Kingston WritersFest to go virtual for 2020

Kingston WritersFest will not be taking place physically this September due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, according to an announcement made by the festival on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

The festival was scheduled for September 23-27 2020 and a select series of master classes and presentations will be happening remotely through livestreaming technology. These events will also be recorded for later public broadcast.

“This pivot to online programming is required for the sustainability of the festival,” said Julie Leclerc, Chair of the Festival Board, in the press release. “We are confident that we’ll come out of this situation intact and eager to continue to provide our community and potentially a much broader audience.”

The programming lineup is expected to be released in July. And while it was a difficult decision to cancel the live festival, known to be one of Canada’s most highly-regarded literary festivals drawing audience members from across the country and around the world, those with the festival are optimistic that the virtual format will still deliver.

“We have a head start, as we were already part way through our usual programming of 60 writers when the pandemic stay-at-home orders were put in place,” said Barbara Bell, Artistic Director of Kingston WritersFest. “Once the decision was made that we should not present a live festival in September, we began to reach out to secure some of those same great authors to participate in this virtual series.”

The programming lineup is expected to be released in July.

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