Florida Gulf Coast University invites aspiring writers and other devotees of the written word to the Sanibel Island Writers Conference, Nov. 3-6, at BIG Arts and the Sanibel Island Public Library on Sanibel. Participants can register now for a variety of workshops, panels, lectures and readings presented by celebrated and experienced writers and teachers. Sue Monk Kidd, Richard Blanco, Joyce Maynard, Nathan Hill and Rhett Miller headline the conference.
Keynote speaker Sue Monk Kidd’s first novel, “The Secret Life of Bees,” spent more than 2½ years on the New York Times bestseller list, was adapted into an award-winning movie and has been translated into 36 languages. Now considered a modern classic, it has been nominated for and received numerous awards both here and abroad. Her second novel, “The Mermaid Chair,” was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and adapted into a television movie. Her critically acclaimed third novel, “The Invention of Wings,” was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club and winner of the Florida Book Award.
Her presentation is free and open to the public, and begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in Schein Hall at BIG Arts, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel.
On Friday, Nov. 4, Richard Blanco and Joyce Maynard will speak in Schein Hall. Their joint reading begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Maynard is the author of 16 books including the novels “To Die For” and “Labor Day” and the best-selling memoir, “At Home in the World.”
Blanco is the author of several award-winning poetry collections, including “Looking for the Gulf Motel.” His most recent book is the memoir “The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood.” In 2013, Blanco was selected by President Obama to be the inaugural poet, joining the ranks of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
On Thursday, Nov. 3, singer-songwriter Rhett Miller of Old 97s will perform a concert and novelist Nathan Hill will give a reading. Over the past 25 years, Miller has released five solo albums and a dozen albums as the leader of Old 97s. Hill’s first novel, “The Nix,” was published this year by Knopf and has been translated into 20 languages. “The Nix” is being developed into a TV show by Meryl Streep and J.J. Abrams. The event begins at 6 p.m. at BIG Arts, and is free and open to the public.
The conference includes offers workshops, presentations, panels and readings by authors, editors and literary agents. A complete schedule, along with registration information for workshops, is on the conference website. Contact Tom DeMarchi at [email protected] or (239) 590-7421 for more information.