Johnson City Library

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12th Annual Writer's Conference

Tell your stories!

We've all heard the phrase "write what you know" but that can be confusing for some writers.  How do you turn what you know into fiction? What if you want to write fantasy but you don’t have a background as a wizard?  Or perhaps you want to write a memoir but you don't know how to turn your personal stories into a cohesive narrative? To help tackle those questions, the theme of the Johnson City Library’s twelfth annual Writer’s Conference is "Using life experience to improve your writing."  The conference is February 26th and will feature guest authors Christopher Brown, Donna M. Johnson, and Lowell Mick White.

No matter your genre, your own experiences can be used to embellish your writing.  This year our guest authors will speak about how they have used real experiences in their work.  Often real life is in fact stranger than fiction and we ought to capitalize on that every chance we get!  From fiction to memoir to sci-fi and fantasy our authors have used what they know to make their craft better. 

Christopher Brown looks to be cornering the market on future dystopias,” says the Wall Street Journal. Brown is the author of Tropic of Kansas, a finalist for the 2018 Campbell Award for best science fiction novel of the year, and Rule of Capture, a dystopian legal thriller that was published last year. His next novel, Failed State, is forthcoming in 2020 from Harper Voyager. He lives in Austin, where he also practices law.




Donna headshot.jpgDonna M. Johnson is the author of Holy Ghost Girl, a memoir critically acclaimed by the New York Times, O Magazine, Texas Monthly, Beliefnet, NPR’s Interfaith Voices, People and many other publications and blogs. The book was named twice to the Memoirs We Love list and was chosen by Publishers Weekly and The Nervous Breakdown as a Top 10 pick. Holy Ghost Girl took top honors in the Spirituality category at the New York Books for a Better Life Awards and won the Mayborn creative Nonfiction prize. Donna is a 2009 Ragdale Fellow and was recently awarded a three-year fellowship at the Lucas Artist Residency at the Montalvo Center for the Arts in Saratoga, CA.

Donna’s work has been collected in two outstanding anthologies, Beyond Belief and Her Texas. She has written about religion, family and culture for the Dallas Morning News, the Austin American Statesman, Psychology Today, Shambhala Sun, Huffington Post, The Rumpus, and other publications. She lives in Austin where she teaches writing workshops and is currently at work on a project that combines investigative journalism with personal narrative.

Lowell Mick White is the author of six books: novels Normal School and Burnt House and That Demon Life and Professed, and story collections Long Time Ago Good and The Messes We Make of Our Lives. His work has been published in many literary journals, including Callaloo, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Short Story. A winner of the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, awarded by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters, White lived in Austin, Texas, for 25 years, at various times making his living working as a cab driver, as a shade tree salesman, and as an Internal Revenue Service bureaucrat. He is Editor of Alamo Bay Press, and has been the National Endowment for the Arts Artist-in-Residence at the federal prison in Bryan, Texas. A member of the Texas Institute of Letters, White is an Instructional Associate Professor at Texas A&M University.

The conference starts at 10:00 am with a panel discussion with the authors and moderated by Michael Noll from the Writers League of Texas.  Lunch, which is included in your $45 registration, will be provided by the library- please include any food allergies with your registration.  After lunch, with time to network with your colleagues and purchase autographed books, each author will offer a workshop on the topic: Using life experience to improve your writing. By the end of the conference at 3:00 pm, you will be sure to have inspiration to weave your own personal stories into your writing!

Johnson City Library’s Writer’s Conference will be held at the Johnson City Library, February 26, 10am-3pm.  Presented by JC Writes. $45 registration includes lunch. For more information or to register, please email, or call 830-868-4469. 

See You at the Conference!