Mark your calendars now to book, scoot and boogie at the 13th Annual West Texas Book Festival. So many great events make up this entire festival. Let’s just peruse a few and you can figure out which one, or all, is your must see!

Sponsored by the friends of the Abilene Public Library, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson will headline the weeklong celebration honoring the work of today’s Texas authors. The festival begins Tuesday, Sept. 24, and continues through Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Abilene Public Library and Civic Center.

You can enjoy in-depth presentations and workshops featuring local and regional authors, including Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas; Julie Kibler, Calling Me Home; Dean Smith, Cowboy Stuntman; Jeff Guinn, The Last Gunfight and Go Down Together; Marci Peschke, Growing Up Daisy and Kylie Jean children’s series; and Jodi Thomas, a fifth-generation Texan and the 2013 recipient of the A.C. Greene Literary Award.

The festival will feature presentations, workshops, interviews and book signings throughout the week intended to promote reading and writing in the community, recognize local and area authors, and increase awareness and support for library programs. Most events will be open to the public throughout the week, and tickets may also be purchased for additional events: the Texas Cookbook Gala, Culinary Cuisine Luncheon and Boots and Books Luncheon.

The Texas Cookbook Gala will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Abilene Country Club. This festival fundraiser event will feature an all-star lineup of the finest Texas chefs and vintners, including Tim Byres, Smoke; Cindy Burch, The Dove’s Nest Restaurant; Robb Walsh, Texas Eats; and Sharon Riley, Yum! Yum!; Becker Vineyards of Stonewall; Brennan Vineyards of Comanche and Llano Estacado Winery of Lubbock. Ticket prices vary and seating is limited.

The featured chefs from the Cookbook Gala will discuss their latest books at the second annual Culinary Cuisine Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Texas State Technical College Culinary Institute.  Students from the Institute will prepare recipes from the chefs’ cookbooks. Tickets may be purchased for $25 per person, or $200 for a table of eight. For more information, visit, or contact Mary Pizzorno at 325-691-1868.

The Boots and Books Luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, with retired Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson as the featured speaker. During the luncheon, New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas will receive the 2013 A.C. Greene Literary Award. Guests will enjoy a catered lunch from Sharon’s Barbeque and live entertainment from The Piano Man, Mike Schuler. Prepaid reservations must be made by Wednesday, Sept. 18. Tickets are $20 per person or $200 for a table of 10. The luncheon will take place at the Abilene Civic Center Conference Center. For more information on reservations, contact Mary Pizzorno at 325-691-1868.

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