For one literary festival in Minnesota, the show must go on, if only online.
Wordplay, an annual book festival in Minneapolis sponsored by literary organization The Loft, will be held virtually this year, Forbes reports. The transition to online sets Wordplay apart from other literary events, most of which have been canceled outright over COVID-19 fears.
“Wordplay is going virtual due to public health concerns,” The Loft announced on its website. “What does that mean? We're working hard to figure that out. But we're focused on celebrating the things that we can rather than worrying about the things that we can’t.”
The organization said virtual festival-goers can “expect a combination of livestreams, user-content, contests, videos, podcasts, partnerships with other artists and book festivals, digital storytelling, social media takeovers, and more! Our intention is a creative showcase that allows us to connect and celebrate authors and books even in the midst of a crisis.”
Guests planned for this year’s Wordplay festival include writers Michael Ian Black (A Better Man), Alexis Coe (You Never Forget Your First), Kate DiCamillo (Beverly, Right Here), Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City), and John Scalzi (The Last Emperox).
“Even as public health concerns around COVID-19 keep us from gathering in-person this season, we still believe in taking the time to celebrate story and verse,” The Loft said. “We understand that a festival like ours is both a celebration and a career necessity for the artists who come here to share their work, and we remain committed to celebrating our Wordplay 2020 authors, even if the party looks a little different this year.”
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.