Nonprofit thrives in 2019, looks ahead to 25th anniversary

Submissions to participate in the 2020 festival will open in early 2020. For book submission guidelines, please visit


After a successful 2019 connecting authors, readers, and book lovers, the Texas Book Festival is excited to announce its 25th anniversary on November 7 and 8, 2020. The 25th year of the Texas Book Festival, one of the largest and most prestigious book festivals in the country, will once again be held throughout the grounds of the Texas State Capitol and along Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.


The festival’s 24th year brought in more than fifty thousand attendees, who gathered to listen to and interact with more than three hundred adult and children’s authors, including Malcolm Gladwell, Sonia Sotomayor, John Grisham, Aarón Sánchez, Ibram X. Kendi, Jami Attenberg, Tim O’Brien, Samantha Power, Chris Ware, Chris Shepherd, and more. The festival also featured more than one hundred exhibitors, as well as local food trucks, family activities, author signings, book sales, and more events connecting readers with the authors they love as well as new literary talents.


The 2019 festival featured more than seventy Latinx authors, including Duncan Tonatiuh, who presented Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War, and Jennine Capó Crucet (My Time Among the Whites), Kali Fajardo-Anstine (Sabrina & Corina), and Ivelisse Rodriguez (Love War Stories), who highlighted their new collections of short fiction and essays. Other highlights of the 2019 festival included the first year of the Libros en Español tent, a book sales tent curated by BookPeople and Vintage Español and dedicated to Spanish-language books for adults and children. Inside the Kirkus Reviews tent, the weekend kicked off with a high-power panel of the 2019 Kirkus Prize Finalists and continued with presentations from Kwame Alexander, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jaquira Díaz, Rainbow Rowell, and other award-winning authors.


“Seeing readers meet their favorite authors never gets old,” says Executive Director Lois Kim. “It was a profound experience to meet Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and to see how intentional she was in talking with young people about the difference education and empathy can make in their own and other people’s lives. It was a powerful instance of the way the festival fosters transformative experiences through authors and their books.”


The 2019 First Edition Literary Gala, held on October 25 at the Four Seasons Austin, was attended by literary luminaries, dignitaries, and cultural arts supporters, who raised more than $700,000 to help the Texas Book Festival make an impact in communities across Texas. The money raised from the gala not only supports the festival’s programming year-round, but also supports the Texas Book Festival’s Reading Rock Stars and Real Reads programs, which provide author visits and book donations to students in low-income schools, and the festival’s Texas Public Library Grants, which provide funding to libraries across the state.


2019 also marked the third year of TBF’s partnership with BookPeople, a leading independent bookstore in Texas. BookPeople served as the official bookseller for the festival as well as a year-round event and media partner.


Educational opportunities remained a priority for the Texas Book Festival in 2019. The TBF gave more than $100,500 in grants to Texas public libraries. Through Reading Rock Stars, TBF provided 12,692 books to students in Title I schools across Texas.


The Texas Teen Book Festival, held on October 12 at Southwestern University, featured an all-star lineup, including keynote speakers Akilah Hughes, and Erika L. Sánchez, as well as young-adult authors David Yoon, Kate Williams, Misa Sugiura, Mary H.K. Choi, Rory Power, and more.


In 2020, everything fans know and love about the festival will return: acclaimed and emerging authors, book signings, cooking demonstrations, author panels, live music, a Saturday night Lit Crawl, and more yet-to-be announced events and programming for the festival’s 25th anniversary.


Submissions to participate in the 2020 festival will open in early 2020. For book submission guidelines, please visit Visit for more information.


With a vision to inspire Texans of all ages to love reading, the Texas Book Festival connects authors and readers through experiences that celebrate the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination. Founded in 1995 by former First Lady Laura Bush, Mary Margaret Farabee, and a group of volunteers, the nonprofit Texas Book Festival promotes the joys of reading and writing through its annual festival weekend, the Texas Teen Book Festival, the Reading Rock Stars Title I elementary school program, the Real Reads Title I middle and high school program, grants to Texas libraries, and year-round literary programming. The festival is held on the grounds of the Texas Capitol each fall and features more than three hundred renowned authors, panels, book signings, cooking demonstrations, and children’s activities. The 2020 Texas Book Festival Weekend will take place November 7-8. Thanks to generous donors, sponsors, and one thousand volunteers, the festival remains free and open to the public.