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Event Details

Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading


Join Tampa Bay Times book editor Colette Bancroft as she interviews acclaimed authors about their most recent work.

Hear best-selling authors share insights into their latest books and their writing process.


Authors will field questions from the audience and offer book signings. Local independent bookseller Tombolo Books will host a book market for sales and signings in the Palladium’s downstairs Cabaret room throughout the day.

SOLD OUT: VIP Tickets: $75 - Limited # Available. Includes premium seating, VIP coffee hour, boxed lunch, 15% off at the Tombolo Bookstore on-site, and a commemorative canvas tote bag.   

SOLD OUT: General Admission: $25

Festival of Reading Commemorative Tote Bag: $15

Featured Authors:


Martin Baron is a longtime journalist and newspaper editor who ran The Miami Herald and The Boston Globe's newsrooms before being named The Washington Post's executive editor in 2013. His role in launching an investigation of the Catholic Church’s cover-up of sexual abuse by clergy was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning movie “Spotlight.” Baron retired from daily journalism in early 2021, and “Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and The Washington Post” is his first book.


Dave Barry is the author of more bestsellers than you can count on two hands, including “Lessons from Lucy,” “Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys,” “Dave Barry Turns Forty” and “Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up.” A wildly popular syndicated columnist best known for his booger jokes, Barry won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. His latest book is the novel “Swamp Story.”


Roy Peter Clark is a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, one of the world's most prestigious schools for journalists. A writer who teaches and a teacher who writes, he has authored or edited twenty books on writing and journalism, including “Writing Tools,” “Murder Your Darlings,” and "The Art of XRay Reading.” His latest book is “Tell It Like It Is: A Guide to Clear and Honest Writing.”


Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of 38 novels and one work of nonfiction and is one of the most successful writers working today. His most recent No. 1 New York Times bestsellers include “Desert Star,” “The Dark Hours,” “The Law Of Innocence,” “The Night Fire” and “Dark Sacred Night.” He is the executive producer of “Bosch” and “Bosch: Legacy," two Amazon Studios original drama series based on his bestselling character Harry Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. He is the executive producer of “The Lincoln Lawyer” on Netflix, starring Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller. His new novel in the Lincoln Lawyer series is “Resurrection Walk.” He spends his time in California and Florida.


Lane DeGregory seeks stories about people in the shadows. Some put a face on news events and current issues. Others shine a light on people’s private struggles and triumphs. Many are narratives focusing on helpers and hope. She grew up in Washington, D.C., during the Watergate era and decided she wanted to be a journalist when she was six years old. She has worked at newspapers across the East Coast and written for the Times for over 20 years. In 2009, she won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for a story about a feral child. In 2023, the University of Chicago Press published an annotated anthology of her Times stories, “The Girl in the Window and Other True Tales.” She’s married to her college crush, a drummer, and they raised their two sons in the tiny waterfront town of Gulfport.


Lauren Groff is a New York Times bestselling author of the novels “The Monsters of Templeton,” “Arcadia,” “Fates and Furies” and “Matrix,” and the short story collections “Delicate Edible Birds” and “Florida." She has won the Story Prize and the Joyce Carol Oates Prize and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Groff’s work regularly appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. Her new novel is “The Vaster Wilds.”

Stephane Hayes is a columnist with the Tampa Bay Times and syndicated via Creators Syndicate, which supplies content to publications worldwide. As a journalist for 20 years, she has received writing prizes from the National Headliner Awards, Green Eyeshade Awards, the Society for Features Journalism, and the Florida Society of News Editors, among others. Her writing has appeared in the Chicago Quarterly Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and more. She is the author of “Obitchuary,” a novel. “Be Serious,” a collection of her syndicated columns, is out this fall from Creators. She lives in Dunedin with her husband, stepdaughter, enormous cat, and tiny dog.

Vanessa Riley is an award-winning author of more than 20 books, encompassing historical fiction, romance, and mystery. Her novels showcase the hidden histories of Black women and women of color, emphasizing strong sisterhoods and dazzling multicultural communities, and have been praised by the AAMBC, Washington Post, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, and many others. Her latest novels are “Queens in Exile” and “Murder in Drury Lane.”

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of twenty novels, including her latest, “Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six.” She is regarded as a master of suspense. Unger’s critically acclaimed novels have been featured on “Best Book” lists from the “Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” Entertainment Weekly, People, Amazon, Goodreads, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Sun Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times and many others. Lisa is the current co-president of the International Thriller Writers organization. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.


For a detailed schedule of events, please visit the Festival of Reading Website.

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This event is a fundraiser for the Tampa Bay Times Journalism Fund.

Venue Information

The Palladium Theatre in downtown St. Petersburg
235 5th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Organizer Information

Lynn Cristina