2023 Festival Author Lineup Sneak Peek

Texas Book Festival is thrilled to unveil sixteen highly-distinguished authors joining us for the 28th annual Festival, scheduled for November 11–12 in Downtown Austin.

The Festival will feature New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, and political leader Stacey Abrams, PEN/Faulkner award winner Ann Patchett, Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate and Oprah Book Club Author Abraham Verghese, 2023 National Humanities Medal winner and Time magazine editor Walter Isaacson and many more bestselling and award-winning writers.

The full sneak peek author list includes the following:

Stacey Abrams, Rogue Justice

Stacey Abrams is a New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur and political leader. She served as Minority Leader in the Georgia House of Representatives, and she was the first black woman to become a gubernatorial nominee for a major party in United States history. Abrams has launched multiple nonprofit organizations devoted to democracy protection, voting rights, and effective public policy. She has also co-founded successful companies, including a financial services firm, an energy and infrastructure consulting firm, and the media company, Sage Works Productions, Inc.


Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Chain-Gang All-Star

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is the New York Times-bestselling author of Friday Black. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He was a National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honoree, the winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and the Saroyan Prize, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for Best First Book, along with many other honors. Raised in Spring Valley, New York, he now lives in the Bronx.


S.A. Crosby, All the Sinners Bleed

S. A. Cosby is an Anthony Award-winning writer from Southeastern Virginia. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, was a New York Times Notable Book, and was named a best book of the year by NPR, The Guardian, and Library Journal, among others. When not writing, he is an avid hiker and chess player.



Elizabeth Crook, The Madstone

Elizabeth Crook has published five previous novels, including The Which Way Tree, The Night Journal, which received the Spur Award from Western Writers of America, and Monday, Monday, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014 and winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. Crook is also the 2023 Texas Writer Award recipient. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.



Andrew Sean Greer, Less is LostAndrew Sean Greer is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of six works of fiction, including the bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli and Less. Greer has taught at a number of universities, including the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, been a TODAY show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. He is the recipient of a NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He lives in San Francisco.


Vashti Harrison, BIGVashti Harrison is the #1 New York Times bestselling creator of Little Leaders, Little Dreamers, and Little Legends and the illustrator of Lupita Nyong’o’s Sulwe, Matthew Cherry’s Hair Love, Andrea Beaty’s I Love You Like Yellow, and Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic’s Hello, Star, among others. She earned her BA in studio art and media studies from the University of Virginia and her MFA in film/video from CalArts, where she rekindled a love for drawing and painting. Vashti lives in Brooklyn, New York, and invites you to visit her at vashtiharrison.com or on Instagram and Twitter @vashtiharrison.


Walter Isaacson, Elon MuskWalter Isaacson is the bestselling author of biographies of Jennifer Doudna, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. He is a professor of history at Tulane and was CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2023.



Ann Patchett, Tom Lake

Ann Patchett is the author of several novels, works of nonfiction, and children’s books. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including a 2023 National Humanities Medal, the PEN/Faulkner, the Women’s Prize in the U.K., and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her novel The Dutch House was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. TIME magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the owner of Parnassus Books.


Roger Reeves, Dark Days

Roger Reeves is the author of two poetry collections, King Me and Best Barbarian, and one nonfiction collection, Dark Days: Fugitive Essays. Best Barbarian won the Kingsley Tufts Award and the Griffin Poetry Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Award and named a New York Times Notable Book. His essays have appeared in Granta, the Virginia Quarterly Review, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of a Whiting Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. Reeves teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.


Curtis Sittenfeld, Romantic Comedy

Curtis Sittenfeld is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including Romantic Comedy, which was picked for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, Rodham, Eligible, Prep, American Wife, and Sisterland, as well as the collection You Think It, I’ll Say It. Her books have been translated into thirty languages. In addition, her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post Magazine, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories, for which she has also been the guest editor. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, and Vanity Fair, and on public radio’s This American Life.


Rachel Louise Snyder, Women we Buried Women we Burned

Rachel Louise Snyder is the author of Fugitive Denim, the novel What We’ve Lost is Nothing, and No Visible Bruises, winner of a J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, the Hillman Prize, and the Helen Bernstein Book Award; and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards, LA Times Book Prizes, and Kirkus Prize. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, and elsewhere. A 2020-2021 Guggenheim Fellow, Snyder is a Professor of Creative Writing and Journalism at American University and lives in Washington, DC.


Angie Thomas Nic Blake and the RemarkablesAngie Thomas is the author of the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling novels The Hate U Give, On the Come Up, and Concrete Rose, as well as Find Your Voice: A Guided Journal for Writing Your Truth. A former teen rapper who holds a BFA in creative writing, Angie was born, raised, and still resides in Mississippi.



Luis Alberto Urrea, Good Night, Irene

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonfiction The Devil’s Highway, now in its thirty-fourth paperback printing, Luis Alberto Urrea is the author of numerous other works of nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, including the national bestsellers The Hummingbird’s Daughter and The House of Broken Angels, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. A recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, among many other honors, he lives outside Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois Chicago.


Abraham Verghese, The Covenant of WaterAbraham Verghese is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author of books including the NBCC Award finalist My Own Country and the New York Times Notable Book The Tennis Partner. Cutting for Stone, spent 107 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and sold more than 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. It was translated into more than twenty languages and is being adapted for film by Anonymous Content. Verghese was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2016, has received five honorary degrees, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He lives and practices medicine in Stanford, California where he is the Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. A decade in the making, The Covenant of Water was chosen as a 2023 Oprah’s Book Club selection.


Jacqueline Woodson, Remember Us

Jacqueline Woodson received a 2023 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a 2023 E. B. White Award, a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award, and was the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Her New York Times bestselling memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, won the National Book Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor, and the NAACP Image Award. Her books for young readers include Coretta Scott King Award and NAACP Image Award winner Before the Ever After; New York Times bestsellers The Day You Begin and Harbor Me; Newbery Honor winners Feathers, Show Way, and After Tupac and D Foster; and Each Kindness, which won the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family.


Lawrence Wright, Mr. TexasLawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker, a playwright, and a screenwriter. He is the best-selling author of Mr. Texas, The End of October, and ten books of nonfiction, including Going Clear, God Save Texas, and The Looming Tower, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He and his wife are longtime residents of Austin, Texas.



The full Festival lineup will include more than 250 impressive literary talents for readers of all ages and will be revealed on September 13th.

Meet Our 2023 Festival Poster Artist: Jon Flaming


The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to announce Jon Flaming as its 2023 Poster Artist. His piece Cowboy Reading in Big Bend was selected as this year’s Festival Poster image.

Born in Wichita, Kansas in 1962, Flaming moved to Texas in 1967. The artist grew up in Dallas/Richardson. His fine art is in the permanent collections of the Tyler Museum of Art, The Grace Museum in Abilene, The Museum of the Southwest, and the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art. His work is also in many private and public collections and has been exhibited in numerous solo and group shows. Jon lives with his wife, Kathy, in Richardson. They have three married children and four grandchildren.

TBF Interim Executive Director Dalia Azim had a chance to ask Jon Flaming some questions about his work, background, and this year’s poster image, Cowboy Reading in Big Bend:

How long have you been in Texas?
I grew up in the Dallas area and have been in Texas for 55 years.

When did you start pursuing a career as an artist?
I started painting at the age of 30 but pursued fine art full-time at 55, after a 30-year career as a designer/illustrator in Dallas.

Which artists did you admire most when you first started out?
Norman Rockwell was the artist I admired most as a kid and young man.

Who are your favorite artists these days?
The designers Saul Bass and Paul Rand.
The painters Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, and Edward Hopper.

How did you find your way to your very unique artistic style? Do you ever begin with traditional collage as a prototype for a work of art?
Inspired by designers Paul Rand and Saul Bass and painters Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Picasso, I started to experiment with bold, blocky, graphic shapes to create cowboys and western scenes. I was heavily influenced by my years as a designer/illustrator. I create my “collages” on the computer and then use those as my studies for my paintings.

How do you pick your medium for a particular work of art? Ie. when do you opt to paint a subject versus experimenting with imagery as a print?
My paintings always start out as an idea and then move quickly to rough pencil sketches. I then scan them into my computer and create my color studies in Adobe Illustrator. I often use oil, but also paint with acrylic. Many of my images become prints but they are typically created from the the digital version that I use for my painting studies.

I know you like to spend time out in West Texas? Tell us more about what that part of the state means to you and how it inspires your art?
I love the wide-open desert vistas of Big Bend with all the accompanying elements – cactus, agave, ocotillo, mountains, abandoned buildings, etc. And, I love the sparse, flat country of the panhandle and other parts of west Texas. These places and the people in them often become the subjects of my work.

How does the landscape of Texas influence your graphic style?
The state of Texas is bigger than life and my art reflects that with canvases that are executed on a large scale. My work tends to be big, bold, and colorful—like the Lone Star State.

Who are your favorite writers and what have you been reading lately?
AMERICAN BUFFALO by Steven Rinella.

How does it feel to have your work Cowboy Reading in Big Bend represent the 28th annual Texas Book Festival?
Very honored & humbled . . .

Posters and T-shirts featuring Cowboy Reading in Big Bend will be available for purchase at the Texas Book Festival on November 11–12, 2023 in Downtown Austin.

2023 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest

Calling all young writers of Texas! It’s time to submit your stories! We are proud to announce that the submission window for our 2023 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest is now open. Create a fictional story inspired by the one-word prompt: Passwords.

Eligibility Requirements
– Writer must live in Texas
– Writer must be enrolled in grades 6-12th
– Writer must submit an original work of fiction that includes no more than 2,000 words
– Submission must be written by a single author; no co-authors

Submission Requirements & Format
– Follow the theme provided; choose your own fiction genre 
– Use language that fits your audience
– Submit only one entry
– Include a title page with your name, email, and word count
– Format: Double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt size font, 1-inch margins
– Number all pages and submit in one of the following formats: .pdf, .doc, .docx
– Save your file using: TitleofStory_YourInitials [example: ThroneofGlass_SJM]
– Submit through Google form: Fresh Ink Fiction Contest

Deadline: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. CST

Entry must be the author’s original work and creation – no plagiarism or fan fiction.
Still have a question about the contest? Email Michelle: michelle@texasbookfestival.org 

Austin Bat Cave will be hosting a virtual session and workshop for all writers who have submitted their stories to the Fresh Ink Contest; more details to come. Join writers, editors, and publishing experts as we celebrate your work, talk about the writing life, and discuss next steps for sharing your work!

Thank you to Random House Children’s Books for sponsoring the Fresh Ink Fiction contest!

Entries will be judged by Texas Book Festival authors, educators, and leaders in the publishing industry. Judges will look for excellence in dialogue, imagery, character development, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Winners will be invited to participate in the Texas Book Festival on November 11-12, 2023 and be awarded a fun literary prize. Winners will be announced on October 13, 2023.

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 bookfest@texasbookfestival.org.

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.

Looking back on 2022, Lois shares her favorite Festival story

With this year’s end-of-year epic winter storm, I imagine some of you experienced unexpected holiday plot twists. At our home, a short pre-Christmas visit with my parents has stretched on, as flight after flight got canceled. Last minute gift buying (what octogenarian doesn’t need exercise bands from Target?), a 1000-piece puzzle of Klimt’s The Kiss, and QT with grandkids and grandparents have yielded many small moments of joy and connection.

Reflecting on joy and connection this past year, I want to share a Festival story that I’m pretty sure you don’t know because it didn’t happen at a panel, in the book signing tent, or in any public session.

Sunday, November 6, 4:30 p.m. I was making my final rounds, heading down to the Capitol Extension, when I ran into some teens in TBF volunteer shirts. Teens are not the typical demographic of our volunteers, so I asked them where they were from and how they came to volunteer at the Festival. Giggling and a little shy at a stranger peppering them with questions, they revealed that they were from Gonzales High School in Gonzales, Texas, having taken a bus up here with their teacher. They were about to meet with their teacher and the other kids to go roll down the hill together – which their teacher told them was a tradition. Knowing I had to meet this teacher, I asked them to take me to meet her.

Cheryl Atkinson, in her volunteer t-shirt and denim jacket, was everything you imagine in a great teacher: energetic, down-to-earth, and motivated to impact her kids’ lives in ways that last. She told me she tries to bring kids up every year because Gonzales is a small town, and she wants her kids to have the experience of going to Austin, a big city to them. For them to get out of their comfort zone, to volunteer, and to experience a world beyond their own. Her school has some funds and she raises some to make the trip happen, but that the fact that the Festival is free makes it doable.The students volunteer but have plenty of time to see authors and panels, get food, walk around on their own, and well, DO the Festival as many of you reading this know and do yourselves.

I watched Cheryl Atkinson show them how to roll. And they followed.

I watched them, said goodbye and started down the Capitol drive toward the C-SPAN and Central Market tents that were already starting to be broken down. It had been a long week, with long weeks leading up to it. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a crier, but as I walked down that long driveway, I’ll admit some tears flowed. In gratitude that teachers like Cheryl Atkinson are around. That wonderful things happen at the Festival that I don’t even know about. That our big, challenging-to-put-on Festival is worth all the challenges.


Student volunteers from Gonzales High School at the 2022 Texas Book Festival.


At the end of a challenging and fulfilling year when we all got back to living, I want to thank all who support, volunteer, and experience the Festival with us. If you haven’t made a donation this year, I hope you’ll consider doing so. As the year comes to an end, you still have a few days left to make your tax-deductible donation.

Warm wishes for a safe and wonderful New Year.



Our Impact in 2022

We feel we’re not alone when we look at the calendar and exclaim: How is it December already?! At the TBF office, we are just finally digging out from Festival wrap up — packing away supplies, signing checks to our valued vendors and security officers who keep everyone at the Fest safe, and writing thank you notes — LOTS of thank you notes — to express our gratitude to everyone who helped make our annual celebration of books and community so meaningful this year.

Some highlights of the impact TBF made this year:

We were thrilled to bring back a fully in-person Festival Weekend in all its glory — completely free and open to the public. We brought 300+ authors and their books to tens of thousands of attendees of all ages and the joy was palpable. Seen and heard throughout the Festival: laughter, thought-provoking conversations, serendipitous running into friends, and so much positive book-buying energy to support authors, booksellers and TBF.

We granted $101,000 in collection enhancement grants to 42 public libraries across Texas.

Through our Reading Rock Stars program, we gave more than 13,000 books and brought inspirational award-winning authors to students in Title I elementary schools in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and the Rio Grande Valley.

Real Reads, our outreach program focused on serving middle and high school students, brought 5 renowned authors and almost 600 books to students in Austin and Dallas this year through partnerships with Breakthrough Central Texas, Somos Escritoras, Austin Community College’s Ascender program, and Skyline High School.

In this season of giving, if you’re thinking of tax-deductible charitable gifts you’d like to make before the end of the year, I hope that TBF is high on the list of nonprofits whose missions you support.

With a donation of $100 or more, you’ll become a Festival Friend and receive perks for the 2023 Festival.

Make your 2022 donation on or before December 31!

2022 Book Sales & Signings


All Festival books will be available across two BookPeople Sales Tents: 

Main (Adult) Sales Tent (Adult and YA)
Children’s Sales Tent (Picture Book and Middle Grade)

Books will also be available for sale on-site for the specific sessions held at: 

First United Methodist Church
First Baptist Church
Central Presbyterian Church

Books for these sessions will also be available in the corresponding BookPeople Sales Tents.


Book signings begin 15 minutes after the author’s session concludes. Full signing schedule available at the Festival. 

Book signings for Capitol and outdoor tent sessions will take place in one of two Book Signing Tents: 

Main (Adult) Signing Tent (Adult and YA) – Signing schedule available here!
Children’s Signing Tent (Picture Book and Middle Grade) – Signing schedule available here!

Books signings will be held on-site for specific sessions happening at: 

First United Methodist Church
First Baptist Church
Central Presbyterian Church

Book Signings Policy

To be signed, books must be purchased from one of the Festival’s Book Sales Tents, the First United Methodist Church, the Central Presbyterian Church, or the First Baptist Church. One pre-owned book may be brought for signing. We cannot guarantee that every author’s guidelines will allow pre-owned books to be signed. Book Dealers are not allowed to bring books into the Book Signing Tent. Stealers with rolling carts and/or wagons are not allowed on the Festival grounds.

Book sales at the Festival fund the Festival weekend, our Reading Rock Stars program, and our Library Grants initiative. They also support authors! Support the Festival – buy books!

2022 Festival Schedule

Check out the full online schedule for the 2022 Texas Book Festival!

Printable Saturday GRID Schedule

Printable Sunday GRID Schedule

Use the Schedule to start planning your Festival Weekend November 5-6!

Please note: Sunday Stateside Theater sessions will be moving. Check the schedule on Thursday for updated locations and times for these sessions.

More helpful links:

We can’t wait to see you back in downtown Austin the weekend of November 5-6!

2022 Festival Friends Pass Sessions

We’re excited to announce this year’s Festival Friends Pass session! Friends Pass holders will enjoy priority seating and signing access for these sessions.

The Texas Book Festival brings culture, art, and literature to Texas for free thanks to generous donors. Become a 2022 Festival Friend by donating $100 or more and we’ll say thank you with a Festival Friends Pass. You’ll also know that you made a crucial difference in our communities by helping us keep arts and culture accessible for readers in Austin and across Texas.

Become a Festival Friend Today

The 2022 Festival Friends Pass Sessions are:

Sandra Brown in Conversation about Overkill
with Sandra Brown
Saturday, November 5, 11:30 am – 12:15 pm
House Chamber State Capitol

Art, Memory, and Larger-Than-Life Parents
with Ada Calhoun, Elizabeth McCracken
Saturday, November 5, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
House Chamber State Capitol

The Kennedys: New Biographies of JFK and Ted Kennedy
with John A. Farrell, Mark Updegrove
Saturday, November 5, 2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
House Chamber State Capitol

The Last Campaign: Sherman, Geronimo, and the War for America
with H.W. Brands
Saturday, November 5, 3:45 pm – 4:30 pm
House Chamber State Capitol

Omar Epps in Conversation: Nubia: The Awakening
with Omar Epps
Saturday, November 5, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
First United Methodist Church

The Second Half: New Starts at Middle Age
with Angie Cruz, James Hannaham
Saturday, November 5, 2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
Capital Auditorium E1.004

Matthew Quick in Conversation about We Are the Light
with Matthew Quick
Saturday, November 5, 3:45 pm – 4:30 pm
Capital Auditorium E1.004

Woman Without Shame
with Sandra Cisneros
Sunday, November 6, 11:30 am – 12:15 pm
House Chamber State Capitol

On Family and Food
with Rabia Chaudry, Madhushree Ghosh
Sunday, November 6, 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm
Capital Auditorium

Practicing Joy, Gaining Wisdom
with Ross Gay, Simran Jeet Singh
Sunday, November 6, 1:15 pm – 2:00 pm
Capital Auditorium