Readers and authors will connect at this weekend’s Waupaca Book Fest.
At various downtown venues, book lovers will learn the stories behind those who like to write.
“I think one of the most amazing things is for a town this small to have an event this big,” said Peg Burington, director of the Waupaca Area Public Library.
A total of 15 authors will participate on Friday and Saturday.
In addition, Eric Litwin will visit elementary classrooms on Monday, Oct. 15.
Litwin is the New York Times best-selling author of the picture book, Pete the Cat, I Love my White Shoes.
This is the second book festival being held in Waupaca.
The first – held two years ago – featured 11 authors.
“I think what happened with this is that we wanted to model it after what we did two years ago,” Burington said.
Based on the feedback received after the first book festival, this year’s event grew into a total of 16 authors over the course of three days, she said.
The book festival will kick off on Thursday, Oct. 11 with an Edible Books Contest, at Hansen Furniture and Appliance Center. Judging will take place from 3-5:45 p.m.
The activities on Friday, Oct. 12 will include a writer’s workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, in the library meeting rooms, two author presentations and the authors’ reception.
The writer’s workshop will include three separate topics: how to decide what to write about, the art of writing memoirs and how to get published.
Burington said people may still sign up for the workshops. Call the library at 715-258-4414 to reserve a spot.
Local author Lowell Peterson will speak at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at 10 a.m. Friday, and Terese Allen will give a presentation at 5 p.m. in the Snug Room at T-Dub’s Public House.
Allen writes about the pleasures and benefits of sustainable cooking, regional food and culinary folklore.
Burington said reservations are recommended for those who want to stay for dinner at the pub.
Friday’s final activity of the day will be the author’s reception, from 7-9:30 p.m., at the library.
Tickets are $10 in advance – available at the library – and $12 at the door.
The reception will feature desserts. There will be a cash bar.
The book festival will continue on Saturday, Oct. 13, beginning at 8 a.m. with “Breakfast with Michael Perry,” at the Waupaca Recreation Center.
Perry is the author of the best-selling memoirs, Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, Truck: A Love Story and Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting.
Breakfast – and later lunch – will be for sale, provided by the Waupaca Lioness Club.
The Waupaca Recreation Center will also be the site of a presentation by author and illustrator Matt Tavares, a book swap sponsored by the Waupaca High School National Honor Society and a panel discussion by four teen authors: Marissa Meyer, Pat Schmatz, Geoff Herbach and Jacqueline West.
Throughout the day, there will be other author presentations, including Eric Bauermeister at 9 a.m., in the library’s exhibit room.
Burington said it is exciting to have Bauermeister, author of The School of Essential Ingredients and Joy For Beginners, give inspiration among the artful bra exhibit currently on display there.
Joy For Beginners is about a breast cancer survivor, Burington said.
At 10 a.m., Peter Geniesse will speak at Office Outfitters. He is the author of Cuc: Flower of the Delta, which is about Vietnamese boat people who resettled in Wisconsin, and Illegal: NAFTA Refugeese Forced to Flee.
Also at 10 a.m., Jasia Steinmetz, professor of food and nutrition at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, will lead a tour of the farmers’ market on the city square.
Wendell Nelson will speak at the Holly History and Genealogy Center at 11 a.m. He taught English at UW-Stevens Point and has written 10 books on various topics.
Other highlights Saturday will include Darien Gee at 1 p.m. and Brett Laidlaw at 3 p.m., both in library meeting rooms.
Gee is the author of Friendship Bread: A Novel and will announce the winners of the book festival’s Friendship Bread Contest.
Laidlaw, author of Trout Caviar: Recipes from a Northern Forager, will include a cooking demonstration in his presentation.
Getting around to the various sites on Saturday will be easy.
Parking is available in the city lot by the police station and then ride a covered, seated wagon to the festival locations. It will make stops at the rec center, library and history center.