ArmadilloCon is a literary science fiction and fantasy convention held annually in Austin since 1978 drawing not only fans, but many established and well-known writers, artists and publishers. This sci-fi convention includes panels, readings, demonstrations, presentations, autograph sessions, art show, trade show and writers workshops. The ArmadilloCon convention has moved from a traditional late August date to July for 2012 and there will not be an ArmadilloCon in Austin in 2013 due to the 71st annual World Science Fiction Convention August 29 through September 2, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. ArmadilloCon will return to Austin for 2014. The 2012 ArmadilloCon took place on Friday, July 27 through Sunday, July 29.
The annual Austin International Poetry Festival (AIPF) is the world's largest non-juried poetry festival. Festival events take place in multiple venues around Austin. This annual celebration of poets and poetry includes live local readings, poetry workshops, open mics, music and poetry presentations, youth anthology reading, anthology competitions and readings, poetry slams, poetry all-night open mic and a poetry panel symposium. An average of 250 poets from all across Texas and from around the world register to perform in AIPF's four days of city-wide events. The Austin International Poetry Festival is usually held annually in April, which is national poetry month. Events are free and open to the public. The 2014 and 22nd Annual Austin International Poetry Festival is April 3-6, 2014.
Established in 1926, the City of Austin Public Library system has 20 branches, plus the John Henry Faulk Central Library and the Austin History Center, located adjacent to each other in downtown Austin. The motto of the Austin Public Library is “Lifelong Learning” and the library system offers information and materials in a variety of formats including books, magazines, audio books, CDs, MP3s and DVDs. Public Internet computers and wireless Internet access are available at every location with computer training centers at Faulk Central, Little Walnut Creek, and Ruiz branches. The Austin Public Library also sponsors speakers, programs, book clubs and reading programs including author programs, film screenings, musical performances for adults, teens and children. Free meeting rooms are available at most branches for non-profit organizations. The Austin Public Library catalog, reference assistance and e-books for checkout are available online at the Austin Public Library website.
The Austin Teen Book Festival is an annual free event sponsored by non-profit Austin Public Library Friends Foundation to promote reading and writing by young people by connecting them to local and award-winning authors. The Austin Teen Book Festival encourages interaction between aspiring writers and established authors by bringing young adult authors to Austin for book signings and appearances at the Palmer Events Center on Barton Springs Road. Parking at the Palmer Events Center is not free. The Austin Teen Book Festival is open to everyone, includes music from teen bands, food and other entertainment, and books by the authors appearing at the festival are available for sale. The Austin Teen Book festival features speakers, panels on different genres including romance, fantasy, supernatural and suspense. The date for the 2013 and fifth annual Austin Teen Book Festival is Saturday, September 28, 2013.
Originally a small bookstore opened in 1970 near the University of Texas called Grok Books (after the Robert A. Heinlein book Stranger in a Strange Land) today BookPeople is the largest independent bookstore in Texas. Located adjacent to the Whole Foods flagship store downtown at 6th and Lamar, this multi story 40,000 square feet bookstore sells books, magazines, audio books, cards and stationary, jewelry, gifts and arts and crafts from around the world. Voted “The Best Bookstore in Austin” by readers of the Austin Chronicle every year since 1984, BookPeople has a comfortable atmosphere filled with nooks and crannies where you can curl up in an armchair with an old favorite or a new discovery. BookPeople has frequent booksignings and events that showcase local and national authors. The store also contains BookKids (BookPeople for Kids and Teens) and a schedule of literary camps and events for young people.
First opened in 1975 as a collective called The Common Woman Bookstore (based on the Judy Grahn poem) BookWoman offers not only the largest selection of books by and about women in Texas, but provides a performance space, a safe space and a center for education and outreach for all types of women. A variety of readings and discussion groups are regularly held at BookWoman. Supporting the careers of local female writers, artists and musicians, BookWoman's stated goal is to value books as cultural and intellectual expressions, not merely commodities. While BookWoman guarantees the availability of books by feminists, lesbians and woman of color, the store also stocks books on many issues relating to women as well as children's books including some titles in Spanish. BookWoman also carries a unique selection of gift items, T-shirts, cards, posters, and music.
The Texas Book Festival was created in 1996 under the guidance of then Texas First Lady Laura Bush, a former librarian who has made it one of her life’s missions to promote literacy and the love of reading. The goal of the Texas Book Festival is to honor Texas authors and to benefit public libraries in the State of Texas. The Texas Book Festival hosts more than 200 Texas and nationally known authors every Fall and more than 40,000 visitors enjoy author readings and presentations, panel discussions, book signings, activities for children and musical entertainment at the State Capitol in Austin as well as in other venue locations around downtown Austin including the Paramount Theatre and United Methodist Church. The Texas Book Festival is free and open to the public. The dates for the 2013 Texas Book Festival at the Texas State Capitol Building and Capitol grounds are Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27, 2013.