This year at Book Fest we want to make sure you get to attend every event that interests you! So we’ve created four tracks of amazing events for book lovers, writers, children and educators.

Keynote Authors

Image of author Kimberla Lawson Roby
Kimberla Lawson Roby

New York Times Bestselling Author & Speaker Kimberla Lawson Roby has published 26 books and sold more than 2.8 million copies. Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues and offer a message of redemption, forgiveness, and the realities of everyday life. Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will.

Nicola Yoon Author Photo
Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon is the #1 NYT bestselling author of Everything, Everything, which is now a major motion picture, and The Sun Is Also a Star, a National Book Award finalist, Michael L. Printz Honor Book and Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner. She grew up in Jamaica and Brooklyn, and lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Author Talks

Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.
Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.

Rodney Lawrence Hurst, Sr. is a civil rights activist, a Black historian, and the author of two award-winning books. Rodney currently resides in Jacksonville. He will be available to answer questions about the motivation and skills required to write award-winning nonfiction during book fest.

brenda simmon
Brenda Jackson

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling romance author. She has published more than 100 novels and novellas and is a proud Jacksonville native. Brenda will be available during the Jax Book Fest for a brief Q&A with fans.

Schedule of Events

10:30 A.M. | Jax Makerspace | Local Author Collection Unveiling

Join us as we unveil the new collection of fiction, nonfiction and children’s titles donated and written by local authors.

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11 A.M. – Noon| Conference Level – Hicks Auditorium | Nicola Yoon

Join Nicola Yoon, author of best-selling young adult novels Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star, for a presentation and discussion. Book signing will immediately follow.

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Noon – 12:30 P.M.| Conference Level – G1 | Chat with Author Brenda Jackson

If you’ve ever wanted to ask award-winning romance author Brenda Jackson about the craft of writing or about specific characters, this is your chance. Jackson will be available for a brief Q&A with fans.

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12:30 – 1 P.M.| Conference Level – G4 | Chat with Author Rodney L. Hurst, Sr.

Author and Civil Rights icon Rodney L. Hurst, Sr. will be available to answer questions about the motivation and skills required to write award-winning nonfiction.

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1 – 2 P.M. | Conference Level – Hicks Auditorium | Kimberla Lawson Roby

Join novelist Kimberla Lawson Roby for a discussion of her 23-year writing journey, being rejected by literary agents and publishers, self-publishing her first novel, signing with a major New York publishing house, and becoming a New York Times bestselling author. Roby will answer writing and publishing questions from the audience.

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2 – 3 P.M. | Jax Makerspace | Visual Literacy in Graphic Novels with Al Letson – CANCELLED

Graphic novels are often attributed with increasing visual literacy skills among readers of all ages. Join DC Comics New Talent Showcase author Al Letson for a presentation on the effect of the graphic novel on visual literacy skills. Letson is the host of public radio shows Reveal, Errthang, and State of the Re:Union.

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