The Pursuit Of...
The Pursuit Of...
Nov 21, 2021
The Pursuit Of...National Writers Series
Play • 42 min

National Writers Series, Executive Director, Jillian Manning joins Ryan and Mark to discuss NWS, spread the love of books, celebrate the authors that the organization brings to Northern Michigan, and share her history in writing.


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 nearly 200 authors––including Margaret Atwood, Jodie Picoult, and Alice Walker––and drawn more than 68,000 people to events, mostly to the City Opera House. The events have also sold some 18,000 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, their safety procedures, and their accessibility, including accessible seating, assisted listening devices, and sign language interpretation services (interpretation available when requested a minimum of four weeks in advance). The National Writers Series’ programs and activities do not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission, access, or employment.


Jillian Manning is the Executive Director of the National Writers Series. She has been an avid reader and writer since her youth and is the author of several books with Sesame Street. Prior to joining NWS, Jillian worked as an editor for Sourcebooks and HarperCollins and as a public relations manager for Traverse City Tourism. In her free time, she loves exploring northern Michigan with her family or curling up with a good book and one of her many kittens. Connect with Jillian at

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