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November Third Thursday: Writing about Faith

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603 N. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703

11/15/2018 From 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Third Thursday

Our Third Thursday program 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.


Third Thursday

Thursday, November 15, 2018

7:00 pm start

BookPeople (Third Floor)

603 North Lamar Blvd.

Austin, TX 78703


Free and Open to the Public


"Writing about Faith"


At the Texas Book Festival a few weeks ago, memoirist Casey Gerald, the grandson of a famous preacher, said that preachers have the hardest job: telling a 2,000-year-old story (that everybody already knows) in such a way that it seems like they've never heard it before. But that is not the only way the religion and faith appear in literature. The idea of utopia (and dystopia) goes back to a book by Thomas More, considered a saint by the Catholic church. In this panel, three writers and ministers will talk about how they find fresh angles on old stories, adapt them to the changing expectations and needs of different audiences, and consider the political implications of certain religious ideologies.


The Rev. Meg Barnhouse is senior minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin and the author of several books, including Did I Say That Out Loud? Musings from a Questioning Soul and Broken Buddha. She is also a humorist and singer-songwriter.






Carolyn Cohagan’s first novel, The Lost Children is a middle grade fantasy which became part of the Scholastic Bookclub and was nominated for a Massachusetts Children’s Book Award. Her Young Adult novel Time Zero won eight literary honors, including the 2017 Readers Favorite Award and the 2017 International Book Award. She lives in Austin, where she is the founder of Girls With Pens, a creative writing organization dedicated to fostering the individual voices and offbeat imaginations of girls ages 8-14.  


Greg Garrett is the author of over twenty books of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir, including the acclaimed novels Free Bird, Cycling, Shame, and The Prodigal. He teaches fiction writing and screenwriting at Baylor University, where he has received numerous teaching honors, and has offered highly-rated classes for the Writers League for over a decade.








Donna M. Johnson is the author of Holy Ghost Girl, a memoir deemed “enthralling” by the New York Times and “compulsively readable” by Texas Monthly. The book made the Memoirs We Love list and took top honors at the Books for a Better Life Awards in New York. As a work in progress, Holy Ghost Girl took first place at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. Donna’s work has appeared in several anthologies as well as the Huffington PostShambhala SunThe RumpusPsychology Today and other publications. She is a Ragdale fellow and was recently awarded a Lucas Artist Residency for the 2017--2020 period. Donna is at work on a second memoir as well as a journalism project.