Austin Bat Cave is a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for kids that connects a diverse population of young writers and learners with a vibrant community of adult volunteers in Austin. In the summer of 2007, at the Webberville campus of Austin Community College, Austin Bat Cave held its first series of free writing workshops. The writing camp lasted for three days and served 27 kids ages 11–15. Local fiction writers, playwrights, and poets taught the workshops—and by week’s end, Austin Bat Cave had helped these students write enough material to fill a book that was then published and distributed to the kids. The following fall, Austin Bat Cave began serving students in the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program at Austin High, offering a yearlong series of writing workshops that culminated in student readings and another publication, titled Hand & Wing. Within the year, free writing workshops were also provided at Kealing Middle School, Mathews Elementary, and Anderson High School, as well as weekend and summer workshops at Austin Bat Cave’s writing center and other locations throughout the city. Workshop leaders included Okkervil River front man Will Sheff, Texas Monthly Editor-in-Chief Jake Silverstein, poet Roger Reeves, and fiction writer Elizabeth Crane. Also, the organization published its first citywide anthology, which featured prose and poems by students at Reagan High School, Austin High, Anderson, and St. Stephen’s.
Over the years, our organization has continued to expand, partnering with many other nonprofit organizations throughout the city including the Texas Book Festival, Breakthrough, Foundation Communities, Austin Library Foundation, and Urban Roots.
Since that first series of workshops in 2007, Austin Bat Cave has published seven anthologies of student writing and has led workshops on everything from oral storytelling and songwriting to flash fiction and hip-hop poetry. Throughout the years, the organization has worked hard to fill the gaps in the public education system and give students an opportunity to give voice to their thoughts and ideas while strengthening their writing skills across all subjects at the same time.
Austin Bat Cave
PO Box 4762
Austin, TX, 78765