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.
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).
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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