Event description

The best in books comes to South Dakota with the 14th annual Festival of Books, featuring a half dozen Pulitzer Prize winners among the more than 70 authors confirmed to present.

The Festival has grown to become the state’s premier literary event. Brookings hosts the Festival, Sept. 22-25 with events in Sioux Falls on Thursday, Sept. 22 and in Rapid City, Sept. 27. Events are free and open to the public. For the full schedule and presenters list, visit sdbookfestival.com.

Six featured Pulitzer Prize winners represent 35 years of high caliber writing in international reporting, fiction, poetry, history, biography and criticism with authors Jane Smiley, Robert Olen Butler, T.J. Stiles, Michael Dirda, Ted Kooser and Shirley Christian.

They come to South Dakota to recognize the centennial year of the Pulitzer Prize. The Festival, One Book South Dakota, and a network of other events and projects throughout the year are part of an initiative led by the South Dakota Humanities Council.

Smiley’s keynote at the Festival on Friday night serves as the capstone for the 2016 One Book South Dakota.

She’ll be in conversation with Lori Walsh of South Dakota Public Broadcasting on Friday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 pm, Performing Arts Center for the One Book South Dakota Keynote: Creating a Midwestern Trilogy, Beginning with Some Luck. Some Luck is the 2016 One Book SD and the first in Smiley’s Last Hundred Years trilogy.

The Festival hosts more than 70 presenters including nationally-known crime writers Jeffrey Deaver and Anne Perry, Jeff Alworth of The Beer Bible, Ron Capps of the Veterans Writing Project, National Book Award winner Pete Dexter, Rosemary Wells with young readers Max & Ruby series, and Edgar Allan Poe Award winner Jess Walter.

Regular Festival attendees will recognize returning favorites and regional authors Sandra Brannan, Chris Browne, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, Patrick Hicks, Sam Hurst, William Kent Krueger, Lawrence Diggs, Faith Sullivan, Jerry Nelson, Freya Manfred, Jerry Wilson and Jim McLaird, covering a range of genres in fiction, poetry, history, tribal writing and young readers.

Forty-nine exhibitors, including booksellers, publishers and authors, also showcase their goods on Saturday, Sept. 24 at exhibitor’s hall hosted at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota.

The Young Readers Festival of Books hosts events in Sioux Falls on Thursday, Sept. 22, Brookings on Friday, Sept. 23 and Rapid City on Tuesday, Sept. 27 with 2016 Young Readers One Book SD author Jennifer Richard Jacobson. The SDHC and partners distributed 5,000 copies of the book Andy Shane & Dolores Starbuckle: 4 Books in 1 to school districts in Brookings, Canton, Deubrook Area, Milbank, Pipestone, MN, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Vermillion and Watertown.

Partnerships and donors support the continuation of the annual Festival of Books.

The 2016 presenting partners are the AWC Family Foundation, City of Brookings and Brookings Chamber of Commerce, CVB and Economic Development Corporation, First Bank & Trust, National Endowment for the Humanities and United Way of the Black Hills. Tribute sponsors include the Brass Family Foundation, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, the South Dakota Arts Council, Brookings Register, John T. Vucurevich, Children’s Museum of South Dakota, Gerry Berger Law, Rapid City Public Schools Foundation and Brookings Public Library, plus endowment donors Avera Health, Margaret Cash Wegner and Judith & Mark Meierhenry.