The North Shore Readers and Writers Festival is a biennial event that locates, celebrates, and fosters the literary arts and engagement with the written word. 2023 marks the 5th biennial event which includes author readings, panel discussions, special events, classes, and an exhibitors’ hall. All events are open for registration at and there are both free and fee-based events. The Art Colony hosts this event in partnership with Drury Lane Books, Library Friends of Cook County, the Grand Marais Public Library, and WTIP.

2023 Festival Authors
Brenda Child
Rebecca Foust
Lisa Golden Schroeder
Carolyn Holbrook

Michael Kleber-Diggs
Danny Klecko
Carol Miller
David Mura

Mona Susan Power
Michael Torres
Kate St. Vincent Vogl

Wednesday, November 1, 2023
A variety of class options will be available, from 1⁄2 day to two-day workshops. Kicking things off are two, two-day classes; one with Lisa Golden Schroeder entitled, What We Want to Eat Now. Lisa is co-author of the award-winning Untamed Mushrooms: From Field to Table (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2018). Kate St. Vincent Vogl, author of Lost & Found: A Memoir of Mothers (North Star Press, 2009), and several other books, will help students look at their work-in-progress in her two-day class, Re-visioning Your Story. Shorter classes in poetry will be taught by Michael Torres, author of An Incomplete List of Names (Beacon Press, 2020), which was a National Poetry Series selection and Rebecca Foust author of ONLY (Four Way Books, 2022), which earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly. Memoirist, poet, playwright and fiction author, David Mura, who recently published The Stories Whiteness Tells Itself (UMP, 2022), will teach on narrative construction, while Mona Susan Power, author of the just released, A Council of Dolls (Mariner Press, 2023), will explore finding truth in fiction. Master Bread Baker and award-winning poet, Klecko, will be on hand to tackle topics such as writing with courage and pairing your voice with fitting themes. In 2020, Klecko’s book Hitman—Baker—Casketmaker (Paris Morning Publications, 2019) won a Midwest Book Award. Carolyn Holbrook, whose memoir-in-essays, Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (UMP, 2020), won a 2021 Minnesota Book Award will teach a two-day virtual class entitled, Finding Your Story, Telling Your Truth.

Thursday, November 2, 2023
This year the Library Friends of Cook County, with funding from the Lloyd K Johnson Foundation will, host a special panel discussion entitled, Agency and Authenticity in Works of Fiction: Who Tells the Story? The panel will be moderated by Staci Drouillard and feature authors David Mura, Mona Susan Power, and Michael Torres, along with Carol Miller, the Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus from the Department of American Indian Studies and Program in American Studies at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, and poet, essayist, literary critic, and arts educator, Michael Kleber-Diggs. Michael is a 2023-2025 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow in Literature whose debut poetry collection Worldly Things, was published in 2021 by Milkweed Editions. The panel discussion will center around the primary questions: 1) Who can best tell the story of people of color in literature? 2) Why is agency and authenticity important in the creation of works of fiction? There will also be ample time for questions. This event is free and open to the public, but prior registration is required due to space limitations.

Friday, November 3, 2023
On Friday Brenda Child, the University of Minnesota Northrop Professor of American Studies and 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, will share her film which considers the history of the Ojibwe Jingle Dress Dance tradition and its origin in the global pandemic of influenza in 1918 – 1920. Brenda is a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and has previously served as a member of the board of trustees of the National Museum of the American Indian—Smithsonian. Also featured on Friday from 4:30 - 5:30 pm will be the Grand Marais Writers’ Salon, with local writer Lin Salisbury. Lin is a recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and along with herself, the Salon will feature local writers, Jim Boyd, Rose Arrowsmith, and Nina Simonowicz, who will share their work followed by an open mic.

Saturday, November 4, 2023
Saturday will be filled with author readings along with a special lunchtime reading from the area youth who are involved with the Minnesota Children’s Press. An Exhibitors’ Hall will again be part of the Festival, located at the Art Colony Gallery Store (21 West Highway 61). Book professionals, including University of Minnesota Press and Holy Cow! Press, among others, will have tables and resources set up as well as books for sale Friday - Saturday, November 3 - 4 from 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM and 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM. The festival will wrap up Saturday evening with dinner and table discussions that participants can read about here and sign up for in advance.

Generous sponsorship and funding for the North Shore Readers and Writers Festival comes from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Lloyd K Johnson Foundation, Visit Cook County, and Superior Inn Best Western PLUS.

Media Contacts

Grand Marais Art Colony
Contact: Ruth Pszwaro, Artistic Director


Cook County Friends of the Library
Contact: Staci Drouillard