A First Edition Gala In Austin

January 15, 2024
1 min read

Texas Book Festival Hosts Annual First Edition Literary Event

By Rob Giardinelli      Photography by Bob Daemmrich

THE SCENE: The Fairmont Hotel in Austin was the recent setting for a night of fun and fundraising benefiting one of the state’s best-known literacy organizations. The Texas Book Festival’s annual First Edition Literary Gala drew over 700 of the state’s most notable sociables, philanthropists, and literary lovers for a night of conversation with friends and leading authors.

THE VIBE: The cocktail attired crowd began the evening in the foyer outside the venue’s ballroom for a cocktail reception, where sociables mingled with writers to talk about new and favorite works and anticipation of the night ahead. Others perused the impressive lot of silent auction items which featured over 60 travel, sporting, dining, and literary experience packages. The festivities then headed into the ballroom for the main program.

As guests dined on a multi-course meal, emcee Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s Morning Edition and author of Differ We Must, effortlessly kept the evening flowing at a fun pace. During the program, partygoers were treated to words from event and organization leaders as well as words from featured authors Roger Reeves author of Dark Days: Fugitive Essays, Ann Patchett author of Tom Lake, and Abraham Verghese author of The Covenant of Water. The evening was capped off by honoring author The Madstone: A Novel by Elizabeth Crook with the 2023 Texas Writers Award and John Flaming, the 2023 Texas Book Festival Poster Artist.

THE NON-PROFIT:The First Edition Literary Gala, chaired by Anne Campbell and Lauren Smith Ford, raised over $825,000 for the Texas Book Festival. The organization provides literacy and education programs to make reading more accessible to children. Proceeds raised from this year’s gala will provide books that and authors to 16,000 Texas students at Title I schools

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