Nominations open for Texas State Artists

AUSTIN — “There is a government code that says that the legislature will name a Texas poet laureate, a state musician, and then state visual artists—one in two-dimensional art and one in three-dimensional art,” says Anina Moore with the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Moore says artists don’t receive money for this honor but there are other benefits. “We do see some recipients able to market themselves more widely or become invited to festivals and other events based on the fact that they’ve been named as state poet laureate or visual artist, things like that.”

(Editorial aside: While being named a “Texas State Artist” is certainly an honor, plumbers are paid for their work; accountants are paid for their work; crop dusters are paid for their work. Artists of all sorts are expected to work for free, for exposure, for “things like that.”)

Nominees must:

  • be native Texans or five-year residents of the state
  • have received recognition for a high level of excellence and success in their discipline
  • have received critical reviews in state, regional or national publications.

The Texas State Artists nomination process is open through October 15, 2018. Texans can nominate multiple artists for Texas State Artist, and artists can nominate themselves. Moore says that during the last nomination period, the commission received 300 unique nominations.

For more information and a nomination form, visit

(Information compiled from media reports)

Texas Book Festival announces 2018 author lineup

AUSTIN— The Texas Book Festival (TBF) announced the 2018 author lineup filled with plenty of Texas talent and nationally renowned authors, including Susan Orlean, John Scalzi, Phoebe Robinson, Scott Kelly, Julián Castro, Jose Antonio Vargas, Dessa, Ben Fountain, Carol Anderson, Mimi Swartz, and more. The 2018 TBF weekend takes place on October 27 and 28, spread throughout the grounds of the Texas State Capitol and along Austin’s iconic Congress Avenue.

Previously announced authors include Cecile Richards, Pete Souza, Tayari Jones, Erin Entrada Kelly, Sandra Cisneros, David Grann, Leslie Jamison, Mary Pope Osborne, Chloe Benjamin, Alexander Chee, Alfredo Corchado, Joe Holley, Sandhya Menon, Fatima Farheen Mizra, Walter Mosley, Tommy Orange, and V.E. Schwab.

Numerous Young Adult and children’s book authors are a part of this year’s TBF lineup, including Ransom Riggs, Dhonielle Clayton, Sharon Draper, Yuyi Morales, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, Soman Chainani, and Megan McDonald. In addition to great authors, TBF offers special programming throughout the weekend for kids, spanning from educational programs to family fun activities, games, and more.

TBF showcases first-time novelists and established writers, introducing attendees to new literary talents and connecting them with their favorite authors. The 2018 TBF author lineup features a diverse array of topics, genres, and writers, including acclaimed poets, illustrators, and bestselling authors of both fiction and nonfiction. More than 280 writers, including chefs, photographers, activists, and more, make up the lineup.

One of the nation’s premier literary events and longest-running book festivals, TBF continues to be free and open to the public thanks to its generous and dedicated sponsors and volunteers. TBF brings together more than 50,000 attendees, kids’ activities, food trucks, book signings, sales, and 100 exhibitors in and around the State Capitol over two full days.

TBF began with a simple purpose: to bring authors and readers together in a celebration of literature and literacy. Founded in 1995 by Laura Bush (a former librarian and then First Lady of Texas), Mary Margaret Farabee, and a dedicated group of volunteers, TBF set out to honor Texas authors, promote the joys of reading, and benefit the state’s public libraries. The first TBF was held in November 1996.

More than 50 volunteer committee chairs and 1000 volunteers help run the annual TBF, the First Edition Literary Gala, and numerous other literary and literacy events throughout the year and across the state, partnering with other nonprofits, cultural organizations, corporations, schools and individuals. Since its founding, TBF has donated nearly $3 million to Texas public libraries and donated more than 81,000 books to students in Title I schools through its Reading Rock Stars program.

For more information and the complete 2018 author lineup, visit

Same Page Book Festival issues call for authors

DECATUR — The Decatur (Texas) Public Library has issued a call for authors to take part in the Same Page Book Festival. The event will take place on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the library, located at 1700 Highway 51 South in Decatur. Events will include an author fair for book sales and signings and author panels for readers and writers. The closing keynote speakers will be Carol and Doug Hutchison, authors of Behind the Texas Badge.

Authors who would like to participate should contact Decatur Public Library Director Patricia Peters at (940) 393-0290. For more information, visit

(Information from organization’s press release and website)

“Greatest Literary Show on Earth” makes Texas debut

The Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) will come to Houston September 14–15 with a theme of “Shared Narratives.”

This is the first Texas visit for the JLF, described as “the greatest literary show on Earth.” The JLF began in India a little over a decade ago, with the intention of “bringing together the world's greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, sports people and entertainers on one stage to champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue.”

The 2018 JLF will visit Australia and England before arriving in the United States. The Asia Society Texas Center is bringing JLF to Houston, then it will move on to New York and Boulder, Colorado.

“Engaging our diverse city in an array of international topics and speakers aligns perfectly with our deep commitment to promoting cultural understanding,” said Bonna Kol, president of Asia Society Texas Center.

Participating writers include Jay Aiyer, Omar El Akkad, Robin Davidson, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Namita Gokhale, Kurt Heinzelman, Lacy M. Johnson, McKenna Jordan, Rich Levy, Rubén Martinez, Sonal Mansingh, Jovan Mays, Jasminne Mendez, Marcus Moench, Rajesh Parameswaran, Sharad Paul, Daniel Peña, Shobha Rao, Kathy Reichs, Navtej Sarna, Anis Shivani, Mimi Swartz, Shashi Tharoor, Marina Tristán, Roberto Tejada, Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, and Milan Vaishnav.

The Jaipur Literature Festival will be held at Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore, Houston.

Tickets are $10 for Asia Society members and patrons of Inprint; general admission for all others is $20.

For more information, visit

(Compiled from press reports)

4th Annual Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop set for Oct. 13-14

Now in its fourth year, the Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop annual event will feature writing coaches, agents, and publishers from around the country, October 13-14, 2018.

The two-day workshop event will be held in Midland, at the Marie Hall Academic Building at Midland College.

The workshop will feature ten speakers, including Margie Lawson, Christie Craig, Manning Wolfe, David Farland, Reavis Z. Wortham, Kristen Marten, Stephen Graham Jones, Donna M. Johnson, B. Alan Bourgeois and Arlene Gale.

Twenty-one workshop topics will be covered, including deep editing techniques, character building, writing a thriller, how to launch your writing career quickly and marketing, renegade style.

The Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is organized by the Permian Basin Bookies in collaboration Midland College.

For more information, visit

(Information from organization’s press release)