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

January 18 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.

For our first Third Thursday program of 2024, 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 for organizing our projects (and ourselves!), ways to stay connected with the literary community, sources of inspiration, and more, guided by three inspiring authors — Kristen Bird, Lisa Olstein, and Kelis Rowe — who each bring a unique perspective to the topic.

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 January Third Thursday booklist here.

Featured Presenter(s)

Kristen Bird is a novelist, teacher, and certified book coach. She has two suspense novels out with HarperCollins, and her third will be published in March 2024. She teaches high school English and writes in local coffee shops near her home outside of Houston. In her free time, she likes to visit parks with her three children, watch quirky films with her husband, and attempt to keep pace with her rescue lab-mix.
Lisa Olstein HeadshotLisa Olstein is the author of five poetry collections published by Copper Canyon Press: Radio Crackling, Radio Gone (2006), Lost Alphabet (2009), Little Stranger (2013), Late Empire (2017), and Dream Apartment (2023). She has also published two books of nonfiction: Pain Studies (Bellevue Literary Press, 2020), a book-length lyric essay on the intersection of pain, perception, and language; and Climate (Essay Press, 2022), an exchange of epistolary essays co-written with Julie Carr. Olstein’s honors include a John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, Lannan Writing Residency, Hayden Carruth Award, Writers League of Texas Discovery Book Award, and Sustainable Arts Foundation award. She is the Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches in the New Writers Project and Michener Center for Writers MFA programs. She is also the lyricist for the rock band Cold Satellite and curates an interview series with poets about their new books for Tupelo Quarterly.
Kelis Rowe is a stay-at-home mom and former homeschooler who writes sweeping, classic teen romance novels from the points of view of grounded, self-possessed Black girls and the Black teen boys who just gotta love ‘em. Her debut novel, Finding Jupiter, is a contemporary literary romance about a James Taylor and Beyoncé fan and a champion swimmer bonding through shared grief and falling in love one fateful summer. It incorporates journal pages of art and found poetry from the pages of classic novels including The Great Gatsby and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Kelis writes novels that her 90’s teen self would have loved, out of her suburban home near Austin, TX.


January 18 2024
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CST
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Online via Zoom