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February Third Thursday: “Places Unknown: Crafting Fully Realized Settings”

February 15 2024 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CST

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WLT hosts Third Thursday each month, featuring discussions focusing on specific topics of interest to writers and readers, bringing together distinguished panelists for conversations moderated by a WLT staff member.

“Setting is not inert. It is activated by point of view.” – Carmen Maria Machado, In the Dreamhouse

The setting of a story is more than a backdrop. Where a story unfolds colors and shapes the story itself. And when setting is done well, it has the power to transport readers in remarkable and lasting ways. During this panel discussion, we’ll journey with three accomplished authors — Cristina García, Ursula Pike, and John Pipkin — to the locales of their books, covering the considerations, research, and craft that results in fully realized and transportive settings.

This conversation will be moderated by WLT Program Director Sarah Renee Beach. 

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Buy our panelists’ books and support indie bookstores! You can find our February Third Thursday booklist here.


Featured Presenter(s)

Cristina García is the author of eight novels: Dreaming in Cuban, The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, King of Cuba, Here in Berlin, and Vanishing Maps. Additional publications include two Latinx anthologies (Cubanísimo: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature and Bordering Fires: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Mexican and Chicano/a Literature); books for young readers (The Dog Who Loved the Moon, I Wanna Be Your Shoebox, and Dreams of Significant Girls); and a collection of poetry, The Lesser Tragedy of Death. García’s work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into fifteen languages. She’s the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and an NEA grant, among others. García has taught at universities nationwide. Recently, she was a Visiting Professor at University of San Francisco.
Ursula Pike is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts and is the author of An Indian among los Indígenas: A Native Travel Memoir from Heyday Books. Her work has been included in the collections Know We Are Here: Voices of Native California Resistance (Heyday Books) and A Fire to Light Our Tongues: Texas Writers on Spirituality (TCU Press). Her writing won the 2019 Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest in the memoir category and has appeared in Lit Hub, Yellow Medicine Review, World Literature Today, and Ligeia Magazine. Ms. Pike has an M.A. in Economics from Western Illinois University. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia. Ursula is an enrolled member of the Karuk Tribe and grew up in California and Oregon.
John Pipkin is the Director of the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program at UT-Austin, where he has won several teaching awards. Originally from Baltimore, he received a Ph.D. in English from Rice University. His first novel, Woodsburner (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday 2009) won the New York Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Massachusetts Center for the Book Novel Prize, and the Texas Institute of Letters Stephen Turner Prize. His second novel, The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter (Bloomsbury 2016) was named Book of the Month by The London Times. John has received fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Dobie-Paisano, and the Harry Ransom Center.


February 15 2024
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CST
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Online via Zoom