Last week, the tenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival announced the plans for this year’s festival.
The premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas will include more than 80 presenters in locations on both sides of the river from April 18-21, 2013. The Main Library campus and other venues in the River Market and Argenta Arts districts are the sites for a stimulating mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops,presentations, opportunities to meet authors, book sales, and book signings. Most events are free and open to the public.
Festival authors include Richard Ford, Sylvia Day, Ben Fountain, Karen Russell, Ayana Mathis, Domingo Martinez, Da Chen, CD Wright, Pat Mora, Charles Todd, and more.
This year’s Festival authors have won an impressive number and variety of distinguished awards, such as the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Pulitzer Prize for Journalism, James Beard Foundation Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Newbery Honor, National Book Critics Circle Award, a Coretta Scott King Honor, PEN/O.Henry Prize; Pushcart Prize; Barnes and Noble Discover Prize for Fiction, Roger Ebert’s Film Festival Thumbs Up Award, Pure Belpré Award, International Griffin Prize for Poetry, International Documentary Association Best Documentary Short, Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, and several National Book Award Finalists. Many of the presenters’ works have been translated into multiple languages and made into films.
Special events for adults during the Festival include a cocktail reception with the authors, food, wine, and spirits workshops, films, a play, and Spoken Word LIVE!, a city-wide poetry competition. Panels and workshops will feature topics such as fiction, memoir, screenwriting, super hero psychology & law, Warrior Writers Project, erotica, and more.
Children’s special events include a storytime on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion, a book fiesta, the artmobile, plays, outdoor activities, and Super Hero Activity Afternoon. Festival sessions for children will take place at both the new Children’s Library, 4800 10th Street, and the Youth Services Department at the Main Library, 100 Rock Street.
Level 4, the Main Library’s teen center teens can meet authors and illustrators, participate in ComiCALS, activities and panels such as a cosplay contest, video game tournament, a writing workshop, and zombie survival activities.
Through the Writers In The Schools (WITS) initiative, the Festival will provide presentations by several authors for Pulaski county elementary, middle, and senior high schools and area colleges.
Support for the Literary Festival is provided by sponsors including Central Arkansas Library System; Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries (FOCAL); Department of Arkansas Heritage; Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau; Fred K. Darragh Jr. Foundation; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Mosaic Templars Cultural Center; Regions; ProSmartPrinting; MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History; Historic Arkansas Museum; Clinton Presidential Center; Hendrix-Murphy Foundation; Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Arkansas Times; Christ Church, Little Rock’s Downtown Episcopal Church; Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center; Arkansas Library Association; Henderson State College; University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service; Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre; Arkansas Governor’s Mansion; Hendrix College Creative Writing and the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature & Language; Hendrix College Project Pericles Program; Hendrix College; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, English Department; University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Department of Rhetoric and Writing; Pulaski Technical College; Jewish Federation of Arkansas; Arkansas Arts Center; Power 92 Jams; Central High School National Historic Site; National Park Service; Literacy Action of Central Arkansas; Capital Hotel; Little Rock Film Festival; and LuLav. The Arkansas Literary Festival is supported in part by funds from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Author! Author!, a cocktail reception with the authors, will be Friday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $25 in advance, and $40 at the door.