Sept. 13 is last day to nominate literacy advocates for awards

Published: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 9, 2013 at 11:46 a.m.

Do you know someone who’s been an advocate for adult literacy?

The Alachua County Literacy Network and the Alachua County Library District is seeking nominations of volunteers, professionals, businesses and organizations that have worked toward building a community of strong readers in our county in the past year.

Awards will be presented at the 25th Annual Family Literacy Festival Oct. 12 at the Library Headquarters and the Matheson Museum.

Nominate an individual, organization or business that has supported efforts to decrease Alachua County’s population of adults who struggle with reading.

To make a nomination, contact Theresa Sterling, literacy coordinator, Alachua County Library District at by Friday, with the following information (you may attach a Word document if more space is needed): nominee’s name, address, phone number, email address and contribution(s). Also, include your name, phone number and email address.


■ Friendship and Travels with Tennessee Williams: Victor Campbell speaks about his 13-year friendship with with Tennessee Williams, 6 p.m. Sept. 17, Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Ave.

In the early 1970s, Tennessee Williams gave Campbell a suitcase for safekeeping. It contained, among other things, Tennessee’s personal correspondence with Campbell and others, as well as unpublished poems and a play.

■ Jane Austen Society of North America: Group discusses the unique aspects of Jane Austen’s most famous novel, “Pride and Prejudice,” 2-4 p.m. today, Tower Road Branch Library, Conference Room, 3020 SW 75th St.

Members are asked to re-read the novel, as well as annotated copies of the novel, and secondary sources, commentaries, etc.

The discussion is moderated by Dr. Muriel Kay Heimer, JASNA regional director, and is open to all. Bring your own teacup and finger food to share.


■ “Writing the Trilogy ... and more”: Novelist, short-story writer and essayist Stephanie A. Smith signs her books and discusses her work, 2:30 p.m. today, Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 NW 43rd St. Event is part of the Writers Alliance of Gainesville meeting.

Smith is finishing a new novel, “Strange Grace.” She has written two young adult fantasy novels, “Snow Eyes” and “The Boy Who Was Thrown Away,” and an adult science-fiction novel, “Other Nature.” She has won multiple fiction residencies at Martha’s Vineyard Writer’s Residency in the Noepe Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Norcroft, Provincetown and Dorland.

Her essays appear in such journals as differences, Criticism, Genders, American Literature and American Literary History. A 1998 Visiting NEH Scholar at UCLA, she is the author of “Conceived By Liberty: Maternal Figures and 19th Century American Literature” (Cornell, 1995).

■ Three Talks: Local writer Stephanie A. Smith will be reading from her work, taking questions and signing books, including her two new books, “Warpaint” and “Baby Rocket,” 6 p.m. Sept. 18, Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Ave.; 2 p.m. Sept. 29, Tower Road Branch, 3020 SW 75 St.; and 5 p.m. Oct. 24 at Alachua Branch, 14913 NW 140 St.

Smith teaches literature and women’s studies at the University of Florida. She has previously written two young adult fantasy novels — “Snow Eyes” and “The Boy Who Was Thrown Away” — and an adult science fiction novel, “Other Nature.” Her work, both critical and fictional, investigates politics, science, literature, race and gender.

■ An Evening with Author Rhonda Riley: The author of the critically and popularly acclaimed “The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope” will read from her work and have books available for sale and signing, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16, Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Ave.

Riley attended the University of Florida and received a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing. She now lives in Gainesville.

For additional information, visit the Library District’s eBranch at or contact Nickie Kortus at 334-3909,

■ Vicky Matthews: Matthews, the author of “The Goddess Letters,” signs her book, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Sept. 28, Book Gallery West, 4121 NW 16th Blvd.

Two old college friends remain connected over the years despite one’s stardom and the other’s happy marriage to someone else.

■ 2013 Florida Heritage Book Festival Writers Conference: A day-and-a-half of workshops and talks by bestselling authors, Sept. 26-27, St. Johns County Convention Center at Renaissance World Golf Village.

Speakers include Lezlie Laws, Philip Deaver and New York Times bestselling author Andrew Gross.

Workshops Sept. 27 cover the craft of writing and the marketing side of the business, including one with Gainesville Magazine editor and writing instructor Diana Tonnessen. The featured keynoter is Tim Dorsey, who talks about why Florida is a target-rich environment for writers.

Registration for the full Writers Conference package is $125 through Sept. 10, and $150 thereafter. A complete package including Friday evening’s Literary Legends Reception and Banquet honoring acclaimed historical novelist John Jakes is $195 through Sept. 10, and $215 until Sept. 24.

The Book Festival continues on Saturday at the Flagler College Ringhaver Student Center. (


■ “Phantom Mesa”: Gainesville author Jim McMillen has released “Phantom Mesa” (Telemachus Press Paperback, $13.99) a suspense thriller.

McMillen, a retired daily newspaper publisher, is a native of Oklahoma who was raised in Texas. His 4l-year newspaper career began in Texas and took him to Indiana and Florida. He lives in Haile Plantation with his wife, Delorise.

“Phantom Mesa” is available at The Perfect Gift in Haile Plantation Village. It also can be purchased in print or eBook from Amazon or ordered through most book sellers.

■ “My Grandma Lives in Florida”: Author Ed Shankman and illustrator Dave O’Neill pay tribute to the unique relationship between child and grandmother with this book for children ages 2-7.

The book uses Seussian rhymes and rhythms, affectionate humor and illustrations to present a child’s-eye view of the grandmother/grandson relationship.

Available online and in bookstores and gift shops across Florida, the 32-page book retails for $14.95.


■ Book Rack Book Club: Meets 3 p.m. the first Thursday of every month; members choose each month’s read. The Book Rack, 4936 NW 39th Ave. (224-3945)

■ Gainesville Poets & Writers: Meets 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Books-A-Million, 2601 NW 13th St.

■ Mystery Reading Group: Bring any mysteries you have, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, High Springs Branch Library, 135 NW First Ave., High Springs. (454-2515)

■ Weekly Poetry Jam: Gainesville’s longest-running open poetry reading, 9 p.m. Thursdays, Civic Media Center, 433 S. Main St. (373-0010,

■ Writer’s Alliance of Gainesville: Anyone interested in the written word is welcome; see for exact dates, Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 NW 43rd St. Free.

■ Tempting Reads Book Club: Group meets 6 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month to discuss popular and recently published books. Newberry Branch Library, 110 S. Seaboard Drive, Newberry. Open to the public. (472-1135)

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