The Louisiana Book Festival returns this month, and we’ve got some highlights to check out

There’s nothing like a good book. And each year, the Louisiana Book Festival gives us the opportunity to discover plenty of new ones—many by local authors.

The festival provides a chance to meet your favorite authors, has a variety of programming for all ages and, best of all, it’s free.

The abridged version:

The Louisiana Book Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 28, in and around the State Library, State Capitol and Capitol Park Museum downtown, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

To learn more about all the author appearances at the festival as well as find more information about the wordshop series, visit louisianabookfestival.org.

What not to miss:

• This year, the festival is honoring Johnette Downing, an acclaimed musician and author considered the “pied piper of Louisiana music traditions,” with the Louisiana Writer Award. In addition to receiving the award, she will be presenting her book Mumbo Jumbo, Stay Out of the Gumbo.

• The author of two books in the Star Wars universe and several original series, Claudia Gray will be there with Defy the Stars, the first book in a new series.

Jeff Zentner, author of last year’s popular The Serpent King, is back with Goodbye Days and will teach one of the festival’s “wordshops,” “Writing with Voice,” on Friday, Oct. 27.

• Debut author Angie Thomas will be featured. Her novel The Hate U Give is ripped from the headlines and already optioned for a film.

• LSU professor Brannon Costello presents his LSU Press title Neon Visions: The Comics of Howard Chaykin.

• Retired director of LSU’s FACES lab Mary Manhein will speak with Jessica Schexnayder about their book, Fragile Grounds: Louisiana’s Endangered Cemeteries.

• Our newest Louisiana State Poet Laureate, Jack Bedell, will present a panel of poets from around the state.

• The stellar lineup also includes the 2016 winner of the Ernest J. Gaines award, Crystal Wilkinson, and her book The Birds of Opulence, and beloved author Daniel Wallace’s newest book Extraordinary Adventures.

This article was originally published in the October 2017 issue of 225 Magazine.