The Good Thunder Reading Series began as Minnesota State University Mankato's contribution to a set of informal exchanges between faculty writers at several state universities in Minnesota. Since 1983, however, the series has committed itself to programs that balance emerging and established talent drawn from Minnesota, the Upper Midwest, and the rest of the nation. The series features short-term residencies, conferences with area writers, craft talks, readings, and workshops. Each visiting writer leads a morning workshop, presents an afternoon talk, and gives a reading in the evening. Unless stated otherwise, all events (which are free and open to the public) are held in the Centennial Student Union on the campus of Minnesota State Mankato.