Texas Teen Book Festival: The 2015 Lineup

Sesame Street and Star Wars collide in the 2015 TTBF

More than Maria: Sonia Manzano
More than Maria: Sonia Manzano

She can tell you how to get to Sesame Street. And she can tell you a lot more about her life pre-PBS when she headlines the 2015 Texas Teen Book Festival. Sonia Manzano, who had generations of the show's fans sighing when she announced that she'd be leaving the role of Maria, will be the keynote speaker for the Sept. 26 event.

The Emmy-winning Manzano, who's attending the festival in connection with her new memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx, leads a lineup of 30-plus authors scheduled to speak at this year's edition of the annual festival dedicated to young adult literature.

Among the other writers hitting the St. Edward's University campus on the last Saturday in September will be:
Jesse Andrews (Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl)
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave)
Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants)
David Levithan (Another Day)
Libba Bray (Lair of Dreams)

The annual Texas Throwdown Game Show, in which teams of authors compete in often ridiculous challenges, goes all Jedi this year with a Star Wars theme – a tip of the Stormtrooper helmet to guest Claudia Gray, who just penned a YA Star Wars novel, Lost Stars, that hits bookstore Sept. 4. BookPeople's Topher Bradfield will preside over the competition featuring Pierce Brown (Red Rising trilogy), Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You), Aaron Hartzler (What We Saw), Cindy Pon (Serpentine), and Gareth Hinds (Macbeth).

In addition to all the contact with favorite authors, the 2015 Fest promises a wealth of opportunities for those wanting to write themselves as well as read: a poetry workshop with Carrie Fountain (Instant Winner) (2:30pm) and a fiction workshop with Callie Collins (fiction editor, Covered With Fur) (3:30pm), both courtesy of Badgerdog Literary Publishing, which is also hosting readings by young authors (12:20pm); and the panel Publishing a Book: How Writers Become Authors, with Freshman Fifteens writing group members Jenny Martin, Virginia Boecker, Chandler Baker, Jenn Marie Thorne, and Kim Savage (11:30am and 3:30pm).

This year will also celebrate the winners of the inaugural TTBF Writing Contest. Out of 55 entries, three were chosen to receive professional editorial feedback from editors with contest sponsor Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books. The three winning authors will also be honored during the fest's opening ceremonies.

You can be among the 4,000 YA enthusiasts expected for this year's Texas Teen Book Festival, which is a collaboration of the Texas Book Festival, BookPeople, and St. Edward’s University. Just get yourself to St. Ed's, 3001 South Congress, Saturday, Sept. 26, 8:30am-6:30pm.

For the full list and schedule, visit www.texasteenbookfestival.org.

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Texas Teen Book Festival, Sonia Manzano, Badgerdog Literary Publishing, BookPeople, St. Edward's University, Texas Book FestivalCarrie Fountain, Callie Collins

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