to relax. Elaine Viets covered Mystery Writing - the Basics: Anything You Were Afraid to Ask about Writing Your Mystery. Nancy J. Cohen returned with Plotting Made Perfect; Deborah Sharp offered Settings that Sizzle; and Robin Burcell discussed using Forensics in Fiction. Canadian masters, Vicki Delany, CB Forrest, RJ Harlick added The Art of Character - Creating Memorable Characters. We also added a teen program, Being a Writer is Cooler than Luke Skywalker + Voldemort + Katniss Everdeen Times Infinity with Chris Tozier at the Leesburg Public Library. The program drew 36 young writers!
Every year the Lake County Library System Libraries hold a Bookmark Design and Photography contest for all students (K-12) in Lake County, and adults. The winning bookmarks are printed and will be distributed at all 15 libraries in the Lake County Library System. It is a wonderful opportunity for the aspiring artist and designers to show their talents to the community. The photographs are displayed in the Lady Lake Public Library in a “gallery setting”. Winning bookmarks and photographs are also posted on the library website for anyone in the world to see their work! The Bookmark Design Contest was supported this year by Insight Credit Union who provided funds for the prizes and printing of the winning bookmark designs.
The annual Authors’ Reception held this year in the Leesburg Public Library. Lake County Commissioner Timothy Sullivan and Library Services Manager Paul Alford presented the Bookmark Design and Photography Contest awards to a receptive audience. Authors filled the room and delicious hors d’oeuvres were prepared and served by the Tavares High School Culinary Department students under the direction of Chef Marcus Herrington, CEC. A Silent Auction was held to benefit library programs which included signed books, donated theatre tickets, rooms from the Mission Inn and Holiday Inn Express, two beautiful grills and pressure washer from Lowe’s, restaurant gift cards and so much more. What a magical evening!