What is Center for the Book?
Established in 1977, The Center for the Book is a Library of Congress affiliate program that promotes literature and literacy in all fifty states and six territories through public programming. Florida Humanities was designated the state’s Center for the Book affiliate in 2021. Affiliate locations produce a diverse range of events, lectures, and partnerships to achieve the Library of Congress’ mission. Florida Humanities has crafted public programs and funding opportunities to share our love and appreciation of literature, literacy, and learning.
2023 National Book Festival Selections
Florida Humanities Center for the Book has selected Dreams in the New Century: Instant Cities, Shattered Hopes, and Florida’s Turning Point (University Press of Florida, 2022) by Gary R. Mormino and The Bluest Sky (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2022) by Christina Diaz Gonzalez as its 2023 “Great Reads from Great Places” selections.
During the 2023 National Book Festival, on Saturday, Aug. 12, at the Washington Convention Center, representatives from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and Northern Marianas will gather to promote their book selections and other literary works reflective of their local literary heritage.
Book Festival Grants
Florida Humanities provided over $75,000 to 10 book festivals from May 2022 through July 2023. Cultural organizations including libraries, museums, colleges, and more hosted these festivals across the state in communities large and small. Festivals ranged from one day to a full month, featuring authors from Florida and beyond, writing workshops, panels, discussions, and hands-on activities for families and children.
Browse the festivals we have supported below.
July 13 -15, 2023
African American Research Library and Cultural Center (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
About: Broward County Library’s African American Research Library and Cultural Center explores the cultural explosion generated by the hip-hop phenomenon over the last 50 years during the 2023 South Florida Book Festival.
April 21 -23, 2023
Cascades Park (Tallahassee, FL)
About: Word of South, a festival of literature and music, is a unique blend of writers and musicians and an exploration of the relationship between the two disciplines.
April 15, 2023
Mandel Public Library (West Palm Beach, FL)
About: BAM provides a literary experience for all ages to share their love of books with almost 30 bestselling authors and illustrators who create content for children, teens, and those young at heart.
April 15, 2023
Orlando Public Library (Orlando, FL)
About: The Orlando Book Festival is a day-long celebration of books. Join library staff for writing workshops, panels, and discussions with bestselling authors from all over the Sunshine State, including a keynote from horror author R.L. Stine.
Military Heritage Museum (Punta Gorda, FL)
About: The Charlotte Harbor Book Festival invites literature lovers are encouraged to participate in local author panels and discussions, writing workshops for adults and children, booksellers row
February 18, 2023
Gulfport Library (Gulfport, FL)
About: ReadOut: A Festival of LGBTQ Literature was founded in 2018 and is an inclusive event that showcases literature written by, for, and about LGBTQ community.
January 27-28, 2023
Trinity United Methodist Church (Gainesville, FL)
About: During the Sunshine State Book Festival, hosted by the Writers Alliance of Gainesville, the community gathers together with Florida authors for readings, signings, storytimes, and family activities to engage with Florida’s literary landscape.
January 3 -28, 2023
St. Johns County Public Library System (St. Augustine, FL)
About: St. Johns Reads is a county-wide “One Book, One Community” initiative held by the St. Johns County Public Library System that encourages patrons to read, discuss, and experience literature together.
English for Families
A multi-week series of interactive classes, English for Families focuses on developing English vocabulary and literacy skills through strategic and fun story reading and hands-on activities. Developed in partnership with the Orange County Library System, this program is designed specifically to improve the language proficiency of individuals whose native language is not English by providing essential reading strategies needed to achieve success in the classroom, workplace, and day-to-day life. Ten libraries across the state have hosted English for Families programming in their towns that help foster vital connections between families and their local communities and libraries.
Highlights from the 2022 National Book Festival
Launched at the 2015 National Book Festival, The Route1Reads initiative is a partnership between 16 Centers for the Book to promote stories that illuminate the important aspects of the states and commonwealths connected by the 2,369 miles of U.S. Route 1 from Kent, Maine to Key West, Florida.
Florida’s Route1Reads 2022 selection is Florida by award-winning author Lauren Groff. A finalist for the 2018 National Book Award and winner of the Story Prize, Florida brings readers into a place where the hazards of the natural world lie in waiting to pounce, but the greatest mysteries and threats are emotional and psychological. Groff’s short stories center around Florida’s landscapes, climate, history, and state of mind yet span characters, towns, decades, and centuries.
Great Reads from Great Places is an annual feature of the National Book Festival that celebrates each states’ and territories’ literary culture with young reader titles. Florida’s 2022 selection is Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers from award-winning author Celia C. Pérez about the story of four kids who form an alternative scout troop that shakes up their sleepy Florida town.
When three girls from different backgrounds find a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion, the promise of adventure and mischief is too intriguing to pass up. When the kids meet the invitation’s creator, they bond over a shared mission to get their local scout troop, to leave behind an outdated and eco-destructive tradition. Their quest for justice and independence over one unforgettable summer leads to a bond of friendship and understanding that lasts a lifetime.
For any of the opportunities listed below please contact, Program Coordinator, April Myerscough at 727-873-2001 or [email protected].
Deadline: At least four months prior to the event
Funding Amount: up to $10,000
About: Supports events that celebrate the joy of reading and encourages thoughtful interactions between authors and their readers, and reflect on how literature conveys the human experience.
Deadline: Stay tuned for 2024 application deadlines!
Funding Amount: up to $4,000
About: Supports a multi-week series of interactive classes for parents and children that focuses on developing English vocabulary and literacy skills. This funding opportunity is exclusively for Florida libraries and library systems.
Deadline: Six weeks before program date.
About: Florida Talks offers nonprofit organizations an accessible way to host engaging speakers through our speakers’ directory. Speakers present on Florida’s history, heritage, and culture through historical and contemporary lenses.
Deadline: Stay tuned for 2024 application deadlines!
Funding Amount: up to $1,500
About: Funding opportunity offers public libraries and library systems support for 2023 Summer Reading Programs that complement the Collaborative Summer Library Program’s (CSLP) 2023 theme “All Together Now”.
Florida Humanities Center for the Book is an affiliate program of the Library of Congress. Florida Humanities Center for the Book programming is sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Additional support is also provided by the Florida Division of Library and Information Services.