From the CCFW Faculty & Staff:

A few things to communicate about the decision not to solicit workshop and panel proposals for the 2020 Festival of Faith & Writing.

Here is the official language from the Festival website (festival.calvin.edu/get-involved/speak):

In recent years, the Festival has distinguished between “featured speakers” and other presenters, soliciting proposals for panels and workshops. Festival 2020 will be returning to a more sustainable model, so all speakers will be considered “featured” speakers, and the FFW Committee will not be inviting panel and workshop proposals. Our goal in returning to this model is to give ample time and attention to the many writers under consideration, exploring thoroughly their compelling work at the intersection of faith and literature.

Some things to clarify:

  • We are not doing away with panels and workshops; both will be very present at the 2020 Festival of Faith & Writing.
  • We remain committed to featuring emerging and established speakers; this is a fundamental principle behind the Festival.
  • However, we are no longer putting out a call for panels and workshops. The Festival committee continues to review materials, which we regularly receive from a range of sources, including our publishing partners, for speakers. Our standard process is outlined on the website (festival.calvin.edu/get-involved/speak).
  • This decision is in response to:
    • Our commitment to paying every speaker in 2020 and appropriately honoring the work of panelists, workshop presenters, and other speakers.
    • Based on extensive attendee feedback that Festival often feels overscheduled and too busy, we’ve taken an intensive look at the schedule overall and adjusted to make the Festival experience sustainable for attendees and speakers alike.
    • We also need Festival to be sustainable for our staff; with limited staff and the rising cost of hosting an event at this scale, an adapted process is the way for us to bring a wide range of writers and speakers to Festival in 2020.
  • We can’t share details yet, but workshops will have a more prominent place in the 2020 Festival and we look forward to sharing this format with you in the months ahead.

We strive to distinguish each Festival as a unique and rewarding experience for Festivalgoers; some years this includes new formats and activities, and others a return to what has worked well in the past. Please do share your thoughts with us directly at ffw@calvin.edu

To refer others to this statement, please use URL: festival.calvin.edu/get-involved/festival-proposals/

This statement was issued on April 9, 2019, and amended on April 11 to include "considered" in "considered 'featured' speakers", in response to the misunderstanding that all panelists, workshop presenters, and speakers would be only established and highly published writers; they will not be.