WRITERS FESTIVAL

PANELS & SPEAKERS

Friday, March 22 at 10:30 a.m.

The Authors Committee plans a full day of writing and publishing panels packed with writers and editors sharing their hard-won knowledge. The panels will appeal to fiction and nonfiction readers interested in understanding more about the genres they love and for rising authors wishing to hone their craft. All take place at the William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice Public Library, Gulf Coast Community Foundation Community Room. The schedule of events is listed below. 

We are offering optional box lunches for your convenience. The price for the day including a box lunch is $35.00. Brewburgers will deliver cold turkey, ham or chicken salad sandwiches, homemade chips, a piece of fruit, cookies and a drink. Lunch orders will be paid with your registration, but we will phone or email you to get your sandwich preference closer to the event. (The full day cost without lunch is $20.00 per person.)

MORNING PANEL  10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Paths to Publishing Your Crime Novel: A Sisters in Crime Panel
Experienced, prize-winning authors offer suggestions for aspiring writers who want to know more about publishing their work.

Mystery publishers, editors, and readers have certain expectations: writers should use the figures of speech, analogies, and images associated with each genre and subgenre of crime fiction. Another major consideration is which audience or publisher is the best fit for the author. 

Members of the local Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime discuss ways of making sure your manuscript hits the bull’s eye of publishing expectations. Followed by a half-hour book signing.

Sandra Gurvis


A relative newcomer to the field of crime fiction (and also Florida), Bradenton resident Sandra Gurvis (www.sandragurvis.com) is the author of 16 commercially published nonfiction books and 2 novels. A freelance writer for over 30 years, she has written corporate profiles, technical articles and curated and created web content. Her newest nonfiction title, Three Ringling Circus: A History of Sarasota, Florida and the Famous Ringling Brothers was released in January from Pineapple/Rowman & Littlefield.  Her current project, Doing Hard Time in Geezerville, is the first of three-part mystery/satire set in The Villages, Florida.

Lisa Malice

Lisa Malice is a psychologist-turned-thriller author. Her debut novel, Lest She Forget, was released to rave reviews from authors, readers, and industry professionals. She loves being part of the crime-loving book community. A compulsive volunteer, you can often find Lisa interviewing an author for a feature in ITW’s digital magazine, “The Big Thrill,” planning an author event for her Sisters in Crime chapter on the Florida Gulf Coast, or working the registration table at Bouchercon and Thrillerfest. Connect with Lisa at www.LisaMalice.com.

Teresa Michael

Teresa Michael is an award-winning mystery author. Her Murder in Mariposa Beach received the Firebird Book Award in the mystery category. She was the Team Manager for US Archery at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, and has visited 49 states and many foreign countries. She is a member of Florida Writers Association, Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, Women Fiction Writers Association, and is the current Secretary and a past president of Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime. Teresa lives in Sarasota, FL with her husband and two cats and hopes to someday visit that 50th state.
https://teresamichaelwrites.pubsitepro.com/

KEYNOTE  Noon to 1:00 p.m.

Elisa Bocanegra, 2022–23 Fulbright recipient, Puerto Rican artist, actor, critic, and the founder of HERO Theatre will encapsulate the current world of storytelling and the future of books. 

Elisa Bocanegra is a Puerto Rican actress, director, curator, and the founder of Hero Theatre, a social and environmental justice theatre company in Los Angeles. Her work with Hero Theatre has been featured in The Los Angeles Times and American Theatre Magazine and is a favorite amongst local theatre critics. Additionally, Elisa won the prestigious TCG Leadership U Grant, the nation's largest grant of its kind, for her work with Hero. 

Her stage directing credits include Troy, a modern retelling of The Trojan Women about women and houselessness in Los Angeles. She directed Troy and worked alongside  playwright Amina Henry in the development. Other directing credits include Festival Irene: A Tribute to Playwright Maria Irene Fornés, The Floating Island Plays by Eduardo Machado, and a new screen and stage project called Nuestro Planeta, which focuses on educating Latinx audiences about environmental justice within the Americas. 

In January 2021, Elisa was officially announced as part of the inaugural Nexus Cohort at New York Stage and Film. This highly selective program asked the industry's top professionals to nominate artists they believe are the next generation of influencers in film and theatre. A committee of Pulitzer-winning individuals selected Elisa for her work as a director, producer, and performer. As an actor, her first film, Girlfight, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at The Sundance Film Festival. Elisa has extensive experience performing at major theaters around the country and worked at The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York. 

AFTERNOON PANEL  2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

From Passion to the Page: The Nonfiction Journey

Learn about special interests, history, travel, and the Gulf Coast. Featuring Gondolier Sun Features Editor Kim Cool, local historian Larry Humes, and moderated by Venice Theatre’s Camille Cline. Followed by a half-hour book signing.

Kim Cool

Kim Cool is Features Editor of the "Venice Gondolier Sun", where she has been on staff for over twenty years. She is the author or co-author of more than 30 books on subjects such as needlework, the circus, Venice history, road trips, and ghost stories.  After moving to Venice, Kim initially wrote about real estate for the Venice Gondolier Sun before moving on to features editor. During these years, she began her series of ghost stories and founded her own publishing house.  Kim has won state, regional and national awards for her books plus numerous awards in journalism.  She also wrote a circus history, Venice history and several road trip books, which can be found at most Venice area bookstores as well as online.

Larry R. Humes

During his four-decade long career, Larry R. Humes worked mostly in journalism and higher education marketing and communication. He wrote for newspapers throughout Florida, served as a stringer for United Press International, and was editor of "The Greentree Gazette", a bi-monthly national magazine targeting higher education administrators. A mystery novel, Bridge to Nowhere, was published in 1980. A new book, City on the Gulf; Venice Florida’s First 100 Years, is soon to be published by History Press.  Larry managed communications for The University of Florida and Rollins College before spending the last decade of his career as a strategic marketing and communications consultant to higher education. Since retirement, he has remained active in local history projects and gives presentations on the topic. He also writes regularly about local history for the "Venice Gondolier" newspaper.

AFTERNOON PANEL  3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

About Publishing Childrens Books

Authors Donna Boock, Carrie Koontz, and Pat Gleichauf, will share their publishing stories with you. Champion’s Way author, Beth Donofrio will act as panel moderator. Followed by a half-hour book signing.

Donna Boock


Donna Boock grew up in Pennsylvania but has called Venice, Florida home for the last eight years. Still eight years old at heart, she writes for the elementary crowd and has published seven books including the funny Kinzie’s Kinventions series, the Claw & Order Fairy Goose Unit detective series, Moo-La-La-Ti-Da!, and Oh, My Word! When asked why she became a writer, she smiles and says she’s been telling stories since the time she convinced her kid sister she was from Jupiter and her space parents were coming back for her. Sometimes stories just happen. www.donnaboock.com

Carrie Koontz


Carrie Koontz’s work with students in her 2nd grade classroom inspired her to write Scooter and the Muttering Monster. She lives in Florida with her husband, Mr. Ben, and her Doberman pups, Nicky and Xena, and regularly handles muttering monsters. Carrie has taught elementary school in Sarasota County for almost 20 years and has a second children’s book in the works. carriekoontz.com

Patricia Gleichauf


All of her life, Patricia Gleichauf dreamed of writing books for children. Her dream became a reality within 6 months of retiring from a busy career in nursing. Patricia’s Under the Sea series is both educational and fun. To date, her six books have achieved over 30 National and International awards.  https://patriciagleichauf.com/