Sign up to win prizes and for exclusive updates about this year’s festival

Free All Weekend | April 10-11, 2021
Click here to see our COVID-19 precautions

Word of South 2021

Ann Patchett

A winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, Ann Patchett is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading writers. The author of six novels, including Bel Canto and State of Wonder, as well as several non-fiction books and a collection of essays, in her spare time she’s part-owner of Parnassus […]

Read More…

Brendan Nolan

Brendan Nolan was born and reared just to the north of the city of Dublin. When he was growing up in Ireland in the sixties and seventies there was a resurgence of interest in Irish music. Spearheading this musical rebirth were groups like The Dubliners, Planxty, The Bothy Band, and others. Around the same time […]

Read More…

Karen Salyer McElmurray

Karen McElmurray is an award-winning creative nonfiction author who is well noted for her many essays, novels and short stories. Her work has been supported by numerous grants, such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Her most recent novel, The Motel of the […]

Read More…

Marcus Roberts Trio

Founded in 1995, Marcus Roberts Trio is known around the world for their signature virtuosic trio style, 15 years later. They have an entirely new approach to jazz trio performance. Although the piano is typically the focus of most jazz trios, in the Marcus Roberts Trio, all musicians share equally in shaping the direction of […]

Read More…

Rachel A. May

Florida Non-FictionGold MedalLa Florida: Five Hundred Years of Hispanic Presence(University Press of Florida) edited by Viviana Díaz Balsera and Rachel A. May  Rachel A. May is the Director of the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (ISLAC) at the University of South Florida. Her previous work has concerned the history of […]

Read More…

Clare Lynch

Clare Lynch was born in County Cavan but is a long time resident of Sligo, Ireland (Tallahassee’s sister city). She is a writer with a sharp eye. These beautifully observed stories, in the ordinariness of their subject matter, give a warm and telling insight into the human condition. She can create a colorful landscape in […]

Read More…

Lunch Money

Bringing indie rock to family audiences, Lunch Money ignites the pleasures of childhood through music. Their energetic sound revives blowing bubbles, pushing buttons and getting dizzy. Their name is inspired by the first taste of childhood independence and power. Lunch Money has played venues and festivals around the United States, including World Cafe Live, Symphony […]

Read More…

Luluc

In a world where instant gratification is the norm, patience has become a rare commodity. But for Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett, who make up indie-folk duo Luluc (pronounced Loo-LUKE), letting things unfold in due time not only defines their career trajectory, it also works as a pretty good description of their approach to making […]

Read More…

Ward Larsen

Popular FictionSilver MedalAssassin’s Game (Forge Books) by Ward Larsen  Ward Larsen was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. He attended the University of Central Florida, where he played soccer, and graduated in 1983 with a pre-law degree. He joined the Air Force, and after pilot training was assigned to the 95th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron at […]

Read More…

Madeleine Kuderick

Young Adult LiteratureGold MedalKiss of Broken Glass (HarperTeen) by Madeleine Kuderick Madeleine Kuderick grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, a community with rich literary tradition, where she was editor-in-chief of the same high school newspaper that Ernest Hemingway wrote for as a teen. She studied journalism at Indiana University before moving to Florida and completing her […]

Read More…