Texas Book Festival Goes Virtual for 2020
The event expands to 16 days of digital programming
By Hannah J. Phillips
For the first time in its 25-year history, the Texas Book Festival announced that its 2020 event will take place entirely online. As one of the largest literary festivals in the country, TBF is a book-lover’s paradise, bringing authors across Texas to downtown Austin for a weekend of lectures and book launches.
With so many events cancelled or postponed due to concerns over COVID-19, TBF’s Executive Director Lois Kim says the upside to going virtual is the opportunity to share the event with an even wider audience.
“Nothing will stop us from bringing people together around books, including a global pandemic,” she said in a statement on Wednesday. “We are committed more than ever to serving our community and excited that people from all over Texas, the country, and the world can participate in this year’s Festival.”
TBF has already produced a series of online programming since stay-at-home measures went into place in the spring, announcing that it will continue to do so in the months leading up to the festival. While the event normally takes place over one weekend in the fall, the 2020 festival will offer 16 straight days of free virtual programming. Featuring more than 125 authors, readers of all ages will be able to participate in discussions, author panels and interviews online. The event will run October 31 through November 15.
“We’d be lying if we said we won’t miss that in-person magic,” TBF Literary Director Matthew Patin said in a statement. “But there’s plenty of magic to be found online, too. And whereas the medium may be changing in 2020, much will stay the same: a robust schedule, diverse literary voices, thought-provoking discussions, abundant laughs and surprises, and one-of-a-kind connections with authors and fellow book lovers.”