Galena LitFest is back for 2020!

Tickets sales and registration are now open for the sixth annual Galena LitFest to take place in January 2020. LitFest has continued to grow each year and has hosted bestselling authors and aspiring writers from throughout the tri-state region and beyond. Galena LitFest is sponsored by the Friends of the Galena Public Library, First Community Bank of Galena, Illinois Bank and Trust, the Desoto House Hotel, and private donors.

In addition to eight free author events and writers workshops, there will also be two ticketed events. Headlining at the annual "Dining with the Authors" event at the DeSoto House Hotel will be bestselling author and comedian, Lorna Landvik. Chicago actress Deb Miller will be returning to Galena to portray Beatrix Potter during a brunch at Fritz and Frites Bistro. Ms. Miller has been a hit in previous years with her portrayals of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Jane Austen. As well as eight free author events and writers' workshops.

Tickets and registration information can be found at the front desk at the Galena Public Library, at, or at

The schedule of events will be as follows:

Sunday, January 5 from 2-4 pm at the Amelia's Under the Lamplight Dinner Theater
"Getting Rid of Mabel: Writer's Reception" with author Keziah Frost

Keziah Frost will discuss her path to becoming a writer, how she published at the age of sixty, and share thoughts on the new genre of "up-lit." Hor d'oeuvres will be offered by Amelia's Under the Lamplight Dinner Theater. A cash bar will be available.

Tuesday, January 7 from 2-4 pm at the Galena Center for the Arts
"Dreams in Fiction" with Columbia College Professor Shawn Shiflett

A two hour workshop exploring the use of dreams in fiction. Models will be taken from the works of acclaimed authors such as Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and others. This workshop is not about psychoanalyzing dreams; rather it is about exploring dreams for their rich, immediate, and vivid imagery, as well as for their story potential.

Wednesday, January 8 from 10 am-12 pm at the Galena Public Library
Writing for Young People" with children's author Sarah Hammond

An overview of writing for different age groups of children from picture books to young adult. Attendees will be guided through creative exercises designed to kickstart new kidlit ideas.

Thursday, January 9 from 2-3 pm at the Galena Public Library
"Introducing Free Tools for Self-Publishing"

Learn about, a suite of self-publishing tools and resources available for free to everyone in Illinois! is a partnership between RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System) and BiblioLabs. The goal of this e-content strategy is to expand affordable access to eBooks across the state and to provide the tools Illinois authors need to succeed. Anna Behm and Leila Heath from RAILS will be giving this presentation.

Saturday, January 11 from 2-3 pm at the Galena Public Library
"Jane Austen and the Uses of the Gothic" with St. Xavier University Professor Emerita Carol Poston, Ph.D.

Using examples from one of Austen's first novels, Northanger Abbey, which was published posthumously, Dr. Poston will examine its use of the rich tradition of the female Gothic in this lecture.

Sunday, January 12 at 11 am at Fritz and Frites Bistro
"A Tale of Beatrix Potter" with actress Debra Miller
Tickets: $30

Enjoy brunch and a performance. Beatrix tells her own story through her letters to her friends and their children and her diary. Seating is limited. *This event is currently sold out. We are taking names for a waitlist in case seats become available.

Monday, January 13 at 6 pm at Miss Kitty's Grape Escape
"Commando: Poetry Reading" with former Chicago Youth Poet Laureate, E'mon Lauren

E'mon Lauren's poetry takes artifacts, language, and ephemera from life on Chicago's Southside and Westside to create a manifesto of survival and growth. Her poems deal with racism, sexism, love, and class. Her reading will be followed by a Q&A. Hors d'oeurves will be served.

Saturday, January 18 from 9 am to 12 pm at the Galena ARC
"Beginning Writing for Publication" with author and educator Mary Potter Kenyon

Attendees will learn the basics of getting published including breaking into the market with shorter pieces, writing for anthologies, building up a platform, the importance of social media, and low-cost marketing and promotion techniques.

Saturday, January 18 from 2-4 pm at the Galena ARC
"Sound Play: A Poetry Workshop" with poet and educator Faisal Mohyuddin

Language is inherently musical. This workshop will guide participants on how to use word games to enhance the musicality of their writing. Participants will learn the basics of prosody/sound devices, how to create a sound word web, and drafting a poem.

Sunday, January 19 at 6 pm at the Desoto House Hotel
"Dining with the Authors" with bestselling author Lorna Landvik and award-winning independent author David W. Berner
Tickets: $40 or VIP Tickets: $60

  • Opening speaker, David W. Berner: "A Place to Create"
    Many writers are happy to discuss how they write, what motivates them, and their writing process. David loves talk about where he writes, his experiences as a writer-in-residence, and his own creative space. He is the recipient of book honors and awards from The Society of Midland Authors, The Chicago Writers Association, and the Eric Hoffer Book Awards. David is also an associate professor at Columbia College, Chicago.
  • Keynote speaker, Lorna Landvik: "The Writing Life, etc."
    Lorna will regale audiences as she talks about her life as a writer, performer, and all around seeker of fun and enlightenment. She is the author of twelve novels, including the best-selling Patty Jane's House of Curl, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, Oh My Stars, Best to Laugh, and Once in a Blue Moon Lodge

This is a ticketed event which includes a full, plated dinner. VIP tickets which include a reception with the authors, canapés, a complimentary cocktail, and a book by each author are available as well.

Any questions about Galena LitFest or adult programming at the Galena Public Library please contact, adult services librarian Larissa Distler at 815-777-0200 or

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