“We are committed more than ever to serving our community and excited that people from all over Texas, the country, and the world can participate in this year’s festival.”
For the first time ever, the Texas Book Festival (TBF) will take place entirely online. Featuring two full weeks of free virtual programming, the 2020 festival will run October 31 through November 15 and will bring together thousands of readers and authors across Texas and beyond for sixteen straight days of engaging, enlightening, and educational programming. TBF’s vision is to inspire all Texans to love reading, and this year’s virtual festival will expand that vision beyond Texas to ensure book lovers across the country and the world can join in celebrating literacy, ideas, and imagination.
As one of the largest literary festivals in the country, TBF will offer the same high-quality author programming it has become renowned for throughout its twenty-five-year history.
“Nothing will stop us from bringing people together around books, including a global pandemic,” says TBF Executive Director Lois Kim. “We are committed more than ever to serving our community and excited that people from all over Texas, the country, and the world can participate in this year’s festival.”
The 2020 Texas Book Festival will feature more than 125 authors participating in virtual sessions, including programming for adults, young adults, middle-grade readers, and children. The 2020 Texas Teen Book Festival will also take place during the two-week virtual festival, featuring conversations with acclaimed young-adult authors aimed at teenage readers.
“Going virtual opens all sorts of doors for creative programming, author participation, and reader engagement,” says Matthew Patin, TBF’s literary director. “Yes, converging downtown is out of the picture this fall, and we’d be lying if we said we won’t miss that in-person magic. But there’s plenty of magic to be found online, too. And whereas the medium may be changing in 2020, much will stay the same: a robust schedule, diverse literary voices, thought-provoking discussions, abundant laughs and surprises, and one-of-kind connections with authors and fellow book lovers.”
The TBF’s annual First Edition Literary Gala, which raises significant funds for TBF’s programs and is traditionally held on the Friday evening before the festival weekend, will also take place virtually on November 6, 2020. The first of its kind, this year’s gala will bring together supporters of the arts, members of the TBF community, and some of the world’s leading literary minds for an evening filled with good books and wonderful conversation.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and stay-at-home measures in the U.S., the Texas Book Festival has produced dozens of online programs with Texas readers and book-lovers, including Instagram Live author interviews conducted by festival staff and community members, children’s and middle-grade story times on Instagram Live, conversations and lessons from acclaimed children’s book illustrators, educational resources for students and parents, and children’s story times from beloved authors and Texans as part of the festival’s Read Together Texas series. TBF is excited to continue providing additional online programming in the months leading up to and through the two-week virtual festival, offering even more book discussions, author panels, and interviews, bringing these exciting conversations from celebrated and emerging writers, journalists, artists, scientists, chefs, and more into the homes of readers across Texas and the country.
For more information on the Texas Book Festival, please visit www.texasbookfestival.org, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @texasbookfest.