The Texas Book Festival was founded in 1995 by Laura Bush, a former librarian and an ardent advocate of literacy. The mission of the Texas Book Festival is to celebrates authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination.
What are the achievements of the Texas Book Festival?
- Contributed more than $2.5 million in total grants to Texas public libraries
- Reached more than 40,000 children in low income schools
- Established itself as one of the premier literary events in the country
- Partnered actively with other organizations to foster a culture of literacy in Texas
The Texas Book Festival's donors and sponsors have also funded programs to benefit literacy in Texas. They sponsor a Fiction Writing Contest for grades 7-12, sponsor the Texas Public Library Grants that help libraries meet the needs of their communities, like upgrading their electronic equipment and library.
And they sponsor the Reading Rock Stars, where authors from across the country are invited to present their works to students in economically-disadvantaged public schools. At the end of the presentations, each child receives an autographed copy of the book, and a set of books is also given to the school library. Many authors from the DFW area participate in this program in Dallas schools and most of the authors come from the DFW Writer's Workshop in Euless.
What kind of books, writers, and topics are offered at the Texas Book Festival?
"From the tension between the White House and Supreme Court to the testy politics of Tex-Mex food, the 2012 Festival, which takes place October 27-28 at the Texas State Capitol and in downtown Austin, reflects the imagination and concerns of America’s most beloved writers and offers engaging writers and books for readers of all types," says the Festival website.
Hundreds of authors, from Texas and around the world, will be offering a myriad of topics, but some of the presenters you might recognize are Tony Danza, who will be talking about his book, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High, and his absorbing account of a year spent teaching tenth-grade English at Northeast High -- Philadelphia’s largest high school with 3,600 students.
What's the best thing about the Texas Book Festival? Texas authors!
Houston Rice University Professor of English-turned-author Justin Cronin will be at the Festival to discuss his sequel to The Passage called The Twelve. He has won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Stephen Crane Prize, and the Whiting Writer's Award.
And one of my favorite authors, Joe R. Lansdale, from the Piney Woods of East Texas, will be discussing his latest book, Edge of Dark Water. You might recognize the title Bubba Ho-Tep, which was made into a movie starring Bruce Campbell.
Lansdale, who was born in Gladewater, Texas, now lives in Nacogdoches and is the writer in residence at Stephen F. Austin State University. He is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the Grinzani Cavour Prize for Literature, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and eight Bram Stoker Awards. The World Horror Convention made him the recipient of the 2007 Grand Master Award for contributions to the field of Horror fiction.
So come down to the State Capital this weekend and see your favorite authors talking about your favorite topics.
WHAT: Texas Book Festival
WHEN: Friday, Oct 27 thru Sunday, Oct 29
WHERE: Texas State Capitol grounds, Austin, Texas
COST: Free and open to the public