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May 2016 Third Thursday Panel

5/19/2016 From 7 PM to 9 PM


Me, Myself, & I:

Writing the Personal in Nonfiction and Memoir


Thursday, May 19, 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)



True stories can take the form of memoirs, personal essay, and first-person reportage. But where should the story begin, what is the right frame, how much context and background should the writer provide, and how does the personal fit within larger social and cultural narratives?

Join us the evening of May 19 when our distinguished panelists will address these issues and many more.


Antonio Ruiz-Camacho was born and raised in Toluca, Mexico. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Texas Monthly, The Millions, and elsewhere. His debut story collection Barefoot Dogs is a finalist for the Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Book of Fiction, and was named a Best Book of 2015 by Kirkus Reviews, San Francisco Chronicle, Texas Observer and PRI's The World. Antonio lives in Austin, Texas, with his family, where he's currently at work on a novel.


Michael Hall is a senior editor at Texas Monthly. He won two 2001 Katy Awards: one for Best Reporter Writing Portfolio and one for Personality Profile/Interview for his story “Lance Armstrong Has Something to Get Off His Chest.” He won a Texas Gavel Award in 2003 for his story about capital punishment, “Death Isn’t Fair,” which was also nominated for a National Magazine Award. Hall’s stories have appeared in the Best American Magazine Writing, the Best American Sportswriting, the Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Da Capo Best Music Writing. He has also written for Trouser Press, The New York Times, Men’s Journal, and the Austin American-Statesman.

Donna Johnson
wrote the memoir Holy Ghost Girl about her childhood spent amid the inner circle of tent revivalist preacher David Terrell. She has written about matters of faith for the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American Statesman. She also created, wrote, and produced a radio show called Tech Ranch which said everything that could be said about technology and culture in one minute, five days a week. Donna lives and writes in Austin, TX.

Deb Olin Unferth is the author of three books, most recently the memoir Revolution. Her work appears in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Granta, Tin House, The New York Times, and McSweeney’s. An associate professor of creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin, she has received three Pushcart Prizes and a grant from Creative Capital. Her next book is forthcoming from Graywolf Press.








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.