“We are proud that we were able to connect more than 75,000 people to authors through our 2020 virtual programming efforts and excited to use all that we learned about digital programming while welcoming people back to enjoy a safe, outdoor, in-person festival this year.”
Texas Book Festival (TBF) is excited to announce that the 26th annual Texas Book Festival will take place October 25 through October 31 as a hybrid event. Starting Monday, October 25, virtual sessions will lead up to the festival weekend on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol and along Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. The festival will include a robust, diverse lineup of established, emerging, and debut literary talent for readers of all ages.
The 2020 all-virtual festival featured more than 175 authors, illustrators, poets, journalists, artists, and thought leaders, including Matthew McConaughey, David Chang, Dean Koontz, Kevin Kwan, Sigrid Nunez, Isabel Wilkerson, Natasha Trethewey, Erin Brockovich, Julia Alvarez, Michael J. Sandel, Ibi Zoboi, and more. The annual First Edition Literary Gala was held virtually and raised more than $600,000 to fund all the nonprofit organization’s literary and literacy programs. In 2020, TBF gave $100,000 in grants to Texas public libraries and provided more than 14,000 books to students in Title I schools through its Reading Rock Stars and Real Reads programs.
“The constraints and challenges last year only strengthened our resolve to reach readers in any and every way we could,” says TBF Executive Director Lois Kim. “We are proud that we were able to connect more than 75,000 people to authors through our 2020 virtual programming efforts and excited to use all that we learned about digital programming while welcoming people back to enjoy a safe, outdoor, in-person festival this year.”
The 2021 Texas Teen Book Festival will also take place during the hybrid festival, featuring conversations with acclaimed young-adult authors. The annual First Edition Literary Gala will take place Friday, October 29, as an in-person celebration featuring some of literature’s brightest stars and storytellers, with indoor and outdoor seating options.
“Festival-goers have shared with us how eager they are to see us return downtown, safety permitting,” says Literary Director Matthew Patin. “And now, encouraged by growing vaccination numbers and only after many conversations with authors, publishers, attendees, partners, other event organizations, and the city of Austin, we’re eager as well. We’ll never abandon what we learned about virtual, though—readers told us they enjoyed that too. Stepping into the hybrid space provides everyone the opportunity to participate in a big, vibrant, diverse festival program, virtually or in-person.”
All attendees can attend sessions in our outdoor tents and are welcome to visit the in-person and virtual Exhibitor Marketplace, which features book publishers both big and small, university presses, booksellers, independent authors, and an array of items for the literary shopper.
In 2021, book enthusiasts can look forward to the return of so many things they love about the festival—a terrific author lineup, timely and thoughtful panel topics, food trucks, a Saturday evening Lit Crawl, and more.
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. This year’s hybrid Texas Book Festival will take place from October 25 through October 31, with virtual events October 25-28 and the festival weekend taking place on the grounds of the Texas Capitol October 30-31, featuring renowned authors, panels, book signings, and children’s activities. Thanks to generous donors, sponsors, and volunteers, the festival remains free and open to the public. Visit www.texasbookfestival.org for more information, and join the conversation using the hashtag #txbookfest on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @texasbookfest.