About the National Writers Series

The National Writers Series (legal name Writers Series of Traverse City) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging world-renowned authors in meaningful conversations in the Traverse City area. Our goal is to create a deeper understanding of issues and ways of life that exist within and outside of our rural boundaries. We are also “raising writers” with programs that help students express themselves, explore the world through reading, develop their imaginations, and think critically. 

Since 2010, the National Writers Series has hosted more than 230 authors––including Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, David Sedaris, Tayari Jones, Jodi Picoult, Vince Gilligan, and Anthony Doerr––and drawn more than 70,000 people to our events, mostly held at the City Opera House. The events have also sold some 20,000 books through local bookstores.

What’s it like for a visiting author? Here’s what New York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani had to say:

“The National Writers Series is a magnificent program that brings writers and readers together on the glorious shores of Lake Michigan in Traverse City. Their hospitality, insight as fellow authors, and the in-depth conversation about the things that matter is a celebration of books, reading and ideas where the audience and participants leave inspired.”

What’s it like for an attendee? Learn more about the stunning City Opera House, its safety procedures, and accessibility. The National Writers Series’ programs and activities do not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission, access, or employment.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As an organization, the National Writers Series is committed to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, identity, ability, and experience in the authors we bring to the City Opera House stage. Furthermore, we are dedicated to creating an organization that is welcoming to all, including our staff, volunteers, board members, Raising Writers students, writing instructors, and our audience.

We also recognize that inclusion should reflect economic consideration. An estimated 44 percent of schoolchildren in our 10-county area live near or in poverty, one payday from disaster. For this reason, all of our Raising Writers programs are free, and we actively seek to offer classes in our at-risk schools and underserved communities.

Our Staff

Front Street Writers Instructors

In Memoriam: Bob Giles, Board Member 2016 to 2023

Our Board