WRITERS' LEAGUE OF TEXAS - Building a Career as a Writer


Thursday, February 20 at 7PM


Building a Career as a Writer

On the Third Floor of BookPeople



For early-career writers, the focus is almost entirely on getting that first book published: finishing the book, finding an agent, selling it, working with editors, doing book events. But what happens after you get everything you want? You'll write a second book, a third, and so on. What will that work look like? How will your career begin to develop? What can new authors be thinking about now so that they're set up for a long, fruitful career? When your career hits a rough patch, how can you respond? This panel will feature two highly experienced authors and a newer author with small-house publishing credits, all of them talking about what authors need to know to keep doing what they love (and getting paid for it) over the long run.


Gabino Iglesias is a writer, editor, journalist, and book reviewer living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of Coyote SongsZero Saints, and Gutmouth. He is the book reviews editor at PANK Magazine, the TV/film editor at Entropy Magazine, and a columnist for LitReactor and CLASH Media. His nonfiction has appeared in places like The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the LA TimesEl Nuevo Día, and other venues. The stuff that's made up has been published in places like Red FezFlash Fiction OffensiveDrunk MonkeysBizarro CentralParagraph LineDivergent MagazineCease, Cows, and many horror, crime, surrealist, and bizarro anthologies. When not writing or reading, he has worked as a dog whisperer, witty communications professor, and ballerina assassin. His reviews are published in places like NPRVol. 1 BrooklynCriminal ElementThe RumpusHeavy Feather ReviewAtticus ReviewEntropyHorrorTalkNecessary FictionCrimespree, and other print and online venues. He teaches at SNHU's MFA program. You can find him on Twitter at @Gabino_Iglesias.


Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling YA author of Hearts Unbroken and both the Feral trilogy and Tantalize series. She also is the author of several award-winning children’s books, including Jingle DancerRain Is Not My Indian Name, and Indian Shoes.  In addition, Cynthia is the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, which will launch its first list in winter 2021. Forthcoming, Cynthia looks forward to the release of her middle grade anthology, Ancestors Approved, and T THE BLUE STARS graphic novel series, co-authored by Kekla Magoon, illustrated by Molly Murakami.

She is based in Austin, Texas, and a citizen of Muscogee Nation /ma(:)skó:k-î/. She holds both a bachelor of science degree (with majors in news/editorial and public relations) from the William Allen White School of Journalism at The University of Kansas and a J.D. from The University of Michigan Law School, where she was president of the Native Law Students Association and co-founded The Michigan Journal of Gender and Law. In addition, she did law study abroad at Paris-Sorbonne University. She also serves on the core faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The Austin chapter of SCBWI has instituted the Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award in her honor. She has previously served on the boards of We Need Diverse Books and currently coordinates the organization’s annual Native writing workshop.


Don Tate is the illustrator and/or author of more than fifty critically acclaimed trade and educational books for children. Some of the books he's illustrated include Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions, The Amazing Age of John Roy LynchHope's Gift; and The Cart That Carried Martin. He is the author of Strong As Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became The Strongest Man on Earth, Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, and It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started To Draw. Don is a two-time recipient of an Ezra Jack Keats Book Author Award, the winner of a 2016 Christopher Award, and a 2016 Texas Institute of Letters book awards recipient.

Don earned an AAA degree from Des Moines Area Community College. He has worked as a graphics reporter at the Des Moines Register and Austin American-Statesman newspapers, and as a publication designer an educational publishing company. In addition, he was the art director at an advertising and market research firm, and a graphic artist at a print shop. He also flipped burgers in high school and swept floors at the mall. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Don currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and son. In his spare time, Don is a gym-rat, having competed (in better fit days) in natural, drug-free bodybuilding.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 7:00pm
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