Festival Kick Off and More

Start your festival experience in the State Capitol Building with Carla Hayden!

We are honored to have Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden join us this year to kick off the festival and to unveil the state’s new Mississippi Literary Trail Map. Dr. Hayden—an American Librarian and the 14th Librarian of Congress—was CEO of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, from 1993 to 2016, and president of the American Library Association, from 2003 to 2004. Don’t miss her engaging interview with Congressman Gregg Harper during festival.

Official Panelist Discussions & Interviews

Experience lively discussions among official panelists and witness live interviews throughout the day!

  • STATE CAPITOL BUILDING (intimate seating, various rooms on two floors of our magnificent State House)
  • GALLOWAY SANCTUARY (audience seating at Eudora Welty’s church of choice)
  • THE FOUNDERY AT GALLOWAY (general seating)
  • FELLOWSHIP HALL AT GALLOWAY (general seating)

Kid-centered Attractions

Children will be the center of attention in lots of ways this year!

  • KIDS CORNER will be in a new location right in the middle of everything—across from Galloway Church on North Congress Street
  • Our super fun KIDNOTE, at 9:30 a.m. in Galloway, will feature children’s authors Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann, a Caldecott medalist, reading from their new book, Bulldozer Helps Out.
  • The big tent of Kids Corner will be a place of celebration, featuring an early Saturday morning surprise-guest reading of Ezra Jack Keats’ classic—Snowy Day—and a free popsicle!
  • At indoor venues across the festival site, 4-5 discussion panels composed of over 20 authors will focus on early childhood literacy, illustration, young and middle grade readers.
  • We will recognize the MAGNOLIA BOOK AWARD WINNERS in partnership with Mississippi Children’s Museum.
  • Our FAMILY STORYTELLING ROOM will be inside the Capitol Building this year. Engaging literacy experts from across the state, generously provided by the Mississippi Humanities Council, will offer programs on the hour in a family-friendly atmosphere for children of all ages.

Capitol Exhibits

Don’t miss these engaging national showcases on display in the Capitol Building just for the Festival!

  • EZRA JACK KEATS EXHIBIT presented by de Grummond Collection

Capitol Tours

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to see the grandeur of Mississippi’s State Capitol Building!

Guided tours depart from the ground floor Visitor Desk every 30 minutes, beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Authors Alley

Authors (self-published and/or published) are welcome in Authors Alley — a large exhibitor tent with tables at the heart of the festival. Please note: Official Panelist authors are not included in this space.

If you are interested in participating as an author, please click here.

Full list of participates coming June 2017


Booksellers are showcased at the center of the festival in our Independent Bookseller Tents, directly across from the Book Signings Tent.

If you are interested in participating as a bookseller, please click here.

Full list of participates coming June 2017

Exhibitors on the Lawn

Organizations (non-profit, government, charitable) have it made in the shade with a provided tent and table on the Capitol grounds. Please note: No sales are allowed in this area.

If you are interested in participating as an exhibitor, please click here.

Full list of participates coming June 2017

Book Signings

Participating official panelist authors will be available for book signings on the south lawn of the Capitol.

Food Trucks & Live Music

Enjoy local foods and live music along West Street.