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5 Reasons to Attend the 2016 Mississippi Book Festival

2016 Mississippi Book Festival

5 Reasons to Attend the 2016 Mississippi Book Festival

The 2016 Mississippi Book Festival is coming up this Saturday, August 20. It is an all-day celebration of books and brings together those who write them and those who read them. World-renown Mississippi author John Grisham kicked off last year’s inaugural festival, which drew over 3,500 people to the Capitol grounds in Jackson. Billed as a “literary lawn party,” the 2016 edition of the Mississippi Book Festival features over 200 authors and better than thirty panels on almost any type of writing you can imagine.

I’ll be there. See, my name is listed first on Author’s Alley. (That whole alphabetical order thing worked out pretty well…this time.)

Many volunteers and sponsors have made the festival free to the public. If you make your way to the state capital for the festival, though, be sure to bring plenty of spending money for books that the authors will be happy to sign for you. I have still not completed all the books I bought at the festival last year, mostly from authors with whom I had a personal conversation.

Click here to read about my experience at last year’s Mississippi Book Festival.

Here we go–five reasons to attend the 2016 Mississippi Book Festival:

Reason #1: The 2016 Mississippi Book Festival is a celebration of Mississippi.

You can get so caught up in living in one region of Mississippi and miss out on the incredible diversity of our state. I live in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee, so all of our news is from Memphis. I grew up in the central part of the state and have lived in Hattiesburg and the Delta, so I like to keep up with the goings-on in other parts of the state. At last year’s festival, I met new author friends from Jackson (I’m looking at you, John Floyd), Pontotoc (fascinated with Carl Purdon’s amazing book covers), and other spots around the state. Presenters came from all over the state, too.

Reason #2: The 2016 Mississippi Book Festival is a celebration of books.

Mississippi is known for books revolving around race and around mighty peculiar characters. Did you know, though, that Mississippi authors write about topics far beyond those topics? Take my friends Kyle and Brandi McElhaney–their Founder’s Force series is a unique and creative way for kids to combine their lure to superheroes to good reading about our nation’s history. Phil Hardwick’s Mississippi Mystery series gives readers a look at cities around the Magnolia State while the protagonist figures out whodunit.

Reason #3: The 2016 Mississippi Book Festival is a celebration of authors.

The panels of writers were always informative and some were wildly entertaining. When you discover what drove an author to write a book, you want to pick up the book and read more. Whether historical fiction is your thing or comics and cartoons or Southern cooking or young adult fiction or many other genres, the 2016 Mississippi Book Festival has something for any reader. (If you are an avid outdoorsman, you won’t want to miss Don Jackson at the sportswriters panel. The author of Wilder Ways, he was the most well-spoken, interesting speaker I heard at last year’s festival. Though I do some fishing when I can, I’m not what you would call much of an outdoorsman–he was just that good.)

Reason #4: The 2016 Mississippi Book Festival is a celebration of reading.

We live in a world gone tech crazy, you will be surrounded by people who still love to settle into another world by opening a book. One of the most important ways that writers can improve their craft is by reading…and reading a-plenty. In that way, the presenters are very much like the audience. Be careful, though. Say you are a lifelong reader who has had this feeling deep inside of you that one day you might want to write your own book. One trip down Author’s Alley might just give you the motivation to make it happen!

Reason #5: The 2016 Mississippi Book Festival is a celebration of learning.

Simple–reading is learning. Read more, learn more. I know more because of the 2015 Mississippi Book Festival. I’ll know more because of the 2016 Mississippi Book Festival, too.

Hope to see you there!

2016 Mississippi Book Festival

You never know who you’re going to run into at the Mississippi Book Festival. Here’s me with Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

If you ever want a signed copy of one of my books, you can get them by clicking here. I would be glad to personally sign and ship directly from the Values Storying worldwide headquarters, aka my home office.

 

 

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About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell. Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales), Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and Coach Dave: Season One. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

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