True Lit Festival set for Oct. 28-Nov. 4 in Fayetteville

Kwame Alexander / Courtesy

The sixth annual True Lit festival is set to begin later this month in Fayetteville.

The event, featuring author talks, writing workshops, pitch sessions, and more, is set for Oct. 28-Nov. 4 at Fayetteville Public Library. The festival will be headlined by poetry and fiction writer Kwame Alexander, children’s book and young adult author Gordon Korman this year, and novelist Marlon James.

Alexander has written more than 20 books, including “Booked,” “Surf’s Up” and “The Crossover.” In addition to his own work, Alexander is also an educator, as head of the Bookinday program which aims to help introduce children to the world of writing and publishing.

Korman is the author of more than 60 books for children and young adults. A full-time writer, Korman is the author of “Restart,” “Ungifted” and “Slacker,” among numerous others. His books are marked by eccentric humor and an adventurous style.

James is a Jamaican writer who has published novels including John Crow’s Devil (2005), The Book of Night Women (2009), and A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014).

The festival will kick off on Oct. 28 with a writing workshop featuring Kormon at Fayetteville Public Library, followed by a book sighing with the author that evening.

Alexander will host a talk and book signing on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m., and James will conduct a reading and book signing at the library at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2.

A schedule of other events, including readings, workshops, and other festivities associated with the festival are below. For more information, visit

True Lit: Fayetteville Literary Festival

(Below events will take place at the Fayetteville Public Library. Information and descriptions provided by the library.)

Writing Workshop: Crafting the Adventure Scene with Gordon Korman
Sunday, October 28, 2 p.m.

To kick off the festival, New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman will teach this hands-on writing workshop. Participants will structure the different elements that come together to create exciting and suspenseful adventure scenes.

Registration is required.

Gordon Korman Book Signing
Sunday, October 28, 3 p.m.

FPL welcomes author Gordon Korman for a book signing. Korman wrote his first book at age fourteen and since then has written more than eighty-five middle grade and teen novels including NYT bestsellers “Ungifted,” “Supergifted,” “Pop,” and “Schooled.” He is also the author of “Masterminds” and “Masterminds: Criminal Destiny.” His books have been translated into 32 languages and have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.

Pitch Like a Pro to the Pros with Marilyn Collins
Monday, October 29, 10 a.m.

For writers trying to get their break, the publisher pitch is critical. In this interactive workshop, author Marilyn Collins will guide you through strategies to give you the best chance to impress publishers. Learn how to make a skilled and interesting presentation detailing the unique qualities of your ideas and how to avoid mistakes that weaken your chances for success.

Registration is required.

An Evening with Kwame Alexander
Tuesday, October 30, 7 p.m.

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times bestselling author of 25 books, including “Rebound,” the follow-up to his Newbery-medal winning middle grade novel, “The Crossover.” Kwame writes for children of all ages. Books will be available to purchase and a book signing will follow the event.

Open Mouth Poetry Series with Ashley Roach-Freiman and Emma Bolden
Wednesday, October 31, 6 p.m.

True Lit joins forces with the Open Mouth Reading Series to welcome poets Ashley Roach-Freiman and Emma Bolden to the library. The Open Mouth Reading Series is a community-based poetry series in Fayetteville.

True Lit: Arkansas International Readings & Issue Launch
Thursday, November 1, 6 p.m.

This event will offer readings from the new issue of “The Arkansas International” and give participants a chance to meet the team that makes this journal possible. A light reception begins 5:30 p.m.; the readings begin at 6:00 p.m.

True Lit: University of Arkansas 2018 Distinguished Reader – Acclaimed Novelist Marlon James
Friday, November 2, 7 p.m.

The Program in Creative Writing and Translation at the University of Arkansas is proud to welcome acclaimed novelist Marlon James. Author of three award-winning books, James will present a free reading of his work followed by a book signing.

True Lit: A Path to Publication
Saturday, November 3, 10 a.m.

Join us to learn the publishing process directly from the publishers. Author Nancy Hartney will moderate this discussion about the publishing process and what publishers are looking for from writers. The panel, consisting of book and magazine publishers, will take questions from the audience following the discussion.

True Lit: Publisher Pitch Sessions
Saturday, November 3, 1 p.m.

Before and after the publisher panel discussion, writers may sign up for an individual one-on-one session with the editor of their choice to pitch talent and ideas for freelance work. Pitch sessions are limited to 10 minutes and participants may register for up to three sessions.

True Lit: Tell Your Story – Exploring the Personal Essay with Elizabeth DeMeo
Saturday, November 3, 1 p.m.

In this workshop, we will explore the personal essay as both readers and practitioners of this kind of writing. Participants will leave the workshop with advice and inspiration to aid them in the construction of their own essays, as well as resources to help them continue studying the genre on their own. Writers of all ages and experience levels are welcome!

Registration is required.

True Lit: How to Query a Novel with Marina Lostetter
Saturday, November 3, 2 p.m.

Participants will hear an interactive lecture on the basics of querying a novel, in which they will learn how to identify suitable agents, how to compose a query letter, and how to follow up with query submissions.

Registration is required.

True Lit: Open Mouth Poetry Workshop – Give Me Liberty or at Least My Own Tongue
Saturday, November 3, 3 p.m.

Poet Nabila Lovelace will guide students through reading, studying, and listening to contemporary and past femme voices and how these women answered the call for silence with a gong, a shotgun, a praise song, and a claiming of their own tongue.

Registration is required.