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 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 Panels & Interviews

Experience lively discussions among Official Panelists and watch live interviews throughout the day at these locations:

  • STATE CAPITOL BUILDING (Room 201A, Room 201H, Room 113, Old Supreme Court Room)
  • GALLOWAY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH (Sanctuary, Fellowship Center, The Foundery)

Kid/Teen-Centered Attractions

Kids and teenagers 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. Stop by for fun all morning long with interactive exhibits from the Mississippi Children’s Museum; Imagination Playground, Wheel of Wonder, Bookmaking and Snowflake Fun.
  • CREATIVITY CENTER is a new afternoon feature in a tent across from Galloway Church
  • 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 a 10:45 am reading of Ezra Jack Keats’ classic—The Snowy Day by Augusta Scattergood. Join in the fun and receive 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. Acclaimed storytellers from across the state, generously provided by the Mississippi Humanities Council, will offer programs at 10:00 and 11:00 am.
  • The YOUTH MEDIA PROJECT is a new teen activity in the Creativity Center on Congress Street beginning at 2:30 pm. It will feature teenagers using digital technology to produce multimedia projects to share their own stories.

Capitol Showcase

There’s lots to see and do inside the Capitol Building!

  • C-SPAN LIVEOfficial Panels and Interviews broadcast from the Old Supreme Court Room; presented by Entergy
  • C-SPAN EXHIBITpresented by Entergy
  • EZRA JACK KEATS EXHIBIT — celebrate Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day featuring original Keats documents on loan from the University of Southern Mississippi; presented by de Grummond Collection
  • MISSISSIPPI MARATHON READthe festival’s Official Panelists read short stories by classic and emerging authors represented on the state’s new Mississippi Literary Map new reading begins every 30 minutes starting at 9:30 a.m. in Room 204; presented by the Mississippi Library Commission and the Mississippi Humanities Council
  • FAMILY STORYTELLING ROOM acclaimed storytellers from across the state present family-friendly programs at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in Room 103; presented by the Mississippi Humanities Council
  • CAPITOL TOURSGuided tours depart from the ground floor Visitor Desk every 30 minutes, beginning at 11:00 a.m.

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 authors and artists selling their most recent works along Mississippi Street.

Mary Abraham | Joyce Ainsworth | Jacquelyn C. Allen | Melanie Atkins | Douglas Babington | David Billings | Lottie Bogan | W. Clark Boutwell | Felicia Brookins | Wanda Nance Brooks | Alison Buehler | Joshua Cable | Melissa Carrigee | John S. Case | Chauncey Citchens | Thelma B. Cousin | Dorothy A. Day | Andy Delancy | Janet W. Ferguson | Beth McAdams Ford | Paula Goddard | Jane Golden | Elizabeth Guider | Ann Hollowell | Shirley Kianna Hopkins | H. Grady Howell Jr. | Wanda Fay Jackson | Lizy Jacob | Benny H. Jenkins | Emma A. Jimenez | Mark W. Johnson | Kimberly B. Jones | Larry Jorgensen | Hannah Kay | Jazz Keyes | Michael Lackey | LaDonna Marie | Anne Martin | Ava Lisa Maxey | Mike McCall | Patrick McCloud | Sarah McGee | Tom McGraw | Clea McLemore | Robert Moore | Virginia Sue Mordecai | Ricky Nobile | Darden North | Cleveland Payne | Katherine Dupont Phillips | Katina Rankin | Robert Rogers | Evelyn McDade Roughten | Tyra E. Rowell | Richard Schwartz | Janice A. Singleton | Andrew Snorton | Jackie Warren Tatum | Janet Taylor-Perry | Sister Alies Therese | Diane Thomas-Plunk | Michael Hicks Thompson | Thomas J. Ward Jr. | Candice A. Whigham | Clinton Ink Slingers


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.

Big House Books | The Clarion-Ledger | Dogwood Press | Jackson Friends of the Library | Ke Francis / Caron Gallery | Lemuria Books | Lorelei Books | Mississippi Museum of Art | Nautilus | Turnrow Books | University Press of Mississippi | Usborne Books

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.

Bookfriends of the University Press of Mississippi | Eudora Welty House and Garden | Margaret Walker Center | Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience | Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters | Mississippi Library Association | Mississippi Public Broadcasting | Mississippi State University | Mississippi Today | Mississippi University for Women, MFA in Creative Writing | Visit Jackson | Visit Mississippi | Visit Oxford | Volunteer Mississippi | WT3 Foundation

Book Signings

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

See schedule here!

Food Trucks & Live Music

Try tasty local foods from these vendors along West Street and enjoy—under the sun shade or in the shade!

Bessi Roo’s | Crunch Time Concessions | Deep South Pops | Green Ghost Tacos | Hog Heaven BBQ | J B’s Chicago Style Beef Etc. | LurnyD’s Grille | The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen | Small Time Hot Dogs | Sweetwater Blue’z | T&J Concessions | T&J Concessions Sno Cones | Southern Sweets & Treats

Look for the stage at the corner of West and Mississippi Streets and claim your spot—curbside or Capitol Lawn!

10:00 A.M. - NOON
Malaco Gospel singer Darrell Luster

NOON - 5:00 P.M.
No Strings Band featuring Jewell Bass and Mike George