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.

Don’t forget to submit your books! Submissions for the 2023 Texas Book Festival are now open through Monday, May 30. Please visit our website for FAQs and instructions on how to submit your book. If you have any questions, send us an email at bookfest@texasbookfestival.org.

2023 Book Submissions Now Open

Submissions for Texas Book Festival 2023 are open January 30 through June 6, 2023. Please read the following FAQs and instructions carefully before submitting your book. 

The Texas Book Festival is scheduled to take place in-person in downtown Austin, Saturday and Sunday, November 11–12, 2023. When evaluating submissions, we consider not only a book’s literary merit but how and where it might fit within a genre and age-group balanced lineup.

Texas Book Festival 2023 will present 250–300 authors, from Texas and beyond, whose books are published within the 12 months preceding the Festival. All authors who are invited to participate will be featured in at least one session; most sessions are panels and conversation with authors and moderators. The Festival does not feature authors for book signings only, and spots for solo-author sessions are limited.

Please read all of the following information before submitting a book to Texas Book Festival for consideration for Festival 2023.

To be considered for this year’s Festival, please submit or have your publicist or representative submit all of the following. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.

  • One (1) physical copy of a finished book, galley, ARC, or manuscript shipped to the address below.
  • A media kit with clippings and reviews and an author bio, including past publications when applicable, and additional information you consider relevant to the evaluation process. Please include your media kit when shipping your physical books or ARCs/galleys to the TBF office.
  • A completed online submission form. After reading the information and FAQs below, you can submit a title via the form below.

Send materials to:

Texas Book Festival, ATTN: Literary Director, 1023 Springdale Road, Building 14, Suite B, Austin, TX 78721

  • Incomplete submissions will not be eligible. Submissions are not considered complete until we have received all required materials.
  • Completed submissions must be received by June 6, 2023.
  • To be considered, books must be published in the 12 months prior to the Festival (between October 2022 and November 2023). Priority consideration will be given to books published in 2023 and, in particular, first releases rather than reprints in other formats.
  • Each year we aim to ensure a diverse, vibrant, balanced mix of books and authors from many categories and genres, on many topics and themes, and for all age groups. When evaluating submissions, we consider not only a book’s literary merit but where it might fit in with the other work in the overall lineup. Please see the FAQ below to learn the types of books considered and not considered.
  • Most invitations go out between June and August. If you are selected to be a part of the Festival program, you will hear from us no later than September 2023.
  • Due to the large volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to reply to each submission and inquiry individually, though we do try.
  • Submitted materials will not be returned.


When should a book be submitted?

Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis between January 30 and June 6. We encourage you to submit your book as soon as you can. Note that while we will consider books published up to 12 months prior to the start of the Festival (November 11–12, 2023), priority is given to books—and particularly first editions rather than re-releases in other formats—published within the Festival year.

Who decides which authors are invited?

Invitations are issued at the discretion of the Literary Director, upon consultation with Author Selection Committees—which comprise published authors, writers, educators, and publishing professionals.

What types of books are considered?

We aim to provide an excellent and diverse mix of literature for all visitors and participating authors featuring books from the following genres:

  • Art and architecture
  • Cookbooks and food-related literature
  • Children’s and young adult literature, including picture books and chapter books
  • Fiction—all genres
  • Graphic novels
  • Narrative nonfiction—biography, essays, history, long-form journalism, and memoir. Nonfiction books are considered from a variety of perspectives that encourage and engage in fair, respectful discussions of history, figures, and ideas.
  • Poetry
  • Titles with a Texas focus and titles written by Texas authors

What types of books are not considered?

Texas Book Festival focuses on the promotion of literature, ideas, and literary culture. Books on the topics of self-improvement, how-to/instructional books, books primarily for business management and leadership audiences, devotionals, or books solely of academic or religious interest will not be considered. At this time we do not consider books available only in e-book or audio format. If you are unsure whether your book falls into one of these categories, please email us at bookfest@texasbookfestival.org.

Should a self-published author submit?

Self-published titles will be considered only if they meet the following criteria:

  • The title is bound.
  • Printed copies are or will be available for purchase from an established wholesaler or distributor so that our partner bookseller can stock and sell them.
  • The book has been separately developmentally/structurally edited, copyedited, and proofread by professional, experienced editors.
  • The book has been professionally designed.
  • The book has, or will have upon publication, an EAN barcode, an ISBN, and has on its copyright page an LCCN number.
  • A marketing plan has been made and is submitted with the title. Please include within the plan whichever items you deem relevant: e.g., scheduled media appearances, bookstore visits, a brief bio, a list of where your book is available for purchase online or brick-and-mortar, etc.
  • A functional and current author website exists.

Self-published titles that meet the above criteria will be considered and evaluated the same as traditionally published books.


Please first consult the FAQ above, and if the answer you’re seeking is not found there, please email 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