This past Festival Weekend was a jam-packed and exciting return to TBF’s annual event, and we hope all of you had as much fun as we did! If you’re curious about what it looked (and felt) like to be an intern during the Texas Book Festival, see below for the inside scoop shared by some of our outstanding interns.
From left to right: Amelia McConnico, Noor Iqbal, Emily Hirsh, Yuliana Mireles-Marin, Valeria Guerrero, and Alex Steele
NOOR IQBAL, Literary Intern
1) While helping author Janet Evanovich and her publicist at her book signing table, I was able to hear all the attendees speak to Evanovich and tell her how much her books meant to them. For example, there were many people who came as a family, stating that reading Evanovich’s books together helped them bond through reading. It reminded me of how powerful reading can be on a large scale.
2) Attending Rabia Chaudry and Madhushree Ghosh’s panel about food, family, and immigration with my Pakistani family was such a heartfelt moment. My family could see what my internship was all about and everyone left feeling excited to read their books because they could relate to their stories.
3) Finally, I attended a few “Read Me A Story” readings and “Next Chapter” panels, and hearing all of the kids’ questions for the authors was so sweet. It was great to see them excited about reading, especially for books that related to their identity.
AMELIA MCCONNICO, Development Intern
My highlights from the Festival include seeing all the kids listening to a book being read out loud by an author at the “Read Me a Story” tent, helping patrons get their Festival Friends passes, and listening to Jacques Pépin talk about his incredible life story. That was my favorite highlight because he is so sweet and genuine, and I felt very special when he said hello to me!
EMILY HIRSH, Marketing & Communications Intern
1) One of the best moments from my Festival experience was attending Juli Berwald and David George Haskell’s panel: “Climate and the Natural World: Wonders Of, Dangers To.” Berwald’s explanation of how she wound her daughter’s mental health struggles with the crippling issue of mass coral loss was as unique as it was important. It was also held in the basement of the Capitol building, which I had never set foot in before. Once I cleared the metal detector, the ceiling literally took my breath away.
2) Another experience that stands out to me took place during a quick lunch break in between events. Standing on the 15th floor of TBF’s home base while I inhaled a sandwich, I was able to see Congress Avenue packed with people, small as ants from my viewpoint, milling from tent to tent with the Capitol stretching in the horizon. I guess that moment made me realize how many people were there and how much putting on an event like this can bring a community together.