Literature is at the Heart of Our Lives

Youth Literature Festival

March 28-30, 2019

The Youth Literature Festival brings award-winning authors of youth literature to area schools in a three-day event, culminating in a Community Day Celebration with author panels, activities for kids, and performances to share with the whole family. A bi-annual event, the Festival is provided without cost to participants or school districts thanks to volunteers and generous sponsors.

Literature is at the heart of our lives

The mission of The Youth Literature Festival is to place literature, and all the arts, at the heart of youths' lives. Started by the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008, the event celebrates the value of literature in the lives of youth by bringing together nationally known authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers to share their stories, their craft, and their enthusiasm for books with children and teens.

The Festival, held every two years since 2008, leads off with authors visiting numerous area schools. The popular and free-to-the-public Community Day celebration caps the event. Festivities during Community Day include author presentations and panels, hands-on activities, puppetry, storytelling, and musical performances.

Display of Festival authors

Sponsors make the magic happen

The Youth Literature Festival is supported by the College of Education and the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and happens thanks to the generosity of various businesses and individuals.

Because of these generous sponsors, the Youth Literature Festival is a reality for thousands of K-12 students throughout central Illinois. Bringing this experience to directly to students would not otherwise be possible. Please join us in patronizing and recognizing our Festival sponsors.

Festival Sponsor: $20,000 and above

News Gazette

Glenna S. Udre Program in Literacy



Thank you for the amazing people who joined the 2019 Youth Literature Festival Committees   

2019 Core Committee 

  • Carol  Scharlau
  • Karla Jean Moller
  • Linda Tammen
  • Nancy  O'Brien
  • Victor H Perez
  • Violet J Harris
  • Vivian Felicio Dixon
  • William Trent


2019 Planning Committee 

Community DayDiane Gustafson
Kathy Bennett 
Betsy Su, retired Library 
Shih-Mei Carmody
HospitalityNancy O’Brien
Lekisha Hall
School Engagement / PreparednessChristine Cahill
Tiffanie Bui
Melissa Payne
School Scheduling and Volunteer DriversLinda Tammen
Deb Newell  
Alexandra Bell
Mike Rogalla, 
Kathie Kading
Amanda Raklovits
Publicity & Marketing

Kimberlie Ann Kranich 
Elaine Bearden
Ashley Lawrence




Upcoming Events

School Visit
Day 1
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
School Visit
Day 2
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Community Day
at iHotel
Day 3
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM