Minnesota writers conference canceled over all-white lineup

Published 7:39 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — Organizers have scrapped a Minneapolis writing conference planned for this fall because all of the writers who agreed to speak were white.

The Loft Literary Center announced the decision to cancel its conference on writing for children on its Facebook page.

Twenty-two speakers were lined up for the October event, including William Alexander, winner of a National Book Award, and Kelly Barnhill, winner of the John Newbery Medal. But all of the scheduled speakers were white.

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Loft executive director Britt Udesen said presenting a conference without a single instructor of color would not live up to the organization’s goal of inclusiveness.

Dwindling attendance also prompted the decision to cancel. Only 13 people had registered.

The Loft has hosted the Children’s and Young Adult Literature Conference since 2003.