Listen To Article
Almost two years ago exactly, I took part in a very difficult conversation: to postpone the 2020 Festival of Faith & Writing. It was particularly gut-wrenching because it was the 30th anniversary Festival and we were incredibly well-prepared to welcome 2,000+ attendees to celebrate. Years of work by many hands had gone into it. And also so disappointing because we were very excited about the programming–the speakers and publishers and editors and book people that would be gathering for the rich conversations that are a hallmark of the Festival.
But COVID-19 had other plans, and as authors and publishers began to indicate that the pandemic meant they could not travel, we knew that postpostment was the only course of action. And within a week, our campus was also shut-down, and we all entered that strange spring of 2020 in lockdown.
As this academic year began, we again had to consider whether an in-person gathering was possible as COVID-19 was still causing massive disruptions. Given its size, the Festival is a huge ship to guide, so it felt irresponsible to plan an on-campus gathering when so much was up in the air. Instead, we began to dream about what possibilities a smaller, virtual gathering might offer. We were so grateful that all the keynote speakers from 2020 were willing to participate in our virtual 2022 programming, so we started to plan.
Next week, I hope you’ll join us to see the fruits of those imaginings. We will be celebrating that 30th anniversary in style with an amazing lineup of speakers, including Pulitzer Prize winning author Anthony Doerr, Newbery Medalist Katherine Paterson, Peabody-award winning journalist and podcast host Krista Tippett, National Book Award nominee Min Jin Lee, Calvin’s own Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt, and more. The full schedule is available on the registration page, and you are welcome to watch any or all sessions whenever it works best for you.
I’ll even be doing two live Q&As: one with Min Jin Lee and one with Katherine Paterson. We’d love to have you participate.
Best of all, we can offer it all for FREE, though it does require registration at ccfw.calvin.edu. Content premieres March 21-24 and is viewable on-demand through April 7.
We’re already hearing about schools and book groups, churches and college classrooms gathering together for watch parties. I hope you’ll join us, too!