A Daylong Celebration of Books

The Orlando Book Festival is a day-long celebration of books usually held at the Orlando Public Library. We're going virtual for 2021! Join us for panels, writing workshops, and more from bestselling authors from all over the country. Enjoy an opening session with Angie Thomas, in conversation with Ayana Gray, and a closing keynote from Alyssa Cole.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required for the Angie Thomas event. Registration will close one hour before the event.

Instructions: All events will occur on YouTube. You must be logged in to ask a question or make a comment. For all panels, please click on the panel title below to watch. If you miss the live event, the Angie Thomas talk will be available for one week after the event, and the other events will remain on YouTube indefinitely.

Time Event
10 AM Opening Keynote: Angie Thomas in conversation with Ayana Gray (Register)
11 AM Say YAY to YA! panel
12 PM Crafting Tension panel
1 PM The Truth in Fiction panel
2 PM How to Keep Young Readers Engaged panel
3 PM Romancing the Book panel
4 PM Closing Keynote: Alyssa Cole







Panel descriptions can be found at the bottom of this page.


Featured Authors

Panel Descriptions

10 AM - Keynote

11 AM - Say YAY to YA!

  • Featuring: Taylor Simonds, Amber Mitchell, Namina Forna    
  • Some of the best books being published right now are in the Young Adult category. Join us for a discussion of what makes YA awesome for readers of all ages.
  • Moderated by Laura Helseth

12 PM - Crafting Tension    

  • Featuring: Stefani Deoul, James Holmes, Michael Wiley, Isabel Ibañez    
  • Tension is the secret to both hooking and holding the reader. These authors will show you how to keep readers turning the pages. 
  • Moderated by Michael Mammay

1 PM - The Truth in Fiction    

  • Featuring: Jenny Torres Sanchez, Trish Doller, Caitlin Lochner    
  • Fiction can help us face uncomfortable feelings and deal with hard truths. These authors will discuss how fictional stories can shine a light on the world all around us.
  • Moderated by Racquel Henry

2 PM - How to Keep Young Readers Engaged    

  • Featuring: RM Romero, Rob Sanders, Kelly Coon    
  • To captivate young readers, writers must balance a youthful imagination with an adult professionalism. Learn how to write stories that entrance young minds. 
  • Moderated by RuthAnne Snow

3 PM - Romancing the Book    

  • Featuring: Brenda Jackson, Mara Wells, Racquel Henry    
  • Romance is the best-selling literary genre in the world. Come chat with the authors that make readers swoon.
  • Moderated by Jennifer Morris

4 PM - Closing Keynote    

  • Alyssa Cole    

Contact Us

All questions and inquires should be directed to events@ocls.info. The Orlando Book Festival is now closed to author inquiries.

Follow the conversation using #orlandobookfestival on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Any person requiring special accommodations to participate in any class or program due to a disability may arrange for assistance by contacting us at least seven days prior to the event.


This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Keynote presentations sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.