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Book Festival begins today, provides full week for exploration

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One of the great annual opportunities for learning and exploring in the Fox Cities is beginning its 12th chapter.

The week-long Fox Cities Book Festival begins today and will bring readings and presentations to libraries and other locales across the valley. The festival includes poets and authors from Wisconsin and beyond. They’ll speak from their places of expertise — whether it’s the topics of their writing or the very craft of putting words to paper.

For some readers, it’s a chance to listen and ask questions of authors — and develop a deeper appreciation of their work. 

For other festival enthusiasts, it’s simply an opportunity to sit in and learn about topics of interest. Presentations this year will range from a former professional wrestler sharing memories to the history of beer in Neenah and Menasha.

The festival will once again provide a wide variety, so it would be wise to make a plan. The full schedule can be found here. 

Highlights include:

Oct. 7: Today’s book festival events are centered at the libraries of Kimberly and Little Chute. At 1:30 p.m. in Kimberly, Wisconsin’s Chris Multerer — author of Job Man — will talk about his decade-long pro wrestling career. At 6:30 p.m. in Kimberly, Chad Lewis will share the Bizarre History of Wisconsin, which highlights 100 bizarre newspaper stories from long ago. Members of the Kaukauna Paranormal Research Team will share their experiences during a presentation in Little Chute beginning at 7 p.m.

Oct. 8: On Tuesday, the book festival moves on to the Kaukauna Public Library with events including children’s storytime, a poetry reading. At 6:30 p.m., author Richard Ratay will give a presentation on the history of family road trips. At 8 p.m., festivities move to 313 Dodge where Fox Cities author Gavin Schmitt will host literary trivia.

Oct. 9: The book festival heads to Appleton on Wednesday for a full day of readings and presentations at the Appleton Public Library. At 11:30 a.m., author Carrie Sue Barnes invites festival goers for a cup of tea and an interactive discussion on the significance of each individual’s personal story. At 7 p.m., head to McFleshman’s Brewing Company for Short Story Night. Host Richie Zaborowske will host the evening, which will include author interviews, trivia and literary discussion.

Oct. 10: On Thursday, it’s Neenah’s turn to host and will prove to be a valuable day for writers hoping to take those next steps. At noon, author Rae Miles will share her experience of breaking into the publishing industry — from first draft to published novel. At 4 p.m., Christina Hagmann will discuss learning to see the world as a writer.

Oct. 11: Festivities head to Menasha’s Elisha D. Smith Public Library on Friday. Newbery Award winning author Avi will sign books for young readers at 4:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., Kelly Harms, author of the best selling novel, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, will share good books, good laughs and effective self-care tips for busy women and those who love them.

Oct. 12: The book festival will unfold across the Fox Valley on Saturday. At 9 a.m., former CIA pilot Neil Hansen will share his story at Menasha’s Elisha D. Smith Public Library. At noon, head to Kaukauna Public Library for a panel discussion, “The Art of Anxiety: How writers manipulate our emotions to keep the pages turning.”
Oct 13: The book festival closes Sunday with a visit from best-selling author Elizabeth Letts, who will discuss writing her latest novel, Finding Dorothy, at Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

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