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Shell-sational writers to sign books at festival Authors’ Table

By Staff | Jan 31, 2020


Sponsors of the annual Sanibel Shell Festival, the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club announced that it has gathered a terrific group of authors, many of whom are local to Sanibel, to sign copies of their popular shell- and Sanibel-themed books at the Authors’ Table this year.

With something sure to please everyone, the table will feature books about shells, as well as Sanibel-based mysteries and illustrated books for children. A portion of all book sales will be donated to the club to provide grants for students interested in the study of malacology – mollusks – local sea life, marine biology and ecology at the University of South Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University.

Kicking off the show on March 5 are local authors Harlan Wittkopf and Jennifer L. Schiff. A staple of the event for 23 years, Wittkopf will sign copies of his books, “The Sanibel Kaleidoscope” (7th Edition), “Beach Treasures of the Gulf Coast” (coauthored with Peter Dance) and his children’s book, “Alphie Finds the Seashell Alphabet,” along with illustrator Ken Vinton. Schiff, author of the Sanibel Island Mystery series, will sign copies of her first book, “A Shell of a Problem” – which takes place at the Sanibel Shell Show – and her two most recent mysteries, “Bye Bye Birdy” and “Shell Shocked.”

In the afternoon, the Authors’ Table will welcome back Karen T. Bartlett, author of the Mostly Kids’ Guides, including “A (Mostly) Kids’ Guide to Sanibel and Captiva Islands and the Fort Myers Coast,” and Jane Kirschner, author of the children’s book “Annabelle from Sanibel.”

On March 6, the Authors’ Table will start the day with Amanda Collett, author of “My Way of Shelling,” along with Schiff, who will sign copies of her latest mystery and previous books.


In the afternoon, local favorites Ron Base, author of the Sanibel Sunset Detective series, and James P. Usavage, author of six novels including “On These Shores,” an uplifting modern parable and tribute to Southwest Florida, will sign their books, alongside author Collett.

On March 7, Bev Dolezal, a Florida resident and native of Nassau, Bahamas, will sign copies of her book of poems and photography, “Seashell Poems and Reflections to Soothe the Soul,” along with Alice Cypress, who will sign her illustrated children’s books, “Scuba Zak Meets Thaddeus the Barracuda and Scuba Zak Searches for Thaddeus.”

In the afternoon, Bartlett will return, along with author Cypress.

The Sanibel Shell Festival will take place March 5-6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on March 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Community House, at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel. The suggested donation is $5 per person and includes free admission to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum during the festival.

For more information, contact Mary Burton at marybsanibel@hotmail.com or 239-395-3626 or Joyce Matthys at joycematthys1@gmail.com or 503-871-1082.