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The Texas Book Festival will host its First Edition Literary Gala at the AT&T Conference Center on Friday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. It’s always a well-heeled event and we love attending.

Michel Martin, host of National Public Radio’s talk show Tell Me More, will be the mistress of ceremonies for the evening, and celebrity authors in attendance includes Tony Danza, Robert and Ina Caro, Cheryl Strayed, H.W. Brands, Bill Witliff, Stephen Harrigan, and more.

The Literary Gala is a prelude to the Festival, which will be held Oct. 27-28 at the State Capitol in Austin. The Gala, a night of culture that supports the Festival and all of its charitable programs, includes a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner, and author readings by Tony Danza, Robert Caro, and Cheryl Strayed.

Love to read and want inscribed books? This is the place to find them. Silent auction items include:

· Gift baskets of celebrity authors’ including favorite things, such as vacation spots, products, books, food and drinks, magazines, and more.

· Dinners with celebrity authors (including Douglas Brinkley).

· Dan Rather’s famous bush jacket (his go-to jacket while covering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan).

Individual tickets are $500. Preferred “Leather Bound” tables are $10,000, and “Hard Cover” tables are $5,000. Each table seats 10 people. The Gala, which has sold out every year in the past, will be able to accommodate more guests than ever before this year; however, due to the event’s popularity, limited individual seats and tables remain available. To purchase tickets, call 512-477-4055 or you can email

Also, attend some of the great panels to get an insider’s look with more great authors:

Conference Panels


Friday 9:00 - 10:15 Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room In recent years, adaptations have become the backbone of the entertainment industry, but translating from one medium to another is not as simple as it may seem. This panel covers how to trim, refine, and enhance a story’s potential when adapting from the page to the screen.
Abby Kohn, Alex Litvak, Marc Silverstein, Jerry Stahl

Collaborative Creativity

Saturday 2:00 - 3:30 Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room JoinAline Brosh McKenna and Simon Kinberg as they share the unique ways their careers have overlapped and the various capacities in which they have collaborated. They’ve written and re-written scripts together, as well as navigating a lucrative writer/producer relationship. The duo will discuss their work, with a special emphasis on their upcoming project of the Royden Lepp’s sci-fi graphic novel, RUST, adapted by Aline, produced by Simon, and to be directed by Joe Cornish. Take part in this conversation about collaborative creativity with two of the sharpest minds in the industry.

Popcorn Fiction

Saturday 3:45 - 5:00 Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room Join Derek Haas, creator of the anthology pulp story site “Popcorn Fiction”, as he examines this unique forum for fiction writing. Hear from some of the site’s contributors in this discussion on writing short stories, how they can inspire different media, and how one informs the other. Dive into the benefits and challenges of writing for various industries and switching writing styles.
Christine Boylan, Derek Haas, Jeff Lowell, Craig Mazin Moderated by Eric Heisserer

Heroes and Anti-Heroes

Saturday 3:45 - 5:00 Driskill Hotel, Maximilian Room Nobody’s perfect. The most impressionable characters are compelling because of their flaws and the journey to overcome them. Learn how to create multi-dimensional protagonists, how strong antagonists can add depth to a story, and ways to avoid clichés and stereotypes from the voices behind THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, BRIDESMAIDS, and RACHEL GETTING MARRIED.
Paul Feig, Jenny Lumet, Aline Brosh McKenna

The Psychology of Storytelling

Sunday 1:15 - 2:30 Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room Producer Lindsay Doran explores the secrets of making a satisfying movie and what psychology can teach us about how to make a satisfying film.Spoiler Alert: This talk will give away the ending of every movie ever made.
Lindsay Doran

The Working Writer

Sunday 3:00 - 4:15 Driskill Hotel, Citadel Room Writing’s a hard game to get into, and it’s foolish to assume your career will be handed to you on a silver platter. In fact many writers who have seen a series of successes still have to balance their writing with other ways to make a living. Hear from successful writers on how they juggle writing with their other obligations and how keep up their momentum and drive. Collectively, these panelists and AFF alums — each on the verge of a new level of success — have had countless scripts optioned and many produced, and will share their tips on how to persevere.
Stuart Kelban, Chris Mass, Cindy McCreery

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