I’m looking forward to the upcoming Children’s Literature Festival in a couple of weeks. Thousands of kids and dozens of children’s authors and artists come together each year in Warrensburg, Missouri on the campus of University of Central Missouri for two days of sessions. The Festival was started by Phil Sadler and Ophelia Gilbert and is now led by Naomi Williamson. It’s hard to imagine how many young people have attended one or more times to meet the creators of some of their favorite books. 2015 marks the 46th anniversary of the annual event. I began participating 37 years ago in 1978 and I don’t think I’ve missed a year since then.
Many of my friends will be there and I’m eager to see them again. They include Carol (C.S.) Adler; Bill Anderson; Sandy Asher; Brad Sneed; Cheryl Harness; Claudia Mills; Dorinda Nicholson; Patricia Hermes, Ard Hoyt; Janie (J.B.) Cheaney; Jan Greenberg; June Rae Wood; Lois Ruby; Marie Smith; Mary Casanova; Mary Downing (Hahn) Jacob; Michael Spradlin; Roderick Townley; Roland Smith; Obert Skye; Sneed Collard; Terry Trueman; and Vivian Vande Velde plus many others. Lucky me to count such talented, dedicated, and fun people among my friends. You can see why I look forward each year to seeing them again!
Today is a special day for Cheryl Harness and Naomi Williamson.
At the 2014 Missouri Humanities Awards Lunch, Program, and Ceremony, Cheryl will receive this year’s DISTINGUISHED LITERARY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD and Naomi will receive an EXEMPLARY COMMUNITY ACHIEVEMENT AWARD.
Naomi directs the annual Children’s Literature Festival on the campus of University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. It’s one of the oldest, largest, and most successful festivals in the nation and annually attracts thousands of students, teachers, and parents.
Cheryl is one of those rare, gifted people who can illustrate and write, both beautifully. She can do about anything but one of her specialties is historical nonfiction. Kids and adults of all ages adore her.
So congratulations, my friends. You earned your recognition many times over. Stand up and take a bow.
Win, lose or draw, my whatever poem is done and gone. I’ve forgotten when the voting starts but Ed DeCaria has been good about providing details so I’ll go back to his e-mails and read more carefully.
To all my fellow poets who are involved this year, break a leg. To Ed, thanks in advance for all the work.
To Naomi Williamson and all the wonderful folks who put on yet another stellar Childrens Literature Festival this year in Warrensburg, Missouri, my gratitude. It is always one of the hightest of my year’s highlights.
I’m eager to go to Warrensburg, Missouri on the 16th of this month for the annual Children’s Literature Festival. Thousands of students and adults will be there to meet some of their favorite authors and artists and we’ll all enjoy the opportunity to be together. Here’s a link for more information. http://guides.library.ucmo.edu/clf .
I always look forward to this festival. A lot of old pals will be on the program and each year I make new friends. Of all the things an author gets to do, meeting his audience ranks at the top, both in pleasure and importance. My thanks as always to Naomi Williamson and her incredible crew of volunteers who put on the conference year after year. It’s a beautiful gift to everyone involved.