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Lt. Governor and State Librarian Announce Festival Highlights  
BATON ROUGE—(September 18, 2017)—The annual free Louisiana Book Festival returns on Saturday, October 28th to Downtown Baton Rouge’s Capitol Park. Featuring more than 250 authors and panelists discussing their books and more than 100 programs, the 2017 festival includes the Young Readers Pavilion, where children and parents can enjoy storytelling, book-related crafts, and performances; Teen HQ, featuring bestselling and award-winning young adult authors and activities; live musical performances; cooking demos; scores of author and panel book talks and signings; and a wide variety of book-related activities and exhibitors.
“The Louisiana Book Festival, while one of the over 400 festivals we have every year, is one of our most popular,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “I look forward to the festival every year as it celebrates literary works of authors from around the state, nation, and world. I know of two authors coming from England and one from the Netherlands just to participate in our festival.”
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton kick off the festival with the presentation of the Louisiana Writer Award to children’s author Johnette Downing. Former Louisiana Writer award winners William Joyce, Tim Gautreaux, and Darrell Bourque will be in attendance, along with NYT bestselling Oprah-acclaimed author Wally Lamb; Newbery Medal and Margaret A. Edwards Award recipient Richard Peck; Baton Rouge’s own M.O. Walsh, in conversation with Big Fish author Daniel Wallace discussing his latest book; Crystal Wilkinson with her Ernest J. Gaines Award winning book; former Governor of Louisiana and presidential candidate, Buddy Roemer; public radio's Music Inside Out host Gwen Thompkins with BBC jazz radio presenter Alyn Shipton; and Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell, just to name a few of the notable Louisiana, national, and international authors presenting this year. The festival will also feature MasterChef Season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale, and punk rock icon and former frontman of Black Flag, Keith Morris.
Pre-festival events on Friday, October 27th include half-day WordShops, which offer opportunities for aspiring writers of all levels to work in an intimate setting with renowned Southern authors. This year, Mississippi's poet laureate Beth Ann Fennelly, William C. Morris Award winner Jeff Zentner, award-winning author Michael Farris Smith, and New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson are leading writing workshops; and Pulpwood Queen Kathy L. Murphy will be leading a workshop on book promotion. 
Tickets are available for the Authors Party, held Friday evening in the State Library, where attendees will enjoy drinks, Louisiana cuisine, live music, and the chance to mingle with the Louisiana Book Festival authors. Ticket sales serve as a donation to the Louisiana Library and Book Festival Foundation.
Local artist Keith Morris’s “Capitol Grocery,” a painting inspired by Baton Rouge’s beloved Spanish Town Market and depicting folks gathering for reading and conversation, has been chosen as the official artwork for the festival. The artwork will be used in Louisiana Book Festival promotional material, including the cover of the festival program, t-shirts, book bags, and posters, one of which will be signed by festival authors and participants and hung, along with the original painting, at the State Library of Louisiana. 
For more information on events, registering for WordShops, purchasing tickets for the Authors Party, or on volunteering for the festival, please visit www.louisianabookfestival.org


Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
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Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
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