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october 2019

thu17oct7:00 PM11:30 PMThe Stars at Night 2019Presented by American Short Fiction7:00 PM - 11:30 PM Mercury HallCategories:LiteratureAges:All Ages


Join us Thursday, October 17th, at Mercury Hall for a night of music, readings, and literary fun. The evening will kick off at 7:00 p.m. with a VIP party. General admission begins at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are now on sale.

We’re thrilled to honor three literary luminaries at this year’s event. Amy Hempel, the award-winning author of five masterful story collections, including 2019’s Sing to It, will be honored for literary excellence. Lois Kim, the director of the Texas Book Festival, will be honored for her tremendous contributions to the Texas literary community. And Austinite Lara Prescott, author of The Secrets We Kept, one of the year’s most anticipated novels, will be honored for her debut work of fiction.

We have amazing program in store: Peruvian fusion from Killa Wasi, artisanal churros + fancy dips from Churro Burro, dance lessons led by the White Horse’s resident two-step instructors Dancin Austin, a decked-out silent auction, and Texas’s favorite country DJ, Boi Orbison, will be spinning vinyl for your countrified pleasure. Oh, and did we mention the company? It will be extraordinary.

Tickets are limited, so get yours now. It’s time to party with your boots on.

The Stars at Night is our favorite event of the year—it’s intimate, celebratory, community-fueled, and inspiring. It’s the most down-home, sophisticated literary spectacular on the map!


AMY HEMPEL is the author of Sing to it, The Dog of the Marriage, Tumble Home, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, Reasons to Live, and the coeditor of Unleashed. Her stories have appeared in Harper’s, Vanity Fair, GQ, Tin House, The Harvard Review, The Quarterly, and have been widely anthologized, including in Best American Short Stories and Best American Nonrequired Reading. She has been hailed by TIME Magazine as an “essential voice in American short fiction,” and over the years has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Ambassador Book Award, the Rea Award for the short story, and the PEN/Malamud Award, among many others, and her Collected Stories was listed as one of The New York Times_‘ Ten Best Books of the year. She teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Bennington College and at Stony Brook Southampton. She lives near New York City.

LOIS KIM has served as Texas Book Festival’s executive director for six years. She is responsible for overseeing staff, programs, operations, external relations, and resource development. An immigrant from Seoul, Korea, Lois grew up in Williamsville, New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of Texas at Austin, where her research focused on Shakespeare and early modern culture. In her early career, she taught high school English and pursued graduate coursework at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Prior to joining the Texas Book Festival, Lois served as the associate director of University Extension at UT Austin, where she managed student and academic affairs. She also served on the board of the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation for six years, four of those as Vice President.

LARA PRESCOTT’s highly anticipated debut novel, The Secrets We Kept, is forthcoming September 3, 2019 from Alfred A. Knopf and will be translated into 28 languages. Publisher’s Weekly called it “triumphant,” a “smart, lively page-turner” that “shines as a spy story, publication thriller, and historical romance with a twist.” Lara received her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in 2018. She grew up in Pennsylvania and studied political science at American University in Washington, D.C. Prior to writing fiction, she worked as a political campaign consultant. Lara’s writing has appeared in The Southern Review, The Hudson Review, Crazyhorse, and more. She lives in Austin, Texas.


7 PM – VIP Party

8 PM – General Admission



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(Thursday) 7:00 PM - 11:30 PM


American Short FictionAmerican Short Fiction, an Austin-based, nationally distributed literary magazine, selects and publishes short stories, short shorts, novellas, and novel excerpts by established and super new writers. It is our goal to discover and publish the best fiction we possibly can—stories that dive into the wreck, that stretch the reader between recognition and surprise, that conjure a particular world with delicate expertise—stories that take a different way