A Daylong Celebration of Books

The Orlando Book Festival is a day-long celebration of books at the Orlando Public Library. Join us for panels and talks from bestselling authors from all over the state, including a keynote from New York Times bestselling author Tim Dorsey. 

This event is free and open to the public. 

Time Event
10:30 AM Panel: Writing for Kids & Teens
12:00 PM Panel: Tension & Twists
1:30 PM Panel: We Need to Talk About Florida
3:00 PM Closing Keynote: Tim Dorsey






Each panel will be followed by a 30-minute signing featuring the authors on the panel.

Panel descriptions can be found at the bottom of this page.


Featured Authors

Panel Descriptions

Panel Schedule

Session 1 - 10:30 - 11:20 A.M

Writing for Kids & Teens
Authors: Maria Ingrande Mora, Amy Sweezey, Jess Redman. Moderated by Lauren Gibaldi.
Writing for kids can be extremely rewarding, but is much harder than people think. These authors will discuss the challenges and joys writing for younger readers.

The authors will sign books after the panel, from 11:30 A.M to 12 P.M.

Session 2 - 12:00 – 12:50 P.M.

Tension and Twists
Authors: Elle E. Ire, Raquel Reyes, Trish Doller. Moderated by Laura Helseth.
Tension is the secret to hooking the reader, and writing twists requires a delicate balance. These authors will discuss how they keep readers engaged.

The authors will sign books after the panel, from 1 P.M to 1:30 P.M.

Session 3 - 1:30 – 2:20 P.M.

We Need to Talk About Florida
Authors: Christopher Balzano, Brendan O'Connor, Jon Busdeker. Moderated by James C. Clark.
What a weird, wacky state we live in. These authors will discuss their experiences writing about the Sunshine State.

The authors will sign books after the panel, from 2:30 P.M to 3 P.M.


Panel Moderators

  • Laura Helseth: Like most Floridians, Laura is a transplant from somewhere that currently has ice and snow. She was in her 30s when she realized getting paid to read was actually a job, and loves every second of it. @littleread1

  • Lauren Gibaldi is a public librarian who lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband and daughters. Her young adult books include The Night We Said Yes, Autofocus, and This Tiny Perfect World. @laurengibaldi

  • James C. Clark is a senior lecturer in the History Department at the University of Central Florida. He is one of Florida's leading historians, the author of ten books and the editor of a three-volume anthology of Florida writers. 


Contact Us

All questions and inquires should be directed to events@ocls.info. The Orlando Book Festival is closed to author submissions. 

Follow the conversation using #orlandobookfestival on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


There are a variety of parking options available downtown, including the city's parking garage across the street on Central Blvd. For more information about parking, please visit the City of Orlando's Transportation Department's Downtown Orlando Parking pages for details about garage and on-street parking locations, rates, and hours of operation.


Any person requiring special accommodations to participate in any class or program due to a disability may arrange for assistance by contacting us at least seven days prior to the event.