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About the San Antonio Book Festival


The San Antonio Book Festival unites readers and writers in a celebration of ideas, books, libraries and literary culture.


The San Antonio Book Festival (SABF), a program of the San Antonio Public Library Foundation (SAPLF), was first presented in April 2013 with the Texas Book Festival as a lead partner. A free, open and all-day event, the first festival featured over 60 national, regional, local and emerging authors and welcomed more than 4,000 visitors. In 2014, SABF presented over 90 authors, doubled the number of festival-goers, and added many new Festival features including the SABF High School Fiction Contest and Literary Death Match.

Photo: The 2014 Festival Announcement


The Festival takes place downtown at the Central Library, the neighboring Southwest School of Art (SSA) and at the Empire Theater. Author presentations are held indoors while outdoors the Festival grounds are active with book sales, signings, children’s story time and learning projects, family activities and a technology area. Food trucks offer a variety of eats; special tents feature live music and recipe demonstrations by cookbook authors. The large Exhibitor Tent offers a lively literary marketplace for booksellers; publishers; and literacy, learning and cultural organizations. Barnes & Noble is the official Festival bookseller.


The literary world becomes accessible to book lovers of all ages and interests as they get up close to their favorite authors at engaging readings and panel discussions, book sales and signings. The Festival’s vibrant programming represents the best, most recent books being offered by publishers. While showcasing esteemed national authors, SABF also draws on regional talent, adding a unique sense of place to the Festival. Moderators contribute greatly to the high quality of the programming and are also literary/civic/cultural stars themselves.

Photo: Authors Joe Labatt, Nan Cuba, Jay Brandon, Joe Nick Patoski, and Gilbert Garcia join Katy Flato, Tracey Bennett and Clay Smith at the 2013 Author Lineup Announcement


Funding for SABF comes from The City of San Antonio, foundations, corporations and private donations. All donations go directly towards putting on the Festival and support SABF's educational and community outreach and visits to the Festival for students in low-income schools; a fiction writing contest for high school students; children’s and family activities at the Festival; tents for programming, technology, cooking demonstrations, music, and exhibitors; and, special events for participating authors, author travel and accommodations. Support at any level helps keep the Festival free.

Who We Are

The San Antonio Public Library Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution with a Board of Directors of almost 100 members ( view SAPLF Board), puts on the Festival. The staff of SAPLF (view SAPLF Staff) assists the Book Festival staff, the SABF Advisory Committee and the SABF Event Planning Committee, which consists of over 40 Volunteer Chairs who oversee 250 event volunteers.

Photo to the right: SABF Literary Director Clay Smith reveals the 2013 Festival Author Lineup

SABF Staff

Tracey Ramsey Bennett, President, Library Foundation
Katy Flato, Executive Director, Book Festival
Clay Smith, Literary Director, Book Festival
Sherry Layman, Managing Director, Book Festival
Lacey Fischer, Director of Development, Library Foundation
Carol Berman Black, Donor Communication Office Manager, Library Foundation
Loni Dear, Executive Accountant, Library Foundation
Alex Layman, Coordinator, Book Festival
Brianna Kirk, Special Events Manager, Library Foundation

Advisory Committee

Wendy Atwell
Yvette Benavides
Darryl Byrd
Cary Clack
Sally Dooley
Michael Fischer, Ph.D
Jill Giles
Carolyn H. Labatt
Kaye Lenox
David Liss
Monika Maeckle
Connie McNab
John E. Newman, Jr.
Guillermo Nicolás
Naomi Shihab Nye
Paula Owen
Brad Parman
Robert Rivard
Kate Rogers
Dr. Ricardo Romo
Ramiro Salazar
John Phillip Santos
Banks M. Smith
Michael Soto, Ph.D  
Jordan Vexler
Linda Whitacre

San Antonio Book Festival Featured Events


The 3rd Annual San Antonio Book Festival

10AM – 5PM - Central Library

Our annual, free, day-long event at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art, unites readers and writers in a celebration of ideas, books, libraries and literary culture.


Literary Death Match

Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre 5:30-7:30pm

”...the most entertaining reading series ever.”—LA Times
After a fantastic day at the San Antonio Book Festival, head to The Empire Theater for this celebratory conclusion to SABF, a must-attend evening of lit, libations and laughter.  Straight from Reykjavik, Edinburgh and LA, “Literary Death Match” makes its first-ever appearance in San Antonio! 


SABF Fiction Contest Winners To Be Recognized on April 5

11:00 am - Central Library - Swartz Room (2nd Floor)

​The San Antonio Book Festival High School Fiction Contest Award Presentation will take place during the San Antonio Book Festival on April 5th at 11:00 a.m. in the Swartz Room on the 2nd floor of the Central Library. San Antonio Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla will emcee, while local poet and Trinity creative writing professor Jenny Browne will read first place stories to the audience. King Antonio will also be there to present checks to winners on behalf of the Texas Cavaliers, the contest’s sponsor.

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