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The 2020 Central Wisconsin Book Festival will happen the last weekend in September!

Former Montana Poet Laureate Lowell Jaeger reads during the 2018 festival

July 1, 2020

The Marathon County Public Library, on behalf of all its partners, is happy to share that the Central Wisconsin Book Festival will return to the Wausau area for its fourth year. This year's festival takes place Friday, Sept. 25 through Sunday, Sept. 27. (We may add another day or two, or three, if we have a chance to bring in authors unable to participate during the weekend.)

We're moving ahead with the festival and we're exploring a variety of options to make it happen safely in light of the global pandemic. Some of this year's events may be completely virtual, some may be held in-person (perhaps with capped attendance and proper distancing) or even a mix of the two. We'll need to be flexible and stay on our toes as the festival dates draw near to determine how we'll bring these events to the public. Stay tuned!  

Our festival committee is busy tracking down another great variety of authors and other writers to share their time, talents and words with literature lovers in the central Wisconsin area. While we don't have specific dates and times to share just yet, we are happy to share a few authors who've already said they are willing and able to join us, including:

  • Jerry Apps, who will discuss and read from his new book "When Pine Was King" about Wisconsin's fabled logging industry. The book is scheduled to be published in August 2020 by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

  • Steve Hannah, award-winning writer and author of "Dairylandia," which is a collection of columns Steve wrote about his adopted state of Wisconsin. Steve will share some tales from the book, and also (hopefully!) share stories and experiences from his time as CEO of the satirical media outlet The Onion.

  • Chris Fink, author of the short story collections "Add This to the List of Things You Are" and "Farmers Almanac: A Work of Fiction." Chris will read his work, talk about his writing approach and we may rope him into a panel discussion about short stories as well.

  • John Galligan, author of the acclaimed "Bad Axe County" mystery and the follow up, "Dead Man Dancing" coming out in Summer 2020, as well as the four-novel Fly Fishing Mystery series.

  • Charles Hagner, director of Bird City Wisconsin and author of "American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of Wisconsin," who will talk to us, and show us pictures of, birds!

  • In collaboration with the Master Gardener Program of Marathon CountyDouglas Tallamy will discuss his book "Nature's Best Hope: A new approach to conservation that starts in your backyard."

We'll share more authors as they come aboard - we're working on a couple of bigger headline events we hope to share soon - along with information about donating to the festival, volunteer opportunities and more, so check back often! You can also follow the festival on our Facebook page and Instagram and Twitter (@BookWisconsin) to stay up to date!  If you have questions about the festival, or if you're an author who would like to join us for the festival, please contact us at

Authors Books Central Wisconsin Book Festival Events

image credit: Image by Chad Dally, Marathon County Public Library staff.