The Wadena County Historical Society recently received a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council to support BookEnds, a monthly program that connects readers to writers on the second Saturday of each month.

Each month, one regional author is invited to read a portion of his/her book and talk about the writing process. The hour-long program is facilitated by moderator Shelly Weinstein who involves the audience by inviting questions, according to a Historical Society news release.

Until March of 2020, the program was hosted live at The Uptown in Wadena. Since the pandemic, the BookEnds online edition has continued connecting readers to writers via Zoom.

Following the Zoom program, the recorded interviews are available at www.WadenaCountyHistory.org. Books are provided through the services of Travelin' Storyseller Gillette Kempf, formerly owner of An Open Book in Wadena.

The following authors have agreed to participate in BookEnds online edition in 2021:

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  • January: Author Debra Eckerman Pitton began the year with her true life adventure book, "No One Left Behind: An unexpected educational adventure at Machu Picchu."
  • February: Author Peter Geye, with recent and award winning novels including "Nothernmost," "Safe from the Sea," "The Lighthouse Road" and "Wintering," winner of the Minnesota Book Award.
  • March: Author Mary Logue will talk about "Frozen Stiff," a Midwestern mystery.
  • April: Youth author David LaRochelle will talk about "How to Apologize," an upcoming picture book illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka.
  • May: Author Julie Jo Severson, a versatile journalist, editor and author of the new guidebook “Secret Twin Cities: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure”.
  • June: Acclaimed author Carrie Mesrobian, who wrote "Sex & Violence" and "Cut Both Ways," sets fire to the unfair stereotypes and contradictions that persist in the 21st century.

All of the BookEnds events from January to June 2021 are expected to take place via Zoom. In the event that the pandemic curtain lifts, everyone will be very happy to go 'live' with the show.

These activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.