Meet TBF’s New Board Chair and Members

Texas Book Festival is thrilled to announce Gigi Edwards Bryant as Board Chair and four new members to our Board of Directors. Join us in welcoming Peniel JosephAmanda MooreKatie Russell Newland, and Steve Stodghill. Our Board of Directors plays a crucial role in advancing the TBF’s strategic vision and mission, overseeing our financial resources and ensuring the sustainability and vitality of our programs. We are also grateful to acknowledge other officers serving on our Board of Directors in 2023: Nana G.H. Smith, Vice Chair; Darryl Tocker, Treasurer; Michelle Diggs, Secretary; and Darren Woody, Executive Member at Large.

Gigi Edwards Bryant, a Board member since 2014, will succeed Anna Near as Board Chair. Bryant, a fifth-generation Austinite, is focused on moving the mission and vision of the Texas Book Festival forward with the committed advocates serving on the Board of Directors.

“Books gave me the opportunity to see the world from a small table in the library,” says Bryant. “Turning each page opened a new adventure. We must do all we can to get books in the hands of children and adult readers.”

After more than three decades in Information Systems for the State Legislature Council, Parks and Wildlife and the Comptroller of Public Accounts, Bryant founded GMSA Management Services in 1993, building it into an award-winning, woman- and minority-owned consulting firm focused on business development, community outreach, and lobbying. She closed the firm in 2022 to focus on projects that advance systemic changes related to education, youth in the foster care system, and drug and alcohol drug rehabilitation.

Bryant has served in multiple gubernatorial appointments and received numerous awards and honors for her community service including Chair of the Department of Family Protective Services, the School Safety Center, and the Austin Community College District (ACCD), where she currently serves as a Trustee. She is President and CEO of the Write To Me Foundation, which she founded in 2004 to provide rite-to-passage experiences to youth who are in or have experienced the foster care system, a cause about which Bryant is very passionate after entering the system at age six and aging out at age eighteen.

Service organizations include the Austin Chapter of the Links Incorporated and the Douglass Club of Austin, two of the oldest African American Women’s groups in the nation. Her greatest honor is being a mother, wife, and advocate for equitable access for the most vulnerable populations and communities.

Peniel Joseph holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. He is the founding director of the LBJ School’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD). Prior to joining the UT faculty, Dr. Joseph was a professor at Tufts University, where he founded the school’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy to promote engaged research and scholarship focused on the ways issues of race and democracy affect people’s lives. A frequent commentator on issues of race, democracy, and civil rights, Dr. Joseph has also published numerous books, including The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and the award-winning books Waiting ‘Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America and Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama.

Amanda Moore is from Temple, Texas, and has resided in Austin for 20 years. She attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish. She received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Moore is a writer, attorney, and book reviewer. Her short story, “The Corner Man,” received the highest award in a statewide short story competition sponsored by the Texas Bar Journal. Moore is proud to support the Writers’ League of Texas, where she serves as a board member. She frequently contributes book reviews for Publishers Weekly and interviews fiction and nonfiction authors for the Diverse Voices Book Review. Moore works as the General Counsel and Director of Legal Services at the Texas State Teachers Association where she represents employees at Texas public schools, colleges, and universities. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas School Law section, where she served on the Executive Committee for three years, and has been on the planning committee for the University of Texas School Law Conference since 2015. In 2021, Moore was recognized as an Up & Coming Lawyer by the Austin Black Business Journal. She was also selected as an honoree for her work as an attorney by the National Women of Achievement, Inc., Austin Metroplex Chapter. She is a member of the Austin Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, and the Austin Black Lawyers Association.

Katie Russell Newland is an Austin, Texas-based writer with a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a sports and games fanatic enchanted by travel. Katie’s debut book, A Season With Mom: Love, Loss, and the Ultimate Baseball Adventure, tells the story of her journey to visit all 30 Major League Baseball parks in a single season to fulfill her late mother’s dream and to heal from her own cancer treatment. In her latest book, she crisscrosses North America in search of Pickleball’s quirky characters and unforgettable places. As a certified PPR Professional, Katie loves playing the game almost as much as introducing new converts to the popular paddle sport. On any given day, you can find Katie with her adopted pup, Charlie, watching her favorite teams play (New Orleans Saints, Chicago Cubs, and Texas Longhorns), reading and writing kid-lit, or begging her teammates on the pickleball court, “One more game!”

Steve Stodghill is a litigation partner in the firm’s Dallas office, where he serves as a hiring partner, head of office business development and also serves on the firm’s compensation committee. His practice emphasizes all aspects of complex litigation. Stodghill served as Team Counsel for the Dallas Mavericks from 2000 to 2002. He was a Founding Partner at Lynn, Stodghill, Melsheimer & Tillotson (which the Texas Monthly described in a 1998 article “Top Guns” as the “Navy Seals” of litigation), working with the firm from 1993 to 2000. He also served as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Ralph M. Hall in 1985, as an associate with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld from 1987 to 1993, and as a Partner at Fish & Richardson from 2000 to 2017.
In addition to being chief litigation counsel to Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks for over 20 years, Stodghill has represented numerous prominent individuals, including Todd Wagner, Tom Hicks, Lamar Hunt, Trammell Crow and Phil Romano, and prominent companies, including Yahoo!, Bank One, Zurich Financial, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Alcatel, and Guaranty Federal Bank. Stodghill has traveled to 88 countries on all 7 continents. In September 2019, Governor Greg Abbott appointed him to the Texas Public Safety Commission for a term running through January 1, 2024.

We are proud to have exceptionally hands-on Board members. From lending a hand in our Reading Rock Stars classrooms to moderating sessions at the Festival to reviewing grant applications and much more, our Board is a big part of what makes the Texas Book Festival the successful, far-reaching organization that it is. These new members each bring an impressive array of talents and rich experience to our Board, and we look forward to working with them in the coming years.

Meet Our Board

Hannah Gabel

Hannah joined the Texas Book Festival as the Literary Director in 2023. She holds a double bachelor’s degree from Boston University in Advertising and History. Hannah has spent the majority of her professional career in corporate event management, marketing, and design. A native Austinite, she previously directed events and marketing strategy at The Real Estate Council of Austin (RECA) and Stream Realty Partners. Prior to joining TBF, Hannah founded HLG Creative, a freelance graphic design and marketing agency, where she worked with a variety of clients on everything from logos and branding to website design and content creation. She is also the founder of the book blog and social community, Bookmarkparty, which has enabled her to connect with authors, publishers, and fellow book lovers around the world.

Announcing: 2023 Festival Dates!

We’re excited to announce the 2023 Texas Book Festival will take place on November 11 and 12. We look forward to once again bringing together authors and readers to celebrate books and reading.

Sign up for our email newsletter and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to stay up to date with 2023 Texas Book Festival news.

Submissions for the 2023 Texas Book Festival are now closed. If you have any questions, send us an email at

2023 Texas Library Grants

Libraries across Texas can now apply for a 2023 grant to help expand their library collections and share the diversity and breadth of literature with their communities.

These Texas Book Festival Collections Enhancement Grants are made possible by funds raised at the annual Festival and through TBF’s generous donors. Since 1996, the organization has funded 1,169 grants totaling over $3 million to 600+ libraries in every corner of the state. Read more here to see which Texas libraries received grants in 2022.

The application submission deadline is Wednesday, April 26.

Visit our library grants page for more information.

Black History Month Reads

Black History Month gives us an opportunity to highlight writing by Black authors that can be read and reread throughout the year. It is a reminder to engage in stories, essays, and poems that celebrate Black excellence and joy and provide historical context and perspectives that were likely left out of many of our classroom lessons growing up.

Check out our recommended reads for Black History Month and help us keep the conversation and reading going all year long by sharing your favorite books and authors on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Zong! by M. NourbeSe Philip

Zong! is a haunting, book-length experimental poem about the horrific legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 18th century. This work of art offers harrowing testimony about the massacre of 130 enslaved Africans on an ill-fated slave ship. This book was recommended to me by the poet Roger Reeves (I would read anything by Roger and any books he recommends). – Dalia Azim, Deputy Director

Americanah: A Novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I’m about halfway through Americanah, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a masterpiece of cultural exploration. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells the story of Ifemelu and Obinze as they grow up and fall in love in Nigeria, and how their lives and relationships change when they move west. Adichie’s characters are constantly redefining their definitions of what it means to be Black as the cultures and people they are surrounded by alter their perceptions of the world, and themselves. Just as you start settling in with the characters in one setting, they’re pushed in another direction, adding another lens to the Black experience. – Olivia Hesse, Event Production & Logistics Coordinator

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

Jas Hammonds’ debut novel is a captivating story of family drama, trauma, and healing. It’s a story of young love and belonging. It’s a story of a small town and its racist history. Hammonds weaves and layers all of this together so beautifully. And, for my fellow audiobook fans, this is one of the best I’ve ever listened to. – Michelle Hernandez, School & Community Programs Manager

Sankofa: A Novel by Chibundu Onuzo

A mid-life discovery that her biological father is the retired dictator of a small African Nation sets Anna Graham searching for who she is. After a life lived as a biracial woman in predominantly suburban white communities, much has been missing. This evocative novel spans 1970s London to the modern-day fictional country of Bamana where Anna comes to face the man and the inheritance. – Susannah Auby, Development Director

Shuri Vol. 1: The Search For Black Panther

written by Nnedi Okorafor
illustrated by Samuel Spratt (cover), Leonardo Romero

After seeing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in theaters last year, I wanted to dive deeper into Shuri’s story and spend more time in Wakanda. Shuri, the genius younger sister of T’Challa, the Black Panther and King of Wakanda, leads the film in his absence. Without spoiling the film, it is an introduction to a more introspective Shuri who begins her journey in healing and leveling up. After the end credits (and end credits scenes – because we’re talking about Marvel here), the idea of having to wait until the next sequel to see where her journey leads did not sound like fun.

My eagerness and curiosity led me to the Shuri comic book series by award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor. I recommend that you start with the first volume, but make room on your shelves as you will find yourself wanting to continue to traverse across Africa with Shuri and co. Okorafor’s writing is imaginative and quick-witted and the art is vibrant and elegant, from volume to volume. – Ke’ara Hunt, Communications & Marketing Coordinator

The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull

For fans of Octavia E. Butler and other literary sci-fi authors, The Lesson is a thought-provoking story addressing the impact of colonialism through the arrival of an alien ship in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In keeping with Turnbull’s other work, The Lesson presents a cast of complex characters, vibrant worldbuilding, and a spellbinding story that keeps you hooked until the final page. While most of the story is set five years after the arrival of the Ynaa, flashbacks bring the reader back into Caribbean colonial history, presenting haunting parallels from the past to the present. – Anna Dolliver, Operations Coordinator

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin &
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

During his recent conversation at the Long Center on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Ta-Nehisi Coates reflected on the personal importance to him of James Baldwin, calling out The Fire Next Time as having an especially profound effect on him. Indeed, Coates’ multiple-award-winning book, Between the World and Me, constructed as a letter to his son, is very much in conversation with Baldwin’s essay to his nephew in The Fire Next Time. As Americans continue to grapple with the impact of slavery and systemic racism, Baldwin and Coates provide insightful, intimate, and intellectually rigorous perspectives and context for conversations around race in America today. – Lois Kim, Executive Director

Public Screenings: TURN EVERY PAGE at AFS Cinema

Texas Book Festival is excited to partner with the LBJ Presidential Library and Austin Film Society to present screenings for Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb.

Screening info:

A documentary about the remarkable fifty-year relationship between two literary legends, writer Robert Caro and his longtime editor Robert Gottlieb. Now 86, Caro is working to complete the final volume of his masterwork, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson”; Gottlieb, 90, waits to edit it. The task of finishing their life’s work looms before them. Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb is an intimate look into artistry, mortality, antagonism, and the transformative power of creative collaboration.

Location: AFS Cinema, 6406 N I-35 Suite 3100 Austin, TX, 78752

Watch the trailer.

Check out upcoming showtimes and get your tickets.


Celebrating MLK Day

To celebrate the life, leadership, and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 15, I would like to recommend some contemporary reads that have allowed me to reflect on Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” message and their impact then, today, and tomorrow. I encourage everyone, from all ages and backgrounds, to remember not only Dr. King’s words and courage in his fight for civil rights and justice but to allow his wisdom to inspire your own storytelling. 

The work of these writers showcases some of the progress in racial equality and community engagement and will hopefully remind and renew this purpose for more generations to come. There are patterns and connective tissue between these writers, picking up the fight against injustice where Dr. King left off. 

Check out the list below.

Ke’ara Hunt, Communications & Marketing Coordinator

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-cullors and Asha Bandele

This memoir is honest, and blunt, and will hopefully inspire you to take a look at the world around you through the lens of a Black woman living in a nation where Black lives are under attack, decades after the Civil Rights Movement. Turn on the news and look outside your window to get a glimpse of this worldview.

Citizen by Claudia Rankine

Rankine’s words are arresting and they inscribe a profound sense of urgency.  The poems and essays challenge expectation versus reality when it comes to racism in daily life. From how you walk, talk, dress, work, and think – racism is like a constant tap on the shoulder causing stress on your state of being. This is definitely a carry-it-with-you-at-all-times type of book.

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

I had to close and put this book down a few times before I mustered the courage to finish it. The constant fight against injustice, racism, and civil unrest in a world that seems to stand firm against progress can bring about an overwhelming sense of hopelessness.  I do believe that Adjei-Brenyah outlines a map toward hope, but there is a lot to unpack and feel before getting there.

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Martin Luther King, Jr.

I wanted to end this list with a book penned by Dr. King himself. The book serves as a roadmap of Dr. King’s goals and plans to attain a better tomorrow in America. These aspirations focus on better education, an improved workforce and pay scale, and safe and quality housing. His words have indeed transcended time, but it is a shame that these issues still impact our society today – along with medical care and state governance. I know, hot topics.

The cadence of our journey toward an improved quality of life has been steady but these reads will make you want to ramp things up a notch.

New Year, New Stories

Happy 2023! It’s an exciting new chapter to discover and celebrate more stories. Want to stay in the loop about TBF news? Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media: FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Want to relive the 2022 Texas Book Festival or watch a session that you missed? Videos of several sessions are now available on our YouTube channel. Subscribe today to enjoy more sessions as they are added.

Stay tuned for the latest information about our programs and upcoming events.

(Re)Watch Texas Book Festival Panels

At the Texas Book Festival, we are committed to providing free and accessible programming to book lovers near and far during the annual Festival and throughout the year. You can hear from your favorite authors while relaxing over the holidays or when you’re on the go.

Want to relive the 2022 Texas Book Festival or watch a session that you missed? TBF has uploaded videos of several recent sessions to our YouTube page that are now available for you to enjoy.

There is something for everyone among the latest additions to our growing digital archive. Recorded sessions include:

Check back on our YouTube page to find more sessions as they are added.