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A dedicated group of book-loving community members has taken up the torch to keep Montana's annual book festival alive and thriving.
A dedicated group of book-loving community members has taken up the torch to keep Montana's annual book festival alive and thriving.
A dedicated group of book-loving community members has taken up the torch to keep Montana's annual book festival alive and thriving.
139 backers pledged $5,593 to help bring this project to life.

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Montana Book Festival

$5,593

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Over the last fifteen years, Missoula’s annual book festival has become a treasure, paying tribute to the tradition of writing in the West by bringing together authors from across the region. This year, a dedicated group of book-lovers has come together to make sure the festival continues—to build upon this event's legacy, and also to reinvigorate the festival with new ideas and fresh perspective. What was the Humanities Montana Festival of the Book has now become the Montana Book Festival.

It takes a lot to put on a great festival. Around 150 authors are scheduled to appear this year, including Charles D’Ambrosio, D.A. Powell, Allison Hedge Coke, James Lee Burke, Smith Henderson, Stephen Graham Jones and Kate Bolick. We’ve got big visions—we're hoping to honor this festival's history, while also introducing fresh, diversified programming. Alongside panels on the western narrative (featuring Montana's state poet laureate Tami Haaland) and mystery writing, we’ll be hosting a Pie & Whiskey reading and premiering new erotic fan fiction based on Nancy Drew, written by festival authors (with humorous intent), to mention a few highlights. 

The 2015 Festival Poster (get a limited-edition screen print as a reward)
The 2015 Festival Poster (get a limited-edition screen print as a reward)

In order to realize our visions of an unforgettable festival—to do this thing right—we need your help. We’re offering amazing rewards—a testament to the support of authors and community members who are committed to making this one of the best book festivals Montana has ever seen.

We’re so grateful for your pledges, and that you want to be part of our team. We’ll use the funds raised on Kickstarter to cover honorariums and offset travel expenses for authors; to rent proper venues for readings and panels; to host a reception thanking our participating authors, editors, publishers and booksellers; and, finally, to make sure we can keep this festival on track for many years to come, which first means incorporating the Montana Book Festival as its own nonprofit 501(c)(3).

Author Rick Bass reads, accompanied by the band Stellarondo, at the 2012 festival
Author Rick Bass reads, accompanied by the band Stellarondo, at the 2012 festival

Organizing and paying for this year’s festival is a grassroots effort, with individuals and organizations from Montana’s literary community—including two independent bookstores (Shakespeare & Co. and Fact and Fiction), the Missoula Public Library, Mountain Press publishing, the Missoula Cultural Council, Humanities Montana, the Missoula Art Museum, Submittable, Missoula Community Access Television, Pearl and Jim Burke, and many more—all pitching in time and funding. Your help, alongside theirs, is essential to this year’s festival and the event's longevity.

Thanks for your time and support—we hope you'll join us in Missoula (or join us in spirit) for a true literary extravaganza.

Yup, kids really can get this excited about books (2012 festival)
Yup, kids really can get this excited about books (2012 festival)

Video Credits:

Music: "Usual Places" by local Missoula band The Dead Partners. Check them out here: https://deadpartners.bandcamp.com

Produced by: Moss Turpan and Rachel Mindell 

Super special thanks to: Missoula Community Access Television

Risks and challenges

Putting on a festival like this with new leadership is always a challenge. At every turn, we encounter questions that need solutions. At the same time, these very challenges have given us opportunities to approach the Montana Book Festival in creative ways and with a new point of view.

We've got good bones to build upon. You might say, as Missoula bookseller Barbara Theroux has, that after fifteen years, we've inherited a teenager of a festival—one that, like any teenager, is unpredictable and unruly at times, but which continues to grow and develop before our very eyes.

With fabulous authors already lined up to come, with tremendous energy from our cohort of volunteers, and with the backing of various community members and organizations—including Humanities Montana with their fifteen years of book festival experience—we're confident this festival can be a tremendous success.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    OUR DEAREST THANKS

    Your name will be featured in the Kickstarter thanks list on our website and in our print program. We, and possibly others, will read it with gratitude in our hearts. (NOTE: This reward will be included with all others).

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    LIMITED-EDITION "WORD." PINT GLASS

    One Montana Book Festival 2015 pint glass featuring the text, "WORD."

    **available exclusively on Kickstarter**

    Your name will also be featured in the Kickstarter thanks list on our website and in our print program.

    Pint available for pick-up at the festival from Thursday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 12, or shipped anywhere in the continental United States. (If you pick up this reward at the festival, shipping fees will be waived).

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    TWO LIMITED-EDITION "WORD." PINT GLASSES

    Like books, pints are best when shared. Two Montana Book Festival 2015 pint glasses featuring the text, "WORD." (One in each color).

    **available exclusively on Kickstarter**

    Your name will also be featured in the Kickstarter thanks list on our website and in our print program.

    Pints available for pick-up at the festival from Thursday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 12, or shipped anywhere in the continental United States. (If you pick up this reward at the festival, shipping fees will be waived).

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    "WORD." BUTTON SPECIAL EVENTS PASS

    One "Word." button, which gives the holder free entry to both our Pie & Whiskey Reading (Thursday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m.) and a catered Author Reception (Friday, Sept. 11, 5 - 7p.m.).

    Attendance at both events is a $20 value and capacity is limited.

    Buttons available for pick-up at the festival from Thursday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 12.

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    "WORD." BUTTON SPECIAL EVENTS PASS + 2015 FESTIVAL TOTE

    One festival tote bag and one "Word." button, which gives the holder free entry to both our Pie & Whiskey Reading (Thursday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m.) and a catered Author Reception (Friday, Sept. 11, 5 - 7p.m.).

    Attendance at both events is a $20 value and capacity is limited.

    Package available for pick-up at the festival from Thursday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 12, or shipped anywhere in the continental United States.

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    PERFECT FESTIVAL PACKAGE

    A festival tote bag, one "Word." pint glass, and a "Word." button, which gives the holder free entry to our Pie & Whiskey Event (Thursday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m.) and a catered Author Reception (Friday, Sept. 11, 5 - 7p.m.).

    Attendance at both events is a $20 value and capacity is limited.

    **available exclusively on Kickstarter**

    Package available for pick-up at the festival from Thursday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 12, or shipped anywhere in the continental United States. (If you pick up this reward at the festival, shipping fees will be waived).

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    TWO "WORD." BUTTON SPECIAL EVENTS PASSES

    One "Word." button is great, but these special events will be more fun with a friend. Each button gives the holder free entry to both our Pie & Whiskey Reading (Thursday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m.) and a catered Author Reception (Friday, Sept. 11, 5 - 7p.m.).

    Attendance at both events is a $20 value and capacity is limited.

    Buttons available for pick-up at the festival from Thursday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 12.

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    TWO V.I.P. TICKETS TO THE HEADWATERS DANCE COMPANY ANNUAL GALA CONCERT

    V.I.P tickets to the Headwaters Dance Company annual gala concert (Oct. 1-3). V.I.P ticket holders will get the chance to meet company director (and festival author) Amy Ragsdale and the company dancers after the show.

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    LIMITED-EDITION, SCREEN-PRINTED FESTIVAL POSTER

    A limited-edition screen print of our 2015 Festival Poster, signed and numbered by local Missoula artist Max Mahn, who will print each poster by hand.

    Available for pick-up at the festival from Thursday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 12, or shipped anywhere in the continental United States. (If you pick up this reward at the festival, shipping fees will be waived).

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    FRESH PIE + PIE COOKBOOK FROM KATE LEBO

    Pie artiste and poet Kate Lebo (founder of Pie School and winner of "best in show" at the first annual Cake vs. Pie competition) will bake you a fresh pie. You'll also receive a signed copy of one of her pie cookbooks (she's written two!).

    Your entry into the Pie & Whiskey Reading (usually $5) will be free.

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    MONTANA LIT MAG BUNDLE

    1-year subscriptions to three great Montana literary magazines: CutBank, Camas, and the Whitefish Review

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    LIMITED-EDITION, SCREEN-PRINTED FESTIVAL POSTER + FESTIVAL TOTE + "WORD." PINT GLASS

    A limited-edition screen print of our 2015 Festival Poster, signed and numbered by local Missoula artist Max Mahn, who will print each poster by hand + a festival tote + our kickstarter-exclusive "WORD." pint glass.

    All available for pick-up at the festival from Thursday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 12, or shipped anywhere in the continental United States. (If you pick up this reward at the festival, shipping fees will be waived).

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    TOUR OF UNDERGROUND MISSOULA WITH NICKI MANNING

    Nicki Manning, author of "Historic Missoula Underground" will lead you and a friend on a tour through "underground Missoula," chock-full of mysterious history. You will also receive one signed copy of this fantastic book.

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    "PONDEROSA" GUIDED HIKE

    Authors of the new book "Ponderosa: People, Fire, and the West's Most Iconic Tree" Carl Fiedler and Stephen F. Arno will take you and a friend on a Missoula-area hike and open your mind to the wonders of "the west's most iconic tree."

    You will also receive a signed copy of "Ponderosa."

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    COOKING LESSON WITH LIZ CARLISLE

    Montana native Liz Carlisle, author of "Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food In America" will come to your house to give you a lentil-based cooking lesson. She'll tell you about the about the history of lentil-farming in Montana, and you'll experience lentils like never before. Also includes a signed copy "Lentil Underground."

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    HAIKU POSTCARD FROM ED SKOOG

    Ed Skoog, award-winning poet and host of the Lunch Box podcast, will write you a postcard with a personalized haiku.

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    EXTRA-PERFECT FESTIVAL PACKAGE

    A limited-edition screen print of our 2015 Festival Poster, signed and numbered by local Missoula artist Max Mahn, who will print each poster by hand + a festival tote + our kickstarter-exclusive "WORD." pint glass + a "WORD." button, which gives the holder free entry to our Pie & Whiskey Event (Thursday, Sept. 10, 9 p.m.) and a catered Author Reception (Friday, Sept. 11, 5 - 7p.m.).

    Attendance at both events is a $20 value and capacity is limited.

    Package available for pick-up at the festival from Thursday, Sept. 10 through Saturday, Sept. 12, or shipped anywhere in the continental United States. (If you pick up this reward at the festival, shipping fees will be waived).

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    SPECIAL DELIVERY: SIGNED NEW RELEASES BY SOME OF MONTANA'S GREATEST AUTHORS

    Signed copies of new books from some of Montana's most renown authors—James Lee Burke, Rick Bass and David James Duncan—will arrive with your name on them (literally) upon their release over the next year. (Burke will arrive around December, Bass around January, and Duncan around April). Expect personal thank yous from these guys for supporting Montana lit by contributing to this festival.

    (If you choose to pick up your books at Fact and Fiction in Missoula, shipping fees will be waived).

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    HANG OUT WITH HICK POETS

    Editors and poets from the Lost Roads anthology "Hick Poetics" will hang out with you, have a snack, and sign your new copy of the book. Meet Shelly Taylor, Abraham Smith, Allison Hedge Coke and Adrian Kien, perhaps others...

    This hick hangout will take place at 3:00 p.m. in the Missoula Art Museum before the Hick Poetics reading on Friday, Sept. 11.

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    RUN WITH MARATHONER RACHEL TOOR

    Marathon runner and author Rachel Toor will join you on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 12, for the Bookin' It Race in downtown Missoula, sponsored by Missoula Public Library. In addition to being an encouraging race partner, Rachel will give you a signed copy of her book, "Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running."

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    KATE BOLICK PRIVATE SIGNING

    Chat with author Kate Bolick for 30 minutes (together with one other kickstarter backer) and receive a signed copy of her new book, "Spinster."

    Signing will take place on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Holiday Inn in downtown Missoula.

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    FOUR "TELL US SOMETHING" POSTERS (LIMITED-EDITION SCREEN PRINTS)

    Four limited-edition, screen-printed posters from the last four years of Missoula's "Tell Us Something" storytelling event. Each poster was illustrated and printed by a local Montana artist.

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    FLY FISHING LESSON WITH CHADD VANZANTEN

    Chadd VanZanten, author of "On Fly-Fishing the Northern Rockies" will give you either a private fly-tying lesson OR a private Tenkara rod fly-fishing lesson. You will also receive a copy of Chadd's book.

    The lesson will take place sometime on the morning of Saturday, September 12th (the weekend of the festival).

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    RIVER FLOAT OUTSIDE MISSOULA

    Half-day river float and lunch on a river nearby Missoula with licensed Montana river guide (and writer) Kim Covill. Reward is good for you + a friend.

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    CUTBANK LIT MAG BUNDLE

    Everything you've ever wanted from your favorite Missoula lit mag, CutBank: two signature t-shirts, a tote bag, a copy of the current issue, a subscription for the upcoming year, a CutBank 40-year anthology, a full set of CutBank chapbooks (10 in total), and, to top it all off, a CutBank beer coozie to keep your drink cool while you pore through these wonderful volumes.

    Everything except the 1-year subscription will be available for pick-up at the book fair on Saturday, Sept. 12, or shipped anywhere in the continental United States. (If you pick up this reward at the festival, shipping fees will be waived).

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    PERSONALIZED YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY BY KRIS DINNISON

    Kris Dinnison, best known for her young adult novel "You and Me And Him," will write a YA short story about you or a person of your choosing. Of course, you may pass this choice on to a real, live young adult.

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    TWO TICKETS TO THE WRITERS' OPUS + TWO "WORD." PINT GLASSES AND TWO FESTIVAL TOTES

    Two tickets to the the University of Montana Creative Writing Program’s Writers’ Fall Opus, where guests will enjoy gourmet food, and silent and live auctions.

    You will also receive two Montana Book Festival tote bags and two "Word." pint glasses (both are limited-edition).

    This package can be retrieved during the bookfair on Sept. 12 at the Holiday Inn, or shipped anywhere in the continental United States. (If you pick up this reward at the festival, shipping fees will be waived).

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    A PERSONALIZED SHORT STORY BY JOSH WAGNER

    Missoula novelist and playwright Josh Wagner, the man behind the award-winnng "Fiction Clemens" comic series and the novel "Smahing Laptops" will write a short story about you or a person of your choosing.

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    PERSONALIZED SHORT STORY BY ANNIE GARDE

    Annie Garde, children's program director at Montana Public Radio and host of the Pea Green Boat and the Children's Corner radio shows, will write a children's story about you, your child/grandchild, or a person of your choice.

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    MISSOULA BREWERY TOUR WITH RYAN NEWHOUSE

    Ryan Newhouse, author of "Montana Beer: A Guide To Breweries In Big Sky Country" will take you AND a friend on a brewery tour of Missoula, highlighting some of Montana's best craft beers. Suited for the craft beer enthusiast who wants to refine his palette and knowledge, or the novice looking for an introduction to great brewing. The tour will take place on Sunday, September 13 (the weekend of the festival), starting at 2 P.M. You will also receive a signed copy of Ryan Newhouse's book.

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    A CHAPBOOK OF YOUR WORK

    Our festival designer will design and print a chapbook of your work, up to fifty pages long. Have a poetry collection or a few short stories that you'd like to see beautifully bound between two covers? This is for you.

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    A LETTER FROM CHARLES D'AMBROSIO

    Esteemed fiction and essay writer Charles D'Ambrosio will write you a short letter delivered via post.

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    SIT IN ON AN AUTHOR INTERVIEW ON "THE WRITE QUESTION" RADIO SHOW

    Sit in on an author interview on the radio show "The Write Question," hosted by Montana Public Radio producer Cherie Newman. In the coming months, Cherie is likely to interview Rick Demarinis, Amy Ragsdale, James Lee Burke, Rick Bass, David James Duncan, Marc Beaudin, Joanna Klink, and others. You'll have a choice of which interview to sit in on.

    Cherie will introduce you to the author being interviewed, show you around the studio, and tell you anything you might want to know about interviewing, radio-making, and podcasting. A true insider experience.

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    READING OR PANEL SPONSORSHIP

    Sponsor a reading or panel at this year's festival. We will:

    - announce our thanks to you or your company at the event
    - include you or your company as the sponsor of the event in the festival program
    - list your name or company name/logo on the sponsors page of our website

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Funding period

- (21 days)