An annual celebration of writing, reading, discussion, and thought on the written word on Washington Island, Wisconsin.


Now in its sixth season, the Washington Island Literary Festival is a movable feast of writing, reading, discussion, and thought about the written word. Writers’ workshops, author panels and presentations, readings and parties are scheduled at various quaint, historic and beautiful venues around the Island.  Participants have a unique opportunity to share time with prominent authors and dedicated readers in the intimate, friendly setting of Washington Island, a half-hour by ferry from the Door County mainland, in September’s color and warmth.

In 2018, our theme is “Words on Water,” celebrating, reflecting upon, and generating literature with a focus upon topics, plots, issues and ideas concerning water.  2018’s Festival dovetails with an on-going initiative in Door County, “Celebrate Water,” and adds a specifically literary approach.  Surrounded by water as we are, a world apart yet vitally connected, we are ideally situated for focus upon watery themes.

All our programs are small and intimate; this is our intention and our charm.  Attendance at the Festival is limited to about 150 people.  This is a comfortable house for the Trueblood Performing Arts Center, a fully-equipped facility which is the Festival’s home.  Other venues include beautiful and historic locales such as the Island Dairy, the Hotel Washington, the Washington Island Farm Museum, and, for writers’ workshops, woodland or lake-side paths for inspiration, and a privately-owned boathouse opening to the panorama of Lake Michigan lapping at its door.  Offering inns and guesthouses, beaches and beautiful byways to explore, and eateries which may feature local produce from organic Island farms, Washington Island is a permanent home to 500 residents.  During “The Season,” it swells to host thousands of visitors and summer residents.  Our Festival’s September dates will provide the perfect, “wind-down” set of days: an opportunity to enjoy the Island after the season has died down, as fall’s colors tinge the landscape with peaceful beauty. 


2018 Authors