Book Club Guide to Texas Book Fest

Calling all book clubs! The Texas Book Festival is a great opportunity to discover your group’s next big read and to meet the authors you’ve been reading and discussing all year. This year, we’ve curated several sessions with book clubs in mind. Of course, we hope you’ll join us at EVERY session this year (and as soon as you figure out the human cloning technology to make this possible, please do let us know). All of these sessions are FREE and open to the public. The authors will sign copies of their books immediately afterwards. 



Sunday, November 5 3:00-4:00
Bring Your Book Club!

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweenty, Rumaan Alam, Amita Trasi
Location: Omni Hotel Ballroom
Bring your book club to the Festival to meet authors Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (The Nest), Rumaan Alam (Rich and Pretty) and Amita Trasi (The Color of Our Sky) as they discuss their new work. With wit, style, and characters you won’t stop discussing, these authors explore family, friendship, self-discovery and more in page-turning stories you’ll be eager to share.



Saturday, November 4 10:30-11:15
Family Forms
Amanda Eyre Ward and Emily Robbins

Moderated by Jardine Libaire
Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.016
The boundaries of love are tested in new novels by Texas writers Amanda Eyre Ward (The Nearness of You) and Emily Robbins (A Word for Love). From surrogate parenting to being a third party witness to a clandestine affair, Ward and Robbins discuss the particular nature of love just to the side of center and what draws them to write about the gray areas of human family and connection.



Saturday, November 4 11:00-11:45
Thank You For Being A Friend
Lisa Ko and Rakesh Satyal

Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.026
Sustaining friendships are at the centers of new novels by Lisa Ko (The Leavers) and Rakesh Satyal (No One Can Pronounce My Name). The friendships formed by characters as they immigrate to America and acclimate to life in New York and Cleveland become fundamental to their development and to the story. Join Ko and Satyal as they discuss writing foundational friendships.




Saturday, November 4 11:30-12:15
A Piece of The World
Christina Baker Kline and Sarah Bird

Location: Omni Hotel Ballroom
Celebrated Texas writer Sarah Bird sits down with Christina Baker Kline, friend and author of the mega-bestselling book club favorite, Orphan Train Girl, to discuss following up on her phenomenal success, the joys of the writing life, and Kline’s stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, A Piece of the World.





Saturday, November 4 12:15-1:00
Vintage Writers on Reading
Will Schwalbe and Ariel Lawhon

Location: Capitol Auditorium
An intimate seminar for readers interested in the behind the scenes of being a writer. William Schwalbe (Books for Living) and Ariel Lawhon (Flight of Dreams) will talk about their respective reading and writing habits. Special tote bags with complimentary advanced readers copies will be handed out!





Saturday, November 4 12:15-1:00
Family History, Family Destiny
Min Jin Lee and Hala Alyan
Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.014
Setting their new novels against the backdrop of very different, very contentious points in history, Min Jin Lee (Pachinko), Hala Alyan (Salt Houses) and Rodrigo Hasbún (Affections) open up generational stories of displacement and destiny in Korea, Kuwait City, Bolivia and beyond. Join them as they discuss how political forces shaped the lives, structures and fates of their characters and how history drew each of them to the page.




Saturday, November 4 2:15-3:00
Stephanie Powell Watts and C. Morgan Babst

Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.016
What does it mean to come home again when home has been ravaged by a hurricane, or family neglect, or poverty, or time? What would constitute home then? In new novels by C. Morgan Babst (The Floating World) and Stephanie Powell Watts (No One Is Coming to Save Us), characters learn that not all homecomings are created equal. Join them as they discuss writing about what comes after the storm of time.





Sunday, November 4 1:30-2:15
Unexpected Connection

Rachel Kadish and Jessica Shattuck in Conversation
Location: Omni Hotel Ballroom
Soon after meeting in a Boston writers’ group, Rachel Kadish (The Weight of Ink) and Jessica Shattuck (The Women in the Castle) learned that they shared an unexpected bond: Kadish’s grandparents were Holocaust survivors; Shattuck’s were members of the Nazi party. Join them as they discuss their friendship, the questions they asked one another, and how their family histories informed their new historical novels–and offer context for current event.




Sunday, November 5 2:00-2:45
It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s…. My Family?
Ladee Hubbard and Daryl Gregory
Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.012

You think your family is strange? Master storytellers Ladee Hubbard (The Talented Ribkins) and Daryl Gregory (Spoonbenders) introduce us to vastly different families with talents the likes of which you’ve never seen. But these powers are not all they’re cracked up to be. These authors will challenge what you think you know about human limitations and the strength of human spirit.




Sunday, November 5 11:00-11:45
Unraveling WWII
Cristina García
Location: Capitol Extension Room 2.036
Cristina García, bestselling author of the classic Dreaming in Cuban and finalist for the National Book Award, talks with author Natalia Sylvester about García’s new novel, Here in Berlin. This portrait of a city through snapshots excavates the stories and ghosts of contemporary Berlin, still pulsing with its past and WWII.






Browse More TBF Book Club Books!



Announcing the 2017 Texas Book Festival Poster and Featured Artist



With much fanfare and excitement, we are thrilled to unveil the official 2017 Texas Book Festival poster! Each year, our committee gathers to consider the work of Texas artists and discuss the artistic vision for the annual Festival. We’re happy to announce this year’s poster artist is Joel SalcidoAustin-based photographer and author of the new book, The Spirit of Tequila. His stunning image of a pitayo cactus at sunset evokes the wide-open sense of possibility and awe that draws us west and south to the limitless vistas of Texas and beyond: the same feeling we have each time we open a good book.

“For this photograph to be at the forefront of this year’s Book Festival is an absolute joy and somewhat surreal. Being selected as the Texas Book Festival’s 2017 artist is a true honor for which I’m incredibly grateful.” – Joel Salcido


Salcido explains the origin of the photograph in his forthcoming book, The Spirit of Tequila (Trinity University Press, November 2017): 

“I arrived in Atotonilco el Alto, in the highlands of Jalisco, home of some of the best tequila distilleries, where the iron-rich soil, elevation, and climate favor the blue agave plants. Standing guard to the agave fields is the pitayo cactus, which eventually morphs into a spiny tree bearing the exotic pitaya fruit. Most of Mexico’s beauty is entrusted to ancient and adolescent landscapes where sunlight, blue agaves, and the pitayos claim their territorial majesty.”

Joel Salcido grew up with one foot in Mexico and the other in the United States. He was a staff photographer for the El Paso Times and has also traveled extensively in Latin America for USA Today. He has received numerous awards, including several for his coverage of life in Cuba and inhalant abuse on the U.S.-Mexico border. His images appear in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the El Paso Museum of Art, the University of Texas Harry Ransom Humanities Center, and the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. Additional acquisitions have been made by the Federal Reserve Bank, the University of Texas at San Antonio, and the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. The image from this book, Atotonilco el Alto, is in Mexico’s National Art Heritage Series.

The Spirit of Tequila includes nearly ninety photographs that reveal not only the tequila-making process but also the culture and traditions of the region where it’s made. Joel Salcido traveled across Jalisco and neighboring Mexican states capturing images of distilleries and artisanal tequileras, including blue agave fields at sunset, the agave’s pineapple-like centers (piñas), elegantly shadowed barrel rooms (añejos), and the agave farmers themselves. The result is a celebration of the tradition and culture of this iconic drink. The book will be available in November.

Many thanks to this year’s poster committee, and to DJ Stout and his team at Pentagram, for their input into the selection process and for creating the final poster. The 2017 poster will be available at this year’s Texas Book Festival, taking place in Austin November 4-5. We’ll see you there!



2017 Texas Teen Book Festival Keynotes

The Texas Teen Book Festival has announced its 2017 keynote authors!

“TTBF 2017 is shaping up to be amazing!” says Festival Director Shawn Mauser. “I could hardly keep the keynote news to myself. Connecting teens with authors they love is the core of what we do. We’re thrilled to give Texas teens the opportunity to meet these exciting, inspiring writers.”

Head to the Texas Teen Book Festival site to check out this year’s fabulous keynote authors!

Join us at St. Edward’s University on October 7 for another jam-packed day of all things YA. The Texas Teen Book Festival is, as always, free and open to the public. Stay tuned to #TTBF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-the-minute news and announcements about this year’s Fest. Sign up for the TTBF mailing list to have all of the latest information delivered straight to your inbox.

This is only the beginning. So much more big news to come! We can’t wait for October 7!

TBF + SoulCycle Charity Ride: Sign Up Today!

We are excited to announce our first ever SoulCycle charity ride on Sunday May 7, 2017, at 1pm. Join us at the downtown Austin SoulCycle location to raise money for the annual Festival as well as our year-round outreach literacy programs like Reading Rock Stars and our annual Texas Library Grants.

Everyone, from cycling enthusiasts to exercise novices alike, is invited to celebrate literature in Texas and raise money for crucial literary programming in Austin and throughout Texas.

A charity ride is a 45-minute signature SoulCycle class where each individual bike is sold to raise money for the partnering cause. Tickets are available now, with water and shoes included. We promise it will be fun.

Be a part of what makes our literary community so vibrant— together we can inspire Texans of all ages to love reading!


Texas Book Festival Sunday highlights by Bob Daemmrich 10-26-2014. for Texas Book Festival promo use only, all other rights reserved. Call 512-469-9700 for permissions.

Our 2017 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest is now open!

We are now accepting submissions to the 2017 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest (formerly called the Youth Fiction Writing Contest).

The theme this year is: “Funny Running Into You Here.”


Texas Book Festival 2014 - SaturdayHosted by the Texas Book Festival and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at the University of Texas at Austin, with generous support from AT&T, the Fresh Ink Fiction Contest encourages and rewards creative writing in Texas schools. Junior and high school Texas students are invited to submit a piece of original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length. The submissions are judged by Texas Book Festival authors, local educators, and leaders in the publishing industry. Submitted entries are considered in three divisions: grades 7-8; grades 9-10; and grades 11-12.


Texas Book Festival 2015 SaturdayWinners receive a cash prize: $250 for first place, $100 for second, and $50 for third. This year, for the first time, the first place prize will also include $500 awarded to their school library.

In addition, first place winners are awarded a plaque, have their stories published on the TBF website, and are invited to participate on a panel during the Texas Book Festival weekend. The Texas Book Festival and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement provide accommodations for the first place winners and their family for one night. Finalists and semi-finalists in grades 9-12 also receive an invitation to a writing workshop at the Texas Book Festival hosted by Austin Bat Cave.


2017 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest Rules: Entries that do not follow all contest rules will be disqualified.

1) Students must reside in Texas and enter in one of the three divisions: Grades 7-8, Grades 9-10, or Grades 11-12. Authors enter the division for which they were a student during the 2016-2017 academic year.

2) All entries must be an original piece of fiction. No fan fiction or works containing any plagiarism will be accepted.

3) All entries must be submitted by emailing a Word document to freshink@texasbookfestival.orgAll documents must be readable—extensions cannot be granted for corrupted, locked, or unreadable documents, so be sure to test your document before submitting.

4) There is no entry fee.

5) Entries must be 2,000 words or less, 12 point type, double-spaced, and related to the 2017 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest theme.

6) Entries must have a cover page that includes name, entry title, grade level, and an automated word count.

7) Entries must be submitted between March 27, 2017 and June 1, 2017.

8) Each student may only enter one submission.


If you have any questions, email Lea Bogner (please do not email questions to the submission email above). Remember judges will look for excellence in use of dialogue, imagery, character development, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. Good luck, and get writing!

2017 Internship Opportunities!

Join the Texas Book Festival Team as an Intern!

The Texas Book Festival and the Texas Teen Book Festival offer ongoing unpaid internships designed to expose qualified applicants to editorial, marketing and publicity, and development work, and other aspects of publishing, nonprofit organizations, and event planning. We’re now accepting applications for 2017 internships!

Take a look at the full list of available internships.

From programming to outreach to development and graphic design, we’re looking for help! Festival internships are particularly valuable for those interested in publishing, journalism, creative writing, and nonprofit operations. Interns receive a front row view of the inner workings of book marketing, publicity and event management, as well as gain an understanding of the rhythms and cycles of publishing, nonprofit fundraising, and community engagement.

Full disclosure: if you intern for the Texas Book Festival, there’s a 95% chance you will be asked to pose for Instagram. It’s painless, we promise. Look at these happy interns:



And also sometimes there’s dancing!



TBF + BookPeople Present: ANTHONY DOERR

Anthony Doerr Web Slider (1)

We’re pleased to announce we’ve teamed up with BookPeople to welcome Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, to Central Presbyterian Church in Austin to speak about and sign his highly acclaimed novel on Thursday, April 6th at 7:00PM.

Tickets are now available and include a paperback copy of ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.
VIP tickets support the Festival and come with a set of limited edition TBF cards featuring the art of Jack Unruh!


IMG_0081 IMG_0080


If you, like us, are among the thousands of readers who were stunned by Doerr’s beautiful, wrenching novel set during World War II, don’t miss this opportunity to hear him discuss this unforgettable story and meet him in person. Doerr will be signing books at Central Presbyterian Church after he talks. We hope you’ll choose to support the Texas Book Festival’s literacy programs by selecting a VIP ticket. Every dollar funds our mission to connect readers with authors and to strengthen libraries and literacy across Texas.

In addition to his phenomenally bestselling, award-winning recent novel, Doerr is also the author of two story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize.

Here’s a little preview of what we have to look forward to on April 6th: 


We hope you’ll join us and BookPeople for this very special event. Purchase your tickets now!

2017 Book Submissions Now Open!


Sound the trumpets and send us your books! Submissions are now open for the 2017 Texas Book Festival, which will take place November 4-5 in and around the State Capitol grounds in downtown Austin.

Before you start packing your manuscripts in bubble wrap and heading to the post office, be sure to check out all of our submission information and guidelines.

As always, we’re looking for a wide variety of books by writers who represent diverse genres and perspectives. We’re excited to get reading and begin planning conversations for this year’s Festival. Thanks so much for taking the time to submit. We look forward to reading your work!

2017 Texas Book Festival Dates!


Mark Your Calendar for the 2017 Texas Book Festival!

Join us on the Texas State Capitol grounds in downtown Austin for the 22nd annual Texas Book Festival on November 4-5, 2017!

2016 was a record-setting year for the Texas Book Festival. We welcomed 300 authors and 50,000 attendees in our biggest celebration of books, literacy and the culture of ideas in the Festival’s history. Thank you for being a part of a memorable Festival Weekend!

We’re now hard at work making plans for another tremendous Festival. This means we’re reading a ton of new books. Be sure to keep up with us for reading recommendations and book news all year long on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We can’t wait to see you in Austin November 4-5

P. S. Book submissions for the 2017 Festival are open! Check out all of the submission guidelines and instructions.

Texas Teen Book Festival Announces 2016 Keynotes!

OpeningKeynoteTaylor2016 ClosingKeynoteBardugo2016


Texas Teen Book Festival has announced its 2016 keynote speakers! Get excited for bestselling authors Laini Taylor (Strange in the Dreamer) and Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom)! Check out the full announcement over on the TTBF blog.

Stay tuned for plenty more news to come about this year’s Texas Teen Book Festival! Join the #TTBF mailing list, follow TTBF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@txteenbookfest) and mark your calendars for October 1, when we’ll celebrate a great, big day of #YAlit on the campus of St. Edward’s University!