LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books has been officially canceled as an in-person event and will be moving instead to an online format.

The festival, normally held in April, is an annual two-day event that attracts thousands of ravenous readers to the USC campus.

It was postponed in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic to Oct. 3-4 but organizers have since decided to move the event online and include four weeks of virtual events.

“The Times has continued to monitor the situation and, given ongoing guidance related to COVID-19, reimagined the festival as a community-wide gathering to be held online,” according to an announcement from organizers.

“Beginning on Sunday, Oct. 18, and continuing over the course of four weeks, The Times will celebrate storytelling with author panels, readings and other events. Over the years, festival-goers have listened to Eric Carle read about a ravenous caterpillar; the late Congressman John Lewis discuss his lifelong work for racial equality; Julie Andrews reminisce about the Swiss Alps; Luis J. Rodriguez wax poetic about life in Los Angeles; Viet Thanh Nguyen expound reclaiming historical narratives; Padma Lakshmi dish on food and life; and gone home inspired. This year, the festival will make that kind of inspiration accessible from home.”

A list of virtual events will be announced mid-September at latimes.com/FestivalofBooks, with updates provided via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Next year’s Festival of Books is tentatively scheduled to return to its traditional in-person format at USC on April 17-18, 2021.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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