For me, the weekend started with the plane flight out on Friday and a lovely reception that evening at the Eudora Welty House. Representatives of the Eudora Welty Foundation were on hand to provide tours and answer any and all questions about Jackson's favorite daughter. It was a great chance to talk to the organizers and volunteers, as well as other authors.
The next morning was breakfast at the Winter Archives Building, where the staff gave us a tour and showed us the forthcoming Museum of Civil Rights and Mississippi History Museum.
Then we were off to opening ceremonies, where the Jackson State University Marching Band performed on the Capitol steps, and then the panels! The Harper Lee Reconsidered panel, held in the old Supreme Court chamber, was lively and fascinating (and also covered by C-SPAN). I wasn't able to make it to the picture books panel due to the long line, but hear it went well, and I'd had the chance to talk with the presenters the night before :-).
My panel was the Young Readers panel, and featured moderator Margaret McMullan, and panelists Kimberly Willis Holt, Taylor Kitchings, Deborah Wiles, Carolyn Brown, and Cassie Beasley. Margaret did a great job as moderator and kept the conversation going and on track. :-).
Many thanks to all the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and attendees for making the event such a success!
Altogether, it was a fantastic event, with standing-room-only crowds and a terrific venue! Here's a report on the festival from the Clarion-Ledger: Book Festival Attendance Outpaces Projections.
And here are some pics from out and about festival weekend:
|My duffel bag leaves the jetway in Houston
|Art deco Greyhound Station, downtown Jackson
|Kerry Madden, Susan Eaddy, Hester Bass, Chris Barton in the Eudora Welty House Garden
|Deborah Wiles, Kerry Madden on the Eudora Welty House lawn
|In front of the Eudora Welty House
|MS State Capitol
|Kerry Madden, Kimberly Willis Holt
|W. Ralph Eubanks, Margaret McMullan
|Jackson State University Marching Band
|View from the Capitol steps
|Capitol interior and dome
|Dome in House of Representative Chamber
|Dome of Senate Chamber
|Kimberly, Taylor, Deborah, Margaret, Me, Cassie, Carolyn