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STATE LIBRARIAN OF LOUISIANA REBECCA HAMILTON TO RECEIVE LYNDA CARLBERG AWARD

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Hamilton Honored for her Outstanding Contribution to Libraries
 
BATON ROUGE—(October 17, 2017)— For her outstanding contribution to libraries, Rebecca Hamilton, State Librarian of Louisiana, has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Lynda Carlberg Award, an honor established in 1998 in memory of Lynda Carlberg, director of the Calcasieu Parish Public Library system from 1978 to 1997.
 
Hamilton was appointed State Librarian in 2005 by then-Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu. This appointment made her the fourth State Librarian in the agency’s 97-year history, and the youngest State Librarian in the United States. Hamilton has since been reappointed by Lt. Governors Jay Dardenne, and most recently Billy Nungesser, who she works with today serving Louisiana’s 4.7 million citizens, 340 public library branches, and 68 public library systems. 
 
“I am deeply proud of State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton’s work promoting literacy and love of reading, skills that in today’s knowledge-based economy are critical to Louisiana’s overall economic growth,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “Her commitment to public access to educational and cultural resources is second to none, and the State Library has thrived under her leadership. This award could not have been bestowed on a more deserving individual.” 
 
Under Hamilton’s direction, the State Library of Louisiana underwent a top to bottom reorganization, streamlining operations and identifying efficiencies. In her first full year in office, Hamilton doubled the amount of State Aid to Public Libraries—the largest increase in the history of the program and the first increase in twenty years. In the following years of her appointment, and with no additional resources at her disposal, Hamilton implemented a new interlibrary loan system, oversaw the addition of content to statewide databases, and secured a line item in the annual budget for public library training. 
 
Additionally, Hamilton directed the rebuilding of the State Library’s internal network and backup systems, and, as a result, the State Library never lost Internet connectivity during the storms of 2008, while all other offices in the state government were down. She also worked closely with SOLINET to obtain a $12 million grant to provide temporary library facilities and other support after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the coast of Louisiana and neighboring states. It was during this time that Hamilton worked tirelessly alongside her fellow State Librarians impacted by these storms to ensure that FEMA change their definition of essential services to include public libraries. As a result of the role of public libraries during a disaster, Hamilton has published widely and created university-level coursework on the roles of public libraries during disasters, as well as giving presentations across the United States reporting the best practices set in place by Louisiana Libraries after natural disaster events. 
 
Hamilton, a champion in the fight to bridge the digital divide in Louisiana, oversaw the submission which won the State Library an $8.8M grant from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) of the Department of Commerce in 2010. The grant provided the State Library the resources to deliver technology and soft skills classes to over 26,000 participants, purchase laptops for checkout in public libraries across the state, implement Homework Louisiana, and obtain accessibility equipment and software for every parish, among many other impactful accomplishments, all geared to promote workforce development and make a difference in the lives of Louisiana citizens. 
 
Hamilton was awarded the Anthony Benoit Mid-Career Award by the Louisiana Library Association in 2012; has been named an outstanding graduate of the LSU School of Library and Information Science; was awarded the LSU Community Partner Award in 2014; and was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the Baton Rouge Business Report in 2007. 
 
She will be presented with the Lynda Carlberg Award today, Tuesday, October 17th, at the Libraries Southwest Author/Award Dinner. Libraries Southwest is a nonprofit corporation of libraries, librarians, trustees, and individuals interested in the promotion and enhancement of libraries and library services.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.4923
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Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.1013
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BOOK FESTIVAL FOSTERS A LOVE OF READING, DELIVERS FUN FOR LOUISIANA’S YOUNGEST RESIDENTS

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BATON ROUGE—(October 11, 2017)—The Louisiana Book Festival, a free, family-friendly event to be held on Saturday, October 28th in Baton Rouge’s Capitol Park is excited to announce an awesome line-up of programming, activities, author readings, book signings, games, and crafts specifically designed for young people ranging in age from toddlers to late teens.   
 
“What better way to encourage a love of reading in our children than with a festival where kids have an opportunity to meet their favorite authors, participate in crafts and games connected to featured books, and maybe even take home a copy of a book that the author has personalized for them? We are so happy to be able to offer this fun and enriching book festival for Louisiana families from across the state to enjoy,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.
 
Highlights at this year’s festival include Newbery Medal and Margaret A. Edwards Award recipient Richard Peck with his latest middle grade novel, The Best Man; this year’s Louisiana Writer Award recipient, Mumbo Jumbo, Stay Out of the Gumbo author, Johnette Downing; 2008 Louisiana Writer Award recipient and Academy Award winning and #1 New York Times bestselling children’s author William Joyce, presenting a special reissue of his classic picture book, Santa Calls; G. Brian Karas, illustrator of the New York Times bestseller and 2017 Louisiana Young Readers choice winner, Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla; and Andrea Page’s Sioux Code Talkers of World War II, which has been nominated for the 2018 American Indian Youth Literature Awards, among many other authors of children’s picture books and middle grade novels. There will also be a special appearance by the storybook characters Elephant and Piggie!
 
“The State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Center for the Book are committed to promoting early childhood literacy and to nurturing a lifelong love of reading and literature in young Louisianans,” said State Librarian of Louisiana, Rebecca Hamilton. “Our annual fall book festival offers a wonderful opportunity to reach both book lovers and reluctant readers alike.” 
 
Teen HQ will feature a variety of young adult authors, panels, and activities including New York Times bestselling author and Louisiana native, Claudia Gray (Defy the Stars); 2016 Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner Brendan Kiely with his new book, The Last True Love Story; Jesse Haynes, host of the iTunes top 50 podcast The Others; and 2019 Louisiana Teen Reader’s Choice finalist and winner of the 2017 In the Margins Award for Nonfiction for his book Aging Out, Alton Carter. An Our #OwnVoices panel will feature Kiley, as well as Jasmine Warga (Here We Are Now), whose books have been translated into more than 20 languages, Caleb Roehrig, whose novel, Last Seen Leaving, was named a Buzzfeed Best Book of the Year, and Emmy Award winner and former puppet designer in Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop, Laurent Linn with his book, Draw the Line. 
 
Pre-festival activities include a WordShop by young adult author and 2019 Louisiana Teen Reader’s Choice finalist, author Jeff Zentner. Zentner, whose WordShop, Writing with Voice, will take place on Friday, October 27th from 1-4 p.m., is the winner of the 2017 William C. Morris YA Debut Award for his book, The Serpent King, which was also named a best book of the year by more than 10 publications, including a New York Times Notable Book, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Southern Living Best Book of the Year, and a BuzzFeed Best YA Book of the Year. His latest novel, Goodbye Days, was called “masterful” by TeenVogue. Writers of various levels of experience are invited to take his and other WordShops offered. For full details and registration, please visit www.louisianabookfestival.org/wordshops.html
 
For a full line-up and schedule of Louisiana Book Festival authors and presenters, please visit www.louisianabookfestival.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.4923
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Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.1013
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STATE LIBRARY ANNOUNCES 25th LETTERS ABOUT LITERATURE CONTEST

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The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana announces the 25th annual Letters About Literature contest, a Library of Congress national reading and writing competition for students in grades 4-12 and coordinated in state by the Louisiana Center. To enter, fourth through twelfth grade students write personal letters to authors, living or dead, explaining how the authors’ book, poem,  play, or speech changed the students’ views of the world or themselves.
 
Students may enter through their schools or local libraries, or on their own, in one of three competition levels: Level 1 for grades 4 – 6, Level 2 for grades 7 – 8, or Level 3 for grades 9 – 12.
 
The national Letters About Literature team selects finalists from each participating state for each competition level; then Louisiana winners are chosen by a panel of judges including teachers and librarians from throughout the state. Louisiana winners receive $100 for first place, $75 for second place, and $50 for third place and are honored at the Louisiana Book Festival. First place winning letters are submitted to the Library of Congress for the national competition with the chance of winning up to $1,000.
 
Each student’s letter attached entry coupon—available online for download—must be sent directly to the Library of Congress address on the entry coupon instructions by Jan. 12, 2018. The entry forms and information, as well as a teacher’s guide with lesson plans, may be downloaded at www.read.gov/letters.
 
The 2017-18 writing contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and by gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations.
 
In Louisiana, the contest is made possible by the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana with the assistance of the Louisiana Writing Project and the Louisiana Library and Book Festival Foundation. Funding for prizes is provided by the Library of Congress grant.
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.4923
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Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.1013
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LOUISIANA BOOK FESTIVAL RETURNS FOR ITS 14TH YEAR

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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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.4923
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.1013
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LOUISIANA BOOK FESTIVAL CELELBRATES 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

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BATON ROUGE—(September 13, 2017)—To celebrate its 70th year, the Louisiana Book Festival has chosen Tennessee Williams’s iconic Pulitzer Prize winning play, A Streetcar Named Desire, as its official 2017 One Book, One Festival selection.  The play, which opened on December 3rd, 1947, at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway, is considered to be one of Williams’s greatest and has been in near continuous production over the past 70 years, enjoyed numerous revivals, and has been adapted to film, television, opera, and even ballet. 
 
“There is no better way to celebrate Louisiana and the upcoming tricentennial of New Orleans than with A Streetcar Named Desire,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “New Orleans and its culture is reflected in this wonderful play.” 
 
Inaugurated in 2008, the One Book, One Festival program invites attendees to read the same title in advance and later join the scholar-led discussion with others during the festival on Saturday, October 28th. This year’s discussion will be led by perennial festival favorite Gary Richards, associate professor and chair of the Department of English, Linguistics & Communication at the University of Mary Washington and scholar of southern literature. He is the author of Lovers and Other Beloveds: Sexual Otherness in Southern Fiction, 1936-1961 as well as numerous essays on southern fiction and drama.
 
This year’s festival will also include a program featuring WYES’s Peggy Scott Laborde, host of Steppin’ Out, in conversation with WWL-TV news anchor, Eric Paulsen. Eric, an award-winning journalist who has spent the last thirty years on WWL’s highly-rated morning and noon news programs, has the honor and distinction of having conducted the last broadcast interview with literary legend Tennessee Williams, an interview held on the second floor of what was then "Marti's" restaurant on the corner of Rampart Street in New Orleans. The program at the 2017 Louisiana Book Festival will include a screening of excerpts from that last interview. 
 
A nationally recognized literary event, the Louisiana Book Festival is free, open to the public, and takes place annually in the heart of Baton Rouge in the Louisiana State Capitol, State Library of Louisiana, Capitol Park Museum, and tents on neighboring streets. The 2017 Louisiana Book Festival, held on Saturday, October 28th, will feature more than 250 authors and panelists discussing their books and more than 100 programs, including the Young Readers Pavilion, where children and parents can enjoy storytelling and performances; Teen HQ, featuring bestselling and award winning young adult authors; live musical performances; cooking demos; and a wide variety of book-related activities and exhibitors. For more information, please visit www.louisianabookfestival.org
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.4923
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.1013
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THE 2017 LOUISIANA BOOK FESTIVAL NOW SEEKING VOLUNTEERS

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The 2017 Louisiana Book Festival Now Seeking Volunteers
 
BATON ROUGE—(September 5,  2017)—The 2017 Louisiana Book Festival, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., is seeking enthusiastic volunteers to join in the celebration and experience the Festival from within.  Volunteers are needed in a variety of capacities, including welcoming presenters, escorting authors, monitoring rooms in the State Capitol, manning festival information booths, and more. Those interested in volunteering can find more information about the Festival’s volunteer opportunities by visiting http://www.louisianabookfestival.org/volunteer.html and can sign up using our simple on-line form, found here: http://www.louisianabookfestival.org/volunteer_IWantToVolunteer2017.html
 
“Volunteers are essential to the Book Festival,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “Without these generous individuals, the State Library staff would be overwhelmed year after year because of the response the festival always receives. I am grateful for the volunteering spirit of Louisianans.”

Coordinators advise signing up early for the best chance of being placed in one’s first choice volunteer position. Please note that coordinators are happy to accommodate groups of friends and family who wish to volunteer together.

“The Louisiana Book Festival’s glowing national reputation is due in no small part to the passion, commitment, and generosity of the many dedicated volunteers needed to put on an event of this magnitude,” said Rebecca Hamilton, State Librarian of Louisiana.
 
Festival volunteers who register by October 6th will receive a free 2017 Louisiana Book Fest t-shirt.
 
This nationally recognized literary event is free and will take place in the heart of Baton Rouge in the Louisiana State Capitol, State Library of Louisiana, Capitol Park Museum, and tents on neighboring streets. The 2017 Louisiana Book Festival will feature more than 250 authors and panelists discussing their books and more than 100 programs, including the Young Readers Pavilion, where children and parents will enjoy storytelling and performances; Teen Headquarters, featuring New York Times bestselling and award winning young adult authors; and a wide variety of book-related activities, exhibitors, and performances.
 
See http://www.louisianabookfestival.org for complete details.Please call Alise Wascom at 225.342.4996 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with all volunteer questions and inquiries. 
 

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.4923
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.1013
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LOUISIANA BOOK FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES WORDSHOP LINE-UP (2017)

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Bestselling and award-winning authors teaching one-day workshops to aspiring writers in October
 
BATON ROUGE—(August 15, 2017)—The Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana is pleased to announce the five authors conducting “WordShops” for aspiring and novice writers on Friday, October 27th, 2017, at the State Library. These one-day courses are designed for those writing fiction, memoir, personal essay, poetry or works for young people and cover a wide range of craft elements such as voice, setting, building tension and creating cross-genre work. One WordShop focuses exclusively on marketing and book promotion, and all WordShops offer invaluable opportunities for professional networking. Writers from a variety of backgrounds and experience are encouraged to attend. 
 
The WordShop schedule for Friday, October 27, 2017:
 
9 a.m.—Noon:
Joshilyn Jackson - No World like Mine
Michael Farris Smith - Here Comes Trouble
 
1 p.m.—4 p.m.:
Beth Ann Fennelly - Make Me a Hummingbird of Words: Salvos into the Word of Micro-Memoirs
Kathy L. Murphy - The Pulpwood Queen Talks Book Promotion: How to Market Your Book for Big Book Sales and Be Treated Royally When Your Book Debuts
Jeff Zentner - Writing with Voice
 
Please find the author instructors’ details regarding their WordShops and more about them below. Registration for the WordShops is $45; for a person attending two WordShops, $85. Space is limited. Registration and payment are due by Friday, October 20. After that date, registrations will be accepted only as space allows.
 
Those interested in participating can register by calling 225.219.9503 or by downloading the registration form from louisianabookfestival.org/wordshops.html and sending it with payment to Louisiana Book Festival WordShops, 701 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802.
 
About The Louisiana Center for the Book The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana coordinates the annual Louisiana Book Festival and other programs and events supportive of reading, literacy, books, and writers, particularly Louisiana authors and poets.
 

2017 WordShop Course Descriptions and Instructor Bios

No World like Mine 
with Joshilyn Jackson, 9 a.m.-Noon
 
Richly imagined, evocative settings can transport readers to the world of your book. Good novels are grounded in landscapes that work in tandem with character and plot to evoke nostalgia, recognition, horror, hope, pity, tears, and laughter. Whether you are writing in your beloved homeland, an exotic location you’ve visited or researched, or in a thoroughly invented other-world, it is your job to capture each place’s spirit and personality. In this workshop, we’ll first define and differentiate between “place re-creation” and “sense of place,” and create a set of guidelines that will help you choose between them or blend them for your work-in-progress. We’ll do a writing exercise that asks us to explore ways to light “place” so that our characters can stand out clearly and fully against its crafted backdrop.  Bring writing materials and a willingness to share.
 
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of eight novels and a novella, including gods in Alabama, The Opposite of Everyone, and most recently The Almost Sisters. Her books have won SIBA’s Novel of the Year and been translated into a dozen languages, four time selected #1 Book Sense Picks, and three time shortlisted for the Townsend Prize; she is a two-time Georgia Author of the Year. A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of her novels; her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award and garnered three Listen Up Awards from Publisher’s Weekly. She serves on the board of Reforming Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to providing theatre infused liberal arts education to women incarcerated in Georgia. Through their education-in-prison program, Joshilyn volunteers inside Georgia’s maximum security facility for women, teaching creative writing and literature. She’s also taught fiction seminars and classes and led workshops all over the country, including stints at Vermont College of Fine Arts and Emory University.
 
Here Comes Trouble
with Michael Farris Smith, 9 a.m.-Noon
 
One of the most entertaining aspects of writing fiction is that you get to be a troublemaker, and get away with it. But are we stirring up enough trouble and creating enough tension, or holding back? In “Here Comes Trouble,” we will discuss how to get the most out of your characters and your story. How can we push our characters to the edge? How can one bit of dialogue arouse emotions? How can we figure out what part of our story or novel needs more trouble? Bring something to write with and your current work, if you have some, as we’ll practice on the spot. If you don’t have any or just beginning, here is a good place to start.
 
Michael Farris Smith is a major new Southern literary talent, and his new novel, Desperation Road, is a striking story about violence and its aftermath, set against a rich and vibrant Mississippi backdrop. Praised by Ron Rash as “an outstanding performance,” Desperation Road is also a B&N Discover pick, an Indie Next selection, and one of Amazon’s Best Mysteries of the month. In Desperation Road and the forthcoming The Fighter (2018), Smith perfectly captures the dichotomy of desperation and hope that exists in today’s rural America. Smith is a native Mississippian and recipient of the 2014 Mississippi Author Award, the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship and the Transatlantic Review Award for Fiction. He lives in Oxford, MS, with his wife and two daughters.
 
Make Me a Hummingbird of Words
Salvos into the Word of Micro-Memoirs
with Beth Ann Fennelly, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
 
Part craft talk and part reading, Mississippi Poet Laureate Beth Ann Fennelly shares strategies that inform her forthcoming book, Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs (W. W. Norton, Fall '17). In today’s increasingly heterogeneous landscape, cross-genre works that blend inheritances from multiple literary parents have a new urgency and popularity.  Combining the extreme brevity of poetry yet hewing to the truth-telling of creative nonfiction, Fennelly's micro-memoirs allow us to consider questions of genre while delighting in a form that, like a hummingbird, stuns with its speed and ingenuity.
 
Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants and awards from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, a Pushcart and a Fulbright to Brazil. Fennelly has published three poetry books: Open House, Tender Hooks and Unmentionables; a book of nonfiction, Great with Child; and The Tilted World, a novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin.  Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs will be published by Norton Oct. 10, 2017. Fennelly and Franklin live in Oxford with their three children.
 
The Pulpwood Queen Talks Book Promotion
How to Market Your Book for Big Book Sales and Be Treated Royally When Your Book Debuts 
with Kathy L. Murphy, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
 
Kathy L. Murphy (née Patrick), the founder of the 725+ chapter Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs, the largest "meeting and discussing" book club in the world, will be conducting an interactive workshop on all you need to know on getting your book front and center out in the world, specifically targeting book clubs.  Murphy specializes in selecting first time, first book authors to help them develop a fan base.  Be prepared to learn a lot and to have some big time fun!
 
Kathy L. Murphy is the author of The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life and is currently working on her next book, The Pulpwood Queen Goes Back to School.  She is the host of Beauty and the Book, a 13-episode YouTube talk show sponsored by Random House Publishing, interviewing authors such as Anna Quindlin, Lisa See, Fannie Flagg, and Pat Conroy.  Murphy optioned her first book to DreamWorks Studios and is currently in negotiations for a new online, author-focused talk show.  For more about her book club and her annual book club convention, Pulpwood Queen Girlfriend Weekend, go to BeautyAndTheBook.com.
 
Writing with Voice
with Jeff Zentner, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
One of the most important abilities you can have when writing for teenagers (or anyone) is the ability to write with a powerful, distinctive voice. In "Writing with Voice," we'll talk about what voice is, why it's important, and how you can develop it through dialogue and the voices of your characters.  I'll walk participants through a dialogue-writing exercise designed to develop voice. 
 
Jeff Zentner is the author of William C. Morris Award winner and Carnegie Medal longlister The Serpent King, and most recently, Goodbye Days. Before becoming a writer, he was a singer-songwriter and guitarist who recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. In addition to writing and recording his own music, he worked with young musicians at Tennessee Teen Rock Camp, which inspired him to write for young adults. He lives in Nashville.
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.4923
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.1013
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CHILDREN'S AUTHOR AND MUSICIAN JOHNETTE DOWNING TO RECEIVE 2017 LOUISIANA WRITER AWARD

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The New Orleans native is the second children’s author selected in the award’s 18 year history
 
BATON ROUGE—(Aug. 8, 2017)—The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana is thrilled to announce that beloved Louisiana author and musician Johnette Downing has been selected to receive  the 18th annual Louisiana Writer Award, an honor given in recognition of Downing’s outstanding contributions to Louisiana's literary and cultural life.

Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser praised the multi-award winning musician and author for her dedication to sharing Louisiana’s rich culture through her books and music saying, “Johnette Downing has a special gift for making Louisiana’s unique culture come alive for children around the world. We are proud to call her one of our own.” 

“It is a testament to the commitment to sharing the power of books with children across urban and rural Louisiana that the State Library of Louisiana and the Louisiana Center for the Book have selected a second children’s book author for the Louisiana Writer Award,” Downing said, adding that she is “humbled to be among such esteemed past recipients as Ernest Gaines, Darrell Bourque, Christine Wiltz, Tom Piazza, John Biguenet, Tim Gautreaux, and fellow children’s book author William Joyce.” 
 
“I have had the honor of knowing Johnette throughout her nearly 30-year career,” said State Librarian of Louisiana, Rebecca Hamilton. “She has been committed to sharing Louisiana roots music and literature with our youngest citizens from day one. Songs and books such as Today is Monday in Louisiana will be passed down to generations to come.” 
 
“It is the privilege of children’s book writers to create these stories as sparks for young minds,” Downing said. 
 
Downing is the author of twenty-two books for young readers including Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh, Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud, and How to Dress a Po' Boy. She has been awarded a 2017 Grammy Participant Certificate, eight Parents’ Choice Awards, four iParenting Media Awards, and four National Parenting Publications Awards, among others. For a full bio and discography, please visit http://www.louisianabookfestival.org/louisiana_writer_award.html.
 
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will present Downing with the 2017 Louisiana Writer Award on Saturday, October 28th during the opening ceremony of the Louisiana Book Festival at the State Capitol. 
 
About The Louisiana Center for the Book The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana coordinates the annual Louisiana Book Festival and other programs and events supportive of reading, literacy, books, and writers, particularly Louisiana authors and poets.
 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Hamilton
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.4923
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.1013
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