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Mississippi Book Festival announces 10th anniversary festival in September

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

  • The Mississippi Book Festival celebrates its 10th year in 2024, with authors like Kate DiCamillo, Angie Thomas, and Erik Larson returning in September for the literary lawn party.

Representatives and supporters of the Mississippi Book Festival gathered at the State Capitol on Wednesday to kick off the 10th anniversary celebration of the state’s largest “literary lawn party.”

This year’s festival will again be held at the historic Capitol building, with utilization of surrounding facilities like Galloway Methodist Church, on September 14.

Since the festival began in 2015 it has welcomed over 1,000 authors, hosted nearly 50,000 day-of attendees, and reached more than 44,000 students across the state of Mississippi. The festival is dedicated to contributing to Mississippi’s literacy legacy by transforming the Mississippi State Capitol for one day a year into a literary hub that unites authors and readers.

“We want to express our immense gratitude to our State leaders and community partners for all of your support over the last 10 years,” said Ellen Daniels, Executive Director of the Mississippi Book Festival. “This event is massively important to not only our city but our entire state, and to see how it’s grown and expanded through the years has been incredible. From hosting literary legends to fostering educational opportunities, the Festival would never have been able to leave such a lasting impact without your support, and that is not lost on us.”

The Book Festival promoters were joined by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Briggs Hopson (R) and House Appropriations Chairman John Read (R), as well as CEO and President of the Community Foundation for Mississippi Jane Alexander, Senior Pastor Cary Stockett of Galloway United Methodist Church, and Jackson Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Grigsby for the announcement.

Festival attendance has only continued to grow over the last decade. Even in the year of COVID shutdowns, the Mississippi Book Festival committed to providing 2,500 online sessions, unwavering in their mission to celebrate literacy in Mississippi.

“It’s an honor to host my friends from the Mississippi Book Festival here at the Capitol today,” said Senator Hopson. “It’s inspiring to see what we can do when we as State Leadership partner with organizations in our community to make a difference in our state. That is what we have seen happen through the book festival. We celebrate a decade of its success and hope to see it continue to thrive for many years to come.”

The first wave of author announcements were also made at the Wednesday press conference.

Festival goers this Fall will be able to attend panels with authors like Kate DiCamillo with The Puppets of Spelhorst and Angie Thomas with Nic Blake and the Remarkables, their latest books for young readers.

Erik Larson will also return to Jackson with his forthcoming book, The Demon of Unrest, and Sebastian Junger will present his most personal work, In My Time of Dying: How I Came Face to Face with the Idea of an Afterlife.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil will be returning as well with her soon-to-be-published Bite by Bite: Nourishments and Jamborees. Poet and novelist Kaveh Akbar will attend for the first time with his bestselling debut novel, Martyr!. Rachel Khong will feature her newest novel, the generational family saga Real Americans. 

Mississippi Book Festival alum Ron Rash will present his latest novel, The Caretaker. Historian and scholar Grace Elizabeth Hale will share her most challenging research assignment yet, In the Pines. Finally, Maurice Carlos Ruffin will return to the festival with his new historical novel, The American Daughters.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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