Spotlighting Black Artists in Texas

As storytellers, we are very visual beings. A compelling image often encourages us to read novels, poems, plays, and comics whose scenes they are or could be depicting. Every year, the Texas Book Festival selects a piece by a Texas artist to set the scene for the Festival Weekend and to celebrate the arts in Texas. In 2019, Austin-based artist and graphic designer Dave McClinton represented the Festival with his mixed-media digital collage titled “Burgeoning” as our official Festival Poster. Next up, Dave will be participating in The Other Art Fair (Virtual Edition) on March 10-14. Please be sure to check out Dave’s work and you can read more about his experience with TBF here. You can also follow Dave’s latest work on Instagram @mcclinton.

In the meantime, we’re delighted to share Dave’s recommended list of Black artists in Texas to continue celebrating Black History and Presence this month. 

Arielle Austin (Austin, TX)

Photo by Krys Henry


Aimèe M. Everett (Austin, TX)

Photo by Marshall Tidrick



Adrian Armstrong (Austin, TX)

Photo by Sydell Group


Moyo Oyelola (Austin, TX)

Photo by Moyo Oyelola



Brian Delumpa (Austin, TX)

Photo by Brian Delumpa



Hakeem Adewumi (Dallas, TX)

Photo by Hakeem Adewumi



Dawn Okoro (Austin, TX)

Photo by Shane Gordon


Funmi Ogunro (Austin, TX)

Photo by Art is Cool



Ryan Runcie (Austin, TX)

Photo by Ryan Runcie




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. 

Black History and Presence

During Black History Month, we want to not only remember Black history and literary classics but also recognize Black authors and storytellers today. Throughout the month we will be sharing special content that celebrates Black authors, literature, and culture in Texas and beyond.

This month, we’re looking forward to sharing cookbook recs, poetry, and community events — there may even be some Instagram takeovers on the horizon! While it may not be possible to feature the entire wealth of Black art in our community, this is a chance to introduce a few Black authors and storytellers, and, hopefully, open the door for readers to discover many more.

If there’s a Black author, past or present, that you would like the TBF community to know about, take a moment to share over on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages. If you’re interested in kicking off your reading this month with a Texas author and TBF alum, check out Bryan Washington’s Memorial, our February Book Club pick.

RHCB Art School Live at TBF!

Random House Children’s Books invites parents, teachers, and their young artists to join bestselling illustrators and graphic novelists for an hour of non-stop fun! Learn how to draw fearless knights and superhero cats, challenge illustrators to draw something crazy, and ask them your silliest questions. Rewatch now on Crowdcast!

Practice your own artwork with this RHCB Activity Kit and Sampler!

Enter to win a RHCB Art School Swag Bag!

You could win a Random House Children’s Books prize pack! Enter by submitting an illustration/drawing/post on Instagram and using #RHCBArtSchool and tagging @RandomHouseKids and @rhkidsgraphic with permission from a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18 years old. All the rules are details are HERE!

Don’t forget to buy these books from BookPeople! 


TTBF and Barrio Writers Workshop Registration

Texas Teen Book Festival and Barrio Writers are teaming up to offer a free writing workshop during Festival weekend! Taking place on Saturday, October 31, at 1 p.m., this hour-long virtual workshop, youth writers will explore blackout or erasure poetry and how it can be used to express a poetic message across cultural and historical contexts. They will use a topical article about the pandemic to create their own blackout poems and reflect on their experiences during the current times.

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to sharpen your writing. If you’re interested, register here!

Lit Crawl with Desert Door

Even though we can’t be together this year at Lit Crawl, we will still gather around our authors, poets, and storytellers through the 2020 Lit Crawl Austin…virtually!

To help make this a special event, our friends at Desert Door will provice a Camp Mocha cocktail kit for the first 200 people who register for Literary Death Match and the Typewriter Tarot Brunch.

Register for Literary Death Match!

Register for Typewriter Tarot Brunch!

Cocktail pickup will take place on Saturday, November 7 from 12-5pm outside the Texas Book Festival office: 1023 Springdale Road, Building 14, Suite B, Austin, Texas 78721. All recipients must be 21 years of age or older, and we will check IDs. Please wear your mask! We will also have sparkling water from Rambler Sparkling Water.

Desert Door Texas Sotol is a distilled spirit from wild-harvested sotol plants and hand-crated in Driftwood, Texas. Desert Door is happy to provice Camp Mochas and additional goodies for attendees of the Literary Death Match and Typewriter Tarot Lit Crawl events.

Lit Crawl Austin is presented by Texas Monthly

Random House Children’s Books at the 2020 Virtual TBF!




Don’t miss RHCB Art School LIVE at the Virtual Texas Book Festival on Wednesday, November 11th at 11 AM CST!


Sign up here!

Random House Children’s Books invites parents, teachers, and their young artists to join bestselling illustrators and graphic novelists for an hour of non-stop fun! Learn how to draw fearless knights and superhero cats, challenge illustrators to draw something crazy, and ask them your silliest questions. Register now on Crowdcast!

GIVEAWAYS: All art students will receive a FREE downloadable activity pack and FREE digital sneak peek of six graphic novels for kids. All you need to do is register on Crowdcast and we’ll email all of this to you right before the event starts! You can even submit your own illustrations for a chance to win a deluxe RHCB Art School Prize Pack that includes Random House Graphic tote bags, enamel pins, coloring pencils, books, and more. School is in session and all we’re missing is…you!

Meet the Teacher Illustrators and our Host: John Gallagher (Max Meow: Cat Crusader), Lincoln F. Peirce (Max & the Midknights), Stephanie Yue (Katie the Catsitter), and Colleen VF Venable (Katie the Catsitter, moderator)

All of these awesome illustrators’ and authors’ books are available for purchase at BookPeople here! RHCB and BookPeople are teaming up to offer fun book swag with the purchase of any of the listed titles, like a lanyard, chapter sampler pack, or temporary tattoo sheet!

Download your own copy of the Random House Graphics Middle Grade Sampler here! RH Graphics Sampler

Join our Parents newsletter for age-specific book recommendations, engaging printable activities, and news about the latest children’s titles! Sign up for the Parents newsletter here!


Love Graphic Novels? Sign up for the RH Graphic newsletter to hear about the latest fantastic stories, get a behind-the-scenes peek at their creation, activities, giveaways, and more! Sign up for the RH Graphic newsletter here!


Download our free Kids Virtual Pass for fun interactive activities here! Complete 5 bookish activities and you’ll get a special prize pack from the Texas Book Festival! To download the Pass in Spanish, click here!


Learn more about our authors and illustrators!

John Gallagher is the art director of the National Wildlife Federation’s “Ranger Rick” magazine and has been drawing comics since he was five (John learned to read through comics and went on to earn the distinction of reading every book in his elementary school library!). John is also the cofounder of “Kids Love Comics” (an organization devoted to using graphic novels to promote literacy) and leads workshops teaching kids how to create their own comics. John lives in Virginia with his wife and their three kids. Visit him at MaxMeow.Com, on twitter @johnBGallagher, on facebook @MaxMeowCatCrusader and on instagram @johngallagher_cartoonist.

Lincoln Peirce is a New York Times bestselling author and cartoonist. His comic strip Big Nate appears in over 400 newspapers worldwide and online at In 2010, he began a series of illustrated novels based on the strip, introducing Nate and his classmates and teachers to a new generation of young readers. In the past seven years, sixteen million Big Nate books have been sold. The New York Times bestselling Max and the Midknights originated as an unfinished spoof of sword and sorcery tales. Returning to the idea years later, Lincoln rewrote the story around Max, a ten-year-old apprentice troubadour who dreams of becoming a knight. When he is not writing or drawing, Lincoln enjoys playing ice hockey, doing crossword puzzles, and hosting a weekly radio show devoted to vintage country music. He and his wife, Jessica, have two children and live in Portland, Maine

Colleen AF Venable is the author of the National Book Award Nominated graphic novel Kiss #8 and is making her middle grade debut with Katie the Catsitter. Colleen is a lifetime comic fan and has designed numerous award winning graphic novels at First-Second books. She’s also is an avid rollerskater, animal rescuer, and once started a national holiday (true story). Colleen lives in Brooklyn, NY with her two pet rabbits. (photo credit: Amber Harrison)


Stephanie Yue grew up in Atlanta, Beijing, and Hong Kong. She’s a lifetime comic fan and martial artist (with a black belt in Kung Fu) and travels the world by motorbike. Stephanie was the colorist for the megahit, industry changing, Smile by Raina Telgemeier and Katie is her debut as a middle grade graphic novel illustrator. Stephanie currently divides her time between Boston and Hong Kong, where she’s working on the second Katie. Visit her online at and on twitter (photo credit: Timothy Wade Jr.)

2020 Virtual Kids Pass

Hi kids and families! We’re so excited that you’re joining us at the 2020 Virtual Texas Book Festival. This year we have created a free Virtual Pass with fun activities and storytimes.

Download and print the Virtual Pass below. Complete the Virtual Pass, take a picture, and ask an adult to email it to for a fun prize!

¡Hola chicas, chicos y familias! Nos sentimos muy entusiasmados de que participen en esta edición virtual del Texas Book Festival. Este 2020 creamos un pase virtual para chicas y chicos, gratuito, y lleno de actividades divertidas e información sobre la programación juvenil del festival. Favor de bajar e imprimir el pase incluido debajo. Llena tu pase, y con la ayuda de un adulto, tómale una foto, y envíala a para recibir un premio por correo.



Thank you to our Virtual Pass partners and sponsors!


BookPeople Day of Sales

Do you love reading? Books? Indie bookstores? BookPeople? Texas Book Festival? If your answer was yes to all of the above, then mark your calendar for Thursday, September 10, for BookPeople’s Day of Sales supporting the Texas Book Festival.

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

RSVP for the BookPeople Day of Sales!

TBF staffers at the 2015 Day of Sales!

Virtual Book Launch: Natalia Sylvester releases ‘Running’ July 14

We’re thrilled to host a virtual book launch party for Austin author Natalia Sylvester’s new book Running, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 14.

Running tells the story of fifteen-year-old Mariana Ruiz, a Cuban American teenager whose senator father runs for president. As the campaign unfolds and Mariana’s family is thrust into the spotlight, she discovers she doesn’t align with her father’s political positions, and she learns to stand firm in her beliefs and find her voice.

Register for the free event here.

Find home-learning activities based on Running here.

Get a signed, personalized copy of Running from our friends at BookPeople.