The sixth annual SunLit Literary Festival, a celebration of the literary arts in St. Petersburg, will kick off April 1 with the Roy Peter Clark Prize, honoring a local resident for contributions to reading, writing, literacy and to the community.
The nominees for the award, named after veteran Poynter Institute writing coach Roy Peter Clark, are:
Alsace-Walentine and Candice Anderson, owners of Tombolo Books; Colette Bancroft, book author and editor Tampa Bay Weather; Eric Deggans, author and television critic for National Public Radio; Holly Slaughter, elementary language arts supervisor for Pinellas County Schools.
“I’m so proud to have my name associated with these champions of literacy and democracy,” said Clark. “St. Petersburg is known throughout the country as a city of writers. We are a place with many great stories to tell.
The award was established by the St. Petersburg Press in 2020 to honor the achievements of “men and women of the word,” Clark explained. Due to the pandemic, it has not been awarded so far.
The awards ceremony and a “Meet the Authors” cocktail party from the St. Petersburg press open the Sunlit Kickoff Party (6 p.m. to midnight) at The Factory. The festival, presented by the literary nonprofit Keep St. Pete Lit, continues through April 3 with a variety of programs at different venues across St. Petersburg.
Theme around Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book where the wild things are, the April 1 launch party will feature unique art installations, live music, food trucks and more.
Proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to Keep St. Pete Lit’s children’s literacy program.
Launch tickets are available here.
The SunLit Literary Festival continues with the 39th Annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair (April 1-3, St. Petersburg Coliseum).
April 2 events include Poetry in the Park BLC (Thomas “Jet” Jackson Recreation Center), Mirror Lake Walking Tour With A Literary Twist (a collaboration with Preserve the ‘Burg), Gulfport Historical Society Book Swap (Gulfport History Museum), Nature Journaling with St. Pete Audubon (Sawgrass Lake Park), Poetry Exploring Wildness: A SunLit Poetry Event (Tombolo Books), Children’s Poetry Night Hike (Boyd Hill Nature Preserve).
April 3 events: Tour de Kerouac (a guided bike tour in collaboration with Friends of Jack Kerouac), Wordier’s 1K Walk and Write (or Read), Lucha Libro (eight of Tampa Bay’s most daring writers compete in a “literary battle live”, thestudio@620).
All ticket details and information can be found here.