An Insider’s Guide to the 2015 Texas Book Festival

Here’s what you can expect this weekend.

By Laura RiceOctober 16, 2015 8:30 am

This weekend tens of thousands of Texans will descend on the grounds of the state capitol for a little shindig called the Texas Book Festival. The annual celebration of all things literary will host 300 authors this year – the biggest yet.

Our in-house literary expert Clay Smith, editor of Kirkus Reviews, has an inside line on the festival.

On the crowd expected this year:

“I think there’s around 50,000 people, over the course of the two days. One of the beautiful things about the festival is the way that it uses our Capitol as public space. So many of us visited as school children and then never go there again. It’s really a nice way to turn this majestic building into a literary conversation.”

On the Lit Crawl:

“This is the, maybe a little more hip, more performance based author events that happen on Saturday night. My favorite one is called Balderdash…it’s basically where six or so fiction writers are being asked to make stuff up on the spot and make you believe that they know what they’re talking about.”

This year’s must-sees:

“Every year the festival has major writers, this year Margaret Atwood is one of those, Taye Diggs who most people know as an actor and former model… has a new kids book that’s actually getting great reviews. If you dig a little bit deeper, there are really wonderful conversations happening throughout the weekend.”

Clay also suggests:

Twisting History Into Fiction – Saturday, October 17th 1-2 p.m.

Take a look in history’s rearview mirror with Jim Shepard and Viet Thanh Nguyen as they consider the ways in which they twist war and history into fiction in their novels, The Book of Aron and The Sympathizer.

Pranksters Workshop (for kids) – Sunday, October 18th 1-2 p.m.

“Want to pull off the best prank, one your friends couldn’t dream of? Attend this one-of-a-kind event hosted by bestselling author Mac Barnett as he inducts you The Secret Order of Disorder as featured in the bestselling book series The Terrible Two, which he wrote with his buddy and pal Jory John.”

The Texas Book Festival starts Saturday October 17th at 10 a.m. More information can be found here.