Mississippi Book Festival Draws Thousands to its 9th Annual Event

August 21, 2023

MS Book Festival 2023 capitol cube crowd

Final attendance for the 2023 Mississippi Book Festival will top 6,700 as thousands of book lovers heard from more than hundreds of authors in panel discussions and conversations at the State Capitol and Galloway Methodist Church.

The downtown Capitol Complex was awash with visitors from across the country, eager to hear from a wide range of authors, such as Lois Lowry, Richard Ford, Mike Pence, Jason Reynolds, Richard Russo, James McBride, HarrisonScott Key, Jeanette Walls, and Ann Patchett. According to Ellen Daniels, Festival Executive Director, “More than 263 authors participated in Saturday’s festival, including 168 on 47 official panels and another 95 authors meeting the public in Author’s Alley. Many of the panels were standing room only and our nine booksellers sold thousands of books.”

On Friday, Jason Reynolds, one of the Book Festival’s visiting Middle Grade authors, spoke to more than 7,000students, through his in-person presentation in Thalia Mara Hall, and through a live streamed event to close to 300 classrooms all over the state. At the conclusion of the in- person sessions, every student was given a free copy of his latest novel Miles Morales Suspended: A Spider-man Novel. “There is nothing quite like a student having a chance to hear directly from a nationally recognized author, to learn what it’s like to write a book and to create stories and characters,” said Daniels.

Thought-provoking panel discussions took place throughout the day, giving participants unique insights of the writers. Daniels added that, “It has never been more important to promote books and the stories within them, and theBook Festival does a wonderful job celebrating Mississippi’s love of books and writers. Our great writers are household names and many of their stories are our stories.”

To keep up with the Mississippi Book Festival all year long, follow them on Facebook, Instagram(@msbookfestival), and Twitter (@msbookfest) or join their email list on their website, msbookfestival.com.

About The Mississippi Book Festival

The Mississippi Book Festival, a nonprofit founded by literary advocates, launched in August 2015 on the State Capitol grounds and continues to draw thousands to its annual “literary lawn party” and book lovers’ celebration. The event features hundreds of visiting authors, panel discussions, book signings, booksellers, Capitol tours, foodtrucks, and family-friendly activities.