ST. PETERSBURG, FL — It’s a weekend of words in St. Pete for writers and book lovers at the sixth annual SunLit Literary Festival.
The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday at The Factory and continues through Sunday with literary readings, live music, newspapers at Sawgrass Lake Park, literary prizes and more.
“We encourage everyone to purchase tickets for tonight’s launch party as all proceeds go towards helping children pay for hour-long writing tutoring sessions, including essays and writing creative,” Maureen McDole, founder of Keep St. Pete Lit, told Patch. “We have set up face-to-face tutoring programs to help students at South St. Pete schools improve their writing skills.”
Online tutoring is also available for Pinellas County K-12 students and college students through Keep St. Pete Lit Learning Programs.
The Literary Awards will begin at 6:30 p.m. at The Factory, and live music from Better Strangers will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.
St. Pete’s Wordier Than Thou is hosting their second “Wordier’s 1K Walk and Write (or Reading)”, which is part 1K, part writing workshop, part silent reading, part St. Pete walking tour and pub crawl part.
Wordier Than Thou founder Tiffany Razzano told Patch at Hangar St. Pete on Wednesday as she mapped out the route for the event — the first one they held was pre-pandemic. Wordier Than Thou had regularly scheduled events prior to March 2020, and since then Razzano shared that while they wanted to hold events, his organization has made people’s health a priority because a variety of ages and different people have attended Wordier events. since its creation in 2012.
“We tried to hold events during the pandemic when it looked like the coronavirus cases were subsiding, then all of a sudden they were going back up, and we had to cancel an event or reschedule it to be on the safe side,” said Razzano. , who also serves as publisher of Patch’s Sarasota and Bradenton sites. “I think we’re finally at a good time where the things that we’re doing are going to be on schedule. But we’ll still be considering what’s happening with regard to COVID in terms of policies and cases and things like that, but right now we’re comfortable doing things.”
Free 1K Write and Read Event Stops
- Those attending the event will meet Wordier Than Thou at St. Pete’s Hangar at 1 p.m.
- The group will then depart at approximately 1:45 PM and make the following stops in this order: Dali Museum Garden, Pioneer Park, North Straub Park, Spa Beach at St. Pete Pier. The group will spend approximately 20 minutes at each stop writing, and if you’re not writing, bring a book to read. Razzano said if anyone needed writing prompts, participants could draw a topic from a hat.
6th Annual SunLit Festival Event
- Friday, April 1 – SunLit Festival Launch Party
- Friday April 1 – Sunday April 3 – 39th Annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair
- Saturday, April 2 – Poetry in BLC Park
- Saturday April 2 – Mirror Lake walking tour with a literary twist!
- Saturday, April 2 – Gulfport Historical Society Book Exchange
- Saturday, April 2 – Nature Journaling with St. Pete Audubon
- Saturday April 2 – Poetry Exploring Wildness: A SunLit Poetry Event
- Saturday, April 2 – Children’s Poetry Night Hike
- Sunday, April 3 – Tour de Kerouac
- Sunday April 3 – Walk and write (or read) 1 km from Wordier
- Sunday April 3 – Lucha Libro
Razzano said she’s aware Sunday’s forecast for St. Petersburg could bring rain, and she has a back-up plan for the 1K in case the rain comes around.
“I’ll keep an eye on the weather,” Razzano said. “I’ve been checking all week. I’m seeing isolated thunderstorms and a 40% chance of rain, right now. (Right now like Friday morning) I’ll make that call before 11 a.m., Sunday. We can still meet for a write to the Hangar. And I’ll choose an arbitrary rain date – Saturday April 15th, same time, locations, etc., for ‘Wordier’s 1K Walk and Write (or Reading)'”
Tour de Kerouac event
The Friends of Jack Kerouac are hosting a guided bike tour featuring historic sites Kerouac interacted with during his time in St. Pete.
- Jack Kerouac stops include the Flamingo Bar on MLK Jr. Street North near 22nd Avenue North, St. Anthony’s Hospital, Al Lang Field, Haslam’s Books, The Manhattan Casino and Mirror Lake Community Library.
- Some of the stops will have live poetry readings.
- James Hartzell, president of the Friends of Jack Kerouac, recommended that attendees bring water, sunscreen, a helmet and your own bicycle for the tour.
- It starts at 10 a.m. at the St. Pete Bike Co-cop, and the ride will take two hours. This visit does not include the Kerouac house. To participate, simply register via [email protected]
For other outdoor festival events this weekend regarding the expected rain, McDole said he hopes the weather gods are too busy writing and reading, and forget to send rain on our way.