News & Events

2018 Arkansas Literary Festival

2018 Festival Roster Announced

February 12, 2018

Notable authors, including Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winners, filmmakers, singers, and artists are among the diverse roster of presenters who will be providing sessions at the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) fifteenth annual Arkansas Literary Festival, April 26-29, 2018. Events will be held at CALS Main Library campus and many other Little Rock venues. Most events are free and open to the public. More information »

The premier gathering of readers and writers in Arkansas, the Festival offers a mix of sessions, panels, special events, performances, workshops, book signings, and opportunities to meet authors. More than 70 authors, essayists, and illustrators—who have achieved national and international acclaim—represent an array of genres and will discuss topics such as science fiction, fantasy, crime, southern life, social commentary, science, women’s history, young adult and children’s books. Presenters come from a variety of backgrounds ranging from professors at New York University and Yale University to former NBA All Stars. The full list of authors is available at www.ArkansasLiteraryFestival.org.

Special events include:

The Queen of Rockabilly, Thursday, April 26, at 7:00 p.m.

A concert by legendary singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist Wanda Jackson. The next day, Jackson will give an intimate talk about her life and her autobiography, Every Night Is Saturday Night: A Country Girl's Journey to The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Tickets for the concert are $20 and will be on available at www.ArkansasSounds.org beginning February 12. The author talk will be free. Presented by Arkansas Sounds.

Author! Author!, Friday, April 27, at 7:00 p.m.

A cocktail reception with the authors. Tickets are $25 in advance and $40 at the door. Special rates are available for students and groups. Tickets will be available at www.ArkansasLiteraryFestival.org beginning March 15.

An Evening with Sebastian Junger, Saturday, April 28, at 7:00 p.m.

Renowned author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker Sebastian Junger (Tribe, War, The Perfect Storm, Restrepo) will discuss his coverage of multiple wars along with his literary and film work, as he gives the CALS J. N. Heiskell Distinguished Lecture for journalism. An Evening with Sebastion Junger is free, but reservations are required. Tickets will be available at www.ArkansasLiteraryFestival.org beginning March 15.

Festival sessions for children will take place in Youth Services and Level 4 at the Main Library, 100 Rock Street, and at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center, 4800 W. 10th Street. Events at Children’s Library are hosted in partnership with Junior League of Little Rock/Little Readers Rock.

In addition to programming at CALS locations, the Festival will also provide presentations by several authors for Pulaski county elementary, middle and senior high schools, and area colleges through the Writers in the Schools (WITS) initiative.

This year’s Festival authors have won an impressive number and variety of distinguished awards and fellowships such as the Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Award, Coretta Scott King Honor, NAACP Image Award, National Magazine Award, SAIS Novartis Prize for Journalism, National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, TIME’s 100 Most Influential People, Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame, Wizard World Hall of Legends,  Eisner Award for editing,  National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, CantoMundo Poetry Prize, Dzanc Books ILP International Literature Award, Bard Fiction Prize, Autumn House Fiction Prize, Guggenheim, Cullman Center, FONCA, DAAD, Michener Copernicus Society, Callaloo Creative Writing, The Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale, artist in residence at the University of Pennsylvania, Breadloaf Writer’s Conference, the MacDowell Colony, Capote, Mississippi Arts Commission, Bronx Council on the Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and Iowa Writers Workshop.

The work of this year’s Festival authors has been featured in notable publications including:

  • New York Times
  • The Los Angeles Times
  • Psychology Today
  • USA Today
  • The Atlantic
  • Parade
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Esquire
  • Grantland
  • TIME
  • The New York Daily News
  • New York magazine
  • ELLE
  • Rolling Stone
  • Vanity Fair
  • The New Yorker
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Harper’s
  • National Geographic Adventure
  • Outside
  • Men’s Journal
  • Slate
  • Travel + Leisure
  • Newsday
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Smithsonian
  • Best New American Voices
  • Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • VICE
  • The New York Times Book Review
  • New York Review of Books
  • Wimmin’s Comix
  • Yale Review
  • Best American Nonrequired Reading
  • The Guardian
  • Backstage
  • McSweeney’s
  • Huffington Post
  • Granta
  • Best New Poets
  • com
  • Texas Monthly
  • Tin House
  • Oxford American
  • Southwest Brewing News

Support for the Arkansas Literary Festival is provided by sponsors including the Arkansas Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, Friends of Central Arkansas Libraries, Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, Rebsamen Fund, Department of Arkansas Heritage,  ProSmartPrinting.com, KUAR FM 89.1, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Clinton Presidential Center, UA Little Rock Department of English, Windstream, Wright Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Whole Foods, Museum of Discovery, Capital Hotel, O’Looney’s Wine and Liquor, Oxford American, McMath Woods P.A., Hall High School, Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School, Mabelvale Elementary School, Terry Elementary School, ESSE Purse Museum, Historic Arkansas Museum, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Mick Wiggins, Christ Episcopal Church, Literacy Action of Central Arkansas, Celebrate! Maya Project, Hampton Inn Downtown Little Rock, Residence Inn Downtown Little Rock, Argenta Reading Series, University of Arkansas for Medical Science, Pyramid Books/Hearne Fine Art, Arkansas Times, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, The Root Café, Humane Society of Pulaski County, Bob Razer, Mollie Savage Memorial, Four Quarter Bar, and partner Junior League of Little Rock/Little Readers Rock.

"Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities." The National Endowment for the Humanities and Central Arkansas Library System together: Exploring the human endeavor.


Contribute

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.

Make a Secure Online Donation

Fill out my online form.

Volunteers

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 Chris Beaumont, 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. Committee chairs include Susan Santa Cruz, Cathy Spivey, and Melissa Woods, Festival Guides; Amy Bradley-Hole, Moderators; and Jennifer White, WITS.



Festival Coordinator: Brad Mooy