An Interview with Tim Staley
Tim Staley is the executive director of the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation, the nonprofit support organization for the Austin Public Library.
Join Tim and the rest of the APLFF on April 19th for the 5th annual New Fiction Confab, an all-day literary event that invites critically acclaimed authors to spend a day in Austin reading their work, engaging in critical conversations, and leading writing workshops. For more information about one of the Library Foundation’s largest literary programs, and a schedule of the day’s events, visit the New Fiction Confab event page here and read our Q&A with Tim below.
Can you tell our readers a little bit about the mission of the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation?
Tim Staley: The Austin Public Library Friends Foundation supports the Austin Public Library by increasing public awareness about the library and its importance to the community and by enhancing library collections, programs and facilities. Many of our programs are devoted to literacy, reading and increasing Austinites’ access to information and knowledge. Some of our programs include the Mayor’s Book Club, New Fiction Confab, Badgerdog writing workshops and the Texas Teen Book Festival.
Now in its fifth year, how has the New Fiction Confab changed over the years and what new developments are in store for this year?
TS: There are more local authors involved in this year’s program than there have been in the past which is more indicative of Austin’s growing literary scene than it is anything in particular about the Confab. This program has always been committed and in large part even intended to promoting local literary talent and each year there just seems to be more and more Austinites publishing excellent fiction. The Confab is devoted to keeping up with this burgeoning talent.
What can you tell us about this year’s featured authors?
TS: The Confab seeks authors who have with just one or two books established a distinct and unique voice and who, we expect, will continue to produce distinguished work for a long time to come.
Once again the Confab will feature the Austin Lit Fair, a showcase of local publishers whose contributions have helped shape the Austin literary scene. How have you seen the local literary scene grow and change, and how do you see the Confab and more generally the APLFF as part of this growth?
TS: The Confab can play a role in connecting local literary journals with readers. We hope that through the Austin Lit Fair we’re able to help raise the profile of the many local literary journals and publishers who are doing such good work.
What else can we look forward to from the APLFF this year?
TS: Don’t forget the Badgerdog writing workshops! Check austinlibrary.org for the schedule.