Florence Festival of Books bringing the joy of reading to Florence

Festival of Books bringing the joy of reading to Florence

The 12th annual Florence Festival of Books (FFOB) is opening another chapter of its celebration of the written word on Saturday, Sept. 23, with approximately 55 participants signed up, including authors, publishers, panelists, and workshop teachers.  

The event will be held at the Florence Events Center (FEC) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will allow readers and writers of all ages to interact with some of the most exciting local, regional, statewide and national wordsmiths in the business. 

From 11 a.m. to noon, listen to the panel discussion “It’s Time to Write Your Memoir,” which has four widely divergent writers of memoir:

  • Dr. Veronica Esagui (moderator and panelist) is a chiropractor and the author of “The Scoliosis Self-Help Resource Book” as well as the “Veronica’s Diary” series and was involved with starting and running the book fair at Portland’s Pioneer Square for many years. 
  • C. Edwin Fender has written two adventure novels, one children’s book, and three memoirs of which one chronicles his adventures as an archeological volunteer in Peru.
  • Sue Fagalde Lick is a multi-talented author/musician/poet and coastal blogger who has written two novels, two poetry chapbooks, and at least four memoirs including two about being childless. 
  • Dr. David Larsen is a retired vet from a small town in Oregon, who has written six memoirs about his time as a country vet. He is Oregon’s own James Heriot.

After the discussion, learn the secrets of the craft with two informative workshops at 1 and 2:30 p.m. 

“Foundational Integrity––How to Outline” will be led by Ned Hickson, former editor of the Siuslaw News and a syndicated columnist who has written three books and is a professional editor.

“The Dynamic Dozen: Tips for Your Writing Toolbox.” will be led by Robin Woods, a former high school and university instructor with two and a half decades of experience teaching English, literature, and writing. 

At 4 p.m., join keynote speaker Judy Fleagle with her talk, “FFOB, My Favorite ‘F’ Word” is a mix of humorous anecdotes and sage advice. 

Fleagle taught first and second grades for 22 years, worked as editor/staff writer at Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines for 21 years, and since retiring has written six books of which two are histories, two coastal travel guides, and two memoirs as well as a weekly blog. 

She co-founded the Florence Festival of Books 12 years ago, which corresponds with her time as an author.

And throughout the day, talk one-on-one with the authors and publishers as they fill the FEC with their books and knowledge. 

Participating this year will be 11 authors including Fleagle, Hickson, Woods, and the following:

  • Pattie Brooks Anderson is an artist and author, who has written two ecological themed children’s books and a novel for women, “Sea Change,” set on the Oregon Coast. 
  • Cy Bishop obtained a degree in Counseling Psychology from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, which he use to create fully dimensional characters with unique personalities and quirks in his writing.
  • Connie Strome Bradley has written three children’s books since retiring to Florence. She was a nurse and military wife for 65 years, and was a co-founder of the Florence Festival of Books in 2011.
  • Karen D. Nichols is an artist as well as an author. She has written numerous novels all having a romance, dog story, mystery, and an unexpected ending. 
  • Day Owen is the owner of Lighthouse Spiritual Bookstore in Old Town and publishes his books through the non-profit organization he runs called Circle of Lovers. He also teaches yoga and meditation. 
  • Nancy Rhodes published her first novel, “Blue Song,” in 2021, which shows her passion for whales and travel. She is currently working on a sequel.
  • Linda Ruzich is a retired school teacher, who was inspired by taking photos of her dog, Ace, to write a children’s book filled with his pictures.
  • Darlene Weingand writes about Tamara, who has a secret. Tracing her heritage leads her into dangerous journeys and mysterious outcomes.

Also expected are the Jehovah's Witnesses, who publish Bible and Bible based publications in print and electronic format.

The FFOB would not happen without its sponsors––Elks Lodge #1858, Ladies of Elks, Siuslaw Public Library, Banner Bank, Florence Rotary Club, Bob & Bonnie MacDuffee, Chad E. Clement, DDS, Harlen & Caren Springer, Ron Hogeland & Nancy Archer, more.

FFOB operates under the auspices of Florence Arts, Culture & Entertainment (FACE). For more information contact 541-991-8811, [email protected], or Facebook.com/Florence-books.

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