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2020 Tallgrass Writing Workshop Canceled

The 2020 Tallgrass Writing Workshop scheduled for April 17-18 at Pioneer Bluffs in Matfield Green has been canceled to help limit public events during the COVID-19 pandemic. The workshop may be rescheduled for the fall, according to the workshop sponsor, the Center for Great Plains Studies at Emporia State University.

The decision is consistent with guidance provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Center director Max McCoy, a professor at ESU.

“It was a difficult decision to cancel this spring’s workshop, which was shaping up to be one of our best,” McCoy said. “We had an impressive lineup of speakers, including Land Institute founder Wes Jackson, and a new partnership with Pioneer Bluffs. Our registrants will be disappointed, but I believe they’ll understand the need for everyone to work together to limit gatherings and practice social distancing until this health emergency has passed. We wish safety and health to all.”

Participants will have the option of a refund or applying their registration fee to the rescheduled event. Workshop staff will be contacting participants individually through the end of the month to determine preferences.

The rescheduled workshop will also be held in partnership with Pioneer Bluffs Historic Ranching Heritage Center in Matfield Green, Kansas. Sited on 12 scenic acres, the Pioneer Bluffs facilities are well suited to the Tallgrass activities. The Center will work with current workshop faculty to determine their availability for a rescheduled date.

Now in its 35th year, the Tallgrass Writing Workshop is Kansas’ oldest university-sponsored writing workshop. Serving writers, photographers, and sense-of-place enthusiasts throughout the Great Plains, the workshop is offered through the Center for Great Plains Studies with support from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the ESU campus.

Questions about the workshop should be directed to the Center at or by calling 620-341-5574.