From book talks and signings to writing conferences and workshops to book clubs and retreats, here are just some of the places you can find me throughout the year. If you see me anywhere, I hope you’ll introduce yourself! I love meeting readers and writers, talking about books, and sharing whatever wisdom I can to help aspiring writers along the way. Check back every so often as new events are added.



Talk + Booksigning, The Words between Us
2:00pm @ Bay City Library, 500 Center Ave, Bay CityMI 48708

Erin will be back in her hometown discussing her newest book, The Words between Us, a celebration of the reading life and the power of words written, spoken, and read, set in a fictionalized version of Bay City. Join us at the Alice & Jack Wirt Public Library in downtown Bay City for a short talk, a reading, Q&A, and a booksigning!


Talk + Booksigning for the Lansing Historical Society
7:00pm @ Library of Michigan, 702 W Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48911

History isn’t just full of stories, it is stories. Add up all the individual stories of individual lives in individual situations and you have history. Not just what happened when and where, but to whom and why. The old paintings and the black and white photos of our history textbooks come alive when we let ourselves step into the shoes of real people who were there. Or even fictional people who were there! Period TV shows and movies and historical fiction seems to be having a moment in our culture. Do we simply long to escape to simpler times with fancier clothes? Or could it be that we are realizing that the past is both a key to understanding the present and a warning as we move into the future?

Join author Erin Bartels as she explains why her debut novel, We Hope for Better Things, was steeped in history–a difficult, ugly part of US history–because she was trying to process the present. She’ll talk about how she handled researching a novel that swings between three distinct time periods–1860s, 1960s, and present day–in Detroit, a city that is simultaneously Michigan’s greatest achievement, its biggest disappointment, and hopefully its most exciting comeback story. And she’ll invite discussion about historical fiction as a genre–what authors do right, what they do wrong, and how one person’s interpretation of past events should always be a starting point to understanding history, not the end point.



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