Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Texas Book Festival returns in person this weekend. Here's what to know.

Texas Book Festival go-ers look over books available to purchase inside the BookPeople tent.
Laura Skelding
Texas Book Festival
Texas Book Festival tents will line Congress Avenue and nearby streets during the free, two-day event this weekend.

This weekend, nearly 300 authors will head to downtown Austin for the 27th annual Texas Book Festival. The lineup of panels and book signings returns in person after two years of virtual and hybrid programming because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s what to know about the event.

What is the Texas Book Festival?

The Texas Book Festival is one of the nation’s largest literary events. Founded in 1995 by former first lady Laura Bush and philanthropist Mary Margaret Farabee, it brings authors to Austin each year to talk about their books and celebrate literature. In addition to going to free panels and exhibits, attendees can purchase books provided by BookPeople and get them signed by their authors. The festival has programs for adults, children and teens. This year, some 40,000 people are expected to visit the festival over the two-day event.

When is it?

The festival is Saturday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Do I need a ticket?

The festival is free and open to the public. You don’t have to register to attend the events.

There are three ticketed events, with authors Janet Evanovich, Nelson DeMille and Jacques Pépin (sold out). The $37 ticket gets you priority seating and a book by the author.

Who will be there?

The festival will feature nearly 300 authors from across the U.S. Many hail from Texas and Austin itself. Margo Price, Sandra Cisneros, Angie Cruz, Omar Epps, Gabino Iglesias, Elizabeth McCracken, David Levithan, Mac Barnett and many, many more are in this year’s lineup.

KUT's Jennifer Stayton speaks with author Kate Winkler Dawson
Listen to an interview with one Austin author who will be at the festival, Kate Winkler Dawson. Her latest book "All That is Wicked: A Gilded-Age Story of Murder and the Race to Decode the Criminal Mind" chronicles the life of Edward Rulloff and the likely multiple murders he committed in the 1800s.

Find the schedule of events here.

Where is it?

The festival is downtown in and around the Texas Capitol. Some programs, food vendors, book sales and book signings will be in tents set up along Congress Avenue between Seventh and 11th streets, as well as along 11th Street between Colorado and Brazos.

You can view a map of the festival here. For a map of the Capitol building, go here.

How to get there:

You can bus, bike or drive to the festival. Capital Metro is offering free commuter passes, but you have to fill out this form by 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Where to park:

There will be free parking in State Lot parking garages on San Jacinto and 15th Street. Here’s a map that shows where free parking garages and public bike racks are.

Road closures:

The festival will close several city streets. Beginning Friday at 5 a.m., Congress Avenue will be closed between Seventh and 11th streets. Parts of Eighth, Ninth, 10th and 11th streets in front of the Capitol will also be closed. The closures end at 3 a.m. Monday.

Here’s a detailed list and map of the closures.

Marisa Charpentier is KUT's assistant digital editor. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @marisacharp.
Related Content