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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


FGCU Presents 7th Annual Sanibel Island Writers Conference Nov. 8-11 on Sanibel Island

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Florida Gulf Coast University invites aspiring writers and other devotees of the written word to attend the Sanibel Island Writers Conference, Nov. 8-11, at BIG Arts and The Sanibel Island Public Library on Sanibel. Participants can now register for a variety of workshops, panels, lectures and readings presented by celebrated and experienced writers and teachers.

Susan Orlean, Tim O'Brien and Taylor Goldsmith headline the conference.

Keynote speaker Orlean is the bestselling author of eight books, including "The Orchid Thief," a narrative about orchid poachers in Florida that was made into the Oscar-winning movie "Adaptation," written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze. Last year, she published "Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend," a sweeping account of the famous dog's journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon; it was a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of 2011.

Author Andre Dubus III ("Townie," "House of Sand and Fog") will read before Orlean's keynote address at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 in Schein Hall at BIG Arts, 900 Dunlop Road. The event is open to the public.

"The Things They Carried" author Tim O'Brien delivers a special talk on Thursday, Nov. 8 in Schein Hall. O'Brien received the National Book Award in Fiction in 1979 for his novel "Going After Cacciato." In 2005, the New York Times named "The Things They Carried" one of the 20 best books of the last quarter-century. The novel received the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award in fiction and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His novels have been translated into more than 20 languages. O'Brien's talk begins at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

On Friday, Nov. 9, acclaimed singer-songwriter Taylor Goldsmith will perform a solo concert. Goldsmith is the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the band Dawes, who have released two critically acclaimed albums (2009's "North Hills" and 2011's "Nothing is Wrong"). Esquire Magazine called Goldsmith "the best young songwriter in America" and said he writes "songs that don't just speak for themselves but accomplish something far rarer - they speak for us." Rolling Stone called Dawes "the most promising purveyors of new-school country folk." "Nothing is Wrong" made many critics' "best of 2011" lists - including a spot at No. 5 on American Songwriter's Best Albums.

Cheryl Strayed (Oprah Book Club pick "Wild" and "Tiny, Beautiful Things") reads before Goldsmith's performance. The event begins at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

In addition to the artists mentioned above, the conference offers workshops, presentations, panels and readings from the following authors, editors and literary agents:

Steve Almond (creative nonfiction), Lynne Barrett (fiction/editor), Lisa Borders (fiction), Steven Church (creative nonfiction), John Dufresne (fiction), Camille Dungy (poetry), Janice Eidus (fiction), Beth Ann Fennelly (poetry), Tom Franklin (fiction), Lisa Gallagher (literary agent), Doug Harrison (blogging), Dorianne Laux (poetry), Ron MacLean (fiction), Joe Meno (fiction), Joseph Millar (poetry), Dito Montiel (screenwriting), Jeff Parker (fiction), Bobbie Pyron (YA lit), Deborah Reed (fiction), Christopher Schelling (literary agent), Darin Strauss (memoir) and Johnny Temple (editor and publisher).

For a complete schedule, registration fees and other information, visit or contact Tom DeMarchi at or (239) 590-7421.

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