Johnette Downing

© Rick Olivier


Recipient of the 2017 Louisiana Writer Award

Called the "Pied Piper of Louisiana music traditions," Johnette Downing is a children's book author and musician dedicated to sharing her Louisiana roots music and books with children globally. The author of twenty-two books and ten recordings, Johnette has received twenty-three awards and has performed on five continents. 




10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
State Capitol Building, House Chamber
Louisiana Writer Award Ceremony

1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 1
A Conversation with Johnette Downing

2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Storytelling Tent

3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Children’s Author Tent 2
Book Talk
Mumbo Jumbo Stay Out of the Gumbo

4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing


Mumbo Jumbo, Stay Out of the Gumbo

With her trademark lyricism, Louisiana musician and author Johnette Downing draws readers through an Acadian landscape. This brand-new tale introduces a cagey rooster who vows not to be in the communal gumbo pot this Courir de Mardi Gras. Downing provides a glossary of traditional French-Cajun words used in the story and a delicious recipe for gumbo z’herbes created by her Grammy Award-winning husband, Scott Billington.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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