Lit Blog

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Grant Spotlight: The George Washington Carver Library

It’s time for the next edition of Grant Spotlight: Library Style. The George Washington Carver Library has been chosen as one of this year’s grant-winners, and is another great example of the ways in which libraries across Texas promote literacy. The Carver Branch of the Austin Public Library holds a unique place in Austin’s history. Originally established in […]

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Austin Writers Sarah Bird and Natalia Sylvester Share Summer Reading Ideas

Natalia Sylvester I’ve been told I like sad books, but I like to think of them as beautiful stories about the depths of the human spirit. The latest of this type of book that has me mesmerized is Jessica Null Vealitzek’s debut novel, The Rooms Are Filled. Set in the 80s, it’s the story of […]

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Are you a Texas Book Festival expert?

Test your knowledge of the Texas Book Festival with this fun trivia challenge. It’s harder than you think, so don’t feel bad if you only know a handful of the answers—you may learn something new! Who were the founders of the Texas Book Festival? Can you name three headliners from the 2013 Festival? What is […]

For the Family Most Visited
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Father’s Day Book Recommendations

Depending on what kind of dad you’re shopping for this week (REMINDER: Father’s Day is this Sunday!), we’ve got a few different recommendations for your list. If you want more ideas tweet at @texasbookfest using #fathersdaybooks For the new dad: How about a book that perfectly captures the nightly struggle for dad’s everywhere in a nice […]

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Shop for a Cause – June 21 & 22

 Thanks for coming out and shopping for our cause! June 21st and 22nd Starling Eyewear donated 15% of all sales made at their pop-up trailer at The Domain Austin (near Sur La Table) to the Texas Book Festival’s Reading Rock Stars  signature literacy program. Starling Eyewear, a stylish line of readers, sun readers and sunglasses founded by husband-and-wife duo […]

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Your Favorite Authors Suggest Summer Reading Titles

J. Courtney Sullivan Love, Nina: Last summer, while on book tour, I took along an early copy of Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe. It’s a collection of letters that the author wrote to her sister while working as a nanny in London in the eighties. I was interested mainly because I myself was a nanny in London […]

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Elizabeth Crook on Writing, Research, and the Infamous UT Tower Shooting

Elizabeth Crook, Austin novelist, sat down with our literary director Steph Opitz to discuss her latest novel.  Monday Monday is the story of the impact  that a tragic event can have on a person, how it can bond and severe, heal and scar. SO: Where did this book start? You’ve mentioned that it wasn’t until you read Pamela Colloff’s […]

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Grant Spotlight: Kirbyville Public Library

The Kirbyville Public Library, one of the 19 amazing libraries we awarded grants to this year, is a shining example of the small, yet immensely important improvements libraries across Texas are able to make with our funds. Kirbyville, Texas is a mid-size city, situated 41 miles north of Beaumont and 107 miles northeast of Houston. We awarded the Kirbyville Public Library a collections enhancement grant of $2,338.67 […]

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What Your Child Should Read this Week

Celebrating its 95th year on May 12-18, Children’s Book Week is one of the longest-running literacy initiatives in the United States. Children’s Book Week is administered by the organization Every Child a Reader and sponsored by the Children’s Book Council. Check out celebrations near you. Don’t have time to attend an event? No problem!  Engage […]

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Take Our Survey!

We want your take on our annual Festival! Answer our survey, and help us continue to improve your Texas Book Festival experience.  

Festival News Most Visited
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With back-to-back festivals, books are bigger in Texas!

Texas Book Festival, Oct. 25-26 Texas Teen Book Festival, Oct. 18   The Texas Book Festival will be held Oct. 25 and 26 in 2014, and for the first time, will be “bookended” by the newly-named Texas Teen Book Festival on Oct. 18.     The Texas Teen Book Festival is one of the largest of […]

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The Boy Made of Lightning Presentation by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez

The Boy Made of Lightning Presentation by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez, May 9 at 6:30 at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Culture Center. May 9 was Willie Velasquez Day! In honor of this civil rights hero, the Texas Book Festival was proud to co-sponsor a free presentation of Barbara Renaud Gonzalez’s interactive children’s book with […]

For the Family News and Events
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June 2 Fiction Contest Deadline: Why You Should Submit RIGHT NOW

  Each year the Texas Book Festival holds an annual Youth Fiction Contest open to grades 7-12. This year the theme for the contest is “The People Our Parents Warned Us About.” Why should you submit your story right now? 1) You could win a cash prize! First place winners receive $250, second place winners […]

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Well, ok,  it’s really just one IDEA.   If you’re searching for a book to get your mom or a mom this Mother’s Day, Bossypants is everything you’re looking for in one man-handed cover for the following reasons: 1. A hilariously perceptive collection of essays by a comrade and veteran in the  should-I-breast-feed and did-a-babysitter-just-clip-my-child’s-nails-too-short and […]

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Elizabeth Crook at Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

Who: Elizabeth Crook in conversation with Tim Staley Where: Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 Congress Ave. When:  Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. The Texas Book Festival in partnership with the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation celebrated the publication of Elizabeth Crook’s newest novel Monday Monday, this year’s Mayor’s Book Club selection. Mayor Leffingwell […]

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Día de los niños

On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, the Texas Book Festival and KLRU celebrated El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) at the Thinkery from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The day, also known as Día, is a nationally celebrated initiative that celebrates children’s literature and diversity in language and culture. The initiative was originally implemented in […]

For the Family
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Way Behind the Music

On Thursday, April 24 the Texas Book Festival and Lit Crawl Austin hosted Way Behind the Music at The North Door. Lit Crawl Austin added a major dose of humor to its offerings this year with a benefit performance of the comedy show “Way Behind the Music.” Lit Crawl Austin is produced in partnership with San […]

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Texas Book Festival Announces Library Grant Recipients

  Executive Director Lois Kim announced the Texas Book Festival library grant recipients on April 11, 2014 at the TLA conference in San Antonio. This year the Texas Book Festival granted $60,225 to Texas public libraries, for a total of over $2.6 million given since the program’s inception. Grants are given in three categories: Collection […]

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Roger Reeves, In Honor of Poetry Month

Editor’s Note: To kick off poetry month, Roger Reeves reflected on his panel at the 2013 Texas Book Festival.   The Tribe When I was a younger poet overly worried about audience and thus vocalizing this worry to everyone within earshot, an older poet said these very simple words to me: the work will always […]

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e.E. Charlton-Trujillo Writes to Fiction Contest Participants

  The Texas Book Festival featured author e.E. Charlton-Trujillo knows the healing power of putting pen to paper. We asked her what she would say to our Fiction Contest participants or those thinking of entering the contest. Here’s what she wrote: My first story was scribbled out in Crayola orange on wide-ruled paper when I […]

Author Interviews News and Events
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Recap: Reading Rock Stars Rio Grande Valley

Reading Rock Stars in the Rio Grande Valley was a huge success this year. In one school, children made puppets of rabbits and coyotes (Duncan Tonatiuh’s Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote). In another, halls were decorated with children’s art and writing projects tied to the authors’ books, brightly displaying everything from photos of 4th and 5th graders cracking […]

For the Family News and Events
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LUCHA LIBRO!

Two Writers, Six Challenges, One Victor! Manuel Gonzales and Owen Egerton will battle head-to-head, mano-a-mano, in a test of words. Come celebrate the paperback releases of THE MINIATURE WIFE and HOW BEST TO AVOID DYING and help determine who is the best–no, really, the absolute BEST–short story writer in Austin. Well. The best of these two short story […]

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A Reading and Conversation with Philipp Meyer and Kevin Powers

A Reading and Conversation with Philipp Meyer and Kevin Powers, April 8 at Stateside at the Paramount. Join us for an evening with two of the hottest authors on the literary scene today— Philipp Meyer, author of novels American Rust and The Son, and Kevin Powers, author of the novel The Yellow Birds and the forthcoming poetry collection Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting. Both […]

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Hinojosa-Smith, Rolando 2010 (Photo by Marsha Miller)

Congratulations Rolando Hinojosa-Smith!

National Book Critics Circle’s Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement   The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to congratulate Rolando Hinojosa-Smith on winning the National Book Critics Circle’s Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement, which recognizes his significant contributions to book culture. Hinojosa-Smith chronicles the struggles, joys, and strangeness of life in the Rio Grande Valley through short stories, novels, […]

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Reading Rock Stars Expanding to Houston

The Texas Book Festival is happy to announce the expansion of our Reading Rock Stars literacy outreach program to Houston! The Texas Book Festival supplies author visits and brand-new books for students!  Title-I elementary schools are eligible to apply. For more information about the program visit our Reading Rock Stars page.   Applications are now […]

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Amy Sedaris Giveaway

Win tickets to Amy Sedaris at The Paramount

We’re excited to announce that we will be giving away two free tickets for one lucky winner and a guest to see Amy Sedaris at The Paramount on March 28. How to enter to win: Tell us the name of your favorite female comedian with a new book out in the past year in a Tweet, […]

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What I’m Reading: Jesse Gainer, Director, Rivera Children’s Book Award

I am currently reading Tino Villanueva’s, So Spoke Penelope. I heard him read a few of the poems when I was visiting Boston and I loved the idea of a whole book of poems relating the story of Penelope of Ithaca from her perspective during those 20 years Odysseus was absent from home. It’s about endurance and […]

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Amplify Reading Rock Stars, March 20-21!

Amplify Reading Rock Stars, March 20-21! Thank you for helping us raise more than $23,000 for our Reading Rock Stars literacy program! Through this dynamic program, students in economically-disadvantaged public schools interact with beloved children’s authors from across the country.   The Texas Book Festival ran Reading Rock Stars in six schools and impacted the lives […]

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Texas Book Festival 2013

Meet Our March Reading Rock Stars Authors

On March 20th and 21st authors from across the country will present their work to students in economically-disadvantaged schools in the Edinburg, McAllen, and Mission districts of the Rio Grande Valley, with generous support from major sponsor Target. At the end of the presentations, each child will receive an autographed copy of the author’s book, […]

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Pura Belpré Awards

The Association for Library Service to Children recently recognized several Texas Book Festival authors/illustrators with the 2014 Pura Belpré  awards and honors.   Author and illustrator Yuyi Morales received the 2014 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award for her book Niño Wrestles the World, which was featured in 2013 at the Festival and in the Reading Rock Stars […]

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TBF Indies FINAL

TBF <3s Indies

 Texas Book Festival Celebrates Austin’s independent publishers.    On Thursday, February 20th, attendees enjoyed discounted drink specials, literary swag, and raffle prizes at the TBF hosted party at Cheer Up Charlie’s.  The new Cheer Up Charlie’s location was the perfect setting for local indies including A Strange Object, Unstuck Books, The Austin Review, Write Bloody Publishing, American Short Fiction, Foxing Quarterly,fields,and Slagdrop […]

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Defining The Struggle: Past, Present, and Future of Civil Rights

Defining The Struggle: Past, Present, and Future of Civil Rights  Saturday, February 22 6:30- 8:30 p.m. George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina St.   While the common narrative of the civil rights movement is centered around the NAACP and the National Urban League, Susan D. Carle’s Defining the Struggle is a ground-breaking history that focuses rather […]

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All Aboard the Award Train!

The Texas Book Festival Celebrates the well-deserved win of our featured Festival and Reading Rock Star author/illustrator Brian Floca. Festival fans showed up in masses for his events at the 2013 Festival and our Reading Rock Star kids enjoyed his visit to their school. The Association for Library Service to Children named Brian Floca recipient […]

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Win free passes to STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo

Texas Book Festival is excited to announce that we will be giving away 12 free two-day passes to STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo, the premier indie comics convention in the southwest, March 1- 2 at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre in Austin.  How to enter to win a pass: Tell us your favorite Texas Book Festival memory […]

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Aspiring creative writer? Enter our Youth Fiction Contest!

Fiction Contest Theme 2014: “The People Our Parents Warned Us About”   The theme was selected by Texas Book Festival Fans on Facebook, who voted “The People Our Parents Warned Us About” as their favorite of four choices. The Fiction Writing Contest encourages and rewards creative writing in Texas schools. Junior and high school Texas […]

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James Magnuson talks: dirt, death, and the MFA.

James Magnuson, the director of the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas, sat down with our literary director Steph Opitz to discuss his new novel Famous Writers I Have Known (W. W. Norton & Company, January 2014). Frankie Abandonato, while dodging a run in with the mob, attempts to pull off his biggest […]

Author Interviews News and Events
Texas Book Festival 2013

Shopping for a Cause

Starling Eyewear Sample Sale raises $900 for Reading Rock Stars! On Saturday January 18th and January 25th, Starling Eyewear hosted a sample sale at their pop-up trailer at The Domain Austin. Starling donated 15% of ALL sales to the Texas Book Festival’s Reading Rock Stars program, raising $900 for the TBF’s signature literacy program. We want to thank everyone who […]

For the Family News and Events
New Year's Reading

New Year’s Reading Resolutions

It’s no secret that we all love books here at the Texas Book Festival, so in 2014, we’re pledging to become better readers. Here’s a list of five New Year’s reading resolutions that we recommend for everyone, including ourselves.  1. Recommend more books to your friends. Read something amazing? Then you should shout it from the […]

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Help us Expand Reading Rock Stars!

DONATE! The Pre-K students stood on their toes to reach the window. They peered through the glass trying to catch a glimpse. “There he is!” a child spoke above the whispers and giggles, “There’s my friend, Mr. Bob Shea!” Sporting unicorn- and goat-horned hats made in preparation for Bob Shea and his book, Unicorn Thinks […]

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What I’m Reading: Will Evans, Deep Vellum Publishing, Dallas

  Currently reading Claire Vaye Watkins’ impressive short story collection Battleborn after being blown away by her at the Texas Book Festival in her discussion with my friend Zachary Karabashliev (his novel 18% Gray rules too). These stories are breathtaking, haunting, I read a line last night right before falling asleep I don’t think I’ll ever forget, about a […]

Who's Reading What
Texas Book Festival 2013

Festival and Gala Photo Galleries!

View photos from the 2013 Texas Book Festival, First Edition Literary Gala, and Lit Crawl Austin! 2013 Festival and Gala Photo Galleries

Festival News
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National Book Awards

Festival Authors Receive National Book Awards in Fiction and Nonfiction     Last week I attended the 2013 National Book Awards. Where  a range of wonderful writing in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Young People’s Literature and Poetry were celebrated.     Quick recap of the night:    My favorite quote from the night was […]

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Festival recap from the literary director

Thank you so much for joining us at the 2013 Texas Book Festival. There were many highlights: from our sessions on the JFK assassination in the C-SPAN2/Book TV tent to James McBride performing with his band in the Music Tent then running to the Capitol for his session, to R.L. Stine at the Capitol, Chris […]

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Q: What’s black, white, and red all over?

A: The Revised Texas Book Festival Library Grants Guidelines!   Since the Texas Book Festival’s (TBF) founding in 1995, it has been a part of the TBF’s mission to promote Texas libraries and literacy. Each year, funds raised at the annual Texas Book Festival support grants that are distributed the following year. Since 1996, the […]

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Reading Rock Stars Recap

The Pre-K students stood on their toes to reach the window. They peered through the glass trying to catch a glimpse. “There he is!” a child spoke above the whispers and giggles, “There’s my friend, Mr. Bob Shea!” Sporting unicorn- and goat-horned hats they had made in preparation for for author Bob Shea and his […]

News and Events
TBA

Texas Bluebonnet Award list announced

The 2014-2015 Texas Bluebonnet Award list was announced in hilarious fashion at the Texas Book Festival by 2013 Festival authors Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett. Congratulations to all of the nominees!   For those of you who missed the hysterical announcement at the Texas Book Festival, click here to watch the video.    The entire Texas Bluebonnet […]

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Texas Book Festival 2013

Rave Reviews for Texas Book Festival 2013

As the dust settles from the excitement surrounding the 2013 Texas Book Festival, we have finally had a chance to take a breather and check out some of the recent media coverage from the big weekend.  At the risk of tooting our own horn, we are pleased to announce that this year’s Festival received rave reviews! […]

Festival News
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Family fun at the Festival!

There’s so much free fun for families at the Festival—stories read by the authors of favorite picture books, DIY craft activities, sing-a-longs, and more. Children’s and YA book authors and programming highlights include R.L. Stine, author of the famed Goosebumps series, with his new scary YA book A Midsummer’s Night Scream, Lemony Snicket (All the […]

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Literary Death Match 2013!

Always star-studded, always free, Literary Death Match (LDM) is must-see literary and comedic hijinks at its Lone Star State best. The session will feature four writers reading their own wonderful tales for seven minutes or less, judged by three all-star judges. Two finalists will be chosen to compete in the Literary Death Match finale, a […]

Festival News
Kinky Friedman at the Texas Book Festival

Sunday Texas Book Festival Music Tent Lineup!

The diverse artist showcase includes a little bit of everything, from lyrical opera to country folk and jazz and blues. Texas Book Festival’s Sunday live music lineup features the following groups: Who Do, Sun. noon The McCain Duo, Sun. 1 p.m. Sarah Fox and Joel Guzman, Sun. 2 p.m. Kinky Friedman, Sun. 3 p.m. The […]

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