The seventh annual Galena LitFest will take place January 11-22, 2022. LitFest has continued to grow each year and has hosted bestselling authors and aspiring writers from throughout the tri-state region and beyond. Since the move into the virtual realm, the festival has gained a global audience further enriching the experience for Galena locals.The festival is sponsored by the Friends of the Galena Public Library and private donors.

Registration information can be found at or email Alternatively, all events will be streamed simultaneously via Most of the events will be made available on Youtube for on demand viewing. Anyone for whom the virtual format is a barrier to attendance should contact Larissa Distler at the library.

Tuesday, January 11 @ 6 PM - Indie Author Panel featuring the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project

Learn about writing and self-publishing from the winners of the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project. The self-publishing journey can be a long one with wonderful rewards. Learn more about the writing process, being your own agent, marketing yourself, and how it feels to finally hold your book in your hands.

Wednesday, January 12 @ 6 PM - Not Always a Valley of Tears: Miracles Discovered

Pascuala Herrera, a Latina immigrant woman with a disability speaks from her heart in her recently published memoir, Not Always a Valley of Tears (No siempre es un valle de lágrimas), which is available in both English or Spanish. She shares her experiences as a child who contracted Polio in Mexico until immigrating to Chicago. Although she had the odds against her, from crawling on the floor of her pueblo to becoming a successful educator, wife, mother, author, and speaker, she proved that everything is possible.

Thursday, January 13 @ 6 PM - An Evening with Sylvie Perry: Author of The Hawthorne School

Rooted in the author's work as a psychotherapist The Hawthorne School (release date December 7, 2021) is a twisty, psychological suspense that explores motherhood and secrets kept in close-knit communities, for fans of Riley Sager and Kate Moretti. Perry will discuss the novel, the inspirations for it, and the writing process.

Saturday, January 15 @ 10 AM - Creative Journaling

Many artists consider their journals to be the heart of their work. Journaling isn't just for artists though. Everyone can benefit from a regular journaling practice. This workshop will investigate different methods of journaling. This program is also a part of the ongoing Self Care Saturdays series.

Meredith Doench is a senior lecturer at the University of Dayton in Ohio. She is also the author of the Luce Hansen thriller series and a board member of the Mystery Writers Of America Midwest Region.

Wednesday, January 19 @ 6 PM - She Speaks: An Evening of Indigenous Poetry and Conversation

Award winning indigenous poet Heid E. Erdich is joined by emerging poet Louise K Waakaa'igan.

Erdich is the author of six collections of poetry. Her writing has won fellowships and awards from the National Poetry Series, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, Bush Foundation, Loft Literary Center, First People's Fund, and other honors. She has twice won a Minnesota Book Award for poetry. Her most recent poetry collection, Little Big Bully, won the Balcones Prize. Heid grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain.

Waakaa'igan is enrolled at Odaawaa Zaaga 'iganing (Lac Courte Orielles Reservation) in northern Wisconsin. Louise is the recipient of the 2017 PEN Poetry Prize for her first-place poem, "This Is Where." Her first collection, This Is Where, has recently been released through Willow Books/Aquarius Press.

Thursday, January 20 @ 6 PM - All Who Belong May Enter

Nicholas Ward reads from his first essay collection, All Who Belong May Enter, which examines whiteness, masculinity, and a Midwest upbringing through tales of sporting events, parties, posh (and not so posh) restaurant jobs, and the many relationships built and lost along the way.

Ward is an essayist, arts administrator, and long-time company member with 2nd Story, a Chicago-based storytelling collective. His first book, All Who Belong May Enter, won the 2020 Autumn House Press Nonfiction Prize. He lives in Chicago and is an organizer with the 48th Ward Neighbors for Justice.

Saturday, January 22 @ 10 AM - Brainstorming: How to Unstick What's Stuck

An inspired writer is an unstuck writer. Dig deep and find something that will spark creation and lead to a richer, more unique story.

Hollie Smurthwaite is the author of The Color of Trauma, a romantic suspense novel and winner of the 2020 Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project contest for adult fiction. She lives in Chicago with her husband, son, and too few pets. She is active in the writing community as a member of Off-Campus Writers' Workshop, Sisters in Crime, Chicago Writers Association, Alliance of Independent Authors, and a co-organizer for Just Write Chicago, a Meetup group. In past lives, she's been a checkout clerk, massage therapist, office manager, recruiter, magazine staff writer, pepper spray hawker, and belly dancer.

Sunday, May 22 @ 11 AM - Lunch in the Park with Mary Shelley

The library is very excited to announce a new component to LitFest. On Sunday, May 22, 2022 actress Debra Miller will be back by popular demand to perform a one woman show of historical author Mary Shelley. This event will take place under the Grant Park Pavilion and include a picnic lunch. More details will be forthcoming.

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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