And... our Kids Keynote is Jacqueline Woodson!


Many of you probably know by now about Unbound’s “Authors in the Schools” project, which has been growing every year we’ve done it. Last April eight different authors visited twelve different schools within the Columbia Public School system on the Friday before the festival itself. At least one classroom in every grade from Kindergarten to 12th Grade was visited by an author, and between them, the Unbound writers spoke to a total of approximately 3,500 students. It was quite a day.

This year we’re looking to do more of the same, and we could NOT be more delighted to announce that none other than the truly phenomenal Jacqueline Woodson will be our “Kids’ Keynote” for 2019. Jacqueline will be coming to Columbia on Friday, April 19, to give a presentation to Columbia’s 8th graders at the Missouri Theatre.

Jacqueline Woodson is one of the most beloved writers of children’s literature working today. She has won just about every available award and prize (including, to name just a few, the Caldecott Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, the Newbery Honor Medal and, ahem, a NATIONAL BOOK AWARD.) She is also the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate, and this year the Library of Congress appointed her National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.


Jacqueline has written award-winning books for just about every age, from beautiful picture books to middle grade titles to YA. She is a wonderful and compelling speaker and we know she is going to give the students an experience that they’ll remember for a long, long time to come. We can’t wait to welcome her to Unbound!

Jacqueline’s appearance is made possible in part by a generous grant from the University of Missouri Chancellor’s Distinguished Visitor Program and we’re very grateful to Angie Zapata for all her hard work in making this happen.