You know that saying “Everything is bigger in Texas”? It’s true and when we talk about literary events for young readers and book lovers the saying couldn’t be more fitting. Devoted fans travel across the country, and teachers and kids pack in school buses at too-dern-early o’clock to spend the day with their favorite and soon-to-be favorite authors in Texas. There are more than just a few opportunities to discover new authors and series. Texas hosts a multitude of events throughout the year. Some are YA focused while others bring a mix of YA, middle grade, and picture books that are loved at every age.
There is no better place than a book festival to feel a greater sense of community. I’ve witnessed teens and adults cry and laugh together, and a room full of hundreds of fans belt out a surprisingly good rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at 10 a.m. I’ve seen two fans take a selfie because they were wearing the same Doctor Who shirt, and have read countless blog posts and Tweets from young fans about how their life was made because they got to meet a favorite writer. Nothing is more rewarding.
The Librarians, book sellers, and devoted volunteers who dedicate an endless amount of hours to connect Texas teens to authors deserve an endless round of applause. These organizers spend a bulk of their year putting on a day to remember for everyone. They work tirelessly to encourage young writers, and support and promote recreational and lifelong reading. Here are some examples of how we fest in Texas!
Young Adult Keller Book Festival – Fort Worth
Library Palooza – San Antonio
Montgomery County Book Festival – Houston
Texas Library Association,TT4L (Texas Teens for Libraries) – San Antonio
April 10, 2014
Teen Book Con – Houston
April 26, 2014
Tweens Read – Houston
September 27, 2014
Texas Teen Book Festival, formerly Austin Teen Book Festival – Austin
October 18, 2014
Texas Book Festival – Austin
October 25-26, 2014
Houston BookRave – Houston
November 15, 2014
Written by Jen Bigheart, and submitted by Thea Blair of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Jen Bigheart is the Outreach Supervisor at Westbank Community Libraries. She is also the Social Media Manager for the Texas Library Association Young Adult Round Table, works with YALSA on the YA Literature Symposium Marketing & Planning Taskforce , and is involved in PR and Media for the Austin Teen Book Festival.