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Texas Teen Book Festival announces lineup

Charles Ealy

The Texas Teen Book Festival has announced more than 30 authors who’ll appear at its annual event, which takes place this year on Sept. 26 on the campus of St. Edward’s University.

The keynote speaker is Emmy Award-winning actress and writer Sonia Manzano, best known for her role as Maria on the PBS series “Sesame Street.” After more than four decades on the show, Manzano announced her retirement last month and will present her latest work, a coming-of-age memoir titled “Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.” She’ll speak from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Other authors include Rick Yancey (“The 5th Wave”), Kaui Hart Hemmings (“The Descendants”), Jess Andrews (“Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl”), David Levithan (“Another Day”) and Libba Bray (“Lair of Dreams.”

The festival, which is expected to attract more than 4,000 young adult book readers, starts at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 26 and continues until 6:30 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.

For a complete schedule, visit

This year, the festival is hosting, for the first time, the Texas Teen Book Festival Writing Contest. It’s sponsored by Delacorte Press, and there were 55 entries. Three winners will be announced Sept. 1, and each will receive feedback from Delacorte editors and be honored during opening ceremonies Sept. 26.

Also, Topher Bradfield of BookPeople will host this year’s Texas Throwdown Game Show, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. The  show will feature Claudi Gray (“Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), Pierce Brown (the “Red Rising” trilogy), Jenny Han (“P.S. I Still Love You”), Aaron Hartzler (“What We Saw”), Cindy Pon (“Serpentine”) and Gareth Hinds (“Macbeth”).

Badgerdog Literary Publishing sessions of note include the Poetry Workshop with Carrie Fountain, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., and Fiction Workshop with Callie Collins, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., both of which take place in Library Classroom 1.

The festival is collaboration of the Texas Book Festival, BookPeople, library volunteers and St. Edward’s University. The program is also made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.