2018 Festival Friends Pass Sessions

Announcing our 2018 Festival Friends Pass sessions!

If you have a Festival Friends Pass, you’ll enjoy priority access to seating and to signing lines for the below sessions at this year’s Texas Book Festival. If you don’t have a Festival Friends Pass, you can become a Festival Friend right now! 

The Texas Book Festival brings culture, art, and literature to Texas for free thanks to generous donors, and as the 2018 Texas Book Festival approaches, we are once again asking for your support. Become a 2018 Festival Friend by donating $100 or more, and you’ll make a crucial difference in our communities by helping us keep arts and culture accessible for readers in Austin and across Texas.

We thank all our Festival Friends donors with a Festival Friends Pass, which will allow you and a friend priority access to the following select Festival sessions and signings. The full Festival schedule, including timing and location details for these sessions, will be announced at the end of September.

Become a Festival Friend today!

Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros’ awards include NEA fellowships in poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur fellowship award, the PEN center USA Literary Award, a National Medal of the Arts, and the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship. The House on Mango Street has sold over six million copies and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the country. Her latest books are A House of My Own: Stories From My Life, and Puro Amor, a dual language novel edited by the author. Founder of awards and foundations that serve writers, Cisneros is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico and earns her living by her pen.

Susan Orlean

Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including Rin Tin TinSaturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award–winning film Adaptation. She lives with her family and her animals in upstate New York and may be reached at SusanOrlean.com and Twitter.com/SusanOrlean.

Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly is a former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, a retired astronaut, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. A veteran of four space flights, Kelly commanded the International Space Station (ISS) on three expeditions and was a member of the yearlong mission to the ISS. During the Year in Space mission, he set records for the total accumulated number of days spent in space and for the single longest space mission by an American astronaut. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Julián Castro

Julián Castro is an American Democratic politician who served as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017. Castro served as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas from 2009 to 2014 and was selected at the keynote speaker at the 2012 Democratic Convention.

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. She received the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and Children’s Literature Legacy Award. Her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, won the National Book Award, as well as the Coretta Scott King Award, Newbery Honor Award, and NAACP Image Award. Her adult book, Another Brooklyn, was a National Book Award finalist, and her many books for young readers include Newbery Honor winners FeathersShow Way, and After Tupac and D Foster, and the picture book Each Kindness, which won the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. She lives in Brooklyn.


Celeste Ng and Fatima Farheen Mirza

Celeste Ng is the author of The New York Times bestselling novels Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere. Her writing has been awarded the Pushcart Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, among other honors. She earned an MFA from the University of Michigan and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To learn more about her, visit celesteng.com or follow her on Twitter (@pronounced_ing).


Fatima Farheen Mirza was born in 1991 and raised in California. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship.

Tayari Jones

New York Times best-selling author, Tayari Jones, is the author of Leaving AtlantaThe UntellingSilver Sparrow, and An American Marriage . Her writing has appeared in Tin HouseThe BelieverThe New York Times, and Callaloo. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship, and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Silver Sparrow was added to the NEA Big Read Library of classics in 2016. Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is a Professor of Creative Writing at Emory University.

Randal Ford

Randal Ford’s works have appeared on the cover of TimeTexas Monthly, and Communication Arts, the advertising industry’s most prestigious publication. Among other accolades, his animal photographs were awarded first place and best of show in the fine art category in the prestigious International Photo Awards competition in 2017.

Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley is the author of more than fifty critically-acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into twenty-five languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. In 2013, he was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame, and he is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, a Grammy, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.

Steven Weinberg

Steven Weinberg won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his theory unifying two forces of nature, laying the foundation for the Standard Model of subatomic physics. His other awards include the National Medal of Science, the Lewis Thomas Award for the Scientist as Poet, and eighteen honorary degrees. Among Weinberg’s books are the classic The First Three Minutes and most recently, To Explain the World. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, and teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.

H.W. Brands

H. W. Brands holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin. He has written a dozen biographies and histories for Doubleday, two of which, The First American and Traitor to His Class, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in biography. The General vs. the President was a New York Times bestseller.

Sneak Peak of 2019



Be the first to hear from Elizabeth McCracken, Esmé Weijun Wang, and a third yet-to-be-announced author about their highly anticipated forthcoming books, and get an insight into some of the most exciting books of 2019!

Become a Festival Friend today!