Monday, September 24, 2007

Texas Book Festival Update

Happy Monday to one and all.

Thought I’d give an update on the Texas Book Festival, coming up November 3rd and 4th of this year. In case you’re new to Straight From Hel, I’m what they call a Chair for the Festival. That means I oversee some aspect. In my case, it means I oversee the events taking place at the Austin Museum of Art.

The Festival itself is huge. Hundreds of speakers, thousands of visitors, tons of exhibitors, and hundreds of volunteers. It started off basically taking place on the capitol grounds. Each year it expands. Last year was our first year to hold events at the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA). This year, there are also new events taking place off the capitol grounds, but nearby. You can park and walk to just about everything.

And no matter what you like to read, fiction or nonfiction, or what genre you prefer, mystery or romance or sci-fi, or whether your ninety or nine, you can find something to do, an author to see, a tent to explore. And except for a few things like the Gala, it’s free.

The committee met last Thursday. That was our next-to-the-last meeting before the Festival itself. As you might guess, we do a lot via email. But it’s always good to get together to ask questions and discuss things. Until you become a part of the committee, you have no idea what all goes on behind the scenes. It’s mind boggling. Seriously. My little chunk is easy. The staff does the major load of the work. But there’s only three staff. To pull off the Festival, it takes volunteers. About 900 of them to be exact.

You can go to the website and get more information on who is speaking. The schedule of events is not up yet. It probably will be up by this Friday, so come back then to check it. And come back to check it before you head downtown to attend the Festival. Inevitably the schedule changes. Authors drop out or get added, rooms get shifted, times get altered.

And be sure you check out what’s going on at AMOA. We’re only a few blocks down Congress from the capitol, so it’s easy to drop by to see a panel or to say hi. Here are some of the speakers scheduled to be at AMOA: John Dyer, Stephen Fox, Bill Wittliff, Cory Locke, Bill Crawford, Chuck Bailey, David Friend, Alan Pogue, and Melissa Miller.

The good news for me is that I get to see every one of those people. The bad news is that I won’t get to see anyone else appearing at the Festival since I’m at the AMOA from opening to closing. But, then again, I’ll get to see you. If you stop by and say howdy.

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