The full lineup of more than 30 authors appearing at the Texas Teen Book Festival on Sept. 26 has been unveiled, and it represents some of the most popular and critically acclaimed authors in the booming Young Adult genre.
The keynote speaker is Emmy Award-winning actress and writer Sonia Manzano, best known for her role as “Maria” on the PBS series Sesame Street. After more than four decades on the show, Manzano announced her retirement last month and will present her latest work, a coming-of-age memoir entitled Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx, from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.
Other popular authors who will appear at the TTBF include Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave), Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants), Jesse Andrews (Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl), David Levithan (Another Day), and Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams). Find the full schedule here.
The one-day Festival takes place Saturday, Sept. 26, from 8:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on the campus of St. Edward’s University, 3001 South Congress Avenue. More than 4,000 YA enthusiasts are expected to attend this year. The Festival remains free and open to the public thanks to generous donors, sponsors, and volunteers.
The Festival received 55 entries for its inaugural Texas Teen Book Festival Writing Contest, sponsored by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. Three lucky winners will be announced Sept. 1, and each will receive professional editorial feedback from Delacorte editors and be honored during the Festival’s opening ceremonies on Sept. 26.
“We were thrilled by the response to our first Writing Contest and couldn’t be more impressed with the level of the entries we’ve received. We are incredibly proud to partner with Delacorte Press to support such talented young writers, and we look forward to this Writing Contest becoming a new annual tradition,” says Meghan Dietsche Goel, program director of the Texas Teen Book Festival.
Hosted by BookPeople’s resident Jedi master, Topher Bradfield, this year’s popular Texas Throwdown Game Show, from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., is inspired by Claudia Gray’s new, officially sanctioned novel Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Game Show will feature six worthy “Padawans” hoping to ascend into the Jedi order. Authors Pierce Brown (Red Rising trilogy), Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love you), Aaron Hartzler (What We Saw), Cindy Pon (Serpentine), and Gareth Hinds (Macbeth) will join Claudia Gray onstage to prove their worth.
Of the Game Show, Goel says: “The tests will be grueling, but fair. May the Force be with you, contestants. Just remember: ‘Do. Or do not. There is no try.’”
The anticipated panel Publishing a Book: How Writers Become Authors, presented by members of the Freshman Fifteens writing group—Jenny Martin, Virginia Boecker, Chandler Baker, Jenn Marie Thorne, and Kim Savage—will be offered twice, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., or 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.
Badgerdog Literary Publishing sessions of note include the Poetry Workshop with Carrie Fountain, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., and Fiction Workshop with Callie Collins, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., both of which take place in Library Classroom 1.
Fans can support the Texas Teen Book Festival by shopping at BookPeople on Aug. 24. A percentage of all sales will help keep the Festival free and open to the public. Jenny Milchman will be signing her book As Night Falls.
The Texas Teen Book Festival is collaboration of the Texas Book Festival, BookPeople, a dedicated group of librarian volunteers, and venue sponsor St. Edward’s University. The program is also made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.