Austin Bat Cave is a hub for young writers who want to express their creativity and tell their stories.
We teach the craft of writing and explore literary genres from lyric poetry to dystopian fiction and other forms of expression including op-ed writing, personal narrative, and more. Our workshops are taught by local authors, poets, journalists, and educators who are thrilled to share their expertise with Austin Bat Cave students. Check out our current offerings below. COVID-19 Update: All Austin Bat Cave workshops are digital through January 2021 and will take place on Zoom.
8th – 12th Grade
Courageous Cadence with Performing Justice Project
October 14th–December 9th, Wednesdays from 6:30–8:30pm
Presented by the Performing Justice Project in partnership with ABC, Courageous Cadence will center the utilization of spoken word poetry as a tool for social justice. Through creative writing, performance-based skills, and personal storytelling, participants will examine and name connections between their individual experiences and systemic (in)justice. With a focus on race and gender theory, participants will imagine and perform more just possibilities for themselves and their communities. Courageous Cadence consists of eight two-hour video sessions in addition to a final performance for an audience. Join us to discover the rhyme in resistance and make a stand!
5th – 9th Grade
All About Me: Using Personal Narrative Writing to Tell Your Story
Saturday, November 14th, 11am–2pm
We all have a story to tell, and writing can be one of the best ways to capture it. In this workshop, you will learn how to share your memories, experiences, and personality through the art of personal narrative writing. Students will learn the different styles that personal narratives can take, and, using inspiration from published authors, will write a short narrative about a meaningful event or experience from their life.
6th – 12th Grade
Live Write-In & Author Visit with Natalia Sylvester
Wednesday, October 14th, 6pm–7:30pm
ABC is excited to host a special Live Write-in and author visit with Natalia Sylvester, author of Running! In this workshop, Natalia Sylvester will read from her novel, talk about the inspiration for her book, and answer audience questions. Then, during the write-in, you’ll write independently to prompts about some of the themes explored in the book to help you consider speaking your truth and using your voice for change even if you are afraid to. Writers will have the opportunity to share their work open-mic style and get feedback from instructors and other teens. If you don’t want to share, you can just listen and hear how others responded to the prompt!
5th – 9th Grade
Austin Bat Cave D&D Club
Sept. 29th–Dec. 1st, Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30pm
This fall, ABC is thrilled to offer a free bi-monthly, after-school Dungeons & Dragons Club! Students who are members of this club will play Dungeons & Dragons with a group of peers and an ABC teacher, build character-development and story-telling skills, and keep a writing journal documenting the adventures that take place during their D&D campaigns.
Space limited: 5 spots remaining.
5th – 8th Grade
Ghost Story Workshop
Saturday, October 17th, 1pm–3pm
Where do ghost stories come from? Why are people drawn to tales of terror? Is there a ghost story you want to write? This workshop with Carie Juettner, author of The Ghostly Tales of New England, will explore our fascination with ghost stories and how writers tackle spooky subjects. We’ll learn the elements of a ghost story and how to structure them for maximum creepiness. Writers will get the chance to write their own ghost stories and share them with the instructor and with one another . . . if they dare!
6th – 10th Grade
October 26th–30th, 5pm-6:30pm each day
What are the stories that scare you the most? Are they about monsters? Supernatural spirits? A trip to the Upside-Down? This program with author Jennifer Graham is for writers in 6th-10th grade who want to create horror fiction. Students will learn ways to work with horror tropes in order to write spine-tingling, hair-raising stories, whether subtly spooky or wildly terrifying. Over the course of the workshop, students will complete one short story and do a public reading.
5th – 9th Grade
Celebrating Fandom Through Fanfiction
November 9th–13th, 5:00–6:30pm each day
Do you have a fandom that you love but wish the story had ended differently? Want to explore your own story and play around in that universe? Then this workshop is for you! This workshop will explore how we can celebrate fandoms we love from books, movies, TV and video games by honing our writing and storytelling skills. Writers will learn how to adapt characters from your favorite fandom to a new and original fictional scene and reimagine what the story could look like. You will also learn about fanfiction communities and about DIY publishing through fanfiction.
6th – 10th Grade
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.
5th – 12th Grade
Saturday, December 5th, 11am–1pm
Looking for creative outlets while staying at home? This workshop will provide opportunities to connect creatively and document what quarantine has been like for you in 2020. Join author and creator Austin Kleon for this special #Quaranzine workshop and learn about how he has been creating mini-zines using various materials at home. You will learn how to make your own zine (self-published book/magazine) and will have time to respond to prompts to get you thinking about what your zine will be about and how it can express your life during the quarantine.
At Austin Bat Cave, we are only as strong as the community we serve, and are proud to partner annually with local nonprofits such as Breakthrough Central Texas, CASA of Travis County, Communities in Schools, GirlForward, and Out Youth to provide customized writing workshops. If your nonprofit would like to partner with Austin Bat Cave to bring a writing workshop to your students, please contact our team.
Support Austin Bat Cave