Words Have Power

And every young person has a unique story to tell

Inspire Young Writers

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Empower students

Amplify their voices and stories

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Summer Camps – Registration Opens March 2020


Summer Writing Retreat for Young Authors! 

Overnight Camp

Location: St. Edward’s University   |   2020 Dates TBD  

Join Austin Bat Cave for our week-long overnight writer’s retreat dedicated to fiction, poetry, and autobiographical storytelling, perfect for young authors who want to immerse themselves in their craft! Campers will engage in daily creative writing workshops taught by local Austin writers, guest speakers, and educators, all while experiencing the lifestyle of a university campus. Past ABC instructors and guest speakers have included Karen Russell, Natalia Sylvester, and Bret Anthony Johnston.

Our interactive workshops will encourage students to delve into their imaginations while learning forms and structures of literary genres and subgenres. As students develop poems and stories, they will learn to critique and receive feedback, edit and revise, working closely with instructors and fellow campers to develop pieces they are proud to share and publish. As a culminating project, students will work together to prepare for a public reading (parents invited!) on the final evening of camp!

Following a full day of writing, students will spend evenings engaging in art and leisure activities guided by camp counselors, along with team-building and relationship-building games and adventures. Opportunities for one-on-one mentorship and feedback on writing will be provided each evening as well. Each camper will stay in a private, single-bed dorm room in St. Ed’s residence halls, chaperoned by program staff, and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the university cafeteria.

Click here to reserve a spot.

Half-Day Camps

Magical Realism (6th – 9th grade) – REGISTRATION CLOSED

Location: TBD |   2020 Dates TBD

Kids can let their imaginations run wild by combining the ordinary with the fantastical at Austin Bat Cave’s Magic Realism summer workshop! This program will encourage students to break the rules of everyday reality by infusing their writing with magical elements: trees can talk, statues can come to life, humans can have secret superpowers…the possibilities for creativity and invention are endless. Students will read story excerpts, hear from guest speakers, talk through their ideas in daily brainstorming sessions, and craft their very own short stories inspired by this magical fiction genre.

Mysteries & Thrillers (5th – 8th grade)- REGISTRATION CLOSED

Location: TBD |   2020 Dates TBD

This camp is for kids who love a good mystery. Work with instructors on planning the backstory to a crime and creating an emotional arc for a character affected by the mystery. Students will learn about stakes (why does the protagonist need to solve the mystery?) as well as the delightful process of clue-planting.

Fiction Writing (5th – 8th grade)- REGISTRATION CLOSED

Location: TBD |   2020 Dates TBD

This workshop is for the young writers who want to explore the craft and conventions of fiction. We will focus on different genres, but particular attention will be paid to the structure of short fiction. Students will produce a piece of polished fiction by week’s end.

Post-Apocalyptic (6th – 10th grade) – REGISTRATION CLOSED

Location: TBD   |   2020 Dates TBD

Get ready to explore a post-apocalyptic Austin! This camp is for kids ages 11-14 who want to write apocalyptic, dystopian, or futuristic fiction (Think Hunger Games. Think Divergent. Think Uglies). Campers 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.

Poetry Writing (4th – 7th grade)

Location: TBD |   2020 Dates TBD

This workshop for young poets will explore a variety of different poetic forms including lyrics, sonnets, blank verse, and more. For the young William Carlos Williams or Louise Gluck in your life! In addition to written poetry, students will learn about slam and spoken word. The week will end with a reading of work by the students!

Dungeons & Dragons Writing Camp (5th – 9th grade)

Location: TBD |   2020 Dates TBD

In this camp, students will create a fantasy character, designing everything from their physical traits to their backstory. Camp adventurers will work together in small groups to solve problems, defeat monsters, and save the day as they discover their stories.

Past Workshops

  • On the Record: Music Journalism with Austin Bat Cave (Ages 11-18)
  • Magical Realism
  • Dungeons & Dragons/Roleplaying Workshop
  • Austin’s Post-Apocalyptic
  • Austin Bat Cave Presents…Poetry Comics with Bridget Brewer!
  • Science Fiction
  • Creating Languages

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