Ellen Kort had a vision. Wisconsin’s first Poet Laureate imagined a community celebration of books. The Fox Cities Book Festival is the realization of Ellen Kort’s wish. Now in its tenth year, the week-long festival offers more than 60 events and 50 authors at a dozen venues in the Fox Cities October 9-15.

This year the festival moved from spring to fall, launched a new website, and brings back many favorite authors from previous festivals. Laurie Halse Anderson, Will Schwalbe, Nickolas Butler, Benjamin Percy, James Campbell, Victoria Huston, BJ Hollars, and Jerry Apps are only a few of the favorite authors featured at this year’s festival.

Authors from far and near will meet readers in an intimate setting and share their stories and craft. Many Wisconsin writers are included in the program, but authors as far away as Germany, New York, California, North Carolina, and Florida are included in the lineup.

From the author of The End of Your Life Book Club, Will Schwalbe celebrates reading in his new release, Books for Living. Reading is more than entertainment. Books help us honor those we’ve loved and lost, and teach us to live a more fulfilling life. They give us an expanded view of the world and encourage us to become better people.

Share your story of books that changed your life with Storycatchers at a live storytelling event, “Literary Upheavals.” Submissions are open until tomorrow, October 6. Contact Tara Pohlkotte: tara@storycatcherscommunity.com

The 1000 Islands Environmental Center in Kaukauna and The Draw in Appleton have been added as new venues this year. The Neenah, Menasha, Appleton, Kaukauna, and Kimberly-Little Chute public libraries will host author events. The Wriston Art Center, Mail Hall, and the Warch Campus Center at Lawrence University and UW-Fox Valley are also venues for featured author presentations.

Books will be available for purchase at many of the events, courtesy of The Reader’s Loft. Lyons Fine Books in Neenah offers a 10% discount on titles featured in this year’s festival. And you can purchase a heavy-duty canvas book bag featuring the festival’s new logo at many of this year’s events or make a donation of $50 or more and receive a free bag.

You can find the full schedule of events at foxcitiesbookfestival.org and this year participants are encouraged to sign up for news updates and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

All events are free and open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to join in the celebration.

In memory of the poet who inspired us to create this community celebration of books, the Ellen Kort Dreamcatcher Scholarship will be awarded to an Appleton high school senior to follow a creative path. The scholarship continues her legacy of passion, education, and writing. Past winners are Angela Greco and Lesley Thao.