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Six Bridges Book Festival to feature more than 75 authors over 11 days

Central Arkansas Library System

The Six Bridges Book Festival will begin Thursday, featuring more than 75 award-winning and bestselling authors from all genres on a broad range of topics.

This is the 18th year for the festival, presented by the Central Arkansas Library System. Like last year, most events will be taking place online because of the pandemic.

“We made that call in late July to move it all to virtual,” said Festival Coordinator Brad Mooy. “It was going to be a hybrid event, but because of the surge of COVID we decided that was the way to go and I haven’t really looked back once we made that decision.”

The discussions will be streamed live on the festival’s website and on YouTube, but for people who want to be more involved in events by asking questions, they will need to register on the festival’s website, then join discussions through Zoom.

Mooy says there are benefits and drawbacks to having the festival online.

“Of course I enjoy having authors come to Little Rock who have never been here or to the south before, but there is some convenience to the virtual aspects. The virtual festival allows us to get a few authors who might not have been available to us if it were fully in person,” he said.

Eight of the authors will be joining from outside the U.S. If the festival was fully in-person, Mooy said there would likely only be one or two authors from outside of the country who would be able to be flown in to take part.

“It’s a trade off, but I’m excited about the roster and the festival and the ease of virtual.”

Another advantage of being online, he said, is that there are fewer concurrent events forcing people to choose between discussions they would like to watch. Last year the festival went from being four days to 11 days. The same structure will be in place again this year.

There will also be interactive aspects to the festival like free contests and cooking workshops.

Most sessions will run an hour with a 45 minute discussion led by a moderator, then 15 minutes questions and answers.

For a complete listing of authors, the schedule and how to register, visit the festival's website.

Michael Hibblen is News Director of UA Little Rock Public Radio. A 34-year radio veteran, he oversees the KUAR News staff, plans coverage and edits stories while also reporting and anchoring newscasts.
Maddie Becker serves as an intern at KUAR News as part of the George C. Douthit Endowed Scholarship program for the Fall 2021 semester.