2018 Festival Schedule

While the Festival's principal portion has traditionally begun with the Friday-night reception and run through noon on Sunday, many attendees have elected to add Friday writers' workshops to their itinerary.  Thursday's Creative Laboratory is a special addition in 2018.  Our flexible pricing allows all attendees to build the schedule that suits them best!

THURSDAY, 9.13: "Dear Water" Pre-Conference Creative Laboratory 

(inaugural event, free-will offering (no formal charge) and open to the public; occurs primarily at Gathering Ground, 1751 Lake View Road)

11: 00 AM:  BYO brown-bag lunch, casual meet-and-greet, discussion of pre-conference readings

1:00 PM:  Lecture and Q&A with Lane Hall, professor of poetry at UW-Milwaukee

2:00 PM:  Optional, guided hike at Jackson Harbor Ridges

3:00 PM:  “My Letter to Water” workshop (epistolary and poetic work)

6:00 PM:  Picnic Dinner and sundown filming, with audio, of participants’ reading

9:00 PM:  Fireside chat and reflection on the day

FRIDAY, 9.14: "Dedicated to Craft for Readers and Writers" Workshops

10:00 AM to 5:00 PM:  registration packets available at Fair Isle Books

12:30 PM to 2:30 PM:  Fiction Workshop, Bonnie Jo Campbell*

12:30 PM to 2:30 PM:  Memoir Workshop, Douglas Wood*

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM:  Poetry Workshop, Marion Boyer*

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM:  Fiction Workshop, Jean Pendziwol*

6:30 PM:  Dessert Reception at Historic Farm Museum.  Meet and greet authors and participants, including Island author Richard Purinton.

8:30 PM:  Open-mic reading for interested participants at Fiddler's Green

*see Workshop Schedule for descriptions and locations


SATURDAY, 9.15: Festival Presentations          

8:00 AM:  Coffee and Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM:  Welcome and Announcements

9:15 AM:  Full Author Panel (moderated by Elizabeth Sachs)

10:45 AM:  Author Presentation and Q&A:  Poet Marion Boyer

11:30 AM:  Author Presentation and Q&A:  Non-fiction Writer Jeff Goodell

12:15 PM:  Backstage Book-signing; Backstage Bookshop open

2:00 PM:  Author Presentation and Q&A:  Historical Fiction Writer Jean Pendziwol

 3:15 PM:  Author Presentation and Q&A:  Fiction Writer Bonnie Jo Campbell

4:15 PM:  Moderated Conversation with Fiction Writer Kirk Landers and Memoirist Douglas Wood

5:00 PM:  Backstage Book-signing; Backstage Bookshop open

6:30 PM:  Social Half-hour at Historic Island Dairy

7:00 PM:  Festival Banquet

8:00 PM:  Award Presentation and reading by award-winners of Norbert Blei Poetry Award and other featured award winners; reading of Words on Water (2017) by 


SUNDAY, 9.16: Brunch and Closing Remarks

9:30 AM:  Coffee and meet-and-greet on Washington Hotel porch

10:00 AM:  Brunch at Hotel Washington

11:00 AM: Remarks from authors in attendance and representatives from Washington Island Book Groups: “What We’re Reading and What We Recommend for the Future”

12:00 PM:  Festival formally ends