In 2014, the Utah Humanities Book Festival recognized the St. George Book Festival as its sister festival, making the St. George Book Festival No. 1 in southern Utah as well as southern Utah’s signature literary event.
However, not only has the book festival, to be held Oct. 19-24 at various locations throughout St. George, grown over the last three years, so has its committee. In the past two years, the committee was made up of about four main members. This year, it has grown to include ten members and multiple community supporters.
The 2015 St. George Book Festival Committee has been expanded as follows:
Virginia S. Grenier, book festival director
David Smith, co-chairman and workshop coordinator
Darren Edwards, co-chairman and poetry coordinator
Dawn McLain, media and sponsorship coordinator
Lin Vernon Floyd, youth poetry contest coordinator
James Duckett, technology coordinator
Ami Comeford, DSU coordinator
Lenore Madden, school district coordinator
Bonnie B. Anderson, treasurer
“One Pen, One Idea, and One Reader’s Journey” is the catchphrase for the St. George Book Festival, and the 2015 programming features over 50 speakers, authors, and poets throughout the week-long event running from Oct. 19 to 24.
“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the book festival,” said Grenier. “We wanted to step things up a notch because of this, so there are some really cool opportunities for St. George community and surrounding areas such as prizes, goodie bags, open mic events to read poems and stories they have written, and of course some huge authors with celebrity above and beyond their writing. The book festival will also showcase some powerhouse emerging writers from Utah and our own local area.”
More authors are coming for this year’s St. George Book Festival Oct. 23 and 24 to the festival’s book expo, which will be part of the Washington County School District’s Spooky Town Fair.
“The book festival committee was really excited when we found out we’ll be partnering with the Spooky Town Fair for our biggest event during the week,” said Grenier. “It has been something we have been working towards, and the Spooky Town Fair committee has been wonderful to work as we continue to plan events, live entertainment and much more.”
The St. George Festival expects more than 10,000 people to attend during the week. Considered one of southern Utah’s premier literary events, the St. George Book Festival continues to be free and open to the public. This year, the book festival has three amazing keynote speakers who are more than just authors.
Kicking off the festival week on Oct. 19 will be Brad Wilcox, a professor in the education department at BYU who works in such programs as Especially for Youth, Women’s Conference, and Campus Education Week. Wilcox is also the author of more than a dozen books such as “Developing Literacy,” “The Best Kept Secrets of Parenting,” and “Raising Ourselves to the Bar.”
The book festival continues with its Writer’s Journey Workshop on Oct. 23 with opening keynote speaker Craig Clyde, who has been in an actor, director, and writer in television and film with more than 21 credits to his name. After a stint as an English teacher, Clyde began his professional media career in radio and television in Montana, later moving to Utah. Clyde has appeared in over sixty major films and national television programs as an actor for all the major networks, as well as in numerous stage roles. He has been nominated for an IRIS award from the National Association of Television Producers and Executives and was nominated for his first Emmy with his production of “Captain Eddy’s Exit,” which he wrote, directed, and scored. Even more impressively, he wrote the video, “Lighting the Way—The Olympic Dream for the International Olympic Committee,” which was used in the winning Utah bid for the 2002 Winter Games.
Those who purchase Literacy Charity Dinner tickets for Oct. 23 will be entertained by actor, comedian, writer, and speaker Joe Nipote, who starred as Frankie Waters in the television series, “Viper,” for five seasons on NBC-UPN. He was also personally handpicked by Steven Spielberg to star as Uncle Stretch, the leader of the Ghostly Trio, in the film, “Casper.” Nipote has guest-starred on countless television shows and films, voiced hundreds of animation projects in film, television, and the web, and lent his voice for radio on dozens of commercials. He has always been very passionate about performing and reading for children, something he has done since he was 16, and worked for the City of Southfield Library, where he was known as “Conductor Joe,” traveling to schools in the a makeshift rolling theater and performing stories and puppet shows for children. Nipote has started a new chapter in his life, writing for children. He recently released his children’s book, “Eggy Yolk and the Dirty Rotten Dozen,” which will be followed by “Something Stinks!” and “Spinelli—The Spider Who Hates the Taste of Bugs!”