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Mystery, History, Fantasy, and Much More Will Be Part of 25th C.V. Book Fest

annual festival unveils lineup for Oct. 17-23

V1 Staff |

Seeking some summer beach reads? Lovers of literature need to look no further than the fiction and nonfiction penned by the diverse array of writers scheduled to take part in the Chippewa Valley Book Festival this October.

The lineup for the 25th annual festival was unveiled June 13, and now readers have four months to dig into works by the many authors to be featured at the fest. “As you’ve come to expect, you’ll find a wide variety of topics and genres covered,” the festival committee said in a media release. “We’ve got mysteries, fantasy, sports, mental health, cultural awareness, DIY fixes, poetry, lots of love for Wisconsin on the lineup … and SO MUCH MORE.”

Events with authors will be held exclusively at downtown Eau Claire venues – including the Pablo Center at the Confluence, the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, and UW-Eau Claire – and most will have virtual options as well. (Get the full event lineup here.)

Some highlights include:

Thursday, Oct. 17: Andrew J. Graff, True North

Andrew J. Graff is the author of the novel True North. His fiction and essays have appeared in Image and Dappled Things. Andrew grew up fishing, hiking, and hunting in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, he earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Thursday, Oct. 17: Mercury Stardust, Safe and Sound

Mercury Stardust (she/they) is a professional home maintenance technician, performer, and award-winning activist. Known widely as the “Trans Handy Ma'am,” their unique brand of compassionate education in the home repair space has earned her Internet fame.

Friday, Oct. 18: Liam Callanan, When in Rome

Liam Callanan is a writer and teacher. His novel, Paris by the Book, a national bestseller, was translated into multiple languages and won the Edna Ferber Prize.

Saturday, Oct. 19: B.J. Hollars, The Primary That Launched a President and Changed the Course of History

B.J. Hollars is the author of several books, most recently Wisconsin for Kennedy: The Primary That Launched a President and Changed the Course of History, and Year of Plenty: A Family’s Season of Grief. He is the founder and executive director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild, as well as a professor of English at UW-Eau Claire.

Saturday, Oct. 19: Lori M. Lee, Hmong Mythology and Folklore in Fiction

Lori M. Lee is the author of middle-grade and young-adult speculative fantasy novels and short stories. Her books include the award-winning Pahua and the Soul Stealer and its sequel, Pahua and the Dragon’s Secret.

Tuesday, Oct. 22: Mona Susan Power, A Council of Dolls

Mona Susan Power is the author of four books of fiction: The Grass Dancer (awarded the PEN/Hemingway prize), Roofwalker, Sacred Wilderness, and A Council of Dolls (longlisted for the National Book Award, and Carol Shields Prize). Power is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Wednesday, Oct. 23: Denise Sweet

Denise “Dee” Sweet has received awards for her work as a writer and as an activist, including the four-year appointment as Wisconsin’s second Poet Laureate (2004-2008).

Other participating authors include Arshay Cooper, Mary Bergin, Amy Pease, Joshua Moehling, Kaveh Akbar, Meg Kissinger, and Gulchehra Hoja. Get full details at