2021 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest Winners

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Fresh Ink Fiction Contest! This year’s theme was “Thrive in a Hybrid World” and we were blown away by the submissions we received. We are very proud of all these talented young authors and are thankful that they chose to share their work with us!

Congratulations to the 2021 winners:

Middle School

Sara T. – The Princess and the Maid

Tiffany J. –  Hold My Hands in the River of Wishes

Dhwani N. – The Power Within

High School

Kayla H. – Ultranet

Thanh-Lan N. – Devotion

Reyna T. – Painting the Future

All Fresh Ink Fiction Contest participants will be awarded a Literati Kids gift card or subscription and invited to our creative writing workshop with featured speakers and authors. The Fresh Ink Fiction Contest is sponsored by AT&T . Thank you to partner Austin Bat Cave for providing workshops and Austin based book subscription company Literati for providing contest prizes!

AT&T logo

 

Join us for the 2021 Texas Book Festival!

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 including Chandler Baker, Oscar Cásares, Sandra Cisneros, Ann Cleeves, Tamron Hall, Nathan Harris, Louis Menand, Sam Quinones, Rumaan Alam, Mary Gaitskill, R. J. Palacio, Raj Patel, Amor Towles, Colson Whitehead, and more!

2021 Texas Book Festival Authors

Visit the 2021 Festival Schedule to register for our virtual and in-person session!

And if you love the Festival as much as we do, become a Festival Friend today!  In appreciation for your donation of $100 or more, you will receive a Festival Friends Pass which provides you with:

  • Special Festival Friends viewing access to virtual ticketed sessions
  • 20% discount on one book bought during the Festival week through BookPeople
  • Access to signed books through BookPeople online Festival Friends’ bookstore during Festival week
  • Acknowledgment on dedicated Festival Friends donor wall on TBF website 

Donors of $150 or more will receive a commemorative 25th anniversary enamel pin, and donors of $250 or more will receive the enamel pin, a special edition TBF tote bag, and Texas Monthly one-year home delivery and subscriber-only digital access.

 

Hispanic Heritage Month Events You Can’t Miss!

Let’s celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, with these 5 literary events across Texas and highlight the history, contribution, and cultural wealth of the Latinx community. Thank you Austin Public Library, Book People, and Humanities Texas for your commitment to lifting Latinx voices year round!


1. Spanish Language Story-Time at Austin Public Library: This year round resource highlights the community cultural wealth of the Latinx community.

 


2. Virtual event at Book People: My Two Border Towns

BookKids Presents: “A picture book debut by an award-winning author about a boy’s life on theU.S.-Mexico border,visiting his favorite places on The Other Side with his father, spending time with family and friends, and sharing in the responsibility of community care.”

 


3. Exhibition: In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César Chávez

Humanities Texas presents this traveling exhibition with thirty-eight photographs paired with excerpts from Chávez’s
dynamic speeches and authoritative writings.

 

 


4. Virtual event at Book People: Cuba in My Pocket

BookKids Presents a conversation about Cuba in My Pocket by Adrianna Cuevas: “A middle grade historical novel about a twelve-year-old boy who leaves his family in Cuba to immigrate to the U.S. by himself, based on the author’s family history.”

 


5. Exhibition: Voces Americanas: Latino Literature in the United States

This exhibition captures a quarter century of Hispanic publishing
through books, movie stills, public presentations, and illustrations.

 

 

 

BONUS UPDATE: We have more exciting events to share for this October. Check them out!

6. Hispanic Reading Room Virtual Programming

Join the Library of Congress in a webinar celebration of children’s and YA Latin American and Latinx literature, featuring Reading Rock Stars authors Raúl The Third and Sili Recio!

7. ¡Se Ha Dicho! Exhibit Reception

Join the reception to meet the curator and artists of ¡Se Ha Dicho! Exhibit at the Austin Central Library.

8. Viva Frida! Storyteller Blanca Reyna as Frida Kahlo

Come learn about the woman, the artist, the myth, and the mystery at Duncanville Pubic Library.

Now Hiring! School and Community Programs Coordinator

Open positions: School and Community Programs Coordinator

Join the Texas Book Festival Team! Over the past year we have continued to reach schools, libraries, students, and communities across Texas. We are looking for an enthusiastic person, committed to education, equity and inclusion, and community. Also, must love to read!

POSITION DESCRIPTION

The School and Community Programs Coordinator with the Texas Book Festival is responsible for coordinating the Texas Book Festival’s school and community programs, including Reading Rock Stars (Title I elementary school program), Real Reads (Title I middle- and high school program), and annual grants to Texas public libraries.

The School and Community Programs Coordinator is also responsible for planning and coordinating community outreach events throughout the year and maintaining relationships with relevant community organizations, stakeholders, and nonprofits, especially organizations and events related to TBF’s diversity initiatives.

All TBF staff members help with planning work, event support, and communication strategies for the annual Texas Book Festival, the Texas Teen Book Festival, and other literary events throughout the year.

RESPONSIBILITIES

SCHOOL AND LIBRARY PROGRAMS

  • Coordinate all components of Reading Rock Stars programs in Austin and other areas of the state, including:
    • identify eligible schools in Texas
    • coordinate school application and selection process
    • manage Reading Rock Stars contractors and volunteers
    • identify Reading Rock Stars authors and send invitations for participation (coordinating w/Literary Director)
    • develop relationships with childrens’ book publishers and maintain active knowledge of current landscape of childrens’ literature and publishing
    • communicate with participating authors and school administrators
    • create, develop and distribute curriculum guides for each author and school
    • manage program budgets
    • order accurate numbers of books for each selected school, negotiating maximum discounts
    • ability to deliver programs virtually as needed
  • Coordinate all components of Real Reads programs in Austin and other areas of the state, including:
    • identify eligible schools in Texas
    • coordinate school application and selection process
    • manage Real Reads contractors and volunteers
    • identify Real Reads authors and send invitations for participation (coordinating w/Literary Director)
    • develop relationships with Young Adult book publishers and maintain active knowledge of current landscape of YA literature and publishing
    • communicate with participating authors and school administrators
    • create, develop and distribute curriculum for each author and school
    • manage program budgets
    • order accurate numbers of books for each selected school, negotiating maximum discounts
    • ability to deliver program virtually as needed
  • Manage grants to Texas public libraries including applications, scoring, reports, and correspondence, collaborating with Texas Library Association throughout the year and at their annual conference
  • Manage and update historical records for all school and community programs
  • Maintain close communication with TBF’s School and Community Programs Board Committee, including coordinating committee meetings and issuing regular reports on school, library and community programs
  • Serve as TBF contact with TBF Community Ambassadors, coordinating meetings and updating TBF leadership on development and community engagement opportunities
  • Devise and implement community outreach plans to promote participation in and awareness of all TBF programs (w/Communications Coordinator as needed)
  • Produce reports for Executive Director and Board as needed
  • Manage relevant interns, managing their hiring, schedules, tasks, and recommendations

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Assist in creating/designing TBF school, library, and community outreach materials
  • Assist with maintaining and producing school and community programs content for website and social media

FESTIVAL PROGRAM AND EVENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Assist with TBF events throughout the year, including the Texas Book Festival, the Texas Teen Book Festival, and other literary, literacy, or volunteer events throughout the year.
  • Work with school outreach volunteer(s) to help coordinate class introductions for children’s authors at the annual Festival
  • Program Children’s Activity Tent and Children’s Entertainment Tent at the annual Festival by leveraging community partners
  • Attend Children’s Author Selection Committee meetings to assist with annual Festival programming
  • Coordinate Real Reads program at annual Festival and Texas Teen Book Festival
  • Partner with other educational nonprofits to bring programming to their students (ex., Breakthrough Central Texas, Andy Roddick Foundation)

EXPECTATIONS

  • Actively participate in and contribute to organization’s long-term strategic goals and success
  • Support and assist TBF team members when they need help
  • Embrace the all-in commitment required to make the annual Festival a success and understand that evening and weekend work will be expected in the weeks leading up to the Festival. Post-Festival days off and a generous office holiday schedule for Thanksgiving and December are provided in recognition of extra work time needed for the Festival.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 2 – 4 years of professional experience – nonprofit experience a plus
  • Flexibility and availability to travel around Texas (typically 1 – 2 overnights) to execute Reading Rock Stars, Real Reads, and Library Grant programs programs, or to adapt to virtual program delivery as needed
  • Experience in elementary education, bilingual education, and literacy preferred
  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Aptitude with technology and working in several different kinds of databases and programs
  • Ability to think creatively to problem solve and promote the Texas Book Festival
  • Dedication and enthusiasm for fulfilling the Texas Book Festival mission

APPLICATON INFO

Please submit cover letter, resume, and references to Gavin Quinn at bookfest@texasbookfestival.org.

Application deadline is September 20, 2021.

 

Annual BookPeople Day of Sales!

BookPeople Day of Sales: Thursday, September 2, 2021

Mark your calendar for Thursday, September 2, for BookPeople’s Day of Sales supporting the Texas Book Festival. BookPeople is donating a portion of all sales on September 2 to TBF!

Every book you buy during the Day of Sales will keep the Festival free and open to the public, provide books for students through Reading Rock Stars and Real Reads, and will keep the bookshelves full through Texas Library Grants. You can shop online or at the store…socially distanced of course!

Add to your TBR pile from the comfort of your home through the snazzy BookPeople website!

Or grab your mask and head to our home away from home, the BookPeople store in Austin.

Support the Texas Book Festival through our official indie bookseller, BookPeople!

 

New Releases by AAPI Authors

Every year during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I try to target one AAPI book that I can sit down and read. While I work at the Texas Book Festival, I actually rarely have time to sit down and read and my usual go-to books are cookbooks and graphic novels. So May feels like a special month to me, where I can say I read this book and I feel more connected to my Asian culture. Last year my book of choice was Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Hong Park, which I would highly recommend. It takes quite a bit of research for me to pick a book for May, so I thought I would share my shortlist as well as the book that I eventually chose for this month’s required reading.

Land of Big Numbers: Stories by Te-Ping Chen

Land of Big Numbers: Stories by Te-Ping Chen

This is a collection of short stories about people in China that weave realism and magical realism and explores how people deal with the struggles of making a name for themselves and climbing the social ladder. The subjects of each story are unique and fascinating, from the differences of how twins choose different paths in life to a group of people who are awaiting official permission to leave a subway platform. The latter was the story that drew me in initially, as a big fan of Samuel Beckett, my senior project in college being a theatrical production of Endgame. Buy the book here.

Klara and the Sun


Klara and the Sun
by Kazuo Ishiguro

Written by Nobel Prize in Literature winner Kazuo Ishiguro, this book is a story of Klara, an artificial intelligence friend that is waiting for the day that someone chooses them from the store. Klara observes the world outside from inside the store and tries to explore the meaning of what is love. I was interested in this book because of the similarities to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Buy the book here.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Lila has arrived home after a terrible breakup and she is tasked to help her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant. She has to deal with all of her aunties trying to set her up with new beaus and their criticism of her love life. When one particularly harsh restaurant critic, who is also her ex-boyfriend, drops dead after a moment of confrontation, her life turns from a story of romantic comedy tropes to a murder mystery. When the police are suspecting Lila as the murderer, she decides to start searching for answers on her own. I was drawn to this book for the murder mystery elements with some Asian flair, with Lila’s auntie network helping her figure out the case. It has serious Knives Out vibes that I love to see unfold. Buy the book.

Bestiary by K Ming Chang

Bestiary by K Ming Chang

When Mother tells Daughter about a tiger spirit that lives in a woman’s body, she shrugs it off as an old folk tale and goes to bed, only to find that she has grown a tiger tail overnight. This is the start of several events that are unusual and odd, like her aunt arrives with a snake in her belly and a hole in the backyard the spits up old letters from her grandmother. When Daughter meets Ben, a neighborhood girl with her own powers, they start to read the old letters to uncover why things are happening. This was a 2020 fall book that drew my attention because of how much I love Asian folklore and allegories. Buy the book.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

This book ended up being my pick because it felt like something I could relate to, which is crying in H Mart, a Korean supermarket (which has a store here in Austin). I cry in H Mart for different reasons than this author, but Michelle Zauner’s memoir really hits home with being an outsider in America and in her “mother” country of Korea. This memoir explores grief and coming into her own identity while trying to bridge two cultures, which resonated with me. I’ll be honest that Chapter 4 had me bawling my eyes out as I am still dealing with the grief of my father’s passing, but it is a worthwhile book that deserves its best-seller status. Buy the book.

 

Reads for International Women’s Day

Authors featured in the cover photo: Yaa Gyasi, Jam Sanitchat, and Valeria Luiselli

To commemorate International Women’s Day we have rounded up some great books by female authors that have come to our Festival in the past. Their voices carry a unique perspective that we celebrate here at the Texas Book Festival.

Valeria Luiselli (@ValeriaLuiselli)
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. She is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award, and has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney’s, among other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty languages. She attended the 2014 Texas Book Festival with her book, Faces in the Crowd.
Buy the book here.

Yaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi was born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She holds a BA in English from Stanford University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she held a Dean’s Graduate Research Fellowship. She attended the 2020 Texas Book Festival with her book Transcendent Kingdom.
Buy the book here.

Julia Alvarez (@writerjalvarez)
Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eleven books for children and young adults. She has taught and mentored writers in schools and communities across America and, until her retirement in 2016, was a writer in residence at Middlebury College. Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.” In the Time of the Butterflies, with over one million copies in print, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its national Big Read program, and in 2013 President Obama awarded Alvarez the National Medal of Arts in recognition of her extraordinary storytelling. Most recently Julia Alvarez attended the 2020 Texas Book Festival with her book, Afterlife.
Buy the book here.

Anika Fajardo (@anikawriter)
Anika Fajardo was born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota. She is the author of a book about that experience, Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family, which was awarded Best Book (Nonfiction) of 2020 from City Pages and was a finalist for the 2020 Minnesota Book Award. She is the author of the middle-grade novel What If a Fish, a 2021 finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. What If a Fish was featured in the 2020 Texas Book Festival.
Buy the book here.

Agustina Bazterrica (@AgusBazterrica)
Agustina Bazterrica is an Argentinian novelist and short story writer. She is a central figure in the Buenos Aires literary scene. She has received several awards for her writing, most notably the prestigious Premio Clarin Novela for her second novel, Tender Is the Flesh. Tender Is the Flesh was featured at the 2020 Texas Book Festival.
Buy the book here.

Jam Sanitchat (@thaifresh)
Born and raised in Thailand, Jam Sanitchat hails from a family of skilled cooks. She learned the craft from her grandmothers and mother beginning at the age of five. Jam moved to the United States to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Texas, then fell in love with Austin and the local food culture. She has fed the community ever since–through her farmers market stand, her cooking classes, and her popular restaurant, Thai Fresh. Her dairy-free ice cream parlor, Gati opened in 2020. Thai Fresh (the cookbook) was featured at the 2020 Texas Book Festival.
Buy the book here.

Ibi Zoboi (@ibizoboi)
Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her YA novel American Street was a National Book Award finalist and her debut middle grade novel, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, was a New York Times bestseller. She is the author of Pride, a contemporary YA remix of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and editor of the anthology, Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America. Her most recent bestseller, Punching the Air, is a YA novel-in-verse, co-authored by prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five. Raised in New York City, Ibi now lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three children. My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich was a featured title at the 2019 Texas Book Festival.
Buy the book here.

Einat Admony (@chefeinat)
Einat Admony is the author of Balaboosta and chef/owner of New York City’s popular Balaboosta, Kish-Kash, and Taïm restaurants, which have been featured in The New Yorker, the New York Times, and New York magazine, among many other newspapers, magazines, and websites. When Admony is not at her restaurants, she can be found at her home in Brooklyn, cooking for the crowd of family and friends who regularly gather around her dining table. Her book, Shuk, was featured at the 2019 Texas Book Festival.
Buy the book here.

Additional Resources:
International Women’s Day Website

A Conversation with Justin Deabler

For our March book club pick, TBF Literary Director Matt Patin will be chatting with native Houstonian Justin Deabler about his first book, Lone Stars. Grab your copy and register today for our discussion on Thursday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Zoom details will be sent to participants closer to the event. Please email bookfest@texasbookfestival with any questions.


“Lone Stars is a multigenerational story, told with sincerity, heart and a profound understanding of what it means to grow up in a community where being homosexual is considered perverse. It’s also a novel about secrets, and not just those pertaining to sexual identity.” – Carol Memmott, Washington Post

2021 book club picks:

February: Memorial by Bryan Washington

January: Nights When Nothing Happened by Simon Han

2020 book club picks:

December: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

November: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

October: Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

September: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

August: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

July: The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

June: How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones

May: The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

April: Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

March: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

February: You and I Eat the Same edited by Chris Ying

January: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

 

Watch Bryan Washington on Facebook Live

UPDATE: If you were not able to join us for the Memorial discussion earlier this week, here is Bryan Washington’s panel at the 2020 Texas Book Festival.


For our February book club pick, we will be leading a live discussion while we watch Bryan Washington at the 2020 Texas Book Festival on Facebook Live! Our Communications and Marketing Coordinator Ke’ara Hunt will moderate the conversation about Memorial in the Texas Book Festival Book Club Facebook group. The discussion will take place on Tuesday, March 16 at 12:30 p.m. CT. Purchase your copy of Memorial today and come with your questions to chat with us.


Bryan Washington is from Houston, and Memorial is his first novel. He was a featured author during the 2020 Festival for Memorial, which is has been optioned for a television series. Washington came to the Texas Book Festival in 2019 with his collection of short stories, Lot.

Join the TBF Book Club Facebook group to participate and stay tuned for more book recommendations and monthly picks!

2021 book club picks:

January: Nights When Nothing Happened by Simon Han

2020 book club picks:

December: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

November: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

October: Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

September: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

August: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

July: The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

June: How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones

May: The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

April: Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

March: My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

February: You and I Eat the Same edited by Chris Ying

January: Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Literature Live Around the World: A Global Virtual Lit Confab

Join a conversation with author Dave Eggers and TBF 2007 featured author Vendela Vida on Friday, February 12 as they discuss writing and activism via a conversation with our friends at the Bay Area Book Festival. This year, with support from literary festivals from around the country, the BABF is representing the USA as part of Lit Bergen’s (Norway) twelve-nation Literature Live Around the World (LLAW) series.

The series is entirely free, broadcasts on YouTube, and lasts for twelve whole hours beginning at 5:00 a.m. Central Time. A full schedule can be found here, and Bay Area’s Eggers/Vida session, which begins at 2:00 p.m. Central Time on Friday, February 12 can be found here. The full program livestream on YouTube can be found here, and sessions from all twelve nations will be available for rewatch beginning 24 hours after the live broadcast and through February 22.