Imagine losing your unpublished poems on the way to a reading where hundreds of people expect you to read them aloud. In the second year of the Fox Cities Book Festival, poet Billy Collins did just that. His Plan B was to stay up late rewriting all the poems from memory. What followed the next morning at his reading was a remarkable look into the mind of Billy Collins and a close look at how he works as a writer. This anecdote represents the larger story of The Fox Cities Book Festival: “bringing readers and writers together.”
Ten years ago Ellen Kort, Wisconsin’s first poet laureate, thought the Fox Cities needed a book festival. She brought people in our communities together to help realize her dream and build a festival. Today the book festival continues to grow and bring people together, connecting readers and writers. More than that, the book festival is a community event where people also come together to celebrate reading and writing, ideas, community, and each other.
Held throughout the Fox Cities in seven days, our festival reaches down to the ideas of our smallest children and up to the wisdom of our older and wiser learners. We have it all. We have hosted over 600 authors, representing a variety of topics, at over twenty locations across the Fox Cities. In 2015, we had 67 authors, held 110 events, and hosted over 10,000 people.
The 2017 festival will take place in the fall, for the first time, during seven days in October (the 9th -15th). All events are free and open to the public. Please come and join the celebration. You’ll be glad you did.
-Bernie Edmonds, President, Board of the Fox Cities Book Festival
- President: Bernard Edmonds, Appleton North High School
- Vice-President: Ashley Thiem-Menning, Kaukauna Public Library
- Secretary: Colette Lunday Brautigam, Lawrence University
- Treasurer: Michelle Pitz, Community Member
- Past President: Ruth Bloedow and Kris Clouthier
Additional Board Members:
- Joe Bongers, Menasha Public Library
- Christopher Kunz, Community Member
- Meredith Lyons, Community Member
- Tom Lyons, Community Member
- Jill McEwen, Fox Valley Technical College
- Doug Middleton, Community Member
- Meghan Odegard, Neenah Public Library
- Jill Swenson, Community Member
The Governance Committee has the Vice President of the board as chair and maintains the by-laws, brings amendments to the by-laws for voting as necessary, enfoces the by-laws, recruits with the help of the entire board new members and provides training and orientation for new board members. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fundraising/Marketing Committee provides with the help of the entire board the funds to conduct the annual festival. Deposit, record, and acknowledge the contributions to the festival. Work with the Treasurer to build the annual budget; work with the Authors’/Events Committee to plan and carryout fundraising events as decided upon by the board. Prepare a plan to market the festival and related events to be approved by the board. Arrange for the implementation of the marketing plan, utilizing volunteers as well as contracted vendors; and oversee the implementation of the marketing plan. Contact email@example.com.
The Authors’/Events Committee researches and selects appropriate authors for the Fox Cities Book Festival. The authors are chosen from a variety of genres designed to attract board demographics and with consideration for potential sponsors within the community. They prepare input to the annual budget, make author choices within the constraints of the budget and calendar approved by the entire board. The committee schedules presentations at the available venues, prepares with the input of the entire board, an annual calendar for the activities of the year, works with marketing and volunteer committees to plan and execute public relations events as determined by the board and plans and implements activities during the Fox Cities Book Festival as determined by the board. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Volunteers’ Committee recruits and trains volunteers to support the Fox Cities Book Festival, fundraising, and other related events. This committee provides the materials necessary for the volunteers to perform their tasks. The committee encourages volunteers to increase their involvement with the festival with their time, skills, and contributions. Contact email@example.com.