Chippewa valley book festival 2022

Chippewa valley book festival to take place Oct. 20-25

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Photo by Maggie O'Brien

A display advertising the Chippewa valley book festival in the McIntyre Library

The Chippewa Valley Book Festival — a celebration of the written word through readings, book signings, school visits and writing programs for writers of all ages — is offering a hybrid schedule of in-person and virtual events this year.   

Chippewa valley residents and literary enthusiasts will have numerous opportunities to participate and engage, according to the Chippewa Valley Book Festival website

The 2022 festival will welcome multiple authors from various literary genres and diverse backgrounds and offer free events to the community. 

Sara Meeks, marketing co-chair of the Chippewa Valley Book Festival since 2018, said there are many wonderful aspects of the book festival. 

“We love bringing together like-minded individuals who enjoy reading,” Meeks said. “We appreciate the opportunity to introduce new authors, new subject matter and new perspectives to our community of readers while challenging them to reach outside of their comfort zone.”

Meeks explained how the partnerships and sponsors that support the Chippewa Valley Book Festival are essential to ensure the events happen.

“There really is an event for every interest and every age as we try to appeal to folks across the Chippewa Valley,” Meeks said. “To make this happen, we partner with The Pablo Center at the Confluence and The University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Foundation.”

Meeks also noted that all of the events offered by the book festival are completely free and many don’t require pre-registration. 

Judy Dekan, chair of the Chippewa Valley Book Festival, explained that the book festival also works with the Eau Claire School District for the Authors in the Schools program. She said they were able to bring nine authors to the schools. 

“They (the authors) each do three school presentations and reach a significant number of students,” Dekan said. “They also do an evening program where all nine authors present together at the library.”

Dekan also said and highlighted one particular event that the Chippewa Valley Book Festival is holding this year.

“One thing the festival is offering this year is a book-making event for young writers in the Eau Claire area,” Dekan said. 

Dekan explained that the book-making event will be led by a local artist and a book-making instructor and will take place in the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s Dabble Box area. 

Isa Small, chair of the authors and events committee for the Chippewa Valley Book Festival, said it’s exciting to see readers interacting and finding new interests within the variety of genres offered by the book festival. 

“Reading can be a very solo act, so it’s nice to have these opportunities for individuals to interact with the author at the process of writing, as well as to interact with other literature lovers,” Small said. 

Small said that The Chippewa Valley Book Festival is open to book suggestions and new committee members.      

“If anyone has interest in bringing an author to the Chippewa Valley or serving on one of the committees to help plan these events, they can check out our website and contact us,” Small said. 

For more details about the events offered at the Chippewa Valley Book Festival, check out the events calendar or the printable schedule.

O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]