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National, regional authors highlight of Missouri Literary Festival: The Civil War

 2011 Missouri Literary Festival features top authors, music and demonstrations
The 2011 Missouri Literary Festival is a Civil War Sesquicentennial event for lovers of books, the Civil War, storytelling, music and film.
The three-day literary extravaganza, The 2011 Missouri Literary Festival: The Civil War, is planned Sept. 23, 24 and 25 at The Creamery Arts Center and Jordan Valley Park in downtown Springfield. This is a three-day opportunity to meet and hear well-known authors of Civil War books, enjoy book signings and learn more about the American Civil War in this first year of the war’s 150th anniversary.
The 2011 Missouri Literary Festival: The Civil War is a project of Springfield Regional Arts Council.
Festival events will run 10 a.m. through 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23; 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25. Tickets for the entire festival are $5 for age 11 and older, free for children 10 and under. Festival tickets are available at the Creamery Arts Center, 411 N. Sherman Parkway, and at all branches of the Springfield-Greene County Library District.
The Creamery, only, (417-865-0450) will sell tickets to these separate ticketed events:
• High Tea with Janis Cooke Newman, author of "Mary: Mrs. A. Lincoln," at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Creamery, for $25. This unique event will feature a traditional high tea with the author. Newman’s “Mary” is told from the perspective of Mary Todd Lincoln, whom the author calls one of the most misunderstood women in American history. A limited number of tickets are available. Tickets to the tea also provide general admission for all three days of the festival.
• Blue & Gray Meet The Authors Gala, 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Creamery Exhibition Hall, $50. Gather in the Exhibition Hall to meet festival authors over drinks and buffet dinner by the Gallery Bistro’s Peter Tinson; entertainment by Marideth Sisco and Blackberry Winter, from the Academy Award-nominated film, "Winter's Bone,” and the auction of white horse sculptures donated by Obelisk Home.
The three-day Missouri Literary Festival events include author presentations, book signings, live music, storytelling, poetry, art activities and interactive historical displays. Meet national and regional novelists, historians, children's authors and a variety of local writers, poets and performers. Experience cannon and musket firings, learn about the life of the common soldier, Civil War medicine, the life of a cavalry horse, and more. There will be make-and-take crafts for kids, and storytelling by the Springfield Little Theatre Yes Troupe.
Featured authors include novelist Jeff Shaara, who wrote “Gods and Generals,” historian William C. Davis, of “The Battle of Bull Run,” Janis Cooke Newman, of “Mary: Mrs.  A. Lincoln,” Adam I. Arenson, historian, of “The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War,” David Wilson Atwood, novelist, “Where The Mockingbird Sang – A Novel of the Civil War,”  Randall Fuller, of “From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Transformed American Literature,” William Garrett Piston, Civil War historian and author of “Wilson’s Cree: The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It,” Steve Yates, author of “Morkan’s Quarry;” Chris Stuckenschneider, author of “Twist of Fate” and “The Miracle Colt,” storyteller Chris Sutton, and many more.
Two favorite children's authors from the 2009 Missouri Literary Festival are also returning in 2011. Kate Klise and Judy Young will appear at the festival on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Kate is an award-winning author of 19 children's books, including the bestselling "Regarding the Fountain," "Dying to Meet You," as well as the "Little Rabbit" series of picture books. Described by critics as "fresh, funny, and a delight to read," Kate's books for young readers have netted award nominations in more than twenty states.
Judy, an award-winning author of children's fiction, poetry and nonfiction, has penned 11 books, including "S is for Show Me, A Missouri Alphabet," "The Hidden Bestiary of Marvelous, Mysterious and (maybe even) Magical Creatures" and her latest, "A Pet for Miss Wright," set for release this year. 
  For more details or ticket information, go to, or call William “Bucky” Bowman, Missouri Literary Festival chair, (417) 865-0450. Festival tickets are available for sale at the Creamery in downtown Springfield 411 N. Sherman Parkway, and at all branches of the Springfield-Greene County Library District.

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

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