Who to See/What to Do at the 2015 Festival

Featured Presenters

The Festival features a long list of more than 70 local, regional and national authors across genres, from poetry and young readers’ literature to history, mystery, westerns, memoirs, Native American literature, non-fiction and popular fiction. They will participate in readings, panel discussions, book signings, film screenings and more.

Shields-Charles-BW-horizontal.jpgThe list includes best-selling novelists Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain, A Sudden Light) and Pam Houston (Cowboys Are My Weakness, Contents May Have Shifted), Harper Lee biographer Charles Shields, Calamity Jane experts Richard Etulain and James McLaird, and poets Linda Hasselstrom and Twyla Hansen, Nebraska Poet Laureate. Hasselstrom and Hansen offer a first-ever joint reading from their collaborative book Dirt Songs.

A special event introduces South Dakota’s new Poet Laureate, Lee Ann Roripaugh of Vermillion. Festival favorite John Dufresne leads a workshop on flash fiction, and the Book Doctors, David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, are back for an encore presentation of their popular Pitchapalooza event to help launch writers into becoming published authors.

Laura Ingalls Wilder fans will hear from Pamela Smith Hill on the phenomenal success of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. The Ingalls Wilder autobiography she helped edit and the children’s book The Monster Who Ate the State, written and illustrated by Hagar the Horrible cartoonist Chris Browne, were recently showcased at the National Festival of Books in Washington, D.C.

Schedule Highlights

Wednesday, Sept. 23 - 5:30 p.m., Author and actor Richard Cerasani (aka Richard Caine) discusses his book “Love Letters from Mount Rushmore,” Mount Rushmore National Memorial Amphitheater, Keystone

Thursday, Sept. 24

  • Megan McDonald, Young Readers One Book South Dakota author, meets young readers of all ages at events in Rapid City and Deadwood. 
  • Megan McDonald, Young Readers One Book South Dakota author, meets young readers of all ages at events in Rapid City and Deadwood.
  • 4:30 p.m., Award-winning children’s author Megan McDonald discusses the 2015 Young Readers One Book South Dakota, “Stink: Twice As Incredible,” Dahl Arts Center, Rapid City
  • 6:30 pm – Festival Fundraiser and Author Reception, Historic Homestake Opera House, Lead (ticket required)

Friday, Sept. 25

  • 11 a.m. - Filmmakers Paul & Jay Fishback and author Elizabeth Cook-Lynn screen and discuss the documentary “Our Own Words,” featuring the Oak Lake Tribal Writers, at Tatanka: Story of the Bison, Deadwood.
  • 1:30 p.m. - The Book Doctors, David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, present “Pitchapalooza,” at which 20 aspiring writers pitch their work for one minute each at the Deadwood Mountain Grand Event Center
  • 1:30 pm and 3 pm – Inkslinger Shootout, Downtown Deadwood (near the Celebrity Hotel) with William Kent Krueger, Sandra Brannan and Deadwood Alive.
  • 5:30 p.m. - Novelists Lin Enger, Pam Houston and Susan Power discuss their work at “Authors, Appetizers and Apertifs,” Martin & Mason Hotel in Deadwood (ticket required)
  • 7:30 p.m. - Best-selling author Garth Stein presents the Opening Keynote, “My Path to Authorship,” Deadwood Mountain Grand

Saturday, Sept. 26

  • 10 a.m. – Historians Richard Etulain and James McLaird present “Calamity Jane: Wild West Legend,” Historic Adams Research and Cultural Center, Deadwood
  • 11 a.m. – Harper Lee and Kurt Vonnegut biographer Charles Shields discusses “What I’ve Learned about Authors, Writing and Getting Published,” Deadwood Mountain Grand
  • 12 p.m. – Editor Pamela Smith Hill presents “Pioneer Girl and the Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” Deadwood Mountain Grand
  • 5:30 p.m. – South Dakota’s new Poet Laureate, Lee Ann Roripaugh of Vermillion, reads with outgoing Laureate David Allan Evans and the three other Laureate finalists, Deadwood Mountain Grand Event Center
  • 7:30 p.m. – 2015 One Book South Dakota author William Kent Krueger speaks on “Mystery and Spirituality: An Unlikely Pairing,” Deadwood Mountain Grand


Sunday, Sept. 27

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  • 8:30 a.m. – Ron Capps, founder of the Veterans Writing Project, screens and discusses the documentary “Debt of Honor,” examining the experiences of wounded veterans, Deadwood Mountain Grand
  • 11 a.m. – Richard Edwards, Linda M. Hasselstrom and Debra Marquart presents the Closing Keynote, “Writing the Environment,” Deadwood Mountain Grand Event Center