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Arkansas Literary Festival

25 Mar Posted by in Announcements | 3 comments
Arkansas Literary Festival

The Arkansas Literary Festival is one of the premier writers/author events for the state.  This year the festival runs from April 7th to the 13th (Thursday thru Tuesday). You can download a complete schedule at

One of the great things about the festival is the variety of free workshops, readings and panels that are available.  I only have space to mention a few of the events but there are so many!

  • DEVELOPING INTRIGUING CHARACTERS: Unleash your creativity and join mystery writer Suzanne Arruda, The Crocodile’s Last Embrace, in a “character-building” workshop. Bring your story’s characters and put some flesh on their bones. Arruda’s series is set in 1920s Africa, so she is familiar with killers of all species. Sunday, 3:00 p.m., Cox Creative Center 3rd Floor.
  • WRITE THAT CHILDREN’S BOOK: So you have a really good story in mind and think you want to write a children’s book. Come to this frank and insightful session on the pleasures and perils of writing successful books for kids. Author Darcy Pattison will cover everything from the pitch process and working with unknown illustrators to unexpected edits. Sunday, 3:00 p.m., Arkansas Studies Institute Room 124.
  • PRIMARY SOURCE RESEARCH, WHERE TO FIND IT AND HOW TO USE IT: This workshop will give you practical research tips on where to find print and digital primary source documents. Awardwinning author Carla Killough McClafferty will show you how to use your research in accurate and interesting ways with specific examples from her new book, The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon. Saturday, 4:00 p.m., Arkansas Studies Institute Room 124.
  • FACT INTO FICTION: Time: Sat., April 9, 10:00 a.m. Location: The Creative Space, North Little Rock Best-selling author Laura Parker Castoro, Love on the Line, and attorney Phillip McMath, who will be awarded the Worthen Prize for The Broken Vase, delve into the realities of turning someone’s life story into fiction. Evolving “historical” stories, penning roman à clefs, and even coping with the legalities of copyrights will be discussed.

The festival is designed so that you can enjoy it along with your family. There are events set up just for families to enjoy.

  • For the kids—BOOK FIESTA: This party for kids will introduce the 2011 Festival children’s authors in an interactive way. Children can win prizes, including a piñata, and enjoy books about sports, heroes, Arkansas, science, and more. Authors include Matt de la Peña, Darcy Pattison, Carla Killough McClafferty, Mimi Vance, Melanie Bowles, and Linda Williams. Snacks and drinks will be served. Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Main Library Youth Services
  • For the guys—FISHTACULAR: No bait and switch here. Mark Spitzer, Season of the Gar, and Keith Sutton, Pro Tactics Catfish, plunge into this examination of two of Arkansas’s favorite fish. Live specimens of fish will be featured at the session. This session is sponsored by the Witt Stephens Jr. Nature Center. Sunday, 3:00 p.m., Witt Stephens Jr. Nature Center

This year the festival will encompass both sides of the River into Little Rock and North Little Rock.  Over 80 authors are featured this year.  Tickets to Author! Author!, the cocktail reception with the authors, are $25 in advance, and $40 at the door, An Evening with David Sedaris are $50 for the floor level and $40 for the balcony, and cooking workshops are $15 each. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 501-918-3009, or at any CALS branch (Central Arkansas Library System). Tickets for Author! Author! and the cooking workshops will be available March 1.

All other Festival events are free and open to the public.  See you there!


  1. Shannon Taylor Vannatter03-25-11

    Sounds like fun! Great and informative post. I met Suzanne Arruda at the Ozark Creative Writers Conference last year. We were both speakers and knew very few people there, so we hung out together. She is so funny and a great teacher.

  2. Jenny Carlisle03-26-11

    Oh man, it falls on the same weekend as our Community Wide Yard sale again! I may have to do some very creative scheduling. Thanks for the reminder. This is a great festival!

  3. Debbie Archer03-27-11

    Great post, Lisa! I know Carla and Darcy. Both are talented and dedicated to their craft and highly sough-after speakers. If you attend their sessions, you will NOT be disappointed.

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