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Cooking

Cooking
Photo of Katharine Zimmerman

Katharine Zimmerman is a native Floridian with family roots reaching back to the Spanish settlers. She hails from a long line of reader, writers and wonderful cooks. Katharine learned to prepare dishes passed down from her family along with recipes from the delicious and diverse flavors of Florida cuisine including coastal seafood, country cookin’, and Bahamian, Cuban, Greek and Spanish delicacies. She has cooked professionally and for family, friends and countless covered dish suppers.

Katharine is an award-winning grant consultant working with local, national and international organizations and funders. Katharine has a B.A. from The American University and over the years has written poetry and essays for national and local publications. She is on the Board of Directors of Air Care Alliance, a nonprofit public service organization representing a nationwide network of volunteer pilot groups that deliver impactful and inspiring service through aviation.

 

Cooking
Photo of Zach Weston

Zach Weston is a faculty member at the Dedman College of Hospitality at Florida State University where he teaches Food & Beverage Management, Catering Management, International Food & Culture, and manages the Ashby Stiff Little Dinner Series. He spent 9 years cooking in fine dining restaurants before accepting a full time teaching position after completing his MBA.

Cooking
Photo of Linda McCarthy

Linda McCarthy is a 30+ years retired librarian with experience in academic and public libraries. She is an avid cookbook reader, diner and cook who’s taken and taught cooking classes for years. She delights in a wide variety of cuisines from Southern cooking to vegetarian and every culinary culture. Linda subscribes to a variety of cooking magazines reading cookbook reviews and seeking out items of interest. She owns over 700 cookbooks.

 

Florida Nonfiction

Florida Nonfiction
Photo of Steven Noll

Steven Noll is an Instructional Professor in the department of history at the University of Florida. In 2012, he was named one of the 300 best professors in the US by the Princeton Review. His 2009 book was the prize-winning Ditch of Dreams (co-authored with David Tegeder), which analyzed the history of the ill-fated Cross Florida Barge Canal project. His latest book, published in 2022 and published by the University Press of Florida, is entitled Writing for the Public Good: Essays from David Colburn and Senator Bob Graham.  His interests include Florida history, environmental history, and the history of disability. Currently, he is working on two projects- one a continuation of the barge canal book that examines the ongoing controversy over Rodman (Kirkpatrick) Dam and the other an analysis of the nationwide 1977 disability rights demonstrations.

Florida Nonfiction
Photo of Boyd Murphree

R. Boyd Murphree is the coeditor (along with Robert A. Taylor) of The Governors of Florida, the 2020 Florida Book Awards’ Phillip and Dana Zimmerman Gold Medal for Florida nonfiction. His research and writing interests include Florida history and politics, U.S. political and intellectual history, the history of the American Civil War Era, and Cold War history. Murphree was born in Key West, raised in Tallahassee, and lives with his wife, Margaret, in Quincy, Florida. He received his PhD in history from Florida State University and currently works as an archivist and historian in Special and Area Studies Collections at the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries in Gainesville.

 

Florida Nonfiction
Photo of Susan Cerulean

Award-winning writer, naturalist and activist Susan Cerulean has written from Tallahassee and Indian Pass, Florida since 1981. I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird: A Daughter’s Memoir, released by University of Georgia Press in 2019, garnered the Sarton Award by the Story Circle Network. Her nature memoir Coming to Pass: Florida’s Coastal Islands in a Gulf of Change (UGA Press, 2015) received a Gold Medal in the category of Florida Nonfiction by the Florida Book Awards. In 2005, Tracking Desire: A Journey After Swallow-tailed Kites (UGA Press) was named Editors’ Choice by Audubon magazine.

General Fiction

General Fiction
Photo of Tanya Eakin

Tanya Eakin was born in Volusia County and is a life-long Florida resident. She currently lives in Tallahassee, where she works remotely for Penguin Random House. Previously, she was the senior book buyer and bookseller at Midtown Reader, an indie bookstore in Tallahassee.

General Fiction
Photo of Patricia Romig

Patricia Romig is a retired librarian and Language Arts Instructor. Her favorite reads are literary fiction, mysteries, science fiction and anything British. Most days, when Patricia is not reading, she is outside walking or weeding in the garden. Other days Patricia volunteers at various civic organizations and boards.

General Fiction
Photo of Chris Coward

Chris Coward has written Congressional testimony, edited national magazines, headed marketing departments for two Florida companies, and taught college English. She is a past president of the Florida Writers Association and administered its flagship writing competition for more than a decade. She holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the College of William and Mary and an MA in English with a concentration in professional writing and editing from George Mason University. Under earlier titles, her unpublished debut novel, Perpendicular Women: Adventures in the Multiverse, won First Place, Science Fiction, Royal Palm Literary Awards Competition; First Place, Alternative Fiction, Novel Rocket; and Honorable Designation, Women’s Fiction, Readers Favorite, which also awarded it 5 stars.

General Nonfiction

General Nonfiction
Photo of James Waters

James Waters is a Library Specialist in the Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities Department at Strozier Library. His interests include philosophy, as well as American social and political history. James was born in Jacksonville, Florida and raised in Havana, Florida. He received a Masters of Library & Information Science from Florida State.

General Nonfiction
Photo of Melanie Farmer

Melanie Farmer is a Central Florida writer and educator who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. She is the winner of a 2019 Intro Journals Award in creative nonficiton from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and is the first winner of the Hurston/Wright Foundation’s Crossover Award in literary nonfiction. Her work can be found in The Tampa Review and Split Lip Magazine.

 

General Nonfiction
Photo of Maria Gebheardt

Maria is the Director of Communications and Marketing for the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University. She has been the editor of the Florida Libraries journal since 2010 and received the President's Award from the Florida Library Association in 2015. Maria earned an MSLIS from Florida State University and an MBA from Florida Atlantic University.

Older Children's Literature

Older Children's Literature
Photo of Kathy Drake

Kathy Drake is a recently retired Media Specialist having spent the last 13 years pushing books and making good trouble at a Tallahassee middle school.  She has served as a juror for the Sunshine State Committee on multiple occasions, reading hundreds of books and helping to select the top 15 each year.  As a previous juror in the Young Adult category, she looks forward to, again, reading for the Florida Book Awards. 

Older Children's Literature
Photo of Noelle Mahone

Noelle Mahone is a media specialist with Leon County Schools. Her love for reading started in kindergarten when she discovered Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months. She checked it out from the Shalimar Elementary School Library so many times, her mother still groans when she hears the title. Noelle received her B.A. in International Affairs from Florida State University and her M.S. in International Relations from Troy University. She worked for a legislator and then a cabinet member. It wasn’t until she had her children that she started teaching preschool and moved to being a middle school librarian in 2018. Noelle loves to help the students see reading as fun. She currently is a member of Florida Association of Media Educators and sits on one of their committees.

Older Children's Literature
Photo of Caroline Kienzle

Caroline Kienzle is a native of Portland, Oregon. High school and college were spent in Rhode Island, while her MLIS was earned at the University of North Texas. Having been a high school English and history teacher she ultimately became Director of Libraries and Information Resources for the Irving Independent School District in Irving, Texas. Caroline has served on the Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz Awards as well as Best Books For Young Adults.

Poetry

Poetry
Photo of Sandra Castillo

Sandra M. Castillo is a Cuban-American writer whose work explores issues of memory, history, gender, and language, but it reflects a personal vision, tied primarily by history, personal and otherwise. She depicts contradictory worlds, the memory of a homeland and memory politics while examining the ordinary reality of exile as well as the duality of existence. Her first trip back to the island of her birth in 1994 provided the impetus for her collection entitled My Father Sings to My Embarrassment (White Pine Press, 2002), which examines post-revolutionary Cuba, exile in Miami, and the journey back. Eating Moors and Christians (CavanKerry Press, 2014), navigates the turbulent waters of Cuban history, evoking a place that feels at once forbidden and familiar. Castillo's poems have appeared in The North American Review, The Connecticut Review, The Florida Review, Puerto del Sol, The Belleview Literary Review, The Cimarron Review, and Clackamas Literary Review. Her work has been featured in various anthologies including The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (Norton, 2011), Approaching Literature in the 21st Century (Bedford/St. Martins, 2005), Like Thunder, Poets Respond to Violence in America (University of Iowa Press, 2002), American Diaspora, the Poetry of Displacement (University of Iowa Press, 2002), Burnt Sugar, Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English & Spanish (Free Press, 2006), A Century of Cuban Writers in Florida (Pineapple Press, 1996), Paper Dance: 52 Latino Poets (Persea, 1995), Little Havana Blues (Arte Publico Press, 1996), Touching the Fire: Fifteen Poets of Today's Latino Renaissance (Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1998) and Cool Salsa: On Growing Up Latino in the U.S. (Henry Holt & Co., 1994), among others.

Poetry
Photo of Mary Jane Ryals

Mary Jane Ryals, Poet Laureate of the Big Bend of Florida, won the Yellow Jacket Press Chapbook Contest for Music in Arabic. She’s published four other chapbooks: La Vida, Bathed in Blue, and with Lynne Knight, Poesia and Wonderland 2020. She also published full length, The Moving Waters. She won a Florida Book Award for the novel Cookie & Me. She’s also published short story collection, A Messy Job, and a mystery novel, Cutting Loose in Paradise. She’s a faculty member of Florida State University’s International Programs.

 

Poetry
Photo of Susan Lilley

Susan Lilley is a Florida native and has served for the last four years as Orlando’s inaugural Poet Laureate. Her poetry and non-fiction have appeared in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, The Southern Review, Drunken Boat, Saw Palm, The Florida Review, Sweet, and other journals. Her two chapbooks are Night Windows and Satellite Beach. She is a past winner of the Rita Dove Poetry Award and has held a State of Florida Individual Arts Fellowship. She has taught at University of Central Florida and Rollins College, and currently teaches literature at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park. Her recent full collection, Venus in Retrograde, was published spring of 2019 by Burrow Press.

 

Popular Fiction

Popular Fiction
Photo of Kaitlyn Johnson

After receiving a BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, Kaitlyn refused to leave the concept of nightly homework behind. A literary agent for Belcastro Literary Agency, she is also a freelance editor at her own company, Strictly Textual. Kaitlyn started her literary journey as a copyeditor for academic publisher codeMantra, a YA editor for Accent Press, a Conference Assistant for GrubStreet, Boston, and has been agenting since 2016. She has written various articles for Writer’s Digest and has had a flash fiction story published in the anthology A Box of Stars Beneath the Bed.

Popular Fiction
Photo of Marisa Cleveland

With more than two decades in the education and publishing industries, Marisa Cleveland is adamant about supporting efforts toward the betterment of the human condition. Cleveland is the executive director for The Seymour Agency, Hodges University Board of Trustees vice-chair, and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Gulfshore Business and D’Latinos magazines honored Cleveland with the Arts and Culture 2015 FACE Award, and in 2014, Gulfshore Business selected her as a Forty Under Forty honoree. Cleveland holds an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Northeastern University, and an M.A. in Educational Administration and a B.A. in Speech Communication from George Mason University.

Popular Fiction
Photo of Chrissy Jackson

Chrissy Jackson has enjoyed a successful career in property and nonprofit management. She is the author of three textbooks, more than thirty handbooks on property management, hundreds of magazine articles, and is an internationally recognized speaker for state and national conventions. She received her bachelor’s degree from Eckerd College in 2016, master’s degree in management and leadership from WGU in 2020 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in business administration. Living in St. Petersburg, Florida, she loves not shoveling snow, the gulf breezes, and an endless supply of books.

Spanish-Language

Spanish-Language
Photo of Samiria Hernandez Hiraldo

Samiri Hernández Hiraldo, Ph. D. was a finalist of the National Poetry Series’ Paz Prize for Poetry 2012 competition (in honor of Octavio Paz). Her poems in English and Spanish have appeared in several journals and magazines. She is the author of three books of poetry in Spanish, Al vapor, Cuando el líquido es sólido, and Perforaciones, and one book of poetry in English, The Five Legs of the Cat. She coordinates poetry events and currently teaches anthropology at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

 

 

Spanish-Language
Photo of Andres Pi Andreu

My name is Andres Pi Andreu. I’m Cuban-American. I was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1969. I live in Miami, Florida, since 2003. I currently work as a National Bilingual Literacy Consultant for different major educational publishers. I am also the author of several Spanish Language Acquisition programs and Language transference programs. I have worked for Houghton Mifflin, Pearson, McGraw Hill, Benchmark Educations, and many other major publishers as a Senior Development Editor, Curriculum developer and writer.

Currently I own TIB Editorial, a small educational development house that works with all major publishers in the US. I’m also the Director of Ediciones Malecón, a publishing company that specializes in literature written in Spanish in the US.

Spanish-Language
Photo of Isabel Garcia Cintas

Isabel Garcia Cintas is an independent bilingual writer and journalist born in Argentina. She studied journalism and photography in Buenos Aires and worked in radio and print media. She has published four books: El Recado de la Mujer Holandesa (2020) Bronze Medal Best Novel-Mystery, at the 2021International Latino Book Awards (ILBA). Her short story book La Casa Vieja y Otros Relatos (2016) won Gold Medal, Spanish Category at the 2016 Florida Book Awards and Honorable Mention, Popular Fiction, at the 2016 ILBA. Incidente en la Patagonia (2011), a political thriller, won Honorable Mention at the 2015 Latino Books Into Movies Awards. All of these books are translated into English and available at Amazon.com. Her novel Del Mediterráneo al Plata (2012), based on the memoirs of her immigrant grandparents, was a finalist at the 2012 Dan Poynter’s Global e-Books Awards. In addition, her short stories are included in four anthologies. Isabel moved to the United States in 1987 and has lived in Florida since 2001. She is an editorial staff member at the digital cultural magazine Letra Urbana.com. For more information, visit www.isabelgarciacintas.com.

Visual Arts

Visual Arts
Photo of Emily Raffield

Emily Raffield is currently a freelance writer for Southern Living magazine, Coastal Luxury magazine and various other publications. She is an author of Saints of Old Florida: A Coastal Lifestyle Book, a past Florida Book Awards winner in Visual Arts. Emily received her B.S. in Marketing and Communication from Florida State University in 2010. She formerly worked in Public Relations in New York City, in brand marketing for Chick-fil-A Corporate in Atlanta, Ga., as a brand marketing consultant, and in social media direction for The Bitter Southerner, an e-publication in new Southern journalism. Emily returned home to Florida when looking for an escape from the corporate realm, where she began to pursue her true love of writing, creative direction, and artistic styling. Emily currently designs clothing and accessories, inspired by the coastal lifestyle, for her line, BECASA. BECASA is accessible online or at its brick and mortar shops, in Apalachicola, FL and Inlet Beach, FL. Emily and her husband, Rene, reside in Apalachicola as Emily deeply appreciates the community and generational love for place and people that’s found along the North Florida coastline -- and even more so in our beautiful state.

Visual Arts
Photo of Joy Wallace Dickinson

Joy Wallace Dickinson has written hundreds of “Florida Flashback” features in the Orlando Sentinel about aspects of Central Florida’s past. She’s also the author of Orlando: City of Dreams, Remembering Orlando: Tales from Elvis to Disney, and Historic Photos of Orlando. She has received honors from the Florida Historical Society, the Historical Society of Central Florida, and AIA Orlando, for work that promotes an appreciation of historic architecture. In a past life, she worked at Stanford University Press and as a book and publication designer in San Francisco, where she helped complete graphic-standards projects for both Hewlett-Packard and Apple Inc.

Visual Arts
Photo of Michelle Demeter

Michelle Demeter serves as the Head of Instruction and Undergraduate Services at New York University Libraries. In her role, Michelle leads the development and facilitation of instructional services that support the research and creative endeavors of faculty and students across campus. Prior to moving to NYC, Michelle spent the majority of her life in Florida. She grew up in Spring Hill, and earned her undergraduate degrees in English Literature and Religious Studies at the University of South Florida. She continued her graduate education with a master's degree in Religious Studies and a master's degree in Library and Information Studies at Florida State University. Michelle is currently ABD in the Art History doctoral program at Florida State, where her dissertation is focused on the art and visual culture expressed within the four attractions created by Walt Disney for the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair.

Young Adult Literature

Young Adult Literature
Photo of Stephanie White

Stephanie White is a youth services librarian at the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library System and a graduate of Florida State University with a Master’s of Science in Information. She has loved books, reading, and libraries for as long as she can remember. Originally from a small town in Florida, books were her window into the world. She lives in Tallahassee, FL with her husband, cat, and many books.

Young Adult Literature
Photo of LeAnn Haste

LeAnn Haste received her B.A. in History from Southeastern University in 2009, and an MLIS from Kent State University in 2016. LeAnn has loved books since she learned to read, and always knew she wanted to be a librarian. She has worked for libraries from Orlando, to Miami, and has had the privilege to serve both public and academic patrons. LeAnn loves helping each person find exactly the right book, and enjoys being creative in her library displays. She is the Head of Youth Services at the North Miami Beach Public Library, and loves programing from YA ComicCon to Story times! Her favorite genre is Sci-Fi and Anything in YA.

Young Adult Literature
Photo of Karyn Dombrosky

Karyn Dombrosky grew up in Broward County and received both her undergraduate degree in Special Education and her Master's in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida. She has worked in the Youth Services section of Florida public libraries since 1999 with a focus on providing services and programming to children, teens, and adults with special needs. A new transplant to Central Florida, she is happy to be surrounded by family and is excited to discover the unique qualities of the Orlando Metropolitan area.

Young Children's Literature

Young Children's Literature
Photo of Nicole Gaudier Alemany

Nicole Gaudier Alemañy was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. She has Bachelor degrees from the University of North Florida  in history and Art with a concentration in Art History, a MA in Art History from Florida State University, & a MS in Information at Florida State University. She has worked as a Collection Development associate, and at the Jacksonville Public Library as a youth services librarian then customer experience librarian. Nicole is currently a Children’s Librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn, NY.

Nicole encourages youth of all ages to read and enjoy the library’s resources. She firmly believes that readers should have access to diverse and inclusive works that often reflect their own experiences. An avid reader her entire life, she enjoys reading books in various genres and several languages. Nicole is especially fond of works with illustrations demonstrating the illustrator’s style and influences.”

Young Children's Literature
Photo of Ruben Cortes

Ruben Cortes is a Collection Development Librarian at Orange County Library System in Orlando, FL. Ruben received his MLS from Florida State University with an emphasis on Youth Services. At OCLS, he is responsible for selecting and maintaining collections for 15 library locations in the areas of nonfiction, picture books, and world languages. Ruben has a passion for building diverse collections and has presented on the topic of diversity in children’s literature at FLA, FAME, and PLA.

Young Children's Literature
Photo of Deirdre Baldwin

I grew up in Hawaii and New Jersey. I was an elementary school teacher for a short time before I became a librarian. I have been a youth services librarian for 15 years. My three kids keep me busy. We try to spend as much time outdoors as we can at different playgrounds and parks. One of my favorite places in Tallahassee is Lake Ella. I love to walk around the lake and people watch. I love to play tennis. My favorite children's author is Eric Carle!