Established in 1996 to celebrate the centenary of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birth in the city where Fitzgerald, his wife, and his daughter are buried, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival, co-sponsored by the City of Rockville and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc., a non-profit corporation. It has for 20 years held this one-day event, which seeks to honor the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald and those of prominent American literary artists; and to support, encourage, and assist aspiring and emerging writers and students interested in the literary arts.
The centerpiece of the Literary Festival is the presentation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Achievement in American Literature to a prominent American writer, who is present and gives a reading and a master class. Over the years, many of the most distinguished American literary figures of the last half century have been honored. The 2016 recipient is Garrison Keillor.
The day’s activities include writing workshops designed for both emerging and established fiction and non-fiction writers held both in the morning and the afternoon; and literary discussions and panels designed for book lovers who are not themselves writers, also held in both the morning and afternoon.
The Festival also supports a short story contest open to residents of Maryland, DC, and Virginia; the winner and two runners-up are announced and prizes awarded at the Festival.
In 2016, the Festival will be held on Saturday, October 29 at the Rockville Best Western Plus Hotel, 1251 West Montgomery Avenue, Rockville, MD, in partnership with the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, Maryland. It will, besides the program on October 29, include a Literary Luncheon on Thursday afternoon, October 27, at the Mansion at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD, as well as an event at the Strathmore Music Center on Friday evening, October 28.