We’re always looking for volunteers to join the team for our free writing programs. We work with students in groups and one-on-one to develop their creative and expository writing skills. Austin Bat Cave works with volunteers with a range of classroom experience. Our students benefit from our volunteers’ passionate mentorship and individual feedback.
COVID-19 Update: Due to ongoing concerns surrounding the Coronavirus, all ABC programs are currently taking place online! Our volunteer community—no longer bound to place—is expanding to include writers and educators from around the country, and they are already brainstorming new ways to support and inspire student writers. Creative writing, and its ability to help us process, transfigure, and transcend the world around us, is more essential now than ever. We can’t wait to keep writing and sharing the stories that help us connect and thrive, even when we’re far apart. To get involved in virtual volunteering, check out the opportunities below and let us know if you have any questions. Then, sign up to volunteer!
Online Writing Lab (OWL) Projects
Daily Writing Prompts & Lesson Plans
Dates & times flexible; Google Docs
Work with ABC staff to develop daily writing prompts and creative writing lesson plans to be shared on ABC’s online writing lab and with our community partners at Title 1 schools in Austin ISD, Del Valle ISD, and Manor ISD.
DIY Video Lessons
Dates & times flexible; YouTube or Vimeo
Record a video creative writing or crafting lesson for kids (e.g. how to write a haiku, how to write dialogue, how to make a bookmark, etc.). These videos will be shared on the OWL and with our partners at Title 1 schools!
Fall 2020 Opportunities
Superhero Workshop with CASA of Travis County!
September 19th, 9:30am–10am
Platform: Facebook Live
Broadcast a live, 30-minute writing workshop for kids and teens in the foster care system! The theme for this workshop is “Tell Your Superhero Story” and can involve a guided writing activity of your choice.
1-2 volunteers needed
Personal Narrative Writing with Breakthrough Central Texas
Sept. 19th, Oct. 17th, and Nov. 14th, 10:30am–12:30pm each day
In this workshop, you’ll guide 7th & 8th grade students at Breakthrough Central Texas as they write a personal essay over the course of three Saturdays. Students will read mentor texts and explore themes of family and identity, and will also explore ways to document their experiences throughout the pandemic. We are asking that volunteers commit to all three sessions in order to build trust with students as they share these personal stories!
8-10 volunteers needed
Pen Pals & Letter Writing with East Austin College Prep
October–December, one afternoon per week (day and time TBD)
Work with 5th-6th graders on the art of letter writing! Students will write to Pen Pals in another state in the U.S. about their daily lives during the pandemic and will also learn about other forms of creative letter writing (letters to their future selves, letters to past selves, letters to fictional characters, etc.).
1-2 volunteers needed
Celebrating Fandom Through Fanfiction (5th-9th grade)
November 9th-13th, 5pm–6:30pm each day
In this workshop, students will explore how we can celebrate fandoms we love from books, movies, TV and video games by honing their writing and storytelling skills. Writers will learn how to adapt characters from their favorite fandom to a new and original fictional scene and reimagine what the story could look like. Students will also learn about fanfiction communities and about DIY publishing through fanfiction.
2-3 volunteers needed
College Essay Writing: Mentor a Student
Weekday afternoons, schedule TBD based on student/volunteer preferences
Support high school juniors and seniors as they write first drafts of their college admissions essays! Get to know your student, brainstorm essay ideas via Zoom, and read essay drafts / leave comments via Google Docs.
4-5 volunteers needed
November 16th-20th, 5pm–6:30pm each day
This workshop is for writers who want to write apocalyptic, dystopian, or futuristic fiction (Think Hunger Games. Think Divergent. Think Uglies). Students will re-imagine their city and neighborhoods in post-apocalyptic terms and bring these worlds to life on the page. Over the course of the workshop, students will complete one short story and do a public reading.
2-3 volunteers needed