The Fifth Annual Venice Book Fair and Writers Festival kicks off this Friday, March 18, at the Venice Center Mall (across from Luna Ristorante) with David Hagberg, author of more than 70 thriller novels, presenting a master class for aspiring authors.

The class will delve into character development, scene setting and more and takes place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. It’s followed by a wine and cheese reception, and then a program by Oceanview Publishing about how to get published and a get-together of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime, for those with an interest in writing mystery novels.

The next day, Saturday, March 19, finds authors selling and signing their latest books in Centennial Park. Plus, a panel consisting of Hagberg, Ward Larson, Don Bruns and Terry Griffin will discuss how authors make a living at writing. At 1 p.m., Camille Cline and Fran Valencic tell you how to write your memoir, and Cline and Amanda Leuck will take pitches from writers at 2 p.m. (Writers must register at 9 a.m. at the Centennial Park Gazebo to receive a time slot.)

Proceeds from the annual fair go to Venice Heritage Inc., the fund-raising arm of two historic Venice sites, the Lord-Higel Pioneer House and the Venice Museum and Archives. For complete information, head to