Two Arkansas Literary Festival events in May with award-winning authors and screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana have been postponed, due to the authors' extenuating personal circumstances. All tickets purchased for the Thursday, May 2, fundraising event will be refunded. Both events will be rescheduled.
The Arkansas Literary Festival, held on the Main Library campus and other venues in the River Market and Argenta Arts districts on April 18-21, will feature 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, 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.
At 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.
The Arkansas Literary Festival is supported in part by funds from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of the Central Arkansas Library System, and its mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace.