Spring Green Literary Festival, Spring Green, Wisconsin: Celebrating a love of literature and the art of writing.




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Throughout the year, in the Wisconsin River Valley near Spring Green, nationally renowned authors and poets meet with area wide lovers of books and writing to explore the importance of the literary arts to human understanding. In settings designed for inspiration, readers gather to listen to a writer's interpretation of the human experience and to discover the fine art of writing. 

Next Event


Featuring Crime Writers:

  • William Kent Krueger, Northwest Angle and Vermillion Drift

  • Steven Thayer, The Leper and The Weatherman

  • Victoria Houston, Dead Tease, author of the Loon Lake Mysteries

  • Gail Lukasik, The Lost Artist, author of the Door County Mysteries

  • Pat Lawrence, Jarred Into Being, winning five-star reviews and written by husband and wife writing team, Pat and Daniel Burke

  • Minnesota Crime Wave with award-winning authors Ellen Hart, William Kent Krueger, and Carl Brookins

Book readings, signings and discussions on plot, character development, structure, genres, and writing for performance. 

Solve the Murder In The Park, a community WhoDunIt, written by local author A. Nonimus. Clues at downtown businesses. Win prizes!

A film noir docudrama by Genevieve Davis, Secret Life, Secret Death

Register online HERE or pick up forms and more information at Arcadia Books, headquarters for the weekend of suspense.  

Click here for a PDF of this year's brochure (4.6 MB). This requires Adobe Reader.

Suspense in Spring Green Schedule
Download a print schedule

Friday, April 27

Murder In The Park a community WhoDunIt, written by A. Nonimus. Crime scene: Post House Garden. Solve the mystery and win prizes. Clues at downtown businesses.  4:00 pm

Community Reception for the Authors: Meet the authors and book signings at Arcadia books.  5:30 pm

Minnesota Crime Wave, featuring authors William Kent Krueger, Ellen Hart and Carl Brookins, reading from their books and talking about the art of mystery writing at the Gard Theater. Free and open to the public.  7:00 pm

Saturday, April 28

Registration at Arcadia Books  8:30 am

Welcome and Presentations by Crime Writers: Victoria Houston, Steve Thayer, and Gail Lukasik at the Gard Theater.  9:00 am

Lunch Around Town  12:00 Noon

Mystery Book Fair: Sponsored by Friends of the Library in Post House Garden.  12:00 Noon

Presentations by Mystery Writers: William Kent Krueger, and husband and wife writing team Pat and Daniel Burke, aka Pat Lawrence.  1:30 pm

Panel Discussion on the Mystery Writer’s Life: All guest authors.  3:30 pm

Murder Mystery Dinner, The Puuurfect Murder, by Pat and Daniel Burke, an interactive audience performance, upstairs at The Shed. 7:00 pm 

Sunday, April 29

A Film Noir Docudrama, Secret Life, Secret Death by Genevieve Davis at the Gard Theater.  2:00pm

Register HERE or pick up forms and more info at Arcadia Books. Registration for Saturday program $45. Mystery Dinner $25. Film $8.

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Previously At the Spring Green Literary Festival

LitFest Sponsors Community Discussion and Film
March 27, 2011 Screening / Discussion of
"To Kill A Mockingbird"

The Spring Green Literary Festival will sponsor a community-wide discussion of the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee on Sunday, March 27 at 2:00 p.m. at the Gard Theater on Jefferson Street. The discussion, led by Marnie Dresser, professor of English at UW-Richland, will be followed by the 1962 movie of the same name, starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. The event is an opportunity for readers to fully discuss the issues of race, class, civil rights and social justice and the implications for today.

The book was chosen for the first River Valley Community Read, whereby all residents were invited to read the same book at the same time. The book was required reading in the River Valley Middle School. Free books were provided also to the community during public events presented by the literary festival and to the Senior Center, the Food Pantry, nursing homes, and the Spring Green Community Library.

The discussion and movie are free and open to the public.

LitFest Announces Jane Hamilton Appearance
April 9, 2011 - An Evening with Jane Hamilton

The Spring Green Literary Festival will present An Evening with Jane Hamilton on Saturday, April 9 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Touchstone Theater, the indoor venue of American Players Theater. Admission will be free and open to the public.  Hamilton will read from her most recent novel Laura Rider’s Masterpiece, which tells the hilarious story of Laura and Charlie Rider, who have been married 12 years and run the Prairie Wind Farm Nursery in fictional Hartley, Wisconsin. Though they no longer share a bed, they are happy enough: Laura with her growing writing hobby and Charlie with his passion for life.  

Hamilton, a New York Times bestselling author, gained acclaim with her debut novel, The Book of Ruth, which won the 1988 PEN/Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel. Her 1999 novel, A Map of the World, was selected a NYT Notable Book of the Year. Both  have been selected for Oprah’s Book Club. She won the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for her 1998 novel, The Short Story of A Prince.

Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Hamilton graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota, married the owner of an apple orchard, and settled in Wisconsin. Her stories are set in the Midwest and are populated by rural and small town families that endure life’s tragedies with stoicism and frankness. Hamilton’s novels have also always been laced with humor. Her latest, Laura Rider’s Masterpiece, is not only a very funny, but sexy and provocative as well.

The evening will include a book signing by the author, the sale of her novels, and refreshments in the lobby before and after the program. The event is free and open to the public. To guarantee seating, tickets are available at the Spring Green General Store, 43/90 North Earth, and Nina’s in Spring Green.

Spring Green LitFest Sponsors First Community Read in River Valley - 
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Kickoff Potluck with Free Book Giveaway on November 14 from 1-3 pm at the Spring Green Firehouse. See the poster HERE.

The Spring Green Literary Festival is sponsoring the first River Valley Community Read with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Lee found instant fame from her book published in 1960 which described the hostilities of a prejudicial trial in a tense tug of war between justice and racism. She was showered with literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2007.

The River Valley Community Read will kick off on Sunday, November 14 at the Spring Green Firehouse on Highway 23 with a Southern Comfort Potluck and Book Reading from 1:00-3:00pm. Those attending are asked to bring a dish in the Southern tradition, or simply a favorite one to pass. Colleen Madden, an actor with American Players Theatre, will read from the featured novel.

A series of events are scheduled between now and March, 2011, giving area residents an opportunity to fully discuss the issues of race, class, civil rights and social justice. The first of these is a two-day reading of To Kill a Mockingbird, called “Read Me A Story,” whereby local residents will read out loud the entire book to an audience that comes and goes throughout the weekend. Also scheduled at the Gard Theater is the film starring Gregory Peck, book club discussions of the book, and a final event in March with a presentation by an author who will speak to the issues raised by Lee in the novel and discuss them in terms of where our community and the larger society are today.

At the Southern Comfort Potluck, free books, provided by the Spring Green Literary Festival, will be available along with a full schedule of events and a list of related readings. Lee’s book is also available now at the Spring Green Community Library. 

Who Is Neil Gaiman?
An Evening with Charles Allen Wyman and David Daniel
September 9, 2010m 7pm - Gard Theater, Spring Green

See the poster HERE.

Charles Allen Wyman, local writer, poet, and nationally recognized editor of The Absinthe Literary Review, and David Daniel, actor and education director with American Players Theatre, will talk about Gaiman’s life and books, and read selections from his writings, including the New York Times bestseller, American Gods, published in 2001. It depicts the World’s Largest Carousel at the House on the Rock as a portal into the mind of Odin, the All-Father and central figure in the story. Gaiman claims that he repeatedly has to explain that the carousel was not a figment of his imagination but really exists. 

Neil Gaiman is the critically acclaimed author of several novels, including graphic novels, a collection of short fiction, and children’s books. Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in northern Wisconsin.

Gaiman’s books for sale and refreshments in the lobby before and after the program. For guaranteed seating, free tickets will be available at the General Store and 43/90 North Earth. 

The latest information Neil Gaiman's Halloween weekend appearance at The House on the Rock is HERE.

Spring Green Literary Festival Broadens Offerings
First in the Series: An Evening With David Rhodes

In an effort to broaden and diversify its audience, the Spring Green Literary Festival is changing from one event held annually in the fall to a series of mini events throughout the year. To kick off its 13th season and the first in the series, the Spring Green Literary Festival presents An Evening with David Rhodes, author of Driftless, a novel published in 2008. The author’s reading will be Saturday, March 6 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Touchstone Theatre, the indoor venue of American Player’s Theatre. Rhodes is a Wisconsin writer and was named in January as one of fifty most inspiring authors in the world by Poets&Writers Magazine. The evening will include a book signing by the author, the sale of his novels, and refreshments in the lobby before and after the program. Free tickets will be available at the Spring Green General Store, Nina's Variety, and 43/90 North Earth in Spring Green. 

Two more mini events are planned for 2010—one for the summer and one in the fall, authors to be announced at a later date. In addition, the Spring Green Literary Festival will sponsor a Community Read. Between now and early fall, community leaders and residents will be asked to nominate a book and author for all area residents to read. The book will be selected and announced in early September of 2010. Free copies will be provided to senior centers and food pantries. The author will then be invited to Spring Green to read and lecture in early January/February, 2011. To send your nomination, email info@springgreenlitfest.org.


Surrounded by nature, Literary Festival participants 
share a discussion with a guest author. 



©2012 Spring Green Literary Festival
PO Box 525, Spring Green, WI 53588



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