2015 Festival of Books

Sept. 23-24, Rapid City | Sept. 24-27, Deadwood

Readers, writers learn from
local, national presenters
at more than 100 events

One Book South Dakota authors

William Kent Krueger                Megan McDonald


Thousands of writers and readers converge in the Black Hills to share their stories at the 13th annual South Dakota Festival of Books, Sept. 23-27. Events begin in Rapid City on Wednesday and continue in Deadwood, Lead and surrounding towns through Sunday.

More than 70 presenters and authors meet their fans, share background on their books and lead writing workshops at the state’s premier literary event. Fifty exhibitors, including booksellers and publishers, will also showcase their goods for attendees. The festival is free and open to the public.

The Festival of Books kicks off Thursday night with the Festival Fundraiser & Author Reception. More than 100 workshops, discussions and special events continue through Sunday morning, headquartered at the Deadwood Mountain Grand and led by nationally-recognized and locally-known authors.

Minnesota author William Kent Krueger and his book Ordinary Grace, the 2015 One Book South Dakota selection, headline the festival with other best-selling authors Garth Stein of Art of Racing in the Rain, Pamela Smith Hill, editor of the Laura Ingalls Wilder autobiography Pioneer Girl; and Young Readers One Book South Dakota author Megan McDonald.

The Young Readers Festival of Books, Thursday, Sept. 24, is new to the Black Hills and features McDonald’s book Stink: Twice as Incredible. In spring 2015, the South Dakota Humanities Council distributed 3,700 copies her book to second graders in 16 school districts in western South Dakota. McDonald and other children’s authors will meet students at school visits, public events and field trips in Rapid City and throughout the Black Hills.

On the final night of the Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26, the SDHC will announce the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the 2016 One Book South Dakota selection. The selection launches the council’s participation in honoring 100 years of the Pulitzer Prize.

A handful of special events require tickets, including the Festival Fundraiser & Author Reception, some writing workshops and one-of-a-kind experiences like the Historic Home Tour & Tea at the Bill Walsh and Jo Roebuck-Pearson home. Those interested can purchase tickets at www.sdbookfestival.com, while all other events are free.

The South Dakota Humanities Council’s partnerships and donors support the continuation of the annual Festival of Books.

The 2015 presenting partners are the National Endowment for the Humanities, AWC Family Foundation, Rushmore Media, Larson Family Foundation, city of Deadwood (Historic Preservation Commission) and United Way of the Black Hills (Vucurevich Foundation and Rapid City Public Schools Foundation). Tribute sponsors include the Brass Family Foundation, Northern Hills Federal Credit Union, South Dakota Public Broadcasting and the South Dakota Arts Council.

Featured Presenters
The Festival features a long list of more than 70 local, regional and national authors across genres, from poetry and young readers’ literature to history, mystery, westerns, memoirs, Native American literature, non-fiction and popular fiction. They will participate in readings, panel discussions, book signings, film screenings and more.

The list includes best-selling novelists Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain, A Sudden Light) and Pam Houston (Cowboys Are My Weakness, Contents May Have Shifted), Harper Lee biographer Charles Shields, Calamity Jane experts Richard Etulain and James McLaird, and poets Linda Hasselstrom and Twyla Hansen, Nebraska Poet Laureate. Hasselstrom and Hansen offer a first-ever joint reading from their collaborative book Dirt Songs.

A special event introduces South Dakota’s new Poet Laureate, Lee Ann Roripaugh of Vermillion. Festival favorite John Dufresne leads a workshop on flash fiction, and the Book Doctors, David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, are back for an encore presentation of their popular Pitchapalooza event to help launch writers into becoming published authors.

Laura Ingalls Wilder fans will hear from Pamela Smith Hill on the phenomenal success of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. The Ingalls Wilder autobiography she helped edit and the children’s book The Monster Who Ate the State, written and illustrated by Hagar the Horrible cartoonist Chris Browne, were recently showcased at the National Festival of Books in Washington, D.C.


Produced by:

2015 Presenting Partners
2015 Tribute Sponsors
Gerry Berger Law



A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE DONORS AND VOLUNTEERS WHO SUPPORT SOUTH DAKOTA HUMANITIES COUNCIL PROGRAMS:The Ament Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; Terry & Sherry Baloun; Black Hills Power; Sandra Brannan; Dahl Arts Center; Dakota Indian Foundation; Dakota West Books, Dave Strain; Days of '76 Museum; Deadwood City Hall; Deadwood Mountain Grand - a Holiday Inn Resort; Deadwood Public Library; Deadwood Social Club, Charlie Utter Theater; Sherry & Tom DeBoer; Holly Downing; Franklin Hotel; Friends of the South Dakota Humanities Council; Sidney Goss; Phoebe Apperson Hearst Library; Historic Adams Research and Cultural Center; Historic Homestake Opera House; Sandy Jerstad; Joe & Jennifer Kirby Charitable Fund of the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation; Lead-Deadwood Elementary School; Bonnie Lievan; Martin & Mason Hotel; Matthews Opera House & Arts Center; Jason McEntee; Lori McGuire; Hon. Judith Meierhenry; Mark & Carolyn Mollers; Mount Rushmore Bookstores; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Jean & Tom Nicholson; Pioneer Bank & Trust/F. L. Clarkson Family Foundation; Rapid City Arts Council; Rapid City Public Library; Scott & Linda Rausch; Steven W. Sanford; Sanford Underground Research Facility; Jerry & Gail Simmons; Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation; South Dakota State University Office of the President; Jack & Linda Stengel; Orval Van Deest - in honor of Violet Van Deest; William Walsh & Jo Roebuck-Pearson; Kathy Webb; Ann & Robert Weisgarber

South Dakota Center for the Book | 1215 Trail Ridge Rd., Suite A, Brookings, SD 57006 | 605-688-6113