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Third Thursday: How to Turn a Mess of Pages Into a Book

10/19/2017 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.

October Third Thursday

Thursday, October 19, 2017

7:00 pm start


603 North Lamar Blvd.

Austin, TX, 78703


"How to Turn a Mess of Pages Into a Book"

First drafts of novels and memoirs can begin with a spark of an idea and a rush of enthusiasm. But after 70-100 pages, that initial clarity often vanishes, along with any sense of the way forward into the book. Or perhaps you're researching for a nonfiction project, but you feel lost at the thought of organizing your notes into a coherent narrative.

This panel will discuss strategies for shaping early drafts of book-length projects and giving them direction—a must-attend event for anyone who has recently thrown themselves into a new project or wants to return to a memoir or nonfiction draft that they've put aside.



Dalia Azim's stories and essays have appeared in American Short Fiction, Glimmer Train, Aperture, Other Voices, Pindeldyboz, and Columbia Journal, among other places. She has been a recipient of Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers and is perpetually at work—and nearing completion—on her first novel. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family and is the manager of special projects at the Blanton Museum of Art.




James Crowley is a writer and filmmaker.  He grew up in Austin, Texas and has been actively involved in the film industry for over 20 years.  A graduate of the writing program at St. Edward’s University, Crowley started his film career in the locations department and went on to Location Manage and Scout movies such as Disney's Hidalgo, The Chronicles of Narnia series, and Transformers - Age of Extinction. Disney-Hyperion Books published his first novel, Starfish, in 2010. Starfish won The Reading The West Book Award and was featured at The Texas Book Festival.  The Penguin’s Young Reader’s Group published Crowley’s second novel Monsterland in 2017 and recently acquired his third novel, The Middle School 3000.  Crowley’s feature film debut as a writer/director, The Journeyman, won the Audience Award at the 2001 SXSW Film Festival.



Alison Macor is the author of Rewrite Man: The Life and Career of Screenwriter Warren Skaaren and the award-winning Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids: Thirty Years of Filmmaking in Austin, Texas. She’s also a freelance writer and former film critic for The Austin Chronicle and the Austin American-Statesman. She holds a Ph.D. in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin and has taught film courses at the University of Texas, Austin Community College, and the Austin Museum of Art.





Cory Putman Oakes is the author of The Veil, Dinosaur Boy, Dinosaur Boy Saves Mars, and Witchtown. Sometime around sixth grade, she had to face the sad truth that being a heroine in a Madeleine L'Engle book was not a valid career choice. Since then, she graduated from UCLA and Cornell Law School, worked as an associate at a big law firm, and taught at Texas State University. She finally decided that writing books was the best alternative to living in them.