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 is co-sponsored by the City of Rockville and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference, Inc., a non-profit corporation. It has for 24 years held this 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. Originally a one-day event, the Festival now includes programs on three days.
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 2020 recipient is Barbara Kingsolver.
The activities on October 3 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 2020 Festival will also sponsor two short story contests: a Student Contest open to Montgomery County high school students; and an Adult Contest open to residents of Maryland, DC, and Virginia. The winners and two runners-up in each contest will be announced and awarded cash prizes at the Festival.
In 2020, the events of the Festival on October 3 will be held virtually on September 24th and October 3rd.