During these past months, it has been helpful and necessary to consult resources such as books for education, to seek knowledge, connection and comprehension. When buying books and getting recommendations from booksellers, we rely on literary professionals for a map of what to read. In Miami we are extra lucky to have this in abundance: as a consultation desk of a library we can listen to Literary Life podcast with Mitchell Kaplan, we can attend Miami Book Fair’s events and we have Books & Books as institutions for gatherings.

As Culture Crusaders, we make finding gems in the city our mission. We like encountering and spotlighting the best things in Miami. Each year Miami Book Fair is marked on our calendar, and we’re not missing out on their stellar events year round. The Miami Writers Institute is an annual creative writing conference set up by the Miami Book Fair. This year the format has been different for faculty and attendees each joining conferences from home or a quarantine sanctuary. You can participate in intensive writing workshops with best selling authors, attend craft talks, publishing seminars, manuscript consultations with a literary agent, and so much more.

Creative writing workshops have been the most promising highlight of the summer curriculum thus far. Five-day courses with published and acclaimed authors are offered online with Miami Book Fair. This past week, authors that would normally visit Miami for the occasion of the workshops, are doing so via Crowdcast. Some of the featured faculty are giving free talks this week at 6pm. Richard Blanco, the inaugural poet for President Obama gave his workshop from Hemingway’s house in Ketchum, Idaho. Boris Fishman, author of Savage Feast: A Memoir with Recipes gave his virtual course from Bellingham, Washington.

Ignite FIU

There are still free talks to attend this week: Bryan Washington on July 29, Lilliam Rivera on July 30 and R.O. Kwon on July 31. You can order each author’s books within the talk as you would if you were at a talk inside a bookstore. Miami Book Fair keeps producing the best events and now you don’t have to worry about finding a seat.

The Miami Writers Institute faculty have imparted authentic encouragement to aspiring authors. If you would like to join a talk, registration is simple and you will receive a reminder for each event you wish to attend. You don’t have to worry about parking, arriving on time, or what snacks to bring along to lectures. Because of social distancing, you can be laser focused to concentrate on the work.

As writers we tend to isolate from society, but in the current circumstances everyone is to follow quarantine regulations, and we notice it’s not the best situation for mental health. It’s beneficial to join a community and share experiences through writing and surround yourself with a community of writers to lean on for support. With each talk, the writers recommend their favorite authors and the reading list grows and as a result we can support local bookstores like independent favorite, Books & Books.


Miami Book Fair has scheduled events for authors to present their books almost every day next month. Before quarantine, once a month at Books & Books you could attend the event, First draft: A Literary Social, where you could have a drink with other aspiring authors. These events are still happening and the drinks are more varied, each writer from home. On Wednesday, August 12, you will be able to get social with instructor Roy G. Guzmán online. You can stay tuned to Miami Book Fair’s events’ calendar and see the authors and topics of each month’s First draft for the rest of the year.

As for book events, the virtual schedule is full of conversations to attend. If you have already attended the Miami Book Fair’s Virtual Evenings in partnership with Books & Books, you know they are anticipated events to meet the authors. There are so many opportunities in Miami and so many more each month. With everything going virtual, why not join-in on a talk? Appreciation is high and joyful interactions guaranteed. You can talk American politics with Julian E. Zelizer (July 30), connect with the author of The Princess Diaries series, Meg Cabot (August 11), get familiar with the real life story of Alexandra Fuller’s unforgettable father (August 13), and hear Camilla Lackberg talk about her new psychological thriller (August 16).  You can also view these streams live via Culture Crusaders Facebook page.

Cover photo via Screen Craft.