An Online Gathering: The Virtual 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books

Previewing the Event: What You Need to Know

The Virtual 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books, Sept. 18-Oct. 10, will bring readers and writers together for instructive craft workshops, intimate book discussions and inspiring readings via Zoom and Facebook live.

In its 19th year of bringing readers and writers together, the Festival will feature more than 50 authors discussing books, teaching workshops, and interacting with fans via Zoom and Facebook live.

The event will kick off with a virtual welcome on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 30, continue with a jam-packed weekend of author sessions Oct. 1-3, and close in mid-October after several more special events.

How Do I Attend?

Everything you need to know about attending the Virtual 2021 Festival of Books can be found at We recommend first visiting the Tickets page, where you can easily sign up for free general admission. General admission gets you in free to all events except for four paid workshops; you can purchase tickets for these events separately during registration.

Upon signing up, you'll receive email instructions for joining Festival events.

After securing your tickets, take the following steps:

  • Navigate to the Event Schedule page.
  • Scroll through the chronological listing to the event you'd like to attend and click the event title to enter the event description.
  • Click the "Join Zoom" button and, when prompted, enter the passcode you received in your confirmation or reminder email.

Where Do I Find Information about Events and Authors?

Festival Guide: Comprehensive Resource for Festival Attendees

The 2021 Festival of Books Guide for the Oct. 1-3 Virtual 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books contains information about 2021 Festival presenters, events, exhibitors and more. It also includes literary content, with exclusive feature stories written by staff members at South Dakota Magazine.

Digital and print versions, produced by the South Dakota Humanities Council in partnership with South Dakota Magazine, are available for free. Click the button below to receive a copy of the publication in your email inbox; email to have a copy mailed to you.

Schedule Page

The Festival of Books Schedule page contains a sortable database of events and presenters. It contains the most up-to-date information on authors and events.

This page also includes downloadable, printable event schedules for your convenience.

Presenter Page

Each year, the South Dakota Festival of Books features more than 50 presenters who speak about their work during solo presentations and panels. The lineup includes writers from various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, history/tribal, poetry, children's/YA, and writers' support.

The Presenter page allows you to view presenters and sort them either alphabetically or by genre.

Who are the Featured Authors?

Featured at the 2021 Festival are local and regional authors as well as nationally recognized writers such as Pulitzer Prize winner N. Scott Momaday, Newbery Award-winning children's author Kwame Alexander, and many others.

Our blog contains information about featured authors across various genres. Click below to read about the 2021 One Book Author, the 2021 Young Readers author and illustrator, and the Tribal Writing, Non-Fiction, and Poetry tracks. Find additional feature stories in the Festival of Books Guide.

January 16, 2021

Each year, the Festival of Books features a common read for children and adults via the One Book South Dakota program. The 2021 One Book is The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin. Inspired by a ferocious storm that struck Dakota Territory in 1888, the 2021 One Book South Dakota is a historical novel that hits close to home.


August 5, 2021

The Young Readers Festival of Books sparks enthusiasm for reading among South Dakota youth by introducing stories that grab their attention and engage their imagination. The 2021 Young Readers One Book South Dakota is Imagine/Imagina, a dual-language (English and Spanish) text written by Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Lauren Castillo.


July 10, 2021

“The strength of a tree, the old ones say, comes not from growing thicker in the good years when there is water, but from staying alive in the bad, dry times.” - Joseph M. Marshall III, "The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History"


June 23, 2021

When her immersive non-fiction book Nomadland became a screenplay and a silver screen feature, journalist Jessica Bruder enjoyed an exponential increase in sales and word of mouth thanks to Hollywood.


June 17, 2021

A National Book Award finalist and the South Dakota Poet Laureate will showcase their poetic talents at the 2021 South Dakota Festival of Books.


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