Scholastic withdraws from New Orleans Book Festival amid coronavirus concerns

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Mike Fitts kicks off a press conference announcing the New Orleans Book Festival | Courtesy of Tulane University

Sanjali De Silva, Senior Staff Reporter

Last October, Tulane announced it would be hosting The New Orleans Book Festival March 19-21. The festival revealed its complete line-up of authors today, including an announcement that Scholastic authors will not be attending.

“We have made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw from the New Orleans Book Festival,” Stephanie Smirnov, executive vice president of global corporate communications for Scholastic, said in a press release. “The health and safety of our employees and authors is always our top priority. Although we can’t attend in person, we look forward to working with our partners at the Festival to honor our commitment to get books and reading materials to kids and educators in the community.”

As a result, Family Day of the festival, Saturday, March 21, will no longer feature Dav Pilkey, author of children’s book Captain Underpants. The day will still feature the other 11 authors, including former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and National Book Award Winner Sarah M. Broom

Only four of the hundreds of authors coming to the festival were Scholastic authors, and the rest of the festival is scheduled to continue as planned. The full schedule can be found here.