The Wisconsin Book Festival is Wisconsin's premier literary event. Every Fall we draw a local and regional audience of 12,000-15,000 people for four days of author events. Our year-round series of events has drawn more than 20,000 people to an additional 100 events over the past four years. Madison's proximity to Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Iowa City makes it an easy addition to any tour through the Midwest. As the State Capitol and home to the University of Wisconsin, Madison boasts an engaged and active literary community who have shown a dedication to supporting great author programming.
During the 2015 festival, more than 10,000 people attended 70 author events at the Central Library and select area venues. Madison Public Library hosts events for 75-250 people in multiple spaces at the Central Branch, including a 250-seat auditorium, a 75-seat presentation room, an art gallery, a reception room, and numerous other event spaces. The auditorium venue holds 250 people with the ability to host another 250 in the adjacent gallery space with the event broadcast on 80-inch screens. Madison Public Library is committed to ensuring that all Wisconsin Book Festival events are free and open to the public.
Building on our annual four-day celebration in October, Madison Public Library hosts the Wisconsin Book Festival Event Series throughout the year as a way of generating awareness about the festival and solidifying author programming in the community. This year-long series of events leading up to and out of the annual festival keeps the public engaged with book programming, and gives authors an incredible venue here in Madison. The Wisconsin Book Festival Event Series is held in our state-of-the-art auditorium at Central Library. Since creating the series in 2013, we have hosted more than 100 events for 15,000 audience members, including evenings with Atul Gawande, Ruth Reichl, Lois Lowry, Sarah Vowell, and John Scalzi.