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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM Plays Host to 48th Annual Children’s Literature Festival

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Feb. 24, 2016) – The University of Central Missouri will play host to the 48th Annual Children’s Literature Festival March 20-22, with more than 30 nationally recognized authors and illustrators in attendance.

The festival begins with a luncheon with visiting authors and illustrators at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, March 20, in the Elliott Student Union. This year’s special guest speaker is award-winning author, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, author of “Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America.”

Authors will be available to sign books on from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday in the Elliott Student Union atrium. The Book Sale also will be available from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Elliott Student Union ballroom, with author exhibits available in the James C. Kirkpatrick Library.

On Monday and Tuesday authors and illustrators are scheduled to speak to children in grades 3-10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at various locations across campus. The authors also will be available to sign books after each presentation. Proceeds from festival book sales directly support next year’s festival. Registrants may select the authors they wish to meet by pre-registering online.

The cost of the Sunday luncheon is $25 per adult and $17 per child. Adult registration for the entire festival is $15, and child registration is $8 per child. Registration fees are for the entire festival. For a full schedule of events and registration information, visit the Children’s Literature Festival website at

School groups and small groups are welcome, but should register in advance.

“I am passionate about children’s literature, and I look forward to being a part of the rich history of the UCM Children’s Literature Festival,” said Maya Kucij, new director of the festival, “I can’t wait to experience the festival firsthand in March.”

Kucij assumes leadership of the festival from former director Naomi Williamson. Williamson recently retired but has continued to serve in a mentorship role for this year’s festival committee.

Originally from Vermont, Kucij is new to the Midwest. She previous served for nine years as an academic librarian at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she oversaw the children’s and young adult collection and ​​​​taught children’s literature.

For nearly 50 years, the University of Central Missouri has hosted the Children's Literature Festival. Thousands of Missouri schoolchildren in grades 3-10 attend this annual event to hear nationally recognized children’s authors and illustrators speak about their work. The festival welcomes participants with disabilities. To learn more visit or call 660 543 4306.