100 Scope Notes
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Recap: The Plum Creek Literacy Festival

This week the Plum Creek Literacy Festival was cancelled.

It all started with this Twitter thread by author Eliot Schrefer, who noticed when some of his books with LGBTQ+ characters/themes weren’t included for sale at the festival:

It takes guts to publicly talk about something like this, so I want to thank Eliot for sharing his experience.

In his thread he also shared the host university’s squarely anti-LGBTQ+ code of conduct, which I, and the authors attending the festival, don’t agree with.

The result? Authors began to withdraw from the event. In response, the festival organizers released a statement:

. . . which left many people with more questions than answers. Eventually, so many (all?) of the authors withdrew, leading to the cancellation of the event:

So many good children’s literature folks have weighed in on Twitter, raising excellent questions about the event and outlining the clear problems with Concordia’s policies. Please click on the threads above to read them.

I support the authors who pulled out. An event with ties to this sort of anti-LGBTQ+ code of conduct is unacceptable. I’m glad this is coming to light.

It also make me wonder (as some have touched on): How many faith-based colleges and universities around the country have similar codes of conduct hiding in plain sight?

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About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.