Fernandina Beach, FL, – The Amelia Island Book Festival (AIBF) has hosted more than a thousand notable authors over the years since the first festival in 2001, and readers attending have enjoyed the opportunity to meet and hear the writers of books in their favorite genres.

Coming from all over the country, some of the authors already had achieved bestseller fame, while others were new names just making their mark in the literary world. In the spirit of that tradition, AIBF has created a prestigious new literary award that will be presented for the first time at the 2017 Festival. Only authors who are registered to exhibit at the Author Expo, February 18, 2017, are eligible.

The Book Island Literary Award will recognize an author for an outstanding and well-crafted book, exemplifying a distinctive voice, writing style, or ability to tackle a story or subject in a compelling way. Authors registered to exhibit at the Author Expo, whether first-book authors or those with many published works, are invited to enter this award competition, and entries will be accepted through October 31, 2016.

Both fiction and nonfiction, full-length published books may be entered, and the winner may be a book in either category. Children’s and young adult books will not be included this year, although a future award may be designed for that genre.

The deadline to enter is October 31, 2016. The award will be presented at the Author Face-Off Gala evening on February 16, 2017.

For complete details, including entry criteria, FAQs and application, please visit www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org.

The 16th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival is set for February 16-18, 2017, with a “dream team” of literary superstars. Steve Berry, R.L. Stine, David Baldacci, Mary Kay Andrews, Joseph Finder, Lara Adrian and many others will be among those at the various events over the three-day celebration. All the events on Saturday are free and open to the public. The ticketed events on Thursday and Friday benefit the Festival’s acclaimed Authors in Schools Literacy Program. The program brings noted authors to every public school in the county all day on Festival Friday to give students an opportunity to hear and meet these authors. The Festival also buys the author’s book for each student at that school.

Visit the Amelia Island Book Festival website for continual updates to events, breakout sessions, author expo sign-ups, tickets, and sponsorship and donor opportunities.