maurice carlos ruffin

Lit Fest Spotlight: Maurice Carlos Ruffin

We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin tells the story of an African-American father who is a successful lawyer in an alternative world that has discovered a surgical method for “demelanization.” For sufficient cash, any African American can become “white” in skin and features, and even have official documents changed to show race as “American White.” This medical development places the father in a horrible mental bind: should he protect his young son by “demelanizing” him so he can live his life as a white man? The eventual playing out of this narrative is bitingly funny, multilayered, and simultaneously a scathing indictment of the subtle mental devastation wreaked by racism. More information »

arkansas literary festival

2019 Authors & Presenters Announced

Notable authors, including Pulitzer Prize and James Beard Award winners, television producers, artists, and one of the Little Rock Nine are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions at the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) sixteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival, April 25-28, 2019. More information »

2019 Festival Highlights

Almost 50 authors, illustrators, and musicians – who have achieved national and international acclaim – will discuss topics and genres such as southern life, social justice, thrillers, memoirs and biographies, poetry, women’s history, young adult and children’s books. A full schedule will be announced in March 2019, but you can review a few highlights here »

2019 Festival Dates

The Arkansas Literary Festival offers a mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, book signings, and opportunities to meet authors. The 2019 festival will be April 25-28 and will take place at Library Square in downtown Little Rock.


We couldn't present so many great authors every year, most of them appearing free to the public, without the sustained effort and support of people like you. All forms of support are welcome and truly appreciated.

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Volunteers are necessary to help with pre-festival marketing and planning, as well as festival coordination and operations management. If you'd like to volunteer your time and skill, please contact Polly Deems, CALS Volunteer Coordinator, by email or by phone at 918-3085.

Mail Your Donation

Contributions are always welcome in any form. If you would like to send a check with your donation, please mail it to:

Arkansas Literary Festival
100 Rock St.
Little Rock, AR 72201

You may also make a secure online donation here (be sure to designate your gift for the Arkansas Literary Festival). This form is hosted on the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) primary website; the Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of CALS.

About Us

The Arkansas Literary Festival is a project of the Central Arkansas Library System. The Festival's mission is to encourage the development of a more literate populace.

A group of dedicated volunteers assists Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy with planning the Festival: Jennifer White, WITS chair; Amy Bradley-Hole, moderator chair; Maker’s Alley & Music chairs Phillip Huddleston, Larnie Campbell, and Grace Lytle; Melissa Woods, festival guides chair; festival guides vice chairs El-Noor Akhter and Betsy Johnson. Talent committee: Eliza Borne, Amy Bradley-Hole, Kevin Brockmeier, Garbo Hearne, Phillip Huddleston, Janis Kearney, Brad Minnick, Susan Santa Cruz, and Dorian Stuber.

Festival Coordinator: Brad Mooy