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2018's Book Festival Authors

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2019 Lineup TBA

View the short bios of the featured authors who participated in 2018's book festival.  Links to their respective websites may be found by clicking on their photo.

Cate Berry is a budding new children's author and participating in the Authors in Schools program and sitting as a panelist on the Writing & Publishing Children's Books workshop.  The author of Penguin and Tiny Shrimp Don't Do Bedtime!, it was selected as a Junior Library Guild selection.  Publisher's Weekly also went on to call it, "a buoyantly subversive anti-bedtime book."  She will be releasing her next book, titled Chicken Break in the Fall 2019.  Berry holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She also serves as a faculty member with the Writing Barn in Texas, and an active member in the SCBWI and Writers' League of Texas.

Glenn Dromgoole is an author, bookseller, publisher, and columnist who is a well-known figure in Abilene, and the former chair of the West Texas Book Festival (2001-2017).  Along with being the owner of the Texas Star Trading Company with his wife (Carol), he also served as the editor of the Abilene Reporter-News.  Later, in 1997, he dipped his toes into authoring books after being inspired by watching his two dogs.  From that came his book What Dogs Teach Us that sold on Barnes & Noble and went to number 24 on the New York Times Bestsellers Plus list in hardcover nonfiction, and won the Benjamin Franklin Award as best book of humor.  More than 30 titles later, Dromgoole continues to give us great reads, and suggestions of more to dive into through a regular Texas Reads column about Texas books and authors. Dromgoole will be this years recipient of the A.C. Greene Award and honored at the Boots & Books Luncheon.

Callie Metler-Smith is the owner of Clear Fork Media Group in Stamford, TX, as well as the CEO of Clear Fork Publishing, the American Newspapers and Throckmorton Tribune, and Noteworthy Bookstore.  Along with a list of great affiliations, she will make her debut as a featured author at this year's festival, participating on the Writing & Publishing Children's Books panel.  Her latest book, Ben's West Texas Snow, follows a boy who longs for the snow he sees on TV and in movies, but soon learns West Texas has its own special type of snow.  With a writing career spanning 20+ years, Metler-Smith is also known for offering workshops to help develop the talents of other writers.  Don't miss your chance to learn more from her at this year's festival.

Carmen Oliver is a children's author of picture books including Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies and the upcoming The Favio Chavez Story.  She's the founder of BookingBiz, an agency dedicated to bringing award-winning children's authors and illustrators to schools, libraries, and special events.  We're pleased to have her as part of this year's book festival, participating in the Authors in Schools program and the Writing & Publishing Children's Books panel.  Additionally, Oliver serves as a contributor to ReaderKids, a site providing teachers, librarians, and parents with resources to foster a love of reading in kids, while also judging children's writing contents for the Texas Book Festival and Austin Family magazine.  With a strong passion for children's stories that have been with her since childhood, she's used her experiences and adventures in parenthood to cultivate new stories to share with others.

Sarah Penrod is this year's featured cookbook author, and special guest of the 2018 Texas Cookbook Gala.  Author of The Urban Cowgirl cookbook, Penrod has exploded on the scene with her southern charm and tasty eats.  Having competed in 2014 on the Food Network's hit series "Food Network Star," she would later go on to be featured on popular shows and publications including "Rachael Ray," "Texas Monthly," "The Blaze," the "Travel Channel," and more.  Classically trained in Le Cordon Bleu Studies, Penrod works as a private chef, serves as an ambassador to the White House for the Chefs Moves to Schools Projectand now specializes in cooking for celebrity athletes.  With recipes that would appease any cowgirl & cowboy including Brisket Walking Tacos and Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce, there's something to suit everyone's taste. 

Tammi Sauer
Tammi Sauer is a full-time children's author who presents frequently at schools and conferences around the U.S.  This will be her first year at the book festival and she will be participating in the Authors in Schools program.  With 23 books published, and a dozen more under contract, she has struck gold with landing major publishing houses including Disney Hyperion, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster.  Having spent her childhood living on a farm in Victoria, KS (population 1,208), she would marry her college sweetheart, move away, and then work as a teacher and library media specialist.  Having loved those jobs, she's now given her attention to her passion for writing children's books, and talking about her work.  She'll certainly be a great addition to the Authors in Schools lineup this year.

Bill Wright is a Texas photographer, author, and businessman.  Prior to investing his time toward his writing and photography, he worked for 35 years as a petroleum marketer, having organized Western Marketing, Inc, and serving as its CEO until he later sold it to his employees.  Throughout his career, his successes and contributions to his community earned him with being voted Abilene's Outstanding Citizen in 1986 by the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and the Outstanding West Texan by the Texas Chamber of Commerce.  He has published books of photographs, as well as writing and/or photographing several more.  His photographs residen in many public and private collections including the British Library in London, the National Museum of Art in Washington, DC, the Princeton Collections of Western Americana in Princeton, NJ, and several more.  Wright will be participating in a special Author Luncheon discussing a great work of his titled The Whole Damn Cheese: Maggie Smith, Border Legend.

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