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March 2016 Third Thursday Panel

3/17/2016 From 7:00 PM to 9 pm


Writing About the Military

Thursday, March 17, 2016, 7 PM

BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd., 3rd floor*


*(please use the elevator in the back of the store to get to the third floor)

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From Homer's The Odyssey to Shakespeare's Macbeth, from Joseph Heller's Catch 22 to Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, war and military service have provided the settings for so much important literature. Authors draw on the courage, tension, tragedy, sacrifice, despair, and ridiculousness of war to expose human nature at its most basic - capturing characters at their most heroic, and their most evil.

But how can writers accurately capture the details and mindset of those in the military, as well as honestly portray events that might unfold - regardless of whether or not they themselves have military experience?  What should writers consider during the research and writing process? What should they be wary of?

Join us Thursday, March 17, to hear how four authors of fiction and nonfiction have expertly dealt with this subject matter. Our distinguished panelists will be...


Brandon Caro
is the author of the debut novel, Old Silk Road (Post Hill Press, October 13, 2015). He was a Navy corpsman (combat medic) and advisor to the Afghan National Army in Afghanistan from 2006-2007. He holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Texas State University, and is currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction Writing from The New School. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, and elsewhere. He lives in Austin, Texas.


Leila Levinson has led writing workshops for veterans and their spouses in central Texas. She is a former member of Austin Veterans and Family Advisory Council which advises the Austin VA about its services. The daughter of a World War II veteran, she teaches writing and literature of the Holocaust at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Her book, Gated Grief, was a finalist for the 2013 Texas Nonfiction Book Award and won the 2011 President's Award from the Military Writers Society. Her website,, is a resource and forum for adult children of veterans.


Jack Woodville London
was honored as Author of the Year (2011-2012) by the Military Writers Society of America. His World War II-era novel Virginia’s War was a Finalist for Best Novel of the South and the Dear Author ‘Novel with a Romantic Element’ contest. His ‘parallel-quel’ novel, Engaged in War, won the silver medal at the London Book Festival for General Fiction and the Silver prize in the Stars and Flags Historical Fiction competition. It was also the Book of the Month by both Good Reads and the Military Writers Society of America. His third book, A Novel Approach, won the E-Lit Gold Medal for non-fiction in 2015.


Jonathan Wei is a writer, director and producer. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, The Iowa Review, The North American Review, Glimmer Train, and other publications, and he is a past fellow of the Vermont Studio Center and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Jonathan’s work has been staged at the Guthrie Theater, the Library of Congress, Maryland Center for the Performing Arts and others, and featured by The New York Times, Washington Post, the Huffington Post, MSNBC, NPR and others. Jonathan founded The Telling Project in 2008, and continues to serve as executive director.





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.