AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Book Festival (TBF) celebrates its 16th year with an expanded lineup of more than 250 authors, including Meg Wolitzer, former SNL "Superstar" Molly Shannon, Colson Whitehead, Jack Gantos, Rosemary Wells, Dominique Browning, Russell Banks, Juan Williams, Kathy Reichs, and Kevin O'Connor. Award-winning illustrator Marc Burckhardt is the 2011 Festival's featured poster artist.
On October 22 and 23, guests can enjoy the free festivities in and around the Texas State Capitol. Become a TBF member and with your member card "fast-pass" through long lines for the most popular authors including Food Network's Alton Brown and Paula Deen, Jim Lehrer, Susan Orlean and Molly Shannon.
On Saturday night the authors gather for an exclusive private party. To highlight the TBF membership program, the Festival launches a contest with Culture Map Austin to give away two tickets to the author party along with TBF membership card that allows fast-pass access where applicable. Those signing up for a TBF membership between September 8 and September 15 will be entered to win.
Pulitzer-winner Lawrence Wright and his friend and collaborator, New York Times bestselling author Stephen Harrigan, will be given this year's Texas Writer Award. "The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to honor these thoughtful writers," said Heidi Marquez Smith, executive director. "Because of their wide-ranging accomplishments as writers, screenwriters and journalists, and because they are invaluable mentors to many other Texas writers, their contributions will continue to enrich the lives of countless writers and readers."
Headlining authors also include Stacy Schiff, James Dashner, Ernest Cline, Craig Johnson, Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, Sarah Bird, Dagoberto Gilb, and Lev Grossman. News and political junkies can hear from Marcia Clark, Robin Wright, James Zogby, Sally H. Jacobs, and Steve Inskeep and two-time Pulitzer prize-winner Dana Priest.
Approximately 2500 books were considered, and those chosen are the preeminent titles of 2011. There will be engaging panel conversations mixing the industry's top writers and audience Q and A. In addition, Festival attendees can get their books signed, feast on food from local eateries and food trailers, listen to live music, and ignite their children's imaginations with authors, events, and activities.
In addition to Food Network stars Alton Brown and Paula Deen, food lovers can watch demos from Hugh Acheson, Louis Lambert and Tyson Cole, Gesine Bullock-Prado, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Crystal Cook, and Sandy Pollock.
Young adult readers will find their favorite writers, including Libba Bray, Ellen Hopkins, David Levithan, and Sarah Dessen. Younger readers will meet authors Eileen Christelow, Doreen Cronin, K.A. Holt, James Luna, Rene Saldana Jr., Mac Barnett, and Jon Scieszka.
The Children's Entertainment Tent will feature celebrated singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb among other beloved performers.
The Texas Book Festival is a nonprofit organization that celebrates authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas and imagination. Founded in 1995 by Laura Bush and a group of interested volunteers, the annual Festival is held on the grounds of the Texas Capitol. It features readings and discussions from more than 240 renowned Texas and national authors, entertaining and informing more than 30,000 adults and children alike, free of cost.
TBF supports Texas public libraries and literacy through its Library Grants and Reading Rock Stars programs. TBF also hosts year-round events across the state. Become a member of TBF and receive invitations to exclusive author events, priority seating, the latest literary news and more. See texasbookfestival.org.
Contact: Lisa Lawrence
SOURCE Texas Book Festival