on behalf of ECU Colleagues
October 10, 2020
Dear Friends, Authors, Guests of the Scissortail Festival:
A Live-Streaming program (April 1-3) featuring six wonderful authors will substitute for our traditional festival format (please see relevant postings).
Multiple reasons converge to make this cancellation for 2021 necessary. The overarching concern is for the health of everyone involved. Connected to this concern, even if a vaccine were available, and/or things are much better by April, much of the planning for the annual festival occurs during the months of September through February. As things stand now, it is simply impossible to plan for an uncertain future event. I’m sure you can appreciate the challenges involved were we to plan a live event, then have to undo it, if the virus situation is not under control (as was the case last year). Scissortail Festival is about bringing people together. We (and many of you) have worked hard to bring folks to the festival on an annual basis. Given that people from multiple cities and towns across the nation attend the festival, we simply have no satisfactory way of regulating who attends and how many would potentially be available in session rooms. I’m sure you can appreciate the potential chaos of people intending to attend, then not showing up for their reserved seat, and others arriving only to be told that safe capacity has been reached, etc. Moreover, such an approach goes against the coming together attitude that makes our festival what it is.
Further, considerable construction is occurring in the places where we normally hold our readings, and there is absolutely no guarantee that the construction will be finished by April. All of these factors, combining with uncertain attendance of students, along with an overworked faculty trying to adjust to online teaching and departmental chores, while maintaining safety and personal concerns for their families, make it wise to cancel for 2021.
Also, please note: The Darryl Fisher High School Contest is occurring (see posting). We will not conduct an undergraduate contest for 2021.
Finally, we are committed to returning live with our traditional format in April 2022. That is the hope of all involved, both for our festival, and more important, for the health of our societies.