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May Third Thursday: The Art of Memoir

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603 N. Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703

5/17/2018 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, May 17, 2018

7:00 pm start


603 North Lamar Blvd.

Austin, TX, 78703


"The Art of Memoir"

As an narrative artform, memoir has grown and transformed from its early days in slice-of-life ruminations from writers such as Montaigne to tell-all shockers from the latest hot celebrity to the current state of the genre. In this panel, four authors will discuss how the narrative forms and arcs of memoir differ from those of novels, the purpose and appeal of the genre, and what makes one person's story stand out from all the rest.


Katherine Catmull is the author of three books, most recently the YA novel The Radiant Road. Her first book, Summer and Bird, was named one of Booklist's 2012 Top Ten First Novels for Youth. She is one of four co-authors of The Cabinet of Curiosities, which was named one of the New York Public Library's Best Books of 2014. Besides her decades as a stage actor in Austin, she also does voice acting for games like DC Universe Online (Oracle) and Wizard 101 (Myrella Windspar). She has also written numerous short plays.





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 was named to the Memoirs We Love list and took top honors at the Books for a Better Life Awards in New York. Donna’s work has appeared in several anthologies as well as the Huffington Post, Shambhala Sun, The Rumpus, Psychology Today, The Dallas Morning News and other publications.




Rachel Starnes is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir The War at Home: A Wife's Search for Peace and Other Missions Impossible. She received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from California State University, Fresno and her BA from the University of Texas. Her essays have appeared in The Colorado Review, Front Porch Journal, and O Magazine. Born in Austin, Texas, she has lived in Scotland, Texas, Saudi Arabia, Florida, California, and Nevada, and is currently on the move again with her husband, two sons, and a puppy.







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.