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January Third Thursday: “The Writer’s Toolbox: Preparing for the Year Ahead”

January 19, 2023 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.

For our first Third Thursday program of 2023, join us for a conversation with three writers about how they’re preparing for their new year of writing. 

For many writers, the new year brings renewed energy and determination for the writing life. Whether we’re setting out to start a new project, revisiting a work already in progress, or even trying out a new genre, January is the time for us to look ahead and set ourselves up for success in the year to come.

During this panel discussion, we’ll dive into everything from writing routines, tools, community, and more, guided by three writers – Matt Bell, Bev Chukwu, and Katie Gutierrez – who each bring a unique perspective to the topic. This conversation will be moderated by WLT Program Director Sam Babiak.

WLT - BookPeople Events

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

Featured Presenter(s)

Matt Bell is the author most recently of the novel Appleseed (a New York Times Notable Book) and the craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to novel writing, rewriting, and revision. He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Walla non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate IIand several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Tin House, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, Orion, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

Beverly “Bev” Chukwu is a Nigerian American writer, filmmaker, script consultant, and behavior therapist from Garland, TX. She is an MFA alum of the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a fellowship in screenwriting and fiction. Her screenplay, PRINCE OF LAVENDALE STREET, was the feature winner in the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, and an excerpt of her novel-in-progress, OF BROKEN THINGS, was published in Vol. 2 of the I Scream Social Anthology. Bev is a queer writer, who tells stories about assimilation, the allure of groupthink, and characters who struggle with being someone they are not; mental health advocacy for people of the Black diaspora is at the forefront of her work.
Katie Gutierrez is the author of the debut novel MORE THAN YOU'LL EVER KNOW. She has an MFA from Texas State University, and her writing has appeared in TIME, Harper's Bazaar, Texas Highways, and more. She lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband and their two kids.
Sam Babiak holds a B.A. in English Literature with a certificate in Creative Writing with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin. She loves talking to writers about their craft and has moderated panels and conversations with the WLT, the Texas Book Festival, HavenCon, and BookPeople. She’s spent time as a reading intern with a literary agent at Massie & McQuilkin and she’s volunteered for the Echo Literary Arts Magazine fiction board, Badgerdog Creative Writing Camps, and Letters About Literature. Her writing can be found or is forthcoming from HotHouse Literary Journal and the lickety~split. She is from Laredo, Texas and currently lives in Austin, Texas.    


January 19, 2023
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CST
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Online via Zoom