2023 marks a decade of the JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival where we’ve come together around our literary community and shared in narrating Jacksonville’s story. Over these ten years, we’ve shared poems in arcades, performed interpretive readings at the Jessie, and shared the words of many. We’ve also built a community, and that community is growing. We are deeply thankful for the unwavering support and contributions of past directors and JaxbyJax pioneers, Tim Gilmore, Brad Kuhn, and Darlyn Finch Kuhn. Their vision has brought JaxbyJax to where it is now, and part of their vision looking forward seeks to grow and evolve our literary community across story genres, continue strong community partnerships, and provide opportunities for diverse thought. Facilitating these upcoming changes, JaxbyJax is happy to announce that they have appointed Erica Saffer as Lead Director for the 2023 JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival. We are excited to see how her vision advances the momentum of the movement that is JaxbyJax!
Darlyn Finch Kuhn introduces 2023 Lead Director Erica Saffer
Click on musical note at bottom right corner of video to hear sound.
Video produced and narrated by Brad Kuhn
The theme for 2022's festival was "This is Jacksonville."
Here's a word from JaxbyJax Founder & Director Emeritus, Tim Gilmore.
We are pleased to announce the receipt of an Alternate ROOTS Artistic Assistance Grant that will be used in part to sponsor monthly community writing workshops in 2023 at CORK Arts District, and writer honoraria at the Tenth Anniversary JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival at The Jessie Ball DuPont Center in December, 2023. The Mellon Foundation and The Ford Foundation co-sponsored the grant, which we greatly appreciate!
Through the continued generosity of the JaxNEXT100, Moving the Margins, Brad Kuhn & Associates, LLC and Scribbles, JaxbyJax once again offered cash honoraria to the participating writers. We are pleased to announce that Happy Tapir Press founder Johnny Masiulewicz hosted one of the reading rooms, as did Director Emeritus Tim Gilmore, author of the historical blog, JaxPsychoGeo.
Seven writing workshops were presented from 10 - 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 29th:
"The Not-So-Secret Life of a Ghostwriter" by Vic DiGenti
"Writing Flash Memoir" by Damon Thomas
"Writing the Bop Poem" by Yvette Angelique
"Writing the Rondolet Poem" by Lynn Skapyak Harlin
"Emerging Technologies in Sci-Fi Writing" by Wynne Karnath
"This is Jacksonville" by Jennifer Wolfe of Women Writing for a Change
"Screenwriting in Jacksonville" by a Screenwriting Panel to include Sharon Cobb, Franklin Ritch, Alexa Wint, & Monique Madrid.
In addition, our FEATURED PLAYWRIGHT, Bobbie Garner O'Connor hosted a dramatic reading of her play, Screams Echo, on Friday evening, October 28th. Doors opened at 6 PM; reading started promptly at 6:30 PM, followed by a talkback led by 904WARD. View the promo video here.
Brilliant young writers from the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, FSCJ, and UNF were featured in the Student Showcase. And, for the second year, poet Andres Rojas awarded the Dr. James Robert Cobb Student Writer Awards to six student writers at the JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival Student Showcase on Saturday afternoon. There were three poetry winners and three prose winners. Cash prizes were $250 for 1st place, and $125 each for 2nd and 3rd places.
And 16 Jacksonville Writers Writing Jacksonville read from their work.
This celebration of Jacksonville talent would not be possible without the generosity, support, and enthusiasm of our sponsors. The writers and readers of JaxbyJax thank you!
In collaboration with
904WARD and The Jessie,
the JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival
was thrilled to sponsor the
“We Have a Write to Our Futures”
Writing Contest and Celebration.
2023 Community Writing Workshops
JaxbyJax will once again host workshops for students and members of the community to polish their writing. Watch this space for details.
For an alphabetical list of the 2022 writers,
2022 Student Showcase
2022's JaxbyJax Student Showcase featured the work of talented Jacksonville students from the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, UNF, and FSCJ. Teacher/Writers Tiffany Melanson, Mark Ari, Jenn Chase and Darlyn Finch Kuhn worked with the selected students to provide a great literary experience.
2022 Writer/Reader Coaching
Director and Improv Queen Barbara Colaciello offered to elevate and invigorate the presentations of writers selected to read at the 2022 festival in her studio at Bab’s Lab!
The coaching session was from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 15th, and there were only TEN spots available! Writers rediscovered their words in the moment and dispelled performance anxiety by claiming a spot by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The only drawback to being a reader at the JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival is not being able to hear all the other writers read their work. Thus the pre-party was born. A celebration held exclusively for the selected writers and sponsors to have an opportunity to read to each other on the Saturday before the festival, this year's event was hosted by the Jacksonville Literary Arts Alliance located in the Cork Arts District.
We appreciate the generosity of Erica Susan Saffer in sponsoring the pre-party in 2022. Watch this space for details!
2022 Book Signing
The selected authors with books for sale who wished to do so had pre-signed books available for purchase at Chamblin's Uptown and Chamblin's Bookmine. There were also books available for purchase and signing at the festival.
2022 Dr. James Robert Cobb Student Writer Awards
The 2022 Student Showcase was open for submissions through September 30. If you are a student at UNF, FSCJ, or DA (or if you are a teacher or parent of a talented student writer), please send contact information and a short story or set of poems (which can be read aloud in 15 minutes or less) to Darlyn Finch Kuhn at email@example.com.
Featured poet Andres Rojas once again awarded the Dr. James Robert Cobb Student Writer Awards at the Student Showcase from 12:30 - 2:30 PM on Saturday, October 29,
There were three poetry winners and three prose winners. Cash prizes were $250 for 1st place, and $125 each for 2nd and 3rd places.
Meet the 2022 writers below.
(Click on photo to see writer's name and bio.)
Click on the logos below to visit our sponsors.
If you or your organization would like to sponsor the JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival,
click here for details,
or contact Darlyn Finch Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessie Ball duPont Center
“At the corner of conversation and action”
Moving the Margins
Brad Kuhn & Associates, LLC
Happy Tapir Press
Jacksonville Literary Arts Alliance
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our writers and their fans, JaxbyJax did not hold a face-to-face reading as part of the festival in 2020. Instead, we produced a documentary video.
TO WATCH JAXBYJAX LITERARY ARTS FESTIVAL VII, you MUST have a Facebook profile and GO TO: facebook.com/JaxbyJax and LIKE the page.
Here are links to JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival VII, in the video section of the JaxbyJax Literary Arts page.
Please note that both videos have identical openings for the first minute and twenty seconds, but different writers and different content after that.
Day One will LIFT YOUR SPIRITS and OPEN YOUR MIND, featuring poetry and prose by Yvette Angelique, Ben Atkinson, Tayve Neese, Abel Harding, Lex Hamilton, Tim Gilmore, Taryn "Love Reigns" Wharwood, Brad Kuhn, Shannon Pulusan, Johnny Masiulewicz, Michelle Lizet Flores, Damon Thomas, singer/songwriter Jesse Montoya, and featured poet Lynn Skapyak Harlin, who will read her work and also wrap things up with a 15-minute workshop on HOOKS that you won't want to miss.
Day Two will HEAL YOUR HEART, featuring poetry and prose by Andres Rojas, Sarah Crooks, Thomas Ferriello, Sonja Mongar, Tricia Booker, Nikesha Williams, Sohrab Homi Fracis, singer/songwriter Jesse Montoya, and the fabulous STUDENT SHOWCASE. We'll learn how to get involved with Women Writing for a Change from Jennifer Wolfe, talk with Ron Chamblin about the importance of bookstores, and walk with Tommy Shapard through his experience at Baptist Health with COVID-19.