50th Festival

In 1969, man landed on the moon and Central Missouri State College (now UCM) hosted its first Children's Literature Festival! Can you believe it? As far as we know, we are the longest running children's literature festival in the United States that is geared toward children.

The coordinators and founders of the festival were Mr. Philip Sadler, Instructor of Children's Literature, and Mrs. Ophelia Gilbert, Librarian at Central Elementary School (the laboratory school on campus). They had a vision to bring together Missouri-based authors and "personalities" (so-named on their first program) to be recognized for their accomplishments. They wanted them to be able to talk to their readers and share their stories. We've been continuing to connect kids with the folks behind the books they love for now half a century!

Past Festivals

View an archive of photos and authors from the first 49 years of the festival.

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