The Midland and Ector County libraries, in conjunction with The Odessa Council for Arts and Humanities, have announced the dates of the largest West Texas book festival in history.

Entitled “Books in the Basin”, this first time event will take place on Oct 10 and 11, 2014, and will utilize both cities’ libraries, Odessa College, Midland College, the Yucca Theater and the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center. The goal of this free literary event is the promotion of the literary arts and entertainment locally while also catapulting the Permian Basin’s literary community into the midst of Texas’ literary scene.

“The idea for this two-city book festival evolved from the ‘One Book Odessa’ event that has been held in Odessa over the past several years. The difference will be that instead of focusing on a single author and book, the “Books in the Basin” festival will feature over 45 known authors representing a wide array of genres who will appear in person, leading discussions on their works as panelists at public events in both cities,” states Randy Ham, Executive Director of the Odessa Council for Arts & Humanities and co- chairman for the event. “It is truly a first for our area and it promises to be an exciting event for readers young and old throughout the Permian Basin.”

Edward McPherson, Education and Program Coordinator of the Midland County Public Library and co-producer of the event with Ham, adds that the entire event is free of charge for all who wish to attend this one-of-a-kind event for the Permian Basin. “Our keynote speakers are both New York Times Best Selling authors and they will be sure to draw enthusiastic crowds for their talks at the Wagner Noël.” Kami Garcia, author of the Beautiful Creatures novels, and Charlaine Harris, author of the popular Sookie Stackhouse novels that are the basis for HBO’s True Blood series, will speak at the evening sessions held at the performing arts center between Midland and Odessa.

“We will have a wide selection of both nationally recognized authors and regional authors that cover literary works in the most popular genres including romance, fantasy, gardening, politics, science fiction, sports, thrillers, children and young adult categories.” adds Ham. “How often can you see so many famous authors over a two-day period? It is truly amazing that they are coming here to Odessa and Midland.”

Barnes and Noble will also be on hand to sell books at the event. A schedule of events and a complete list of participating authors can be found on the Books in The Basin website at booksinthebasin.com. For more information on the event, call Randy Ham - 432-337-1492