Newbie authors, you have a month to get your manuscripts ready to pitch to a book agent at the fourth annual Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival, March 28 in Centennial Park and other downtown venues.

As part of the all-day festival featuring more than 45 authors and master writing classes, authors can present their latest work to a book agent or editor. But you have to sign up at 9 a.m. the day of the festival and have at least three chapters and a substantive outline completed. Children’s books must include illustrations. Later in the day, each writer will have 10 minutes to make a pitch, followed by 5 minutes of evaluation from the editor or agent.

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For the rest of us who just love books, more than 45 authors will have their latest books on display and for sale in tents set up in Centennial park from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Other festival highlights include: thriller author David Hagberg teaching a master writing class; book editor Camille Cline, and self-published author and Venice Gondolier writer Kim Cool presenting a master class on how to work with publishers; and Florida in Mind presentations by Gulf Coast Journal host Jack Perkins, Bruce Stephenson, Rollins professor and author of John Nolen, Landscape Architect and City Planner, and Clarissa Thomasson, a Venice resident who writes locally-based historical novels, including her latest, Surviving Sarasota.

The festival is a fundraiser for Venice Heritage Inc., which supports the Venice Museum and the Lord-Higel House, the city’s oldest pioneer home. For more information: