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 until 2:00 p.m.

Capitol Exhibits

Don’t miss these engaging national showcases on display in the Capitol Building just for the Festival presented by the Mississippi Arts Commission!

  • LIBRARY OF CONGRESS will have an exhibit in the rotunda.
  • MISSISSIPPI LIBRARY COMMISSION will host interactive activities on the 2nd floor of the Capitol as well as host a table in the rotunda.
  • C-SPAN will have an exhibit in the rotunda.
  • EZRA JACK KEATS EXHIBIT presented by de Grummond Collection. This celebration of the 100th birthday of Ezra Jack Keats Snowy Day will feature the original Keats documents on loan from the University of Southern Mississippi 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

Meet more than 60 authors and artists selling their most recent works along Mississippi Street.

Mary Abraham | Joyce Ainsworth | Jacquelyn C. Allen | David Billings | W. Clark Boutwell | Felicia Brookins | Wanda Nance Brooks | Alison Buehler | Joshua Cable | Melissa Carrigee | John S. Case | Thelma B. Cousins | Dorothy A. Day | Andy Delancy | Damien Ishamel Fairconetue | Beth McAdams Ford | Carol Gignoux | Paula Goddard | Jane Golden | Elizabeth Guider | Angela Hoeflich | Ann Hollowell | H. Grady Howell Jr. | Wanda Fay Jackson | Lizy Jacob | Benny H. Jenkins | Emma A. Jimenez | Danny Johnson | Mark W. Johnson | Kimberly B. Jones | Larry Jorgensen | Hannah Kay | Jazz Keyes | Deanna Klingel | Michael Lackey | LaDonna Marie | Anne Martin | Ava Lisa Maxey | Patrick McCloud | Sarah McGee | Tom McGraw | Robert Moore | Virginia Sue Mordecai | Ricky Nobile | Darden North | Cleveland Payne | Katina Rankin | Robert Rogers | Evelyn McDade Roughten | Tyra E. Rowell | Richard Schwartz | Janice A. Singleton | Andrew Snorton | Katherine Dupont Phillips and Jackie Warren Tatum | Lottie Bogan and Janet Taylor-Perry | Sister Alies Therese | Diane Thomas-Plunk | Michael Hicks Thompson | Thomas J. Ward Jr. | Southern Sun Press


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 July 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 July 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.