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October Third Thursday: "Writing Great First Pages and Chapters"

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603 N. Lamar Blvd., 3rd FL
Austin, TX 78703

10/17/2019 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, October 17, 2019

7:00 pm start

BookPeople (Third Floor)

603 North Lamar Blvd.

Austin, TX 78703


Free and Open to the Public


"Writing Great First Pages and Chapters"


Writers are often told that the first page and first chapter of a novel must be gripping, un-put-downable. But what does that mean? Given all the different genres and types of stories out there, are there any general rules or suggestions for what will keep readers, agents, and editors turning past page one? In this panel, four writers from different genres will discuss what they strive for in their own work and first pages from others' novels they have admired.


Salima Alikhan has written chapter books, middle grade, and young adult novels, and she also writes and illustrate picture books. Her most recent book is the middle-grade novel Emmi in the City: A Great Chicago Fire Survival Story. She is a writing professor at St. Edward's University.













Robert Ashcroft is the author of the science fiction novel, The Megarothke. He has worked as a State Department contractor and was recently mobilized to serve abroad with the U.S. Army Reserve. He is currently studying in the low-residency MFA program at Fairfield University.










Bridget Farr is the author of the novel Pavi Sharma’s Guide to Going Home. She’s been an elementary and middle school teacher her entire career, most recently in the sixth-grade humanities program at an urban public school. She has a master’s from the University of Texas at Austin and plans to become an elementary school principal. Bridget is also an actor and producer and has starred in award-winning plays, produced a popular theater series, and written a short film.









Stacey Swann is the author of the debut novel, Olympus, TX, forthcoming from Doubleday. Her short fiction has appeared in Epoch, Memorious, Versal, and other journals. She is a former Editor of American Short Fiction literary journal and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.