For over 10 years, the Fox Cities Book Festival has brought local book enthusiasts together by celebrating the works of notable local and national authors. Despite the impacts that COVID-19 has had on local events, the 2020 Fox Cities Book Festival will continue its celebration this year by taking a new, virtual approach to the festivities.
The 2020 festival will take place October 11 through 18 with over 50 events that festival-goers will be able to access through their computers or smartphones.
The goal of the festival has always been to create an engaged community of readers, and this year will be no exception. In past years, the Fox Cities Book Festival has organized in-person lectures, workshops and presentations in locations across the Fox Cities. Celebrating via online platforms was the best compromise that the Fox Cities Book Festival could make to host the event while maintaining social distancing.
According to Ashley Thiem-Menning, president of the Fox Cities Book Festival, supporting the literacy community is crucial, now more than ever. “Through the Festival, we provide financial and publicity support to dozens of authors, connect thousands of readers with the newest books, and build a sense of community through our work,” she says.
This year’s Reads Committee Selection for the Fox Cities Community Read is “The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir” by Kao Kalia Yang, a public speaker on refugee and immigration experiences. Yang’s book includes painful accounts of her family’s immigration from Laos to Minnesota, which encompassed a period in a Thailand concentration camp. Yang’s virtual presentation will be held on October 11 at 6 p.m.
Prior to the festival, instructions on how to access the virtual events will be released online. Short tutorials will teach viewers how to navigate programs, including how to chat with participating authors via Zoom.
For the complete lineup of featured authors and events, visit foxcitiesbookfestival.org.