WORDfest is coming!


A celebration of words – written, spoken, sung

We’re going to celebrate words in their many forms at Wordfest on Friday and Saturday, September 27-28, in venues throughout downtown Springfield. Free events will feature wordsmiths of all kinds – authors, songwriters and poets – on stage and in workshops for all ages.

Here’s what’s happening:

Love “Downton Abbey”?

See Carol McD. Wallace   

This author of 21 books also co-authored “To Marry an English Lord,” which helped inspire TV series creator Julian Fellowes to write the PBS hit, “Downton Abbey.”

As the series enters its fourth season, you’re invited to enjoy “An Edwardian Evening” with Wallace from 7-10 p.m. Friday, September 27, at the Veridian, 309 South Ave. The night includes English sweets and savories, and prizes courtesy of Between Friends Gift Shops and Ozarks Public Television, which airs “Downton Abbey.” She will also sell and sign her book.

Tickets are required for this event; seating is limited. Tickets are $20 for students and $25 for non-students, and are available at the Library Center, Brentwood Branch and Park Central Branch libraries. Limit eight tickets per person. Cash or check only. For information call 616-0564 or 616-0566.

“To Marry an English Lord” is the nonfiction account of American heiresses who moved to England around the turn of the century to marry into the British aristocracy. Wallace co-wrote the book in the 80s, and it was republished in 2012 after “Downton Abbey” creator Fellowes noted it was one of his inspirations.

Meet our other featured authors during Wordfest

  • Brian Katcher, author of award-winning teen titles “Almost Perfect” and “Playing With Matches.”
  • Lori Copeland, award-winning contemporary and historical Christian author
  • Kate Klise, “People” magazine correspondent and author of best-selling children’s books and an adult novel.
  • Michael “Supe” Granda songwriter/singer and author of a book about the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.  
  • William Trowbridge, Missouri Poet Laureate
  • Inge Chiles, songwriter/singer of band Plaid Dragon
  • Jody Bilyeu, songwriter/ singer and formerly of Big Smith

Here’s the schedule!

Friday, September 27

  • An Edwardian Evening, 7-10 p.m., the Veridian, 309 South Ave.
  • Quentin Tarantino Adult Spelling Bee, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Mother’s Brewing Company, 215 South Grant Ave.

Saturday, September 28

  • 10 a.m., Park Central Square, Family Poetry Flags
  • 10:30 a.m., Park Central Branch Library, author Kate Klise talks about her latest books, sales and book signing
  • 11 a.m., Brick City, 305 W. Mill St. Letter Press demonstration, Eric Pervukhin, MSU professor of art and design
  • 11 a.m., Brick City, 305 W. Mill St., How to Create a Book, Judith Fowler, MSU professor of art and design and members of Ozarks Writing Project; for grades 3-8
  • 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Brick City Art Gallery, Image and Word, Drawings by Bobby Ross
  • 11:30 a.m., Park Central Branch Library, Resident Artist Ensemble presents author David Harrison and Friends
  • Noon, Ry Mac’s, 214 Park Central East, Singer/Songwriter talk and musical performance with Michael ‘Supe’ Granda, member of “The Ozark Mountain Daredevils”
  • 1 p.m., Moxie Cinema, 431 S. Jefferson Ave., author Brian Katcher
  • 1 p.m., Mother’s Brewing Company, 215 S. Grant Ave., Scrabble tournament (age 21 and older)
  • 1 p.m., Brick City, 305 W. Mill St., How to Create a Book, Judith Fowler, MSU professor of art and design and members of Ozarks Writing Project; for grades 3-8
  • 1 p.m., Park Central Square, Poetry on the Square, MO Poetry Slam Springfield, and others  
  • 1:30 p.m., Millie’s Café, 313 S. Jefferson Ave., Veterans Writing Workshop, William Garvin, Drury University archivist and several military veterans
  • 2:30 p.m., Park Central Office Building, 117 Park Central Square, “How to Get Published,” panel with Kate Klise, Lori Copeland, Sharon Holmes and others. Authors from several local writers’ groups will sell and sign their books.
  • 3 p.m., Park Central Branch Library, Bookbinding with Lynley Farris
  •  4 p.m., Park Central Branch Library, Zine Workshop with the Paper Airplanes Zine Library  
  • 4 p.m., Coffee Ethic, 124 Park Central Square, Missouri Poet Laureate William Trowbridge
  • 5:30 p.m., Patton Alley Pub, 313 S. Patton Ave., Rhythm and Rhyme: The Art and the Agony of Lyrics, with Jody Bilyeu, Inge Chiles, Dallas Jones and Michael “Supe” Granda
  • 7- 9 p.m., old Fox Theater on the Square, Wordfest – The Celebration. The major Wordfest authors will read from one of their works, be interviewed individually and rejoin for a Q&A session with the audience.


The MSU shuttle service will be provided from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Park Central Square and Brick City.

Schedule may be subject to change, please check updates at wordfestsgf.wordpress.com.

Wordfest is a project of the Library, with grants from the Missouri Humanities Council and the Missouri Literary Festival; and several community partners including Ozarks Public Television and the College of Arts and Letters, Missouri State University


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