Wisconsin Book Festival


About the Festival

Since 2002, the Wisconsin Book Festival has brought thousands of local and internationally acclaimed authors to downtown Madison in celebration of literacy, conversation and ideas. Presented by Madison Public Library in partnership with the foundation, the festival offers year-round events led by authors representing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, spoken word and other genres. The 2019 fall festival celebration, which included more than 60 author events, took place Thursday, October 17–Sunday, October 20. The 2020 festival celebration dates will be announced soon. 

Most events are held at Central Library, with some at other libraries, local bookstores and UW-Madison campus venues. Approximately 15,000 people attend festival talks each year.

What makes the festival an incredibly successful Madison tradition is that all events are FREE and open to the public. To achieve this, the foundation raises half of the festival’s $250,000 annual budget through private donations.

Join a community of readers, book lovers and enthusiastic supporters and ensure the festival’s future as a vital part of Madison culture by contributing today.

Become a Member

Are you a frequent festival-goer who loves author events? Join for reserved seating and other perks!

View the Schedule

Browse the schedule to find out which authors will be here in Madison for upcoming festival events.


One-time gifts and corporate sponsorships help us bring authors to Madison for free, year-round talks.