RHCB Art School Live at TBF!

Random House Children’s Books invites parents, teachers, and their young artists to join bestselling illustrators and graphic novelists for an hour of non-stop fun! Learn how to draw fearless knights and superhero cats, challenge illustrators to draw something crazy, and ask them your silliest questions. Rewatch now on Crowdcast!

Practice your own artwork with this RHCB Activity Kit and Sampler!

Enter to win a RHCB Art School Swag Bag!

You could win a Random House Children’s Books prize pack! Enter by submitting an illustration/drawing/post on Instagram and using #RHCBArtSchool and tagging @RandomHouseKids and @rhkidsgraphic with permission from a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18 years old. All the rules are details are HERE!

Don’t forget to buy these books from BookPeople! 


Random House Children’s Books at the 2020 Virtual TBF!




Don’t miss RHCB Art School LIVE at the Virtual Texas Book Festival on Wednesday, November 11th at 11 AM CST!


Sign up here!

Random House Children’s Books invites parents, teachers, and their young artists to join bestselling illustrators and graphic novelists for an hour of non-stop fun! Learn how to draw fearless knights and superhero cats, challenge illustrators to draw something crazy, and ask them your silliest questions. Register now on Crowdcast!

GIVEAWAYS: All art students will receive a FREE downloadable activity pack and FREE digital sneak peek of six graphic novels for kids. All you need to do is register on Crowdcast and we’ll email all of this to you right before the event starts! You can even submit your own illustrations for a chance to win a deluxe RHCB Art School Prize Pack that includes Random House Graphic tote bags, enamel pins, coloring pencils, books, and more. School is in session and all we’re missing is…you!

Meet the Teacher Illustrators and our Host: John Gallagher (Max Meow: Cat Crusader), Lincoln F. Peirce (Max & the Midknights), Stephanie Yue (Katie the Catsitter), and Colleen VF Venable (Katie the Catsitter, moderator)

All of these awesome illustrators’ and authors’ books are available for purchase at BookPeople here! RHCB and BookPeople are teaming up to offer fun book swag with the purchase of any of the listed titles, like a lanyard, chapter sampler pack, or temporary tattoo sheet!

Download your own copy of the Random House Graphics Middle Grade Sampler here! RH Graphics Sampler

Join our Parents newsletter for age-specific book recommendations, engaging printable activities, and news about the latest children’s titles! Sign up for the Parents newsletter here!


Love Graphic Novels? Sign up for the RH Graphic newsletter to hear about the latest fantastic stories, get a behind-the-scenes peek at their creation, activities, giveaways, and more! Sign up for the RH Graphic newsletter here!


Download our free Kids Virtual Pass for fun interactive activities here! Complete 5 bookish activities and you’ll get a special prize pack from the Texas Book Festival! To download the Pass in Spanish, click here!


Learn more about our authors and illustrators!

John Gallagher is the art director of the National Wildlife Federation’s “Ranger Rick” magazine and has been drawing comics since he was five (John learned to read through comics and went on to earn the distinction of reading every book in his elementary school library!). John is also the cofounder of “Kids Love Comics” (an organization devoted to using graphic novels to promote literacy) and leads workshops teaching kids how to create their own comics. John lives in Virginia with his wife and their three kids. Visit him at MaxMeow.Com, on twitter @johnBGallagher, on facebook @MaxMeowCatCrusader and on instagram @johngallagher_cartoonist.

Lincoln Peirce is a New York Times bestselling author and cartoonist. His comic strip Big Nate appears in over 400 newspapers worldwide and online at gocomics.com/bignate. In 2010, he began a series of illustrated novels based on the strip, introducing Nate and his classmates and teachers to a new generation of young readers. In the past seven years, sixteen million Big Nate books have been sold. The New York Times bestselling Max and the Midknights originated as an unfinished spoof of sword and sorcery tales. Returning to the idea years later, Lincoln rewrote the story around Max, a ten-year-old apprentice troubadour who dreams of becoming a knight. When he is not writing or drawing, Lincoln enjoys playing ice hockey, doing crossword puzzles, and hosting a weekly radio show devoted to vintage country music. He and his wife, Jessica, have two children and live in Portland, Maine

Colleen AF Venable is the author of the National Book Award Nominated graphic novel Kiss #8 and is making her middle grade debut with Katie the Catsitter. Colleen is a lifetime comic fan and has designed numerous award winning graphic novels at First-Second books. She’s also is an avid rollerskater, animal rescuer, and once started a national holiday (true story). Colleen lives in Brooklyn, NY with her two pet rabbits. (photo credit: Amber Harrison)


Stephanie Yue grew up in Atlanta, Beijing, and Hong Kong. She’s a lifetime comic fan and martial artist (with a black belt in Kung Fu) and travels the world by motorbike. Stephanie was the colorist for the megahit, industry changing, Smile by Raina Telgemeier and Katie is her debut as a middle grade graphic novel illustrator. Stephanie currently divides her time between Boston and Hong Kong, where she’s working on the second Katie. Visit her online at http://stephanieyue.com and on twitter @quezzie.com. (photo credit: Timothy Wade Jr.)

Gavin Quinn

Gavin serves as the Programs and Financial Coordinator, responsible for helping out in various odds and ends of Texas Book Festival’s programming, such as the Texas Teen Book Festival and Reading Rock Stars. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from St. Edward’s University. His literary interests include literary fiction, comics and graphic novels, and poetry. His own writing has appeared in Grub Street Literary Magazine and Sorin Oak Review. In his free time, he enjoys watching films and learning how to bake.

Katey Psencik


Katey serves as the Communications and Marketing Coordinator at the Texas Book Festival. She is responsible for overseeing the Festival’s communication efforts, including social media, emails, press releases, and other publicity channels. Before joining the Festival, Katey worked as a lifestyle editor, writer and digital producer at a variety of online news publications, including the Austin American-Statesman. Katey graduated from the University of Texas School of Journalism, where she currently serves as an adjunct lecturer. In her free time, Katey enjoys teaching barre classes at a local fitness studio, cuddling with her shih tzu, and reading YA fiction, memoirs, and thrillers.

Interview with Lea Bogner Loy on Bringing Books to Life in Texas Schools

The Texas Book Festival launched by former librarian and then First Lady of Texas Laura Bush and philanthropist Mary Margaret Farabee in 1995 continues to grow in size and impact. Today the literary event brings more than three hundred authors to Austin each fall for a weekend of thought-provoking book discussions. What’s more, its book sale proceeds and attendee donations support powerful student programs in schools throughout Texas year-round.

One of those programs is Reading Rock Stars, which sends noted authors into Title I schools to inspire kids with great books and powerful live presentations. To date, the program has facilitated more than 400 author visits to Title I elementary schools in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and the Rio Grande Valley, and distributed more than 100,000 autographed books to students at those schools.

The newer Real Reads program serves middle and high school students in similar fashion, pairing close readings of urgent books with deep conversations with their authors. Participating authors include Kwame Alexander, Matt Mendez, Jason Reynolds, Erika Sánchez, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson.

I recently spoke with Lea Bogner Loy, who, as the outreach manager for the festival from 2017 to 2019 expanded Reading Rock Stars and launched Real Reads. We discussed what separates these programs from other author visits, why kids need to see themselves in books and authors, and what she hopes her Texas Book Festival legacy will be.

What was the most meaningful part of your Reading Rock Stars experience for you?

I think the focus I brought to the program on working with authors of color. I just saw what a difference it made when the students saw an author that looked like them up there. How much they really connected with the book. I also saw how grateful librarians were because they always felt like they struggled so much to find books that related to their kids. And so for me, being able to give a platform to those authors, and also give kids that experience, was really meaningful.

What are some of your favorite Reading Rock Stars memories?

Oh man, so many. There was one in the Rio Grande Valley with Ying Chang Compestine, presenting [her book The Chinese Emperor’s New Clothes] to PreK, K, and 1 students. She was talking about how she was an immigrant and all the kids were saying how they were immigrants too. There was that moment of cross-cultural understanding that was really special.

And there were always moments where kids would say, “I get to keep this book?” or “I’ve never had a book before.” That happened at every school we went to and every time it was always a gut punch. It was a reminder that we were doing important work.

During your tenure, you also launched the Real Reads program for middle and high school students. Why was it important to you to provide author programming for older students?

I think there’s a magic of reading that starts to get lost as you get older, especially for the students who aren’t seeing themselves in books. It’s an issue across the board. I remember being in school thinking “I can’t read The Grapes of Wrath or Shakespeare anymore. I want to read something that’s relevant and interesting to me.”

When you don’t have any reason to get connected to a book, you’re just not going to read as much. And it’s so important to continue to read—not only for vocabulary acquisition or to do well on standardized tests, but to be connected to modern issues.

And so that’s what Real Reads did. It gave students books that were really interesting to them and relevant, but that were also connected to things that they were seeing in the news and dealing with on a personal level. So they were able to really bring it all together and ignite that spark for reading.

I think people, especially literacy programs, have started to write off older students and think that they’re kind of a lost cause by the time they get to high school. And I really disagree with that.

What do you hope your Reading Rock Stars legacy will be?

Legacy is a big question. There are two parts of it. One is you’re just getting kids excited about reading, which so many authors are great about. But I think in publishing and in charity it’s easy to fall into the white savior complex of “I’m going to do these nice things for these kids of color and it’s going to change their lives.” If we’re not more intentional about it, it’s not going to make the kind of impact that it should.

I hope my legacy is that this program is not only about showing kids that reading is fun and important, but that they deserve books and that they’re empowered to do whatever it is they want to in their lives.

When I was in the classroom, the curriculum that was given to me was all about young white boys and 100% of my students were black. It was heartbreaking. Kids deserve to see themselves in books and if I had the platform to be able to bring a book to a child, I wanted to make sure that either it was going to be really funny and make them really love reading or they were going to see themselves in the book and feel empowered and seen.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Lucy Vélez

Lucy serves as the School & Community Programs Coordinator, responsible for Reading Rock Stars, Real Reads, and Library Grants programs. She has a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and a doctoral portfolio in Mexican American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Tejana, raised a few blocks away from the U.S.-Mexico border, and the community cultural wealth of this region continues to drive her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prior to joining Texas Book Festival, Lucy worked in higher education in multiple capacities including teaching, student support programs, and admissions review. Outside of the TBF, Lucy and her husband, Efraín, spend all their time making sure their two boys fall in love with Austin, road trips, wildlife, Texas summers, BBQ, tacos, and of course, books. Her favorite genre is Chicana literature- it validated her border crosser identity as a teenager and continues to inspire her today.

We’re hiring a Literary Director!

The hunt is on for the Texas Book Festival’s next Literary Director! Think you have what it takes to curate the TBF’s literary programming and wrangle hundreds of authors, publicists, and moderators for our annual Festival? Please read the responsibilities, expectations, and qualifications below. Qualified applicants only. Please submit your application (resume and cover letter) by December 1.



The Literary Director position with the Texas Book Festival is responsible for creating, developing, and implementing year-round literary programming for the organization, including the two-day annual Texas Book Festival, Lit Crawl, and the Texas Teen Book Festival.

All TBF staff members help with planning work, event support, and communication strategies for the annual Texas Book Festival, the Texas Teen Book Festival, Reading Rock Stars, Real Reads, and other literary events in Austin and around Texas throughout the year.


Literary Programming

  • Develop and implement TBF’s literary programs in Austin and other cities as needed
  • Curate and schedule the annual Festival author lineup, developing relevant and engaging topics and panels. Programming includes Lit Crawl and other author events
  • Work closely with publishers to feature the year’s most compelling books at Festival events
  • Work with selection committees and organizational partners to create engaging programming that will appeal to a wide range of audiences
  • Oversee master grid of author invitations, submissions, declines and rejections.
  • Oversee Festival author and schedule information on website, ensuring author lineup and schedule information is published by target deadline
  • Work with School and Community Programs Coordinator to align and coordinate Reading Rock Stars author bookings with children’s and middle grade author Festival bookings
  • Work with Development team to create author programming that meets development goals
  • Serve on Texas Teen Book Festival programming committee to collaborate on Teen Book Festival authors and schedule
  • Produce literary program reports for Executive Director and Board as needed
  • Manage literary programming budget, continually striving to improve efficiency and cost savings

Leadership and Management

  • Represent organization at literary events in Austin, New York, and throughout Texas
  • Oversee literary events, serving as project manager for other TBF staff supporting literary events.
  • Serve as lead project manager on implementing Festival-related strategic plan improvements, working with staff and Deputy Director to plan, track and measure progress
  • Manage literary interns and any part-time literary support staff, managing their schedules, tasks, and recommendations


  • Produce literary content for emails, website, press releases, ads, and promotional materials, including blog posts, interviews, and lit events calendar, working with TBF Communications and Marketing Coordinator
  • Work with Communications and Marketing Coordinator and PR agency of record to raise the organization’s profile and build support with literary community


  • Actively participate in and contribute to organization’s long-term strategic goals and success
  • Actively contribute to a positive, professional, and respectful work environment. Support TBF team members when they need help
  • Embrace the all-in commitment required to make the annual Festival a success and understand that evening and weekend work will be expected in the weeks leading up to the Festival and for some outreach and special events. Flexible hours and generous time off in the off-season are provided in recognition of extra work time needed for the Festival.


  • Bachelor’s degree; graduate studies in a relevant field preferred
  • Five years of relevant work experience, including writing, planning and executing literary programming and events
  • Experience with event-planning management on a large scale
  • Experience with book events
  • Enthusiasm and passion for literature and literacy
  • Knowledge and experience in publishing industry, including curiosity about contemporary trends in publishing
  • Knowledge of the Texas literary community
  • Experience in recruiting, motivating, and managing volunteers
  • Excellent communications skills (oral, written, and presentation)
  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills. Attention to detail is critical for this position
  • Strong technological aptitude. Familiarity with and flexibility across platforms and operating systems expected.
  • Media and public relations skills
  • Ability to think creatively to problem solve and promote the Texas Book Festival
  • Dedication and enthusiasm for fulfilling the Texas Book Festival mission
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends when needed
  • Some travel required

To apply, email Maris Finn at maris@texasbookfestival.org with your resume and cover letter detailing specific relevant experience. Applications received without cover letters will not be considered.

Patricia V. Hayes

Patricia V. Hayes, J.D., is a strategist, executive advisor, public speaker and career empowerment coach.  She is the owner of PVH Consulting Group, LLC, a strategy consulting, public policy, and leadership development firm where she supports executive-level leaders. A passionate advocate and community leader, Patricia is committed to issues affecting education, child abuse awareness/prevention, workforce development and women’s empowerment. Patricia is a 25-year veteran of the legislative and policy arena, where she served as a respected policy confidante and advisor to executive leadership in governmental, private and non-profit organizations. She served as the first African American and female Vice Chancellor in the Texas State University System. She has served on numerous community boards and committees including at the Center for Child Protection and Texas Legal. Currently she serves as Board Chair of the Community Advancement Network, Immediate Past Chair of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, on the Central Health Equity Policy Council, and as an E3 Alliance Blueprint for Educational Change Leadership Council member. A dedicated Girl Scout leader, she was awarded the GSUSA Volunteer of Excellence Award in July 2019. A licensed attorney, she graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. She is married with two children.

Contract Logistics & Volunteer Coordinator



This position is in review. Applications are currently closed.

Required hours:

June 18 – September: 20 hours per week

October 5- 6: all day availability to work Texas Teen Book Festival

October: 40 hours per week

October 25- 29: all-in availability to work Texas Book Festival Weekend and post-Fest cleanup

Texas Book Festival Coordination and Logistics

  • Serve as primary liaison with Texas Book Festival Volunteer Committee Chairs (VCCs) managing all aspects of volunteer coordination including recruitment, meetings, correspondence, requests, retention, goodwill, and events
  • Serve as liaison with contract Festival logistics team, working with them and Executive Director to help manage Festival venues, tents, maps, banners, signage, exhibitors, and food vendors
  • Work with TBF Literary Director and Literary Communications Coordinator on all Festival venues as they relate to literary programming (set-up needs for A/V, furniture, backdrops, signage, green room, etc).
  • Help produce and set-up Festival session signage with TBF Literary Director and Lit/Comm Coordinator
  • Assist with TBF merchandise inventory and 2018 order, working with TBF staff, TBF Store Volunteer Committee Chair, and merchandise vendor on deadlines and deliverables
  • During Festival Weekend, manage VCC communication and assist with Festival set-up and break down, including step and repeat banners, Author Green Room supplies, trash collection, signage, and VCC supply return
  • Run logistics-related errands leading up to and during Festival Weekend, including printing and merchandise pick-ups/drop-offs, special event deliveries, special programming-related book deliveries, and errands as needed
  • Coordinate VCC Festival Weekend kickoff/appreciation event held during the week leading up to the Festival, including organizing catering, preparing supply bags, and preparing pre-Festival materials for the VCCs
  • Manage over-street banner placements with City of Austin, including communication, drop-off and pickup.
  • Assist with site logistics for Festival Author Lineup Announcement and other summer/fall events, as needed

Texas Teen Book Festival Coordination and Logistics

  • Serve as logistics coordinator for Texas Teen Book Festival, serving as liaison between TTBF director and TBF staff to coordinate tent and other rental needs, medical services tent, signage, and other logistical needs.
  • Serve as TTBF exhibitor coordinator, serving as point of contact for all TTBF exhibitors and being on-site contact during the TTBF on October 6, 2018
  • Assist with Texas Teen Book Festival set-up at St. Edward’s University on Friday, October 5, 2018, including coordinating exhibitor move-in and assisting with placement of Festival signage, wayfinding signs and any other set-up materials.

Communication and Administrative Support

  • Contact potential local and regional advertisers for program insert. Coordinate ad deadlines and deliverables
  • Other duties as assigned

Application Instructions:

To apply, submit the following to Maris Finn at maris@texasbookfestival.org

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • References upon request

Application deadline: May 31
Start date: June 18

Go Kayaking with TBF!

Enjoy the great outdoors (and indoors!) with the Texas Book Festival on Sunday morning, October 28, before the festivities begin!

There’s nothing quite like stretching and getting some fresh air on a crisp fall morning in Austin, and what better place to do so than our own Lady Bird Lake?

Join us for a morning spent kayaking—sign up here!

We’re so grateful to our partner Congress Avenue Kayaks this activity to Festivalgoers free of charge!