Join us at Austin Central Library!

Join us at Austin Central Library for a special day of in-person and online Adult Programming with the Texas Book Festival!

About this event

Please note: all attendees must provide proof of vaccination (OR negative COVID test within 72 hours of event) to attend.

Sign up for each session you would like to attend. All sessions will also be available to stream online.

Schedule: Doors open at 9:30 am

10:00 am – Amor Towles in Conversation about The Lincoln Highway in the Special Events Center (1st Floor)

Amor Towles—New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman of Moscow—talks about his latest novel, The Lincoln Highway, a multi-perspective story that takes place over ten days and hundreds of miles in 1950s America.

10:00 am – Texas Institute of Letters Presents: Meet the 2020 TIL Award Winners in the Reading Room (4th Floor)

Join 2020 Texas Institute of Letters 2021 award winners for a discussion moderated by TIL president Sergio Troncoso. Since 1938, TIL has honored works of literature by authors born in Texas, who have lived in Texas for a period of five years, or whose subject “substantially concerns” Texas. Hear three of the authors recognized this year by TIL’s distinguished membership—Marisol Cortez (Luz at Midnight; winner, Best First Book of Fiction), David Meischen (Anyone’s Son; winner, Best First Book of Poetry), and Christina Soontornvat (A Wish in the Dark; winner, Best Middle Grade Book)—read from and discuss their works.

11:00 am – On Climate, Energy, and Texas in the Reading Room (4th Floor)

Less than a year since the big “Texas Freeze” and mere months since the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its most current—and most urgent—report, two Texas authors gather to examine the past, present, and future of alternative energy and its potential to avert disaster. Andy Bowman’s The West Texas Power Plant that Saved the World tells the story of an unassuming facility in Pecos County that could offer the blueprint for a renewable-energy future. Carey W. King’s The Economic Superorganism cuts through highly charged and seemingly incompatible narratives around economics and energy and provides a realistic understanding of this most complex of subjects.

12:00 pm – Maria Hinojosa in Conversation about Once I Was You in the Special Events Center (1st Floor)

Maria Hinojosa, veteran journalist and executive producer of Peabody Award–winning program Latino USA, has spent nearly thirty years reporting on immigration and the communities the mainstream media too often overlooks. In new memoir Once I Was You, Hinojosa illustrates—via her own family’s experiences growing up on the South Side of Chicago—a story of migrating to the United States. Join her as she discusses her own experiences and the public impact of the rhetoric surrounding immigration.

1:00 pm – Texas History in Black and Brown in the Reading Room (4th Floor)

Join Texas Christian University history professor Max Krochmal, former UT-Austin journalism professor Bill Minutaglio, and University of North Texas history professor J. Todd Moye for a conversation about Texas history through the lenses of politics, race, struggle, and resistance. New books Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Histories of Resistance and Struggle in Texas and A Single Star and Bloody Knuckles: A History of Politics and Race in Texas explore long-neglected figures and events in the Lone Star State.

2:00 pm – Being Texan: Texas Monthly Editors in Conversation about the Lone Star Way of Life in the Special Events Center (1st Floor)

Texas Monthly editors Kathy Blackwell, Wes Ferguson, José R. Ralat, and Mimi Swartz share with audiences the treasures found in Being Texan: Essays, Recipes, and Advice for the Lone Star Way, a rich anthology of Texas tales, artifacts, and reportage.

3:00 pm – Writers’ League of Texas Presents: Novels as Big as Texas in the Reading Room (4th Floor)

Join authors Stacey Swann (Olympus, Texas), William Sibley (Here We Go Loop de Loop), Kelsey McKinney (God Spare the Girls), and Simon Han (Nights When Nothing Happened)—all of whom have authored new novels featuring the Lone Star State as backdrop, and in some cases as character in its own right.

4:00 pm – The Devil’s Treasure: A Conversation with Mary Gaitskill in the Special Events Center (1st Floor)

Since the debut of her revered short story collection, Bad Behavior—which included the story adapted into the 2002 film Secretary—Mary Gaitskill has lent brutal honesty and formal daring to the literary scene. “She catches cruelty and inexplicable desire, what she has called ‘the dirt within,’ as well as any writer we have,” as Dwight Garner of the New York Times has put it. Gaitskill’s new book, The Devil’s Treasure, is no less audacious than her previous work. Linked together by the story of a girl named Ginger who discovers a portal to hell in her own backyard, Gaitskill’s latest, richly illustrated work presents excerpts of her previous novels, including 2005’s Veronica and 2015’s The Mare, as well as a memoir—all of it stitched together with authorial commentary.



2021 Lit Crawl In-Person!

We have more Lit Crawl events coming your way! Join us at Cheer Up Charlies (900 red River St.) and Symphony Square (1111 Red River St.) for our in-person Lit Crawl sessions featuring authors Stacey Swann, Simon Han, Maurice Chammah, Tomás Q. Morín, and more!


5:00 PM – 6:30 PM CST, Writers’ League of Texas Presents: Swipe Write: The Texas Author Match Game

Have you been looking for love in all the wrong pages? Tired of blind dates with books that go nowhere? Are you ready for that next great read that really gets you? Join us for this Lit Crawl Happy Hour to meet your perfect match—we’ll supply the books (by Texas authors), you bring your A-game.

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM CST, American Short Fiction Presents Dear Buffalo (A Lit Crawl Event)

Get answers to your greatest questions about life and love, straight from the pages of bold and exciting literary works. In this program, authors will offer advice to questions from ASF editorial staff and the audience by selecting (at random) quotations from their new or forthcoming books. With Simon Han, Taisia Kitaiskaia, Adam Soto, Stacey Swann, and Jenny Tinghui Zhang.

Seats are limited and registration is required here.

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CST
, Scary Stories to Tell in the Bar: Austin Bat Cave Presents Story Department (A Lit Crawl Event)

Story Department is Austin Bat Cave’s live storytelling event, similar to the Moth. Stories are typically ten minutes long, rehearsed, and based on a theme that is wide open for interpretation. Join us to hear writers Dalia Azim, Sindya Bhanoo, and Maurice Chammah tell true stories on the theme Scary Stories to Tell in the Bar.

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM CST, Awst Press Presents: Lit Crawl Against Humanity

Lit Crawl Against Humanity is a “party game for horrible people.” Join Austin-based Awst Press, along with Austin poet Tomás Q. Morín and other writers, for fun times and a shared vigilance against tripping into nearby Waller Creek.

Please refer to the code of conduct prior to attending in-person events.

Join us at Symphony Square!

Join us for a very special Family Day with the Texas Book Festival!

About this event
Please note: all attendees age 18+ must provide proof of vaccination (OR negative COVID test within 72 hours of event) to attend.

Schedule: Doors open at 10:00 am, please arrive early to go through the check in process.

Morning Story Time

10:00 AM – (EN ESPAÑOL) Mis dos pueblos fronterizos con David Bowles

10:45 AM – Storytime: The Old Boat with Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey

Fans of The Old Truck will love The Old Boat! This is a story of exploration, and this journey with a boy and his boat celebrates the beauty of nature and the family we make along the way.

11:30 AM – Storytime: El’s Mirror with Bavu Blakes

Do you remember how you were feeling on your very first day of school? In this story, El is about to start kindergarten when he faces some unexpected challenges. But with the help of his family, El will learn to find his way and begin to understand this new world around him.

12:15 PM – Storytime: The Color Collector with Nicholas Solis

One day a boy notices the new girl picking up all kinds of litter on her way home from school. Filled with curiosity, he asks her about it! She then shows him the mural in her room that shows the village she left behind, and he learns how the two of them can be alike and different at the same time, and how incredible it is to make new friends.


Afternoon Story Time

1:45 PM – Storytime: My Two Border Towns with David Bowles

A boy travels across the US-Mexican border with his father to have a fun day eating their favorite foods, visiting family, and most importantly checking in with their friends seeking asylum. Come listen to author David Bowles discuss his own experiences crossing the border with his father as a small boy!

2:30 PM – Storytime: Pigskins to Paintbrushes with Don Tate

Have you ever felt super excited about two different things? So did Ernie Barnes. In this story, young Ernie feels different from kids his age, so he takes refuge in his art. But, trying to fit in, he joins the school football team, and that leads him to a professional football career! But Ernie never loses his passion for art. Come join Don Tate as he discusses the incredible true story of Ernie Barnes, who never lost sight of himself and kept chasing his dreams.

3:15 PM – Storytime: Slow Down, Tumbleweed! with Haven Iverson

Sometimes in our fast-paced world we can all feel a little bit like a tumbleweed—rolling, rolling, rolling in the wind. When Mabel the tumbleweed gets stuck on a fence one day, she learns how to sit in the stillness and observe the quiet around her. Join author Haven Iverson as she talks about how you can celebrate the beauty of the world right where you are, no matter how fast you’re moving.

4:00 PM – Storytime: The Larger-Than-Life Story of Texas Governor Ann Richards w. Meghan P. Browne

Before the world knew her as Ann Richards (in the past the governor of Texas!) she was Dorothy Ann Willis. As a teenager she found a love for serving her community, which led her all the way to the nation’s capital, where she learned about government and politics. Join author Meghan P. Browne as she reads from her book! And talks about this larger-than-life personality who was able to take on the “political boys’ club” to become both governor and an inspiration to countless others after her.


Meet the 2021 Kirkus Prize Finalists

UPDATE: This session is now streaming. Watch the full panel here!

Kirkus Reviews, the nation’s leading prepublication journal of book reviews, is proud to sponsor the annual Kirkus Prize, which bestows $150,000 divided by three winning writers. At this panel, you’ll hear a group of finalists of this year’s Prize—some of this year’s most intriguing and insightful writers—talk about their most recent books.

Panelists: Young Readers’ Literature

  • Wai Chim (author, The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling)
  • Sharon G. Flake (author, The Life I’m In)
  • Nikki Grimes (author, Legacy)
  • NoNieqa Ramos (author, Your Mama)
  • Jacqueline Alcántara (illustrator, Your Mama)
  • Carole Boston Weatherford (author, Unspeakable)


  • Brian Broome (author, Punch Me Up to the Gods)
  • Dara Horn (author, People Love Dead Jews)
  • Tiya Miles (author, All That She Carried)
  • Katherine E. Standefer (author, Lightning Flowers)


  • Mariana Enriquez (author, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed)
  • Megan McDowell (translator, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed)
  • Jocelyn Nicole Johnson (author, My Monticello)

In partnership with Kirkus Reviews

  • Moderator: Tom Beer, Kirkus Reviews editor in chief
  • Format: This is a live, virtual event on CrowdCast (RSVP link above).
  • Chat: Feel free to use the chat box in CrowdCast to share your thoughts and virtually cheer for and share kudos with the session’s participants! Disorderly comments will be removed immediately. Please refer to the code of conduct

Watch Maria Hinojosa!

UPDATE: This session is now streaming. Watch the full panel here.

In her new memoir, Once I Was You, award-winning journalist and executive producer of Latino USA, Maria Hinojosa shares her experience growing up on the South Side of Chigaco as a Mexican American girl. She has spent nearly thirty years giving voice to the communities overlooked by the media. Join her as she shares her own experiences and offers a personal look at immigration. 

Sunday, October 31 at the Austin Central Library at 12PM CT.

Available both in-person and live streamed!

Olamaie Brunch with Joshua McFadden!

We are thrilled to partner with Olamaie to host Joshua McFadden for an exclusive brunch on Sunday, October 31, at 11:45 a.m. Tickets include a three-course brunch featuring recipes by Chef Fojtasek in collaboration with Joshua McFadden along with a signed copy of Grains for Every Season: Rethinking our Way with Grains. The event is presented by Festival sponsor Central Market.

The event will start with passed appetizers from Olamaie, while Chef Joshua McFadden mingles with guests. Every ticket is $125 and includes a signed copy of Grains for Every Season along with food and cocktails at the brunch.

Get your Brunch Tickets

Joshua McFadden’s first book, the James Beard Award–winning and perennially bestselling Six Seasons, transformed the way we cook with vegetables. Now he’s back with a new book that applies his maximalist approach to flavor and texture to cooking with grains. These knock-your-socks-off recipes include salads, soups, pastas, pizzas, grain bowls, breads—and even desserts. McFadden works as intuitively, as surprisingly, as deliciously with whole grains as he does with vegetables. Grains for Every Season will change the way we cook with barley, brown rice, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, wheat (bulgur, farro, freekeh, spelt, wheat berries, and whole wheat flour), and wild rice.

Joshua McFadden is the founder of Submarine Hospitality in Portland, Oregon. He owns and manages Ava Gene’s, Cicoria, Medjool, and Tusk restaurants. In between running the restaurants, he is bringing new life to Berny Farm, a historic fifty-acre farm in Springdale, Oregon, with the goal of creating an agricultural complex that will host collaborations between farming, food, and design.

All attendees must provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event to attend. A vegetarian meal may be requested in advance of the event however a vegan option will not be available.

Announcing Book Tickets for R.J. Palacio!

Join us for a conversation with R.J. Palacio as she discusses her new book Pony on October 23 at 12 pm CT. Each ticket is $25 and includes the cost of the book, processing fees, and shipping. Books will come with a signed bookplate, while supplies last! This will be a virtual session.

Get tickets here!

Pony has so many topics to discuss for fifth grade and up. Thank you to Random House Children’s Books for creating this beautiful Pony discussion guide. Click to download, and contact if you have any trouble accessing the file.

R. J. Palacio is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder, which has sold over 12 million copies worldwide. The book’s message inspired the Choose Kind movement and has been embraced by readers around the world, with the book published in over 50 languages. Wonder was made into a blockbuster movie starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay. Palacio’s other bestselling books include 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts, Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories, the picture book We’re All Wonders, and the graphic novel White Bird, which is currently being filmed as a major motion picture starring Gillian Anderson and Helen Mirren. Palacio lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.

Please direct questions to the Texas Book Festival at Every book ticket sold and book purchased through the BookPeople Festival Store supports the Texas Book Festival and Festival authors. Thank you!

Announcing Book Tickets for Colson Whitehead!

Join us for a conversation with Colson Whitehead as he discusses his new book Harlem Shuffle on October 25 at 12:45 pm. Each ticket is $35 and includes the cost of the book, processing fees, and shipping. The first 100 ticket buyers will get a signed copy of Harlem Shuffle. This will be a virtual session.

Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten works of fiction and nonfiction, and is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, for The Nickel Boys and The Underground Railroad, which also won the National Book Award. A recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.

Get tickets here!

Please direct questions to the Texas Book Festival at Every book ticket sold and book purchased through the BookPeople Festival Store supports the Texas Book Festival and Festival authors. Thank you!

2021 Author Lineup Announced!

The Texas Book Festival is excited to announce the lineup for its annual festival featuring nationally renowned authors, including Chandler Baker, Oscar Cásares, Sandra Cisneros, Ann Cleeves, Tamron Hall, Louis Menand, Sam Quinones, Don Tate and more!

As one of the largest literary festivals in the country, the 26th annual Texas Book Festival is expanding its hybrid festival dates with additional virtual programming on October 23 and 24. The nine-day event will kick off on October 23 and run through October 31 and will feature both virtual and limited in-person author appearances. Attendees of the festival are now able to see which authors will have virtual or in-person sessions on Texas Book Festival’s website, and the full schedule will be released online in early October.

The 2021 hybrid festival lineup features nearly 200 authors, illustrators, poets, journalists, artists, chefs, and thought leaders across a diverse array of genres and topics. The festival will also showcase previously announced authors Rumaan Alam, Mary Gaitskill, R. J. Palacio, Raj Patel, Amor Towles, Colson Whitehead, and more.

Texas Teen Book Festival

Angeline Boulley, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and Neal Shusterman will headline the 2021 Texas Teen Book Festival, taking place online on October 23 and 24. The TTBF lineup also includes David Bowles, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Candace Buford, Hafsah Faizal, Jennifer Mathieu, Lilliam Rivera, Tracy Wolff, and more.

Children’s programming

Children’s authors and illustrators in the full lineup include Gloria Amescua, Kathi Appelt, Adrianna Cuevas, K.A. Holt, Oliver Jeffers, Varian Johnson, Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg, and Nicholas Solis. 

Texas Authors

Texas authors featured at this year’s festival include Jeff Abbott, Kate Biberdorf, H. W. Brands, Ellen Riojas Clark, May Cobb, Carrie Fountain, Cassy Joy Garcia, Dolores Huerta, Priya Huq, Elizabeth McCracken, Bill Minutaglio, Juan Miró, Tomás Q. Morín, Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey, Divya Srinivasan, S. Kirk Walsh, Lawrence Wright, and many more.

Hybrid programming

Virtual children’s programming will run the weekend of October 23 and October 24, and select in-person appearances by picture book authors will take place at Symphony Square in downtown Austin on Saturday, October 30. Virtual adult author programming will run from October 25 to 31, 2021, with select in-person sessions at Austin Public Library Main Branch on Sunday, October 31.

Book Sales

All Festival titles will be available in the official BookPeople Texas Book Festival online bookstore. Select titles will be available in person at Symphony Square and the Austin Central Library. BookPeople is the official bookseller for the Texas Book Festival. BookPeople donates a portion of every book sold through the online Festival store and at the Festival back to the Texas Book Festival. Thank you for supporting authors and readers in Texas! Check out the full Festival book list!

Check out the full author list!