Third Thursday

Our Third Thursday program at BookPeople in Austin, TX, offers free and open to the public monthly discussions on the craft and business of writing. Each month, we focus on a specific topic of interest to writers and readers, bringing together four distinguished panelists for a conversation moderated by the Writers' League of Texas' Program Director. If you can't make it in person, each discussion is recorded and made available as a free podcast.

** Unless otherwise noted, all meetings take place on the third Thursday of the month (except December) on the third floor of BookPeople, 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX.


May Third Thursday

Mr. Swipe Right? Writing Contemporary Love Stories

at BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703
7 p.m.
3rd Floor


Romance is the bestselling literary genre in the world, but the appeal of love stories isn't only confined to books with covers featuring beautiful people showing a bit of skin.

This panel discussion will focus on what makes a love story successful today--in any genre, including memoir. What makes love-lost characters compelling, what obstacles can stand in their way, and what is needed for a satisfying ending?

The event will feature four distinguished panelists:


Clara Bensen's first book No Baggage, a travel memoir, is based on a 2013 article entitled “The Craziest OKCupid Date Ever” that was read by more than half a million people. The story of her luggage-less adventure attracted major national and international attention and is being translated into a dozen languages.









Liana LeFey is the author of seven romance novels, including the "A Scandal in London" series. Her books are set in wildly different places and times, including Georgian London and fantasy and science fiction worlds. She lives in Central Texas with her husband, daughter, and one cat.








Benjamin Reed's fiction has appeared in The Seattle Review, Big Fiction, [PANK], West Branch, Arcadia Magazine, Blue Mesa Review, Sou’wester, and The Southern Quarterly. He won the 2016 Texas Observer Short Story Contest, the 2013 Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest, and the 2nd Annual Avery Anthology Small Spaces Prize. He  was born in Houston and grew up near San Francisco. He is a graduate of the University of Texas, and holds an MFA from Texas State University, where he teaches writing and literature. He lives in Austin with his family, and is currently at work on both a novel and a story collection.






Paige Schilt is a writer, mother, teacher, activist and band wife. Her stories have appeared on The Bilerico Project, Offbeat Families, Mutha Magazine and Brain, Child. She is a frequent speaker and facilitator at conferences, including Gender Odyssey, Contemporary Relationships, Creating Change and Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit. Paige is married to Katy Koonce, frontman for the band Butch County. They live in Austin, Texas, with their son.





Can't attend in Austin? This panel discussion will be recorded and made available as a podcast through Soundcloud.










This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at


WLT would like to thank BookPeople for helping to make the Third Thursday program possible. In addition to providing space for the program, BookPeople kindly offers a 10% discount to WLT members. WLT and BookPeople applaud your support of independent bookstores and local businesses.