By Jeff Murphy, March 10, 2020
WARRENSBURG, MO - Cancelations of appearances by a number of out-of-state presenters who were scheduled to speak at the University of Central Missouri’s 2020 Children’s Literature Festival have prompted festival organizers to cancel the event for the first time in its 52-year history.
The Children’s Literature Festival was planned for March 15-17, with 109 schools registered to bring 3,500 children in grades 3 through 10 to campus, where they would have an opportunity to meet with children’s authors and illustrators from throughout the country. Eight of the 28 invited guest speakers let the Festival Committee at the James C. Kirkpatrick Library know that they have opted not to attend, and several more expressed that their attendance was unlikely. Some cited reasons such as escalating reports of coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the country and its impact on air travel.
Scheduling and logistic challenges posed by losing the guest speakers were considered too significant to provide the type of quality event the university strives to produce every year for the benefit of young Missouri readers. No reschedule date is being planned for the event in 2020.
UCM deeply appreciates the many area students, teachers and their schools, the authors and illustrators, and others who help make the Children’s Literature Festival a success each year, and look forward to opportunities to host the festival in coming years.
Individuals who would like more information should contact Maya Kucij, director of the Children’s Literature Festival, at email@example.com or 660-543-4306.