Six Bridges Book Festival

The Six Bridges Book Festival is an annual celebration of literacy, language, and the written word. The event was begun by Arkansas Literacy Councils, Inc., (ALC) with the goals of increasing awareness of the importance of literacy and raising funds for adult literacy programs in Arkansas—all through a culturally vibrant event that highlights the state of Arkansas and its rich literary heritage. The festival started in 2002 as the Arkansas Literary Festival (known as Lit Fest), and the Central Arkansas Library System took over management of the festival in 2008, renaming it the Six Bridges Book Festival in 2019.

The festival, based in Little Rock (Pulaski County), was held for many years on the third weekend of April; the festival switched to fall dates in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic upended its schedule that year. It provides activities for readers of all ages, abilities, and interests. At the core of the festival are the admission-free author sessions. Nationally recognized and emerging writers, many of whom are either native Arkansans or have some connection to the state, read from and talk about their books. Venues include libraries, restaurants, and gallery spaces in Little Rock’s River Market district. C-SPAN2’s Book TV has taped author sessions.

Featured authors have included General Wesley Clark, Garrison Keillor, Connie Mae Fowler, Rick Bragg, Mary Roach, Daniel Black, Tim O’Brien, Lauren Groff, Charles Yu, Sandra Cisneros, Jacqueline Woodson, Nate Powell, William F. Buckley, Grif Stockley, Donald Harington, Jack Butler, and Kevin Brockmeier.

In addition to the author sessions, the weekend offers special events such as children’s activities, cooking workshops, a pie contest, book giveaways, Pub or Perish, author parties, VIP receptions, and Writers in the Schools (WITS).

Community partners contribute to the festival. Such partners include the Clinton Presidential Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Oxford American magazine, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock‘s Little Rock Public Radio.

For additional information:
Kinser, Sarah. “Delta Sources & Resources: Arkansas Literary Festival.” Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies 36 (December 2005): 214–216.

Six Bridges Book Festival, Central Arkansas Library System. (accessed August 10, 2023).

Katie Eisenhower McManners
Arkansas Literacy Councils, Inc.


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