2016 Children’s Literature Festival of the Ozarks!
This month Library Lions raises a ROAR for the Children’s Literature Festival of the Ozarks ! I was one of the 14 authors invited to present in Springfield MO. Authors arrived from all over the U.S. to celebrate the festival’s 36th year. We were treated to an author dinner our first night there. The next day, on November 21st a record number of 2,778 students and 218 adults. Attendees bused in from 39 schools.
The hallways of the Missouri State University campus were abuzz with excited students.
In the rooms, we authors were setting up our presentations with our student helpers. Special thanks to my student helper Madison Hillenburg
Meanwhile, masterful tech helpers raced from room to room, handling all our last-minute tech fiascos. Thanks to the tech who saved my PowerPoint from implosion!
It was wonderful seeing so many happy, excited children all in one place celebrating the joys of reading!
Each author gave four presentations throughout the festival day allowing the maximum number of students to see the authors.
Obert Skye presenting
Roland Smith presenting
Some Author Notes
The students were so enthusiastic and asked great questions. It was a real pleasure to talk to them. One of my favorite things about the literature festival was one of my helpers. She was a natural at getting the students settled and focused right after they came into the room. She’s in school to be an educator, and I can tell she’s going to be a great one.
I loved meeting so many engaged students (and their teachers), and fielding some curveball questions I haven’t heard before. It’s also especially pleasing to reconnect with old friends—authors and colleagues who I’ve known for years. Not all events schedule time for relaxation, and so having the opportunity to share a dinner or two is a rare and wonderful thing. It reminds me what an inspiring group children’s authors are! Antony John
This was my first-ever children’s literature festival, and my favorite part by far was getting to meet so many kids who were excited about reading and writing. Their questions were insightful, original, and sometimes hilarious. They–and their teachers–give me great hope for the future. And I hope that I inspired some of them to try a new food, visit a new place, and read or write a new kind of story.
I loved how engaged the children were. My heart soared to see so many young readers, future writers, and illustrators. I loved the autograph sessions and the chance to talk to the kids.
Of course, the thing I enjoy most about this festival (and other festivals like it) is the kids! They’re always so excited to be there (I’m sure getting out of school is part of that), and even if they’re not familiar with my books, by the time our session is over they are ready to check them out. The thing I appreciate most about the festival is the coordinators and committee members who put it all together. In spite of some glitches (and every festival has them) they carried on and got the job done, mostly unsung. But I’m singing their praises now!
After attending four presentations throughout the day, students flooded the upstairs room to purchase books from the Missouri State University Bookstore. Authors signed their books and bookmarks before they all headed home.
The festival day was followed by an evening of entertainment at the university. A fun Author Slam, music, prizes, and another book signing complete with free posters. All the festival authors gathered below.
A Word From Board Member Margaret Butler
I love to see the excitement on the children’s faces. Not only are they awestruck to be on a big university campus, but they are going to meet authors of those books they read! After all the planning & some concerns along the way, it all comes together perfectly and we accomplish our goal of bringing students and authors together! All the hard work pays off when this happens and it is so rewarding to have every single author tell us how much they enjoyed the festival!
Special thanks to the board members and festival volunteers for all the months of preparation and hard work they did to make the 36th year a memorable Children’s Literature Festival! You rock!
Becky Crowder – Chairman, also Registration & Hotel Arrangements
Jessica Crowder, Becky’s daughter, Registration
Sue Charles – Treasurer
Judith John – MSU Liaison. Signs & Equipment
Bill Edgar – Historian
Melinda Hammerschimdt – Book Sales
Ruth Spargo – Autograph Party & Transportation
Margaret Butler – Author Contact & Registration
Linda Knight: Registration
Dea Borneman: Registration
Dana Roberts and Adrienne Poulson: Volunteers
And all the student volunteers who helped the authors shine!
Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Email Janet via the Contact page on this website to set up an interview.
Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet.