One Weekend: Three Amazing Women Authors!

The National Writers Series of Traverse City, a pre-eminent year-round book festival, is excited to announce its Amazing Women’s Weekend, October 20-22. Coming up are:

  • Amy Goldstein, whose book Janesville: An American Story tells the tale of a Wisconsin town’s resiliency at a time of cataclysmic economic stress. It hit the 2017 best book lists of the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Business Insider, The Economist, and NPR.
  • Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage, an instant New York Times bestselling novel and a top book pick by both Oprah and former President Barack Obama.
  • Alice Walker, the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, The Color Purple. This legendary author will be here to talk about her new book of poetry.

We are also proud to announce that Interlochen Public Radio is producing the show and distributing it to WKAR in East Lansing and WDET in Detroit! IPR is already broadcasting our program in northwest Michigan twice a week.


All events take place at the City Opera House, downtown Traverse City

6 PM – Reception with cash bar, live music, and Morsels

7 PM – The author/guest host interview is followed by a Q and A and book signing.

Purchase tickets online at, calling 231-941-8082, ext. 201, or in-person at The City Opera House. Ticket fees vary by method of purchase.


An Evening with Amy Goldstein  

Janesville: An American Story  

October 20, 2018


  • $15 – Reserved
  • $25 – Premium Reserved
  • $5 – Students (K-12 and College)

Named Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Business Insider.

How does a heartland city pick itself up after the oldest General Motors plant in the country is shuttered during the Great Recession of 2008?

The plant, located in Janesville, Wisconsin, is also home to U.S. Representative Paul Ryan. Using the city as a microcosm of a larger national struggle, Goldstein brings fresh insights and possibilities to the discouraging story of the struggles of the working classes.

Goldstein has been a staff writer for 30 years at The Washington Post, where much of her work has focused on social policy. Among her many awards, she shared the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. She has been a fellow at Harvard University at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Janesville: An American Story is her first book. She lives in Washington, DC.

 “A gripping story of psychological defeat and resilience” ~ Bob Woodward of The Washington Post

Guest host: Shannon Henry Kleiber

Shannon is a producer for To the Best of Our Knowledge, a public radio show from Wisconsin Public Radio and PRX. She is seven-year veteran of The Washington Post, where she wrote for just about every section of the paper. Shannon is the author of The Dinner Club: How the Masters of the Internet Universe Rode the Rise and Fall of the Greatest Boom in History and On My Honor: Real Life Lessons From America’s First Girl Scout.  Shannon lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Event sponsor: American Waste

An Evening with Tayari Jones  

An American Marriage  

October 21, 2018


  • $15 – Reserved
  • $25 – Premium Reserved
  • $5 – Students (K-12 and College)

“At its heart a love story, but a love story warped by racial injustice.” ~ Kirkus Review

Tayari Jones’s new novel, An American Marriage, tells the compelling story of a couple at the crossroads of love and injustice. An instant New York Times bestseller and a 2018 Oprah’s Book Club selection, it tells of newlyweds Celestial and Roy arriving in Atlanta to start their lives together. They appear to be on a straight track to success in their respective careers and domestic bliss. But all their hard work and right decisions are put on hold when Roy, a young executive, is found guilty of rape, a crime both he and Celeste know he did not commit. He is sentenced to twelve years of prison, forcing the couple to reconcile their relationship with a broken criminal justice system.

The author of four novels including The Silver Sparrow, Jones’s books exhibit a deep understanding of human struggles large and small. Her powers of observation will make this a night of insight and inspiration that is not to be missed.

“Tayari Jones has emerged as one of the most important voices of her generation.” ~ Essence

Guest host: Aaron Stander

Aaron Stander has worked in the literary vineyards for more than five decades. He has been a college English professor, educational consultant, and teacher trainer. He has published numerous articles, stories, reviews, and ten crime novels. Aaron is also the host/producer of Interlochen Public Radio’s longstanding program, Michigan Writers on the Air.

Event Underwriters: Isiah and Marlene Smith

Grant and Paulette Parsons

An Evening with Alice Walker  

Arrow Out of the Heart  

October 22, 2018


  • $30 – Reserved
  • $40 – Premium Reserved
  • $5 – Students (K-12 and College)

While Walker hardly requires an introduction, her genius bears repeating. One of America’s most cherished writers, she has brought us novels, poems, and nonfiction works of the utmost artistic and social importance. In 1983 Walker received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel The Color Purple, becoming the first African-American woman to receive the honor.The book has since been adapted into an Academy-Award nominated film and a Broadway musical.

Her staggering capacity for truth and warmth feature centrally in her work. Her latest book of collected poetry, Arrow Out of the Heart, is no exception. Presented in both English and Spanish and comprising almost 70 poems, each lush and lucid word brims with passion and power. The collection proves, once again, the tendency of Walker’s wisdom to sear into readers’ hearts, leaving its mark far beyond the last page.

Event Sponsor: Lead Star Consulting

Guest host: Rochelle Riley

Rochelle Riley, who always works with two phones, is a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, where she has been a leading voice for children, education, competent government and race since 2000. She is author of “The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery” (Wayne State University Press, 2018). She makes frequent television and radio appearances, including on National Public Radio and local television. She has won numerous national, state and local honors, including a National Headliner Award for local column writing. Her columns on the text message scandal that led to the imprisonment of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick were part of the Free Press’ 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning entry for local news. She received the 2017 Eugene C. Pulliam Editorial Fellowship from the Society of Professional Journalists and the 2017 Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for her outstanding efforts to make newsrooms and news coverage more accurately reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. And she has received Will Rogers Award from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists for community service. Rochelle is a global traveler who has been to 27 countries and counting. She was a 2007-2008 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, where she studied online communities and film. And she was a 2016 inductee into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.

The Writers Series of Traverse City (NWS) is a nonprofit dedicated to holding great conversations with today’s best authors and building the writing and reading skills of youth. NWS believes in the power of storytelling to enrich and transform lives and whole communities.  NWS is made possible by our generous donors, as well as our major sponsors Cordia and West Shore Bank. We are also generously supported by grantors Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Each NWS event is taped and broadcast to a wide and enthusiastic audience by Land Information Access Association’s Community Media Center and Interlochen Public Radio.

For more information on the National Writers Series, visit, contact NWS Executive Director Anne Stanton, or call the National Writers Series at (231) 631-1551.