Amplify the Texas Book Festival!

Help us inspire Texans of all ages to love reading!

The Texas Book Festival is participating in Amplify Austin to help fund our year-round literary programs. We strive every day to inspire Texans of all ages to love reading, from the YA fans at the Texas Teen Book Festival, to Title I public elementary schools students, to readers at rural libraries, to the 50,000 attendees at the annual Festival. Schedule your donation to the Texas Book Festival through Amplify Austin!

What is the Texas Book Festival doing in Austin and Texas?


Real Reads

The newest literacy program for the Texas Book Festival, Real Reads brings critically acclaimed and popular YA authors like Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Nic Stone to middle- and high-schools students. Not only do the students get their own new, hardcover copies of the books, but they get to meet the authors! These students participate in a book club curriculum leading up to the Texas Teen Book Festival or Festival Weekend, where they get a private session with the author to ask ALL their questions. Real Reads is in Austin and Dallas, for now!


Reading Rock Stars

Since the program began, the Texas Book Festival has given out more than 117,900 books in Title I public elementary schools.  The Reading Rock Stars program is available to Title I Elementary schools in Austin, the Rio Grande Valley, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston. More than a one-day author visit, we work with schools ahead of time with curriculum guides, follow-up to determine impact, and commit to each school for three year. For many children, this is the first book they will own, which can make all the difference. Watch this Reading Rock Stars video to learn more about the program!


Texas Teen Book Festival 

This year marks the twelfth year of the Texas Teen Book Festival! This unique Festival features critically acclaimed YA authors such as Marie Lu, Jason Reynolds, Julie Murphy, and many more! The free, one-day Festival welcomes more than 5,000 enthusiastic readers to a welcoming and safe space to meet their favorite authors, discover new books, and feel at home with fellow young readers. Many come in literary costumes, and spend the entire day with their friends at panels programmed specifically for this audience. Encouraging the joy of reading at this age is so important! Check out this cool TTBF video!


Texas Public Library Grants

The Texas Book Festival was founded in part to support Texas libraries as invaluable community resources. With these crucial funds, libraries purchase the books needed by their unique community, whether large-print books, bilingual board books, or just new fiction. Since 1996, the organization has funded 1,169 grants totaling over $3 million to 600+ libraries in every corner of the state.


Festival Weekend 

Last but certainly not least, the annual Festival Weekend! In 2020 the Festival will be on November 7 and 8, in and around the Texas State Capitol. This free literary event features more than 275 authors and welcomes more than 50,000 attendees to attend panel discussions, meet authors, and enjoy downtown Austin with other readers. The Kids on Congress, YA HQ, and Next Chapter tents make this a perfect weekend destination for families. The C-Span Tent, Texas Tent, Latinx Lit Tent, and many more venues provide a range of programming for everyone. Check out some Festival highlights!


Schedule your donation at https://amplifyatx.ilivehereigivehere.org/texasbookfestival and change lives through literature and literacy. Happy reading!

Follow our progress and all Texas Book Festival news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. #txbookfest

Applications for 2020 Library Grants are now open!

Libraries across Texas can now apply for a 2020 grant to help expand their library collections and share the diversity and breadth of literature with their communities.

These Texas Book Festival Collections Enhancement Grants are made possible by funds raised at the annual Festival and through TBF’s generous donors. Since 1996, the organization has funded 1,169 grants totaling over $3 million to 600+ libraries in every corner of the state. Read more here to see which Texas libraries received grants in 2019.

The 2020 application is now available, and the deadline has been extended to Friday, May 15. Please contact bookfest@texasbookfestival.org with any questions. Download the application here.

Visit our library grants page for more information!

Tell us about your Festival experience!

Booklovers! We are so grateful to you for making this year’s Festival one of the best yet. With plenty of sunshine, engaging conversations, and a buzzing Congress Avenue, the 2019 Texas Book Festival was a success. We could not do any of this without you!

We’d like to hear your thoughts on this year’s Festival. What did you think about our lineup and activities? Where did you spend most of your time? What was your experience like?

Take our survey here for a chance to win the above grab bag, which includes a #TXBOOKFEST tote, a Festival pencil bag, and seven books from this year’s amazing authors, including Stephen Harrigan, Merrit Tierce, and Rodrigo Márquez Tizano. We want to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable experience at TBF, so your feedback will help us plan an even better Fest next year.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Colson Whitehead in Austin

Texas Book Festival and BookPeople are proud to host Colson Whitehead as he presents his newest novel, The Nickel Boys. We’re pleased to also partner with the Austin African American Book Festival and Black Studies at the University of Texas at Austin to produce this event.

In this masterful follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.

Please join us for an evening with this great American author discussing
his newest work!

See full event guidelines and get your book tickets here

____________________________________

“I always have these ideas, and I think, ‘That would be really good; if I was a better writer, I could pull it off.’ And then I try to become a better writer to do it justice.”

—Colson Whitehead

____________________________________

Who:   Award-winning author Colson Whitehead
What:  Presenting 2019 novel The Nickel Boys
When: 7PM Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Where: First Baptist Church, Austin, TX

Book Tickets available now: get yours today

Brunch with Edward Lee

When: Sunday, October 28 at 11am-1pm

Where: Olamaie
1610 San Antonio Street
Austin, TX 78701

Tickets: Include three-course brunch and copy of Buttermilk Graffiti

Tickets now available!

We are thrilled to partner with Olamaie to host Edward Lee for an exclusive brunch on Sunday, October 28, at 11 a.m. Tickets are now on sale for this special event, and will include a three-course brunch featuring recipes Chef Michael Fojtasek will present with his own spin from both of Lee’s cookbooks, including his latest, Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine, along with Olamaie biscuits and brunch cocktails.

The morning will kick off with passed appetizers from Olamaie, with Lee onsite to welcome and mingle with guests and explain the inspiration for his dishes. Tickets for the limited seating event are priced at $125 per person and are available now. Tickets include one signed copy of Buttermilk Graffiti along with food and cocktails at brunch.

Edward Lee is the chef and owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky, and culinary director of Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. He appears frequently in print and on television, including earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the Emmy Award-winning series The Mind of a Chef. Most recently, he wrote and hosted the feature documentary Fermented. Lee has released two cookbooks, Smoke & Pickles and Buttermilk Graffiti. In his latest release, which was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Food Books for spring 2018, Lee delves into the intersection of food and culture on an epic trip across America where he finds exceptional food in unconventional places.

Lee will also be at the Texas Book Festival in the Central Market Cooking Tent on Saturday, October 27, in the afternoon. The schedule details will be available on the Texas Book Festival website.

Purchase your brunch tickets today!

Exciting News: TBF is Moving!

Hey Booklovers! We’ve got exciting news: we’re moving!
While the Texas Book Festival will still take place in and around the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin, our 6th street office—our home since the Festival’s beginning in 1995—is officially closed.

But don’t worry! We aren’t going far.

We are excited to be joining the Center for Social Innovation at Springdale General on the east side of Austin later this summer, and can’t wait to share photos of our new digs with you!  In the meantime, please save our current mailing address:
PO Box 6020
Austin, TX  78762

Keep an eye out for moving updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Preview: African American Book Festival

This Saturday, June 23rd, the 12th annual Austin African American Book Festival will take place from 9:30 – 5:00 pm at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.

The mission of this festival, which began in 2007, is to, “…promote empowerment through literature. We are a community event that brings readers and writers together and produces and facilitates collaboration, dialogue, creativity and activism.” The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to author signings, the festival will host several panels, including a new author showcase, children’s story time, and a Black Sci Fi Writers and Readers Meetup. This year’s keynote speaker is Paul Coates, founder of Black Classic Print and father of bestselling author Ta-Nehisi Coates. The 2018 author lineup also includes Victoria Christopher Murray, Evan Narcisse, Brooke Obie, Lori Aurelia Williams and Don Tate.

Victoria Christopher Murray is the author of more than 30 books including If Only for One Night, Temptation: The Aftermath, It Should’ve Been Me and Fortune & Fame. The prolific author is an Essence bestselling author and the winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Fiction.

Evan Narcisse is the journalist turned comic book author behind the new Rise of the Black Panther series, co-written with bestselling author Ta-Nehisi Coates. Rise of the Black Panther follows the life of young T’Challa, crown prince of the powerful kingdom of Wakanda, as he copes with the death of his father, and battles T’Chaka for the throne that is his birthright. Narcisse, along with Coates, has released six comics thus far.

Brooke Obie is the author of the award-winning novel Cradled Embers, the first book in the Book of Addis series. Cradled Embers is the story of a young woman, Addis, who has escaped the man that enslaved her and is now on the run. This story about oppression, love, loss, and freedom won the 2017 Phillis Wheatley Book Award for First Fiction and the 2017 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award for self-published fiction.

Lori Aurelia Williams is the YA author of When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune, Broken China, Maxine Banks is Getting Married and Shayla’s Double Brown Baby Blues. Williams is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and recipient of a James A. Michener Fellowship. Born in Houston, Williams currently resides in Austin.

Don Tate an illustrator and author with more than 50 children’s books to his name including Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch and Ron’s Big Mission. Tate’s books tend to focus on historical events, he is the two-time recipient of an Ezra Jack Keats Book Author Award, the winner of a 2016 Christopher Award and a 2016 Texas Institute of Letters book award.

For more information, visit: http://www.aabookfest.com/

Lineup Sneak Peek: Fifteen Authors presenting at the 2018 Texas Book Festival

We are thrilled to give you a sneak peek at our 2018  Texas Book Festival Lineup! These fifteen authors are set to present their books over the Festival Weekend, October 27 and 28, in and around the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin.

We’ll reveal our full lineup of authors presenting at the 2018 Festival in August—in the meantime, you can catch all TBF news and announcements by signing up for our newsletter, and following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

 

*  *  *

 

Alexander Chee – How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Bestselling author of  The Queen of the Night, Alexander Chee, has now put himself on the map as the next great essayists of his generation with How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, his first work of nonfiction. In a collection of essays about his life, Chee details events both deeply impactful to him, like the death of his father, and to the nation, like the AIDS crisis, and 9/11. With a voice that is both commanding and honest, Chee stuns in his nonfiction debut.

 

Alfredo Corchado – Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexian-American Migration

The second book from Mexican-American journalist Alfredo Corchado, Homelands tells the story of Mexican immigration through three decades. Centered around four friends, an activist, an entrepreneur, a lawyer, and Alfredo himself, Corchado tracks the changes and challenges of  immigration through their relationships with one another. Homelands is both a beautiful story about friendship and required reading for our current political state. Corchado is currently the Mexico City bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News.

 

Erin Entrada Kelly – You Go First

We are proud to welcome Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly to the 2018 Festival. Author of several middle grade novels, including Hello, Universe, Kelly’s latest novel, You Go Firstfollows the lives of young Charlotte and Ben, two kids with little in common outside of an online Scrabble game. Kelly’s gem of a book tackles bullying, family, and the ultimate struggle that is middle school in a beautiful and engaging way.

 

David Grann – The White Darkness

Acclaimed author and New Yorker staff writer David Grann follows his two bestselling books, Killers of the Flower Moon and The Lost City of Z, with a brand new true story of adventure. The White Darkness follows Henry Worsley and his fascination with Ernest Shackleton, the explorer who attempted to be the first person to reach the South Pole and cross Antarctica on foot. Grann brings an impossible story to life with a powerful prose about a man and his obsessions.

 

Sandra Cisneros – Puro Amor 

We are proud to present much-beloved poet and author, Sandra Cisneros, winner of the American Book Award and acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street. Cisneros’s latest book is a bilingual blend of fiction and illustration about love, devotion, and a house full of animals. Sweet, poignant, and full of life, Puro Amor is illustrated throughout with the author’s original line drawings. 

 

Fatima Farheen Mirza – A Place for Us

The debut novel from Fatima Farheen Mirza, A Place For Us explores themes of family, sense of self, and belonging. The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us features a less-than-perfect family with less-than-perfect relationships. Parents struggle with the decisions of their children, daughters choose to marry for love and not tradition, and a son tries to make his way home. Brimming with both love and loss, Mirza writes with an eloquence deserving of praise.

 

V.E. Schwab – Vengeful

We are pleased to announce New York Times bestselling author of the Shades of Magic series, This Savage Song, and Our Dark Duet, and master of contemporary science fiction and fantasy, V.E. Schwab, will be attending the 2018 Texas Book Festival! Schwab’s newest is the highly anticipated sequel in her Villains series, Vengeful (following Vicious, which was re-released earlier this year).

 

Tommy Orange – There There

Breakthrough author Tommy Orange’s debut novel, There There, has been one of the most highly praised books of 2018 thus far. There There is a multi-generational story that follows the lives of twelve characters all headed to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. A powerful book about the plight of the urban Native American, The New York Times has called it “groundbreaking” and “extraordinary.”

 

Mary Pope Osborne – Magic Tree House#30: Hurricane Heroes in Texas 

The 30th installment of Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House series, Hurricane Heroes in Texas, series brings Jack and Annie to our own great state for the 1900 Hurricane in Galveston, Texas—the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the Western Hemisphere. Osborne’s historical fiction books for young readers has become an internationally-beloved and bestselling series and is supplemented by nonfiction companion books.

 

Tayari Jones – An American Marriage

New York Times Bestseller and a 2018 Oprah Book Club pick, Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage has been called “haunting … beautifully written” by the New York Times, and “A tense and timely love story’ . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class,” by People magazine. A stunning love story from the author of Silver Sparrow, An American Marriage is a brilliant as it is heartbreaking, following newlyweds Roy and Celestial as they begin to build a life together, only to have it torn apart by unforeseeable circumstances.

 

Chloe Benjamin – The Immortalists

From the author of The Anatomy of Dreams comes The Immortalists, one of the year’s first big bestsellers. The New York Times Book Review calls it, “A captivating family saga.” Benjamin’s novel follows the four Gold children whose lives are dictated by the prophecies of a traveling physic who claims to be able to predict the day someone will die. A novel of family and the power we give to our beliefs, The Immortalists is a stunner of a story.

 

Sandhya Menon – From Twinkle, With Love

New York Times bestselling Young Adult author of When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon’s latest novel From Twinkle, With Love has been called “utterly charming” by NPR. Following aspiring filmmaker Twinkle Mehra as she chases her dreams—and her heart—Menon’s sophomore novel is just as perfect and endearing as her first. We are elated to welcome Menon to the Festival!

 

Leslie Jamison – The Recovering 

Bestselling author of The Empathy Exams, and columnist for the New York Times Book Review, Leslie Jamison’s latest book, The Recovering, is part memoir, part investigative work. Focused on addiction and the narrative surrounding it, Jamison includes her own story, along with others including John Berryman and Billie Holiday, in order to examine who we are and why we need. Keen observations and unique voice make for a starkly real story about addiction and recovery which Entertainment Weekly called “Achingly wise.”

 

Walter Mosley – John Woman

From the beloved author of 47, Down the River Unto the Sea, Blonde Faith, and Devil in the Blue Dress, comes a new literary novel, John Woman, the riveting tale of a young New Yorker who transforms himself into Professor John Woman after the death of his father and the disappearance of his mother. Author of more than forty-five works of fiction and nonfiction, Walter Mosley is one of the most prolific authors of our time.

 

Joe Holley – Hurricane Season: The Unforgettable Story of the 2017 Houston Astros and the Resilience of a City

Journalist and native Texan Joe Holley has written for The Washington Post, Texas Monthly, Columbia Journalism Review, and The Houston Chronicle. His latest work, Hurricane Season, follows the Houston Astros’ journey to their first-ever World Series win in 2017, following the devastation caused when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast earlier that year. Chronicling both the story behind the team as well as the hearts of its players, Holley’s story is as bold and beautiful as the city of Houston itself.

Announcing our 2018 Festival Poster Artist!

 

We are thrilled to announce we have selected our 2018 Festival poster artist, Austin-based painter Valerie Fowler! Fowler’s oil painting, Spring, Everything Changes, will be featured on this year’s Festival poster and will represent our annual Festival Weekend.

Fowler’s career has spanned more than thirty years and includes a wide variety of works, from oil on canvas paintings to commissioned murals, CD art for local musicians, and even a fully illustrated 64 page book called “Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase,” to accompany a musical project written, recorded, and produced by her husband Brian Beattie. Fowler’s work most often explores the wildly diverse natural world of Texas and describes “a natural world of extreme beauty and vigor while also conveying nature’s sensitive vulnerability.”

“The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to feature Valerie Fowler’s work this year,” says Lois Kim, executive director of Texas Book Festival. “Her beautifully alive paintings convey the fantasy in our imaginations and the energy of what lies just beneath the surface. They perfectly capture the creative spirit of our Festival.”

The painting selected for our 2018 Festival poster features a gorgeous, surrealistic interpretation of Fredericksburg peach trees in bloom, evoking a sense of storybook wonder and the unique possibility of the Texas landscape.

“I hope my paintings bring recurring pleasure,” Fowler says. “Having a work of art you come back to is much like reading a favorite novel—every time you return to it, it takes you back to moments from earlier in your life: who you were before, who you’ve been since, and also gives you something new. When a painting keeps giving each time you come back to it, that’s part of what really makes it a successful painting.”

Our tradition of choosing a representative work by a Texas artist began in 1998, and the honor has been shared by acclaimed artists and photographers such as Lance Letscher, Julie Speed, Randal Ford, Dan Winters, Kate Breakey, and Jack Unruh.

“The Texas art community, I would say, is wide open, just like our skies, and we’re lucky to see so many diverse genres and types of art. The uniqueness is that there’s so much variety in Texas. Beyond even the differences in styles and influences between regions, you find a wide variety inside those regions—each city and area holds as much variety as the state itself, and the vastness of our state really lends itself to growing that variety.”

Join us this year on October 27 and 28 in downtown Austin for the 2018 Texas Book Festival!

 

Announcing the Recipients of our Harvey Relief Fund!

 

Last November over the 2017 Texas Book Festival Weekend, Festival-goers from all across the state helped us raise money to provide relief for school libraries affected by Hurricane Harvey. With matching grants from The Tocker Foundation and the Texas Book Festival, we were able to raise $10,000 to help five school libraries in Houston and the Gulf Coast area recover.

“These rebuilding grants are a wonderful example of the local community joining two Texas nonprofit literacy organizations to support Texas libraries in need. We are looking forward to seeing the new books on the shelves of these worthy schools.”  —Lois Kim, Executive Director

 

The five school libraries selected for funding are Aransas ISD Little Bay Primary and four
schools in Houston ISD: Forest Brook Middle School, Mitchell Elementary, Martinez Elementary, and Robinson Elementary.

Aransas ISD’s Little Bay Primary was heavily damaged during the storm and will not reopen. Its pre-kindergarten classrooms received substantial damage and all mentor texts for classroom libraries were lost. Funds will be used to purchase new classroom books for the 2018-2019 school year at Aransas ISD’s new campus, the Discovery Learning Center.

More than 20,000 books were destroyed in the four Houston ISD school libraries selected for funding. Forest Brook Middle School, Mitchell Elementary, Martinez Elementary, and Robinson Elementary will receive funds to help replace the books that were lost at each campus.

Thanks to you, these libraries will be able to replace books lost to flooding. 
Together, we keep our state #TXBookStrong!