Event Details


KEEP ST. PETE LIT is proud to present the 5th annual SunLit Festival! This popular springtime celebration at the intersection of literature and the arts celebrates and promotes greater St. Petersburg’s literary community – past, present and future – through approachable and engaging arts, education and events with a literary twist.

The Festival schedule includes 24 events throughout Tampa Bay taking place from April 11-28, 2019. For more information, tickets (most events are free) and festival schedule visit https://sunlitfestival.org or view the festival schedule below:

> Thursday, April 11 from 7-9pm: 5th Annual SunLit Festival Kickoff Party! at the Chihuly Collection – Come celebrate the kickoff of the 5th Annual SunLit Festival! Enjoy beer/wine and hors d’oeuvres, as you explore the Chihuly Collection. We will be giving out the 2019 SunLit Award! Music by Lounge Cat. Donation bar. Proceeds will support Keep St. Pete Lit’s literary programming. $35. https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4078305

> Saturday, April 13 from 10am-12pm: Downtown Tour With a Literary Twist. Tour departs from City Hall. Preserve the ‘Burg (PTB) and our friends at Keep St. Pete Lit are partnering to offer this fun tweak to PTB’s traditional downtown walking tour – a historic tour with a literary twist! Tour goers will learn about some of the ‘Burg’s history and architecture while gaining inspiration from local writers reading from their work. The tour, starting at City Hall, will circle around Mirror Lake an area with historic homes, schools, churches and, of course, the shuffle board courts!! All in all, this tour makes for a great morning, make your reservation now as this tour often fills up! $10/person; free for member of PTB. https://preservetheburg.org/event-3248993

> Saturday, April 13 from 2-4pm: Ekphrastic Performance inspired by Quest: A Celebration of Glass at Florida CraftArt – SunLit Festival, writers and poets perform ekphrastic interpretations inspired by Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and the art in the exhibition: Quest: A Celebration of Glass. Free https://www.facebook.com/events/573908179790222/

> Saturday, April 13 at 7pm: Children’s Poetry Night Hike at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve – Celebrate poetry with this unique event tailored to children. Children will read poetry related to wilds of the night. This event is organized by Keep St. Pete Lit! Space is limited. Payment at the preserve reserves your spot. $5 ages 3 and up. https://www.facebook.com/events/2199675863628284/?active_tab=about

> Sunday, April 14 from 1:30-4:3pm: Wordier’s 1K Walk and Write (or Read). Departs from The Hanger Restaurant – Part writing workshop. Part silent read-in. Part walking tour of St. Pete. Part pub crawl. We’ll travel in a pack from The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge at Albert Whitted Airport to The Ale & The Witch, stopping at various points along the way for 15 minutes of free writing. For those who choose to read at each stop instead, bring a book! $20 https://www.facebook.com/events/397541350672762/

> Monday, April 15 from 5:30-5pm: Author Talk with Paul Wilborn at the Mirror Lake Library – Join The Friends of Mirror Lake Library and our partners Keep St. Pete Lit, as we welcome local author Paul Wilborn and photographer/filmmaker David Audet to share stories, photos and graphics at an event that celebrates the publication of Wilborn’s new book, Cigar City: Tales From a 1980s Creative Ghetto, published April 1, 2019 by St. Petersburg Press. Seating starts at 5:00. Opening remarks begin at 5:30 followed by the author’s talk. A reception & book signing will be held from 6:30 to 7:00. FREE Find out more details here >
https://www.facebook.com/events/297970460884306/

> Tuesday, April 16 from 7-10pm: HOWL! A Night of Poetry & Music at Old Key West Bar and Grill – Hosted by Friends of The Jack Kerouac House. Join us in an evening of live music and a reading of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” at the Old Key West Bar and Grill. Musical Acts will be The Florida Boys, Grant Peeples and Ronnie Eliot. Readers of “Howl” will be Bob Devin Jones and Peter Meinke with more readers to be announced soon. FREE. Donations are encouraged.
https://www.facebook.com/events/386956135469132/

> Wednesday, April 17 from 7-9pm: Creative Loafing’s (F’n) Fiction Contest Award Ceremony at CL Space in Tampa – CL’s Fiction Contest returns this year with a twist: Instead of a single-word theme, participants were asked to write a story using one of five prompts supplied by Tampa author Matt Starr’s F’n Prompts: Writing Prompts with Some F’n Balls. Finalists will read their work at the awards ceremony then a winner will be announced. FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/844220082637046/

> Thursday, April 18 from 12-4pm: Poem in Your Pocket Day Art Installation! at the ArtsXchange – Step One: select a poem or write a poem. Step Two: cut a pocket from an old piece of clothing. Step Three: place your poem in the pocket. Step Four: join other poetry-loving people from our community and place your poem and pocket on the rear fence of the ArtsXchange (we have clothespins!). Step Five: snap a photo of you and your poem and share with others. #poeminyourpocketday #sunlitfestival Let’s create a world full of poetry! FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/323000551901331/

> Thursday, April 18 from 6:30-8pm: Lector Social Club w/ Cigar City Journal at the Lector Social Club: Lit & Natty Wine Shoppe in Tampa – This bi-lingual event features Jonathan Simkins, Sarah Escue, Marielle Grenade-Willis, and Guillermo Parra. FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/258541031760491/

> Thursday, April 18 at 7pm: Staged Reading of Art People at The Studio@620 – Art People, a play by Mark E. Leib (first produced Off-Broadway), is about the lives, loves and occupational hazards of eleven difference artists – from a narcissistic dancer, a cash-strapped novelist and a viciously competitive cinematographer to a star-struck young poet, a scandalously honest monologuist, and a songwriter trying to forget his youthful ambitions. This is a play about the real lives of artists, the facts of which are usually kept hidden from admiring audiences. It’s a crazy life, being an opera singer, poet, violinist, or painter…and Art People is about that special insanity. $10 https://www.facebook.com/events/798522893843936/

> Friday, April 19 from 7-10pm: Porch Party: Gulfport Trolley at the Trolley Market Square- Intersection of 49 St. S. & Tangerine – Getting Gulfported: How the trolley brought people to Gulfport — and beyond. Celebrate the official dedication of Trolley Market Square as an historic site in Gulfport. The Gulfport Historical Society will have kids activities, live music from the Urban Gypsies, and they’ll unveil the new historic marker and their brand-new walking tour. Co-sponsored by the City of Gulfport and the Gulfport Merchants Association. FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/558210228025480/

> Saturday, April 20 from 5:30-8:30pm (Private party at 7pm): Baked in the Florida Sun: A Benefit for Keep St. Pete Lit at Behar + Peteranecz Architecture – Join us for an exciting outdoor festival and fundraiser in support of KEEP ST. PETE LIT’s Children’s Literacy Programs! This celebration of local poetry and visual art will include a sculptural installation by local artist Chad Mize and poetry readings by local poets, including honored guest and Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke. Music by Hello Darlin’ Records, local literary vendors including PRINT ST. PETE Community Letterpress, Dilly Dally’s, Tombolo Books, Bluebird Books Bus, food trucks, Posies Flower Truck, coffee provided by Black Crow Coffee Co Old Northeast, donation bar supported by Green Bench Brewing Co., and more! Baked in the Florida Sun is open to the public for $5 donation at the gate.
***** 7pm – Baked in the Florida Sun will also feature an Artist Private Party including a curated conversation with Peter Meinke and Chad Mize on creating art inspired by Florida, access to an exclusive Chad Mize gallery, music, open bar & catering. Tickets can be purchased for $50 at the door or in advance All proceeds go to Keep St. Pete Lit Children’s Literary Programming. https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4103503
https://www.facebook.com/events/300000250609386/

> Monday, April 22 from 7-9pm: A Celebration of the Erotic at Venus – Readers will present from their own erotic work as well as share pieces by other writers. A panel discussion is to follow the readings. We welcome Tombolo Books, who will be on hand selling current and classic works from the erotic lit canon. And, to keep the juicy conversation flowing, there will be a cash bar. 18+ audience only, please. Featured Readers: Lisa Birnbaum, Amber DiPietra, Maureen McDole, and Enid Shomer. FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/303335780359771/

> Tuesday, April 23 from 7-9pm: Literary Trivia Night and Costume Contest at SubCentral At The Iberian Rooster – Come test your literary trivia skills! Show the world you are well-read! There will be a literary themed costume contest with cash prizes. Dress as your favorite character or book and the audience will vote for the winner. We will have a signature literary drink for the event. FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/2076146189173523/

> Wednesday, April 24 at 7pm: The Long and the Short of It: The Relevance of Dark Fiction & Horror in Our Time at Books at Park Place’s NEW LOCATION! – 6800 Gulfport Blvd., South Pasadena, FL. (Next to Quest Diagnostics) – Why are dark fiction and horror breaking mainstream ground in today’s TV, movies, and literature like never before? Join popular Florida authors of dark fiction Steph Post, Kenzie Jennings, F. F. Amati, and K. L. Nappier in an audience discussion about the many ways these genres are speaking to our times. Book signing to follow. FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/858859447789518/

> Thursday, April 25 from 6:30-8pm: Literary Carousel at MFA at the Museum of Fine Arts – Join us for the 3rd Annual Literary Carousel! Photography from the MFA archives COMES ALIVE through the art of the “Ekphrastic,” a literary interpretation of a piece of visual art. Hand-picked images get the prose and poetry treatment, read live to you. Come join us for this one-of-a-kind event for Literature- and Photography -Lovers alike! Participating writers: Roy Peter Clark, Lee Irby, Lisa Kirchner, Cindy Stovall, Jon Kile, Shelly Wilson, Silvia Curbelo, Maureen McDole. Inspired by the experience of an old-fashioned slideshow, the Carousel series allows bay area photographers to present work before a live audience, promoting discussion and strengthening our local arts network. For this very special Literary Carousel at the MFA, the photos will be selected from the photographic collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, and paired with local writers for the 2019 SunLit Festival. Cost: The event is included with museum admission: $10 after 5 pm for non-members and free admission for members. https://www.facebook.com/events/784353521947599/

> Friday, April 26, 5:00- 9:00pm; April 27, 10:00am-5:00pm; April 28, 11:00am-4:00pm: Florida Antiquarian Book Fair at St. Petersburg’s Historic Coliseum – The Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is the oldest and largest fair of its kind in the Southeastern United States. The 38th annual Book Fair will be presented in St. Petersburg’s Historic Coliseum, April 26-28, 2019. The book fair features dealers specializing in books of every age and subject matter, antique maps, ephemera and other paper collectibles. You can follow us on the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair Blog and on our Facebook event page. Cost: Friday evening’s admission, which includes a live music performance, is $10; the ticket is good for the entire weekend. Saturday’s admission is $10 for the weekend or $6 for the day. Sunday’s admission is $6 for the day and includes a free appraisal by members of the Florida Bibliophile Society. Children 12 and under, and students with valid identification, are free. Parking is free. https://www.facebook.com/events/212591186330429/

> Friday, April 26 from 6-9pm: Poets & Lizards: A SunLit Celebration of New Southern Writing at the Lector Social Club: A Lit & Natty Wine Shoppe in Tampa – Join four southern writers as they launch new books of poetry and fiction; CYNTHIA ARRIEU-KING, C.H. HOOKS, SOHAM PATEL and CALEB MICHAEL SARVIS. FREE For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/297961237554238/

> Friday, April 26 at 7pm: “One In Ten” at the Sunshine Center Auditorium – A one act play about the well-kept secret of adult illiteracy. A fundraiser for The Literacy Council of St. Petersburg. Cost: $20 Adults; $10 under 16; Beverages available for cash donation before and after play. https://www.facebook.com/events/363475437593538/

> Saturday, April 27 from 12-2pm: KidsLit!: Poetry in the Gardens at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum – The WORD! Initiative will host an afternoon of exploring #socialjustice poetry. There will be poetry stations, storytime, and a stage where even our littlest poets will have a chance to perform their work! Bring the whole family! FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/801791676821167/

> Saturday, April 27 from 2-4pm: Writers, Authors, and Winners at the St. Petersburg Main Library – Two local writers and a researcher will discuss their latest work and answer questions about the journey to publishing. Maureen McDole, founder/executive director of KEEP ST. PETE LIT, is moderator. Kristen Hare on her guide book, “100 Things To Do In Tampa Bay.” Cal Branche, a John D. MacDonald archivist. Gale Massey, Florida Book Award winner, on her novel “The Girl From Blind River”. Winners will be announced of the SunLit short story contest, a 1,500 word or less (three or four pages, original story beginning with the words, “When I/he/she opened my/his/hers eyes, light the color of (choose a color) filled the room.” (Gender-neutral pronouns also acceptable.) Winners must be present to receive their prizes. Submit double-spaced Word or PDF to froelichjanis@yahoo.com before 11:59 p.m. on April 13, 2019. First prize $100. Second prize $50. Young writers (18 and younger) $100. Co-sponsored by Friends of the St. Petersburg Main Library. Refreshments will be served. FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/321395528576959/

> Saturday, April 27 from 3:30-5:30pm: Not Just Music: A Sonic Journey at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum – Take a sonic journey into narrative-based music by legendary musician and activist, Nina Simone, alongside an exploration into work by contemporary artist, Lauryn Hill. We’ll listen to select songs, discuss the storytelling elements in the songs, and write reflective narratives of our own! FREE https://www.facebook.com/events/381535746000444/?ti=icl

> Saturday, April 27 from 3:30-5:30pm: Rob Sanders Stonewall Book Performance with Bob Devin Jones at The Studio@620 – Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising with the very first picture book to tell of its historic and inspiring role in the gay civil rights movement! Join us for a reader’s theater with author Rob Sanders, Studio @620 artistic director Bob Devin Jones, and an ensemble cast! Q&A with the author and a TOMBOLO BOOKS BOOK SIGNING will follow the performance. Books may be pre-ordered from Tombolo or may be purchased at the event. OPEN TO ALL AGES. FREE. https://www.facebook.com/events/304254770189492/

KEEP ST. PETE LIT 5th annual SunLit Festival is proud to partner with: Chihuly Gallery, Florida CraftArt, Antiquarium Book Fair, Preserve the Burg, USF St. Petersburg, Boyd Hill Preserve, Wordier than Thou, Friends of the Mirror Lake Library, Mark Leib, The Studio@620, Florida Folk Show, Friends of the Jack Kerouac House, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg Women’s Collective, Lector Wine Bar, Gulfport Historical Society, W.O.R.D Initiative, Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, Behar Peteranecz Architecture, Chad Mize, Mark Leib, Lounge Cat, Hello Darlin’ Records, Peter Meinke, Daddy Kool Records, Tombolo Books, Iberian Rooster, Museum of Fine Arts, The Literacy Council of St. Pete, St. Petersburg Main Library, Kitchen Table Literary Arts, Metta Center St. Pete, UU St. Pete, Florida Chapter of Horror Writers Association, TBBCA, Carousel, Warehouse Arts District and ArtXchange.

Thank you to our sponsors:
City of St. Petersburg, Chihuly Collection, Russell Property Group, Sylvia Rusche, Paradise News, Behar Peteranecz Architecture, J. Crayton Pruitt Foundation, Tampa Bay Times, Mize Gallery, The Factory, Green Bench Brewing Company, Black Crow Coffee Co., Cohen Family, Cecilia Lueza Art Projects, Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts, and Yann and Susana Weymouth.

To become a sponsor of SunLit Festival, contact Maureen McDole mmcdole@KeepStPeteLit.org or tel: (727) 798-4530

About SunLit Festival – SunLit Festival is a confederation of like-minded literary, cultural, and civic organizations coordinating their individual efforts for the common goal of advancing the enjoyment of books, reading, writing, and the classic art of letterpress printing. Literary and other arts & cultural circles intersect during the fourth annual SunLit Festival, a springtime celebration of the written word. SunLit Festival 2019 brings together over 35 various organizations and arts disciplines to celebrate literacy, literature, reading, and writing for days of intoxicating “Litertainment” and just plain fun.