Schedule Overview for 2019

The Festival's principal portion begins with the Friday-night reception and runs through brunch on Sunday, but many attendees also choose to participate in Thursday’s Creative Lab and/or Friday’s author workshops.

Our flexible pricing allows all attendees to build the schedule that suits them best! For more information about pricing for various events, visit Registration.


THURSDAY, 9.19: Pre-Conference Creative Laboratory 

Free and open to the public. No advance registration necessary. Free-will offering appreciated but not required.

  • 12:00 PM: Bring your own brown-bag lunch, casual meet-and-greet | Trueblood Performing Art Center (TPAC)

  • 1:00 to 3:30 PM: Listen to This: Storytelling as Art and Tradition: Guided workshop by author Paula Carter. We’ll generate compelling stories and practice composing and telling them. | TPAC


FRIDAY, 9.20: "Dedicated to Craft for Readers, Writers, and Creative Expressionists" Workshops and Events

Workshops are offered in three sessions: Morning, Early Afternoon, and Late Afternoon. For more details about each workshop, see Workshop Schedule. Advanced registration is required. Space is limited, so please register early for best availability! Workshop registration will close end of day Wednesday, September 18. (Individual workshops will close sooner if they fill up sooner.) Please note that you can only register for one workshop per session, and once you have registered, you will not be allowed to switch to a different session.

There is a separate fee per workshop, but we offer an Islander discount for Washington Island residents. For more details, visit Registration.

  • 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM: Registration packets available | Fair Isle Books & Gifts

  • Morning Workshops (choose one):

    • 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM:  Family Tree Talk:  Creating Stories from Generational Passion, Pain and Survival, a memoir workshop by author Kirsten Wasson |Hotel Washington

    • 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM:  Moving Through Generations, Creative Movement Workshop by choreographer Kai Evans | Hotel Washington Yoga Studio

  • Early Afternoon Workshops (choose one):

  • 2:30 PM to 3:00 PM: Break

  • Late Afternoon Workshops (choose one):

    • 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM: Telling A Life Story, Memoir Workshop by author Scott Russell Sanders | Fons Boathouse

    • 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM: Fiction Workshop by author Rebecca Makkai | Hotel Washington

  • 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM: Dinner on your own

  • 7:30 PM: Dessert Reception and meet and greet with authors and participants | Washington Island Farm Museum

  • 8:45 PM:  Open-mic reading for interested participants. 3-5 minutes per person. Bring your own or a favorite author’s work to share, or tell the story you generated at the Creative Lab. | Washington Island Farm Museum


SATURDAY, 9.21: Festival Presentations

Presentations at Trueblood Performing Art Center (TPAC)

Advanced registration required.

  • 8:00 AM:  Coffee and Continental Breakfast. Pick up your registration packet.

  • 9:00 AM:  Welcome and Announcements

  • 9:15 AM: Full Author Panel, moderated by Elizabeth Sachs

  • 10:15 AM: Author Presentation and Q&A: Scott Russell Sanders

  • 11:15 AM:  Author Presentation and Q&A: Jane Hamilton

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

  • 12:15 PM to 2:00 PM: Lunch on your own

  • 2:00 PM:  Author Presentation and Q&A: Bao Phi

  • 2:45 PM:  Author Presentation and Q&A: Rebecca Makkai

  • 3:30 PM: Break; Backstage Book-Signing; Backstage Bookshop open

  • 4:00 PM:  Author Presentation and Q&A: Luis Alberto Urrea

  • 4:45 PM:  Closing Remarks; Friends Acknowledgments and Presentations

  • 5:15 PM:  Backstage book-signing; Backstage Bookshop open

  • Dinner on your own, for those not attending the banquet



Banquet at Historic Island Dairy

Advanced registration required.

  • 6:30 PM:  Social Half-hour

  • 7:00 PM:  Festival Banquet

  • 8:00 PM:  Award Presentation and reading by winners of the Norbert Blei Poetry Award and

    other featured awards. Reading by a Featured Island Author.


SUNDAY, 9.21: Brunch and Closing Remarks

Hotel Washington

Advanced registration required.

  • 9:30 AM:  Coffee and meet-and-greet

  • 10:00 AM:  Brunch

  • 11:00 AM: Remarks from authors in attendance and Festival guests:  “What We’re Reading and What We Recommend for the Future”

  • 12:00 PM:  Festival formally ends


Addresses of Festival Locations