2023 Features & Attractions

Find something for everyone!

Authors Alley

Presented by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi 

More than 80 authors and artists are positioned to sell their most recent works in large tents along Mississippi Street and N. West Street, all day. 

Booksellers Row

Independent booksellers are showcased at the center of the festival, directly across from the Book Signings Tent, along Mississippi Street and N. Congress Street, all day. 

  • Dogwood Press
  • Friendly City Books 
  • Joan Murray Ministries 
  • Lemuria Books 
  • Lily’s Rare Books  
  • Lorelei Books 
  • Luna Press 
  • The Book Rack 
  • Turnrow Books Co. 
  • University Press of Mississippi 

Capitol Showcase

See inspiring exhibits on the ground floor of the Capitol Building in the Rotunda, throughout the day.

  • University of Southern Mississippi de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection and University Libraries
  • University of Southern Mississippi Center for Writers
  • Greenfield Farm Writers Residency: A Preview
  • See Us Differently Exhibit Presented by Mississippi Humanities Council

Capitol Tours

This unique opportunity to see the grandeur of Mississippi’s State Capitol building is not to be missed! Every hour, beginning at 10:00 am, take advantage of this unique opportunity! Tours start at the ground floor visitor desk. Last tour is at 4:00 pm.

Community Lawn

Presented by Community Foundation for Mississippi

Organizations (non-profit, government, charitable) have it made in the shade with a provided tent and table on the south lawn of the Capitol grounds. No sales are allowed in this area, but there’s lots to see and share, all day!

  • Big House Books
  • Books Along the Teche Literary Festival
  • Foundation for Louisiana
  • Friends of the Pickens Public Library
  • Great Cities Foundation
  • Hinds Behavioral Health Services
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Jackson Friends of the Library
  • Jackson Hinds Library System
  • League of Women Voters Jackson Area
  • Margaret Walker Center
  • Millsaps College
  • Mississippi Library Association Inc.
  • Mississippi Public Broadcasting
  • Mississippi State University
  • Mississippi University for Women Creative Writing
  • Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration
  • Operation Shoestring
  • The Eudora Welty House & Garden
  • University of Southern Mississippi
  • Visit Clarksdale
  • Wellcare

Food Pavilion & Live Music

Presented by Downtown Jackson Partners

Chill out in the shade, while listening to The Sessions and enjoying your food truck selections.

Food Trucks

Local vendors have tasty foods for sale on N. West Street, all day! Claim a picnic spot on the lawn or in our shady food pavilion! 

  • Bee Bee’s Fresh Squeezed Lemonade 
  • Chili Factory 
  • Crooked Letter Kitchen 
  • Crunch Time Concessions  
  • Dad’s Dogs 
  • Green Ghost  
  • Hey Sugah 
  • Homegirl Beverage Company  
  • Lillie’s Restaurant and Catering 
  • Northshore Specialty Coffee 
  • Poppy Pies  
  • Small Time Hot Dogs & Street Eats 
  • Smokey’s Meal on Wheels 
  • Sno Biz 
  • T&J Concessions 
  • The Frosty Flamingo Italian Ice 
  • The Snowcone Princess 
  • Twisted Pretzel and Dippin Dots of Central MS

History of Festival Art

Did you know there has been a unique piece of art for the festival every year? From the shores of the Gulf to the hills of North Mississippi, our festival artists are native Mississippians, or they have adopted Mississippi as their home. On the bottom floor of the Capitol Building, you will be able to view the art from each festival and learn more about our exciting call for submissions to be the festival artist for the 10th-anniversary festival in 2024. 

Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Awards

Each year the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters honors creative individuals with an award in their specific field. The prestigious awards, first made in 1980, are presented in nine categories: Fiction, Non-fiction, Life Writing, Youth Literature, Visual Art, Music Composition (Classical), Music Composition (Contemporary), Photography, and Poetry. The Institute's juried competition is one of a kind in the state. Enjoy the poster displays featuring this year's winners on the bottom floor of the Capitol Building on festival day. 

MPB Kids Club

Calling all young readers at the 2023 Mississippi Book Festival! The Mississippi Public Broadcasting Kids Club will offer books, fun activities, and the chance to meet Ed Said, the popular MPB character whose rhymes and raps educate youth about the importance of healthy eating, and PBS Kids' Alma from Alma's Way. Come for a visit and leave with fun memories and souvenirs.

Official Panels

Lively discussions among Official Panelists and live interviews are held throughout the day at these venues: 

  • State Capitol Building (Rooms 103, 113, 201A, 201H, 202, 204, plus the C-SPAN / Old Supreme Court Room)
  • Galloway United Methodist Church (Sanctuary, Reception, Fellowship Center)

Pop-up Library

Presented by Mississippi Library Commission

During the day, head over Capitol Room 202 to cool off, browse books by festival authors, and play board games.

Rocky’s House

Presented by Mississippi Children’s Museum; W. K. Kellogg Foundation

The festival’s youngest visitors will find an exciting interactive and sensory experience at Rocky’s House, a language and literacy development installation from the Mississippi Children’s Museum. 

Story Time in the Kids Tent

Tent by The Phil Hardin Foundation; Programming Powered by Entergy Mississippi

Reading is fun in the shade on the south lawn of the Capitol! Join authors Lillian Batchelor (9:45 & 10:00 am) and 2023 Miss Mississippi Vivian O’Neal (10:00 & 10:45 am) for story time and crafts in the shade. Then come back for more story time with illustrator Sara Frances Hardy (1:00 pm) and songs with Steve Azar (1:00 pm).

USM de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection

Presented by University of Southern Mississippi

With original manuscripts and illustrations of more than 1,400 authors and illustrators, and more than 180,000 published books dating back to 1530, the de Grummond Collection at USM is full of wonders and surprises that are sure to please. Stop by their exhibit in the Capitol Rotunda for an awe-inspiring glimpse of genius on display. A can’t-miss opportunity for expert collectors and children alike!