If you're a booklover, there are few things that are more exciting than seeing a favorite author live and in person. If you live in or near Arkansas (my beloved home state), there are a ton of great author events coming to downtown Little Rock this very weekend—it's the Arkansas Literary Festival!
Sadly, I'm not attending the Festival this year, although I've been many times in the past and it's always well-organized, interesting and a ton of fun. (View the complete schedule here.)
A few highlights include:
Tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., Daniel Black, Alice Randall and R.M. Johnson will participate in a Forum on African-American Fiction. Randall will speak the next morning at 10 a.m. about her novel, Rebel Yell. At the same time, R.M. Johnson will talk about Why Men Fear Marriage.
Marcus Sakey is a regular in Bruce Tierney's Whodunit column. On Saturday at 10 a.m., Sakey will talk about his thriller The Amateurs. Then at 1 p.m., he'll lead a session called "Secrets to Getting Published." He'll take you through the steps of completing a manuscript, drafting a query letter and more.
Malcolm Jones, Newsweek critic and author of Little Boy Blues, will talk about his memoir at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
At 2 p.m. on Saturday, YA author Margaret McMullan will read from her latest book, Sources of Light, a story of a teen girl grappling with the racial divide in 1960s Mississippi.
Steve Yarbrough will talk about Safe from the Neighbors at 11:30 on Saturday. At 1 p.m., he'll sit on a panel with Adam Schwartzman and Qaisra Shahraz to talk about "the challenges and rewards of living and writing abroad."
While you're in town, make sure you stop by one of my favorite libraries in the world—the beautiful main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System (and pick up the April print edition of BookPage while you're there!).
Tell us in the comments: What's your favorite book festival? Are there great literary events in your hometown? In Nashville, we have the Southern Festival of Books, from which Trisha and I posted dispatches back in October.