Happy Holidays from Texas Book Festival!

From every one of us at Texas Book Festival, we wish you a happy holiday season and a joyous New Year! Thank you for your support and contribution to the success of our programs and events this year. We look forward to discovering more exciting and engaging stories in 2022. Below are some end-of-the-year thoughts from the entire staff. Cheers!

Seeing the happiness in people’s eyes (since I couldn’t see their smiles behind their masks) and hearing their laughter during Amor Towles’ Festival session. I’ve missed seeing the connection an author makes with a live audience. I also was blown away this year by how teachers and students have made the best of virtual learning. The kids in Breakthrough Central Texas had such great questions for Emmanuel Acho in their own virtual session with him. It’s all about impactful moments. I can’t wait to bring everyone together around more of them in 2022 and hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season until then! – Lois Kim, Executive Director

I loved seeing our Texas Writer Award winner Don Tate create a drawing for an excited young reader in-person, I loved meeting poster artist Clemente Guzman for the first time, I loved seeing the line of people wrap around the Austin Public Library to see authors. Now with an appreciation for reaching out through virtual programming, I got a kick out of Ethan Hawke logging in at 2 am his time from Eastern Europe, eating M&Ms to stay awake for his chat with Greg Ruth and Richard Linklater. Overall, I remain so thankful for all the storytellers, sharing their joy, sadness, activism, anger, and love during this time and always. – Claire Burrows, Deputy Director

In January 2021, on the heels of our first fully virtual Festival, we had little idea what the future held insofar as in-person vs. virtual events. Where we ultimately arrived was our first hybrid Festival, and some of the memories I cherish most were those opportunities to once again see authors, attendees, and volunteers in-person. There will long be a place for virtual, and yet there’s a magic to face-to-face experiences that is very difficult to replicate. – Matthew Patin, Literary Director

As 2021 comes to a close, I reflect on all of the different ways the Texas Book Festival has brought our community together. It has been wonderful to hear from you and see you at our Festival and come together to celebrate our love of books and reading. – Nicole Wielga, Logistics & Volunteer Coordinator

2021 has been a year of uncertainty, but in spite of that, TBF was still able to pull off a hybrid Festival. Working my first in-person Festival cemented the magic of in-person events for me—there’s nothing like watching the light in someone’s eyes as they listen to their favorite author speak. Here’s hoping for more magic in 2022! – Gavin Quinn, Programs & Financial Coordinator 

This year has been a whirlwind, but I am so proud to be a part of the TBF team! From the top of the year to the very end, I’ve witnessed the TBF team (including staff, interns, volunteers, authors, students, teachers, librarians, community partners, and even family members) come together to contribute to a successful Festival and year of programming and events! We can’t wait to see what next year has in store! – Ke’ara Hunt, Communications & Marketing Coordinator

Nothing beat standing at the back of the packed Austin Public Library Special Events Center for our in-person programs. With a year of ups and downs, it was starting to feel impossible but at last authors and readers were back in one place again! – Susannah Auby, Development Associate

As the newest member of the TBF team, I had the awesome opportunity to dive into my new role during the week of the Festival. In the course of a very busy and exciting first few days, one of my favorite experiences was getting to attend Reading Rock Stars author visits at a local elementary school. Seeing students’ joy while engaging with authors and receiving their own copies of their beautiful books is something I won’t soon forget. – Michelle Hernandez, School & Community Programs Coordinator

P.S. If you missed a session from this year’s Fest or want to rewatch some of your favorite author conversations, head over to our website to stream all of the 2021 Virtual Sessions through December 31, 2021