Events! May Third Thursday: Writing Contemporary Love Stories


Hello everyone!

Today I attended the May Third Thursday: Writing Contemporary Love Stories at BookPeople, hosted by the Writers’ League of Texas! It was my first ever event with WLT and first Third Thursday meeting but it was so much fun! I got to meet some awesome writers, hear awesome discussion about the craft and get to know another local book joint! So, let’s get started!

Event – Review

This Third Thursday meeting focused on writing about modern romance. Topics that were addressed included traditional vs modern romance, dating in these new times, and the challenges that contemporary romance writers face, both old and new. The panel was great! The writers present were Clara Bensen, Liana LeFey, Benjamin Reed, and Paige Schilt. A very diverse and well spoken panel, these awesome writers really showed us the craft of writing romance from very different perspectives.

As someone that is not a romance writer, it was extremely educational. I personally got to speak to Liana LeFey and Benjamin Reed, both fantastic people, and found them to be very supportive and very welcoming. The entire group was welcoming of both seasoned and novice romance writers and they were very friendly.

A great first taste with the awesome crowd of romance writers and the WLT, I can’t wait for the next Third Thursday meeting which will cover pitching novels to editors and agents in light of the writing conference just around the corner!


So, because I am a derp, this was my first time in BookPeople and my gosh, have I been missing out! The building is huge and upon walking in, I couldn’t help but just gawk at how massive and beautiful the store was. Of course, as luck would have it, three employees were there to welcome their fellow book lovers and I’m almost positive they were thinking, ‘what is wrong with this girl?’. However, because everyone can human more than I can, they smiled and welcomed me. I quickly put my tongue back in my mouth and shuffled away to recompose myself before returning to the gawking and ooh-ing and ah-ing of the very lovely store I had the privilege of gracing.

Completely spectacular, wonderful and just about every other positive word you can think of! This is a paradise for a book lover looking to become a part of a community of fellow bookish folks and support the local Austin scene!

Overall, a fantastic event with fantastic people! So happy I went! I will provide links to all these writers, as well as the WLT and BookPeople websites for reference! I am also going to read Once a Courtesan by Liana LeFey.

Something I really took away is that romance isn’t just a love story rehashed with some sexy time in it. When a book is categorized as ‘romance’, something Liana LeFey really stressed, the writer is making a promise to the reader that the writer has a responsibility to deliver. The way she very passionately defended her audience against misrepresentation really moved me and stayed with me. To label something as romance is to promise a happy ending, character development, and the idea that love conquers all. When a reader picks a book from the romance section, they are looking to escape from this world into a lovely fantasy and to fall short of that promise, is a disservice to the audience. I was moved by how much Liana LeFey defended her audience and I respect her for it. She doesn’t like misrepresentation messing with her readers and I love her for that.

Overall, fantastic event, fantastic people, and an all around fantastic night! I am looking forward to the next meeting!

Thank you everyone for reading!


The Reading Tortie



Liana LeFey –

Clara Bensen –

Benjamin Reed –

Paige Schilt –


Writers’ League of Texas –

BookPeople –


Malvern Books –

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