Lit Blog: News and Events

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Update From the Lit Director Desk

As summer marches along and we’re wading knee-deep into 2o16 Festival prep, I thought it might be a good time for an update. So much is being planned for this year’s Fest, happening November 5 and 6 (first rule of festival life: never pass up an opportunity to mention the dates), that it seems the only real […]

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July Book Club Picks

Welcome to the first monthly meeting of the Texas Book Festival Book Club recommendations blog post! Each month we will choose three new paperback releases and one TBF favorite that we think make for great group discussions. Hopefully this list will help your book club make a unanimous choice, whether your book club is Book Gals, […]

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Summer Reading List: YA Lit

Looking for some Young Adult books to bring to the beach for the summer? Below are some of our recommendations!   THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH by Martha Brockenbrough The Game of Love and Death features some familiar faces: Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, and Helen of Troy and Paris. However, in this […]

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Julie’s Recommended Reads in July

Summer is officially here. My tote bag is stuffed with swim gear, bottled water and at least three books at a time. Here’s what I’m looking forward to seeing on shelves this month: You Are Having A Good Time by Amie Barrodale This is the debut collection of short fiction to grab this month. Barrodale is […]

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Summer Reading: Middle Grade Lit

School’s out and the library is open. Keep your summer filled with books, and check out some of these great Middle Grade Lit selections!   RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE by Kate DiCamillo Age: 10 years and up Fans of DiCamillo’s past books such as Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux will love her new book, Raymie Nightingale. Raymie enters the Little Miss […]

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2016 Author Sneak Peek

We’re thrilled to announce sixteen of the authors who will participate in this year’s Texas Book Festival, happening November 5 and 6 in and around the State Capitol grounds in Austin, Texas. Our full 2016 lineup will be announced in early September. For now, mark your calendars and join us here in the heart of Texas as we […]

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2016 Texas Book Festival Poster Revealed

“Why we was up so high you could see the whole World stretching out all around you…” – The Devil’s Backbone We’re thrilled to reveal the official 2016 Texas Book Festival poster. This year’s poster art was selected in honor of Jack Unruh, the legendary Texas artist and illustrator who passed away in May 2016. Unruh’s iconic […]

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Summer Reading List: Children’s Lit

Here are some of our summer reading picks for children’s literature. These picture books are sure to keep your little one entertained throughout the summer. Middle grade and YA summer reading picks are forthcoming, so stay tuned!   Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by […]

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Texas Book Festival Announces New Development Director

We are excited to announce that Janet Hutchison has joined the Texas Book Festival team as Development Director. Janet serves as the TBF primary development officer responsible for fundraising and ensuring that fundraising efforts support the Festival’s mission, programs and strategic vision. A native Texan, Janet has a B.A. in Literature from the University of Texas […]

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Texas Teen Book Festival 2016 Lineup

The FULL Texas Teen Book Festival lineup is finally here! 30 amazing YA authors for a full day of fun! Check out the full lineup here and be sure to mark those calendars for October 1st, 2016. The Texas Teen Book Festival is held at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas! Be sure to join […]

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Julie’s New Book Picks for June

New month, new books. Here’s what’s on my radar in the merry month of June. Below you’ll find a mix of books I’ve read and loved and a couple of books coming out this month that I can’t wait to read. Above you’ll find a shot of McKinney Falls State Park here in Austin, a great […]

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Poet Profile: Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles has been writing poetry, prose, and criticism for the last thirty years. She’s published more than twenty books, but only recently did she find a wider audience after the reissue of Chelsea Girls (an autobiographical account of her explosive adolescence). A recent profile in the New York Times has a theory why: “The gritty, idealistic outsiders of New York’s creative scenes in […]

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Check Out Our Lit Events Calendar

See what literary events are happening in Texas. We’ll see you there!

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21 Books for Your 4th of July Reading

The countdown to the holiday weekend is officially over, and we suggest you stuff your beach tote with a handful of these red, white, and blue reads. Happy 4th, everybody!                                                     […]

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10 Perfect Summer Reading Spots in Texas

It’s officially summer, which means it’s time to load up on sunscreen and venture out into the great outdoors of our Lone Star State. While swimming, hiking, kayaking and leisurely strolls down city streets are all well and good, this is also the time of year when we look for sweet spots to sit a […]

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Author K.A. Holt Talks Fiction Writing Contest

As the Youth Fiction Contest comes to a close, we asked author K.A. Holt to write about her experience with contests. Don’t wait and enter the Fiction Contest today. Submissions close July 1, 2016.   When I was in school, I always wanted to enter contests. Writing contests, art contests, speech contests, acting contests. I […]

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Recommended Read May 2016: THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS

Give Dominic Smith a Google and you’ll discover a few things. First: he bats left-handed. Second: he was selected by the New York Mets in the 1st round of the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft. Third: there’s more than one Dominic Smith. Google Dominic Smith author and you’ll find what you came for: an Austin-based author […]

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Texas Teen Book Festival Announces 2016 Keynotes!

    Texas Teen Book Festival has announced its 2016 keynote speakers! Get excited for bestselling authors Laini Taylor (Strange in the Dreamer) and Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom)! Check out the full announcement over on the TTBF blog. Stay tuned for plenty more news to come about this year’s Texas Teen Book Festival! Join the […]

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New Books to Check Out in May

A new month means a fresh crop of books on bookstore shelves. Here are a few we’re adding to our To-Be-Read pile this month.   The After Party by Anton DiSclafani (May 17) DiSclafani is the author of the well-received, book club-ready novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls (I will spend the rest of my book career attempting […]

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2016 Library Grant Recipients Announced

We announced the winners of our 2015-2016 Texas Public Library Collection Enhancement Grants at the Texas Library Association conference in Houston on Thursday, April 21. Forty-four Texas public libraries received grants totaling more than $100,000. The Texas Book Festival awards grants to public libraries annually to support collection enhancement. The Festival has donated more than $2.8 million to libraries across Texas since its […]

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TBF Talks to Sarah Bird

  We recently had the chance to chat with legendary author Sarah Bird about the inspiration for her new book A Love Letter to Texas Women. A Texas woman herself, Sarah Bird is the author of nine novels, has written for The New York Times, Salon, O Magazine, and Texas Monthly, and has written screenplays for numerous studios. Her original […]

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Texas Institute of Letters Winners

2015 was a standout year for Texas literature, and the Texas Institute of Letters, a collection of Texas-related writers that make up the state’s oldest literary organization, has the nearly impossible job of singling out works for recognition each year. This past weekend, Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, Jan Jarboe Russell, and Mary Helen Specht were named as the big winners of 2015. […]

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Día: An Interview with Pat Mora

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), known as Día, is an annual celebration that emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Día takes place every year on April 30 in community centers, libraries, and schools.  Look up your local Día event here. This year marks the […]

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A Celebration of Texas Poets

April is National Poetry Month! To celebrate, we’d like to take a moment to recognize contributions made by the most recent Texas Poets Laureate. Their work has made an outstanding cultural impact on the long-standing literary and artistic tradition of Texas, and we are so pleased to feature them here.     Laurie Ann Guerrero I read the […]

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From the Lit Director Desk: What I’m Reading

I’ve had a little over a month to settle into the lit director desk here at Texas Book Festival. Here’s what I’ve been reading in between all of the emails. All of these books are forthcoming releases, so mark your calendars, place your pre-orders, and look forward to what late Spring will bring to your bookshelves. […]

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Poet Spotlight: Carmen Tafolla

Dr. Carmen Tafolla is a tremendously accomplished author. She’s written over 20 books, including volumes of poetry, short stories, historical nonfiction, and children’s books. In 2012, she was named the first Poet Laureate of San Antonio, and in 2015 she was named the Poet Laureate of the State of Texas. We are so lucky to count her as a friend […]

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Recommended Read: A LOVE LETTER TO TEXAS WOMEN

Here at the Texas Book Festival offices, we’re constantly scouring the latest and greatest books publishers have to offer to discover the most interesting new work by the most engaging authors. Our goal is to put together an unforgettable Festival for you in the Fall, but who wants to wait that long to talk about […]

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2016 Youth Fiction Writing Contest

The results are in! Last week, many of you voted for the 2016 Youth Fiction Writing Contest theme through our website and social media. We are excited to announce the 2016  Youth Fiction Writing Contest theme is Note to Self. So what are you waiting for? Enter today! Entries will be accepted until July 1, 2016. Hosted […]

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Tomás Rivera Book Award 2016 Winners

The Texas Book Festival team is proud to recognize this year’s winners of the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award!   Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh received the award for works written for younger children. This book celebrates the life and work Guadalupe Posada, the man who […]

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Read Texas: Blood Meridian

Listed among the TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005, Cormac McCarthy’s novel Blood Meridian is widely considered McCarthy’s best work and possibly one of the greatest novels of all time. Blood Meridian tells the story of a runaway boy who finds himself in the midst of the Glanton Gang, a group of scalp-hunters […]

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Read Texas: The Son

Published in 2013, The Son makes a more recent addition to the world of Texas literature. This novel followed Meyer’s acclaimed American Rust as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for fiction, and is widely regarded as one of the best historical novels to be written this century. It is considered among the ranks of other Great […]

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Vote for the 2016 Youth Fiction Writing Contest Theme!

We know a lot of people are hitting you up for votes this year, but this vote will be the easiest vote you cast! Help the Texas Book Festival pick the theme for the 2016 Youth Fiction Writing Contest. Cast your vote by Sunday, March 27th. The winning theme will be announced Monday, March 28th. Hosted […]

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Rolling Out the Big Red Carpet for Authors

On March 3-4, 2016 nine incredible authors visited the Rio Grande Valley with the Texas Book Festival to take part in the Reading Rock Stars program. The Reading Rock Stars program brings authors and illustrators to Title I elementary schools. Following the author/illustrator presentation, each child receives an autographed copy of their book, purchased by the Texas […]

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Read Texas: Texas

  In honor of Texas History Month, Texas Book Festival staff and interns are highlighting iconic tomes of Texas literature in March. What are your favorite books that chronicle and celebrate the life and history of our Lone Star State? Tell us in the comments. We love to #ReadTexas all year long!    It doesn’t get […]

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TBF Staff Celebrates Women’s History Month

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Texas Book Festival staff reflects on their favorite women authors, and the stories and poems that made an impact on their literary lives. Julie Wernersbach, Literary Director : “Amy Hempel. Amy Hempel. Amy Hempel. I’ve read her Collected Stories more times than I can count. She can pack extraordinary power […]

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Black History Month: Literary Representation of the LGBTQ Community

Continuing our honoring of Black History Month, this week we’d like to feature two Festival authors doing more to shed light on the joys, pride, and struggles of those in the gay community. These works show the reader the confusion and difficulties that one can go through on their journey in self discovery, no matter their age. […]

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Gearing Up for Amplify Austin!

Amplify Austin campaign is an annual, city-wide celebration of local nonprofits and online giving in the Austin community. On March 8-9, you can support a lifetime of literacy with the Texas Book Festival by helping us reach our goal of $15,000 for Reading Rock Stars. The Herbert Simon Family Foundation will match every dollar up to […]

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Representation in the Young Adult Genre

This week, in recognition of Black History Month, the Texas Book Festival turns its attention to three 2015 Festival featured authors. These authors are bringing diversity and representation to Young Adult literature. Their novels center on the lives of young black men and women in the throes of adolescence, navigating the difficulties of school, family, love, […]

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Highlighting Festival Poets for Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, we would like to feature the work of several 2015 Festival poets. These incredibly talented authors work across a variety of mediums (please check out Rachel Eliza Griffiths’ photography!) and have received national awards and critical acclaim. They hail from all over the country, and we were very lucky […]

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Texas Book Festival Announces New Literary Director

We are very excited to announce the Texas Book Festival has named a new literary director! Julie Wernersbach, who served as marketing director for BookPeople for the past five years, will start her new job as the Festival’s literary director later this month. At BookPeople, Wernersbach plans more than 300 author events each year and oversees […]

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Interview with Chris Barton and Don Tate

February is Black History Month. Honor it with two incredible titles by 2015 Texas Book Festival featured authors Chris Barton and Don Tate. The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton examines the life of a former slave, turned U.S. congressman, John Roy Lynch. Lynch was one of the first African-American congressmen. This book also gives […]

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Literary Lunch with Stephen Harrigan

Join us on Friday, February 26 at 11:15 am for Literary Lunch with Stephen Harrigan Westwood Country Club (3808 W 35th, Austin, TX 78703) 11:15 am Registration & Book Sales 11:45 am Lunch 12:15 pm Presentation 12:45 Book Signing Menu for the day is Pan Seared Rainbow Trout Amandine with Wild Rice and Sautéed Haricot […]

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Enhance Your Library

Last year 34 libraries received more than $75,000 in grant support from the Texas Book Festival. Here’s a little snippet on how those funds were used and how five libraries enhanced their collections. The 2015-2016 cycle is open and applications must be post-marked by February 5th, 2016. Apply now!   1. Hutchinson County Library purchased 184 children’s books for their […]

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Reading Resolutions

  We asked some of our TBF Volunteer Chairs what, if any, reading resolutions they made for 2016. Will they read a book a week? Finally finish Moby Dick? Make their way through the classics? Vow to stop falling asleep the minute they open a book in bed? Let’s find out:   Brucette Beitz, Children’s Book Signing Tent […]

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TBF 2015 Award Winners

We were so happy to see a number of books featured at the 2014 and 2015 Texas Book Festival be recognized for their achievements. There were National Book Awards finalists, a Newbury Award winner, a Man Booker Prize winner, plenty of National Books Critics Circle finalists, and more. Below is the complete list. Congratulations to you all!   […]

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2016 Festival Dates!

Mark your calendars, the annual Festival will be held November 5 & 6, 2016 in Austin, Texas. We will update details on our website as we get closer. To stay up to date with news and announcements, join our email list. Details for submitting a book for consideration can be found here. Financial support for […]

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Reading Rock Stars Houston Recap

The Texas Book Festival kicked off the holiday season by giving more than  1,800 shiny, brand new books to kids through the Reading Rock Stars program! In one very meaningful day, eight authors presented their books to students in three Title I schools in Houston. Each child left with an autographed book by that author/illustrator.  See […]

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2015 Reading Rock Stars Authors Houston

The Texas Book Festival brings books to life for young readers through Reading Rock Stars, a dynamic program in which selected authors from across the country are invited to present their works to students in economically disadvantaged public schools. At the end of the presentations, each child receives an autographed copy of the book, and […]

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Poets & Writers Live is Coming to Austin

Start the New Year with a renewed commitment to your writing! Join Poets & Writers Live on Saturday, January 9 at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, for a day of creativity, community, and inspiration. The event will feature readings, craft talks, advice panels, Q&As, and some inspiring surprises. Featured writers will include: […]

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Dinner Lab with Magnus Nilsson

Acclaimed Swedish Chef Magnus Nilsson (of Faviken) will be coming to Austin to promote the release of The Nordic Cookbook on Wednesday November 18. Nilsson spent three years traveling around all seven Nordic countries compiling traditional home cooking recipes and the result is this comprehensive volume of over 700 recipes. The most detailed accounting of […]

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