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New Community Event a Natural for the Library

Participation in community events has always been a given for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. For more than 100 years now, staff at the ten branches and bookmobile have been pleased  to partner with nonprofits that do good things for the public.

And one of the newest of these collaborations is the first annual Missouri Literary Festival, a celebration of arts, literature and literacy through authors, book signings and readings, workshops, presentations, music, theatrical, film and slam poetry performances, and food—in other words, just the type of event custom-made for library participation. 
In the works for almost two years, a wide-ranging civic committee chaired by William Brandon Bowman has been busy preparing for the Springfield Regional Arts Council-sponsored event to be held Friday-Sunday, October 2-4. The major venue will be Hammons Field with other activities at the Creamery Arts Center, Drury University and a Friday night kickoff at the Park Central Branch Library.
“The Missouri Literary Festival promotes just what libraries are all about,” said Library Center Manager Lorraine Sandstrom, who is aiding Bowman and others in bringing authors to the fall event. “Books and authors together with food and music, what could be better?”
Admission is $5 for adults and free to children 10 years old and under, and the Festival benefits the Writers Hall of Fame, Ozarks Literacy Council, Springfield Public Schools Title I Program and Family Literacy Centers of the Ozarks.

Authors continue to be added to the line-up, but so far there are nearly 40 scheduled to make appearances. Those include Walter Bargen, Norm Brodsky, Judy Brunner, Bo Burlingham, Marcus Cafagna, Billy Collins, Katie Estill, Brad Gooch, David Harrison, Louise A. Jackson, Kate Klise, Kevin Prufer, Laura Shapiro, Jack Stack, Daniel Woodrell, Judy Young and award-winning slam poet Joaquin Zihuatanejo. 
The Park Central Branch staff will host the finalists in the Missouri Literary Festival Award for Short Fiction contest and area high school students who entered the Poetry Out Loud national competition on that Friday evening.

The short story award contest is open to writers of all ages. Go to for details how how to enter to win the cash prizes and to share the excitement being generated by this great new community extravaganza.

Jeanne C. Duffey, community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District, can be reached at

Missouri Literary Festival Board Members


Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at

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