Bat Scavenger Hunt, Nerd Jeopardy, Literary Death Match, Lit Crawl Against Humanity, LGBT storytelling, and more!
Lit Crawl Austin returns to the Texas Book Festival on Saturday night, October 17. The annual literary pub crawl, a co-production of the Texas Book Festival and Litquake Foundation, features some of America’s most groundbreaking writers onstage at various East Austin venues in a series of offbeat readings, literary games, and performances.
Inspired by San Francisco’s long-running Lit Crawl and produced with their participation, the 2015 Lit Crawl Austin will include: Balderdash, the always-popular YA ghost stories in the Texas State Cemetery, tales about personal fiascos, Nerd Jeopardy, a LGBT storytelling showcase, Literary Death Match, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Lit Crawl Against Humanity (a literary version of the popular game Cards Against Humanity), a coloring contest (with cocktails) for adults, and more.
This year’s Lit Crawl program will be designed by Festival author Zachary Thomas Dodson (Bats of the Republic) and will include a Bat Scavenger Hunt as a part of the design. The Bat Scavenger Hunt will be ongoing throughout the evening, and literary director Steph Opitz says the intricately designed program will be a collector’s item.
Co-organizers Jill Meyers and Steph Opitz weigh in. Meyers says, ”Lit Crawl this year is going to be insane (in a good way), in celebration of our fifth year in Austin. From spooky ghost stories for all ages in the Texas State Cemetery to R-rated Lit Crawl Against Humanity games—and everything in between—we’ve got it.” Opitz adds, “By day Texas Book Fest authors will talk thoughtfully about their latest books, by night they’ll hit up the east side for literary-ish shenanigans.”
Without further ado, here’s the Lit Crawl Austin 2015 schedule:
**Ongoing Bat Scavenger Hunt and Lit Crawl map designed this year by Zachary Thomas Dodson (Bats of the Republic).
The North Door, 502 Brushy St.
7:00-8:00 Literary Death Match
Four authors. Three judges. Two finalists. One really epic finale. Judges: Chuck Palahniuk (intangibles), Linda Gray (performance), and Attica Locke (literary merit). Contestants: David Crabb, Helen Philipps, Gwendolyn Zepeda, and Kirk Lynn.
8:30-9:30 Nerd Jeopardy: Booze and Book-Related Trivia
Taking a cue from a certain game show, this event will pit your favorite writers against one another in a test of literary knowledge and general chutzpah. Hosted by Ryan Chapman, author of Conversation Sparks: Trivia Worth Talking About. With authors Sloane Crosley, Austin Grossman, and Viet Thanh Nguyen.
10:30pm AFTER-PARTY, free and open to the public
Gelateria Gemelli, 1009 E 6th St
**Ongoing Lit Crawl Special: Gelato and Amaro for $10
7:30-8:15 Balderdash by fields + Deep Vellum
Join authors Antonio Ruiz-Camacho, Andrew Ervin, Mary Helen Specht, Téa Obreht, Mia Alvar, and Dan Sheehan for a rousing game of Balderdash, where they’ll attempt to trick you into thinking they know what they’re talking about when it comes to this whole words thing.
Practice Yoga, 1103 E 6th St
7:30-8:15 ABC/Story Department—Fiasco!
Authors Brin-Jonathan Butler, Heidi Julavits, Rebecca Makkai, and Manuel Martinez bare all with true-to-life tales about a personal fiasco. Want to hear your favorite writer in his most fumbling moment, in the midst of some accidental shenanigans? Now’s your chance.
8:30-9:15 You Should Know These Poets
You’ve been missing something in your life. You tried to fill the hole with a truck, a sweetheart, a breakfast taco. You know all the bands and all the clubs. Why aren’t you whole yet? Because you’ve never heard these poets. Come fix that. Sponsored by Sasha West and Sorin Oak Review. With authors Ariana Brown, Tomás Morín, Paul Otremba, and more.
Wonderland, 1104 E 6th St
7:30-8:15 Five Things: The Wild, Wild West!
This Austin-based reading series features five writers reading on a theme for five minutes apiece. For Lit Crawl, we look westward—to desert and myth, West Texas and Las Vegas, lawlessness, city slickers, hipsters who surf, Will Smith at his ’90s steampunk prime. With authors Carmiel Banasky, Matt Diffee, Amelia Gray, and Kristin Valdez Quade.
8:30-9:15 American Short Fiction presents Whose Line Is It, Anyway?
Award-winning literary magazine American Short Fiction hosts this game in which writers try to ID hilarious, lovely, shocking, or moving lines from each other’s recent books, and totally fail to recognize their own words. Winner receives a Texas-themed prize. With authors Lauren Groff, Skip Horack, Alexandra Kleeman, Benjamin Markovits, and Elizabeth McCracken.
9:30-10:15 Slice Literary’s Exquisite Corpse
Slice Literary presents a short story stitched together by writers Marisa Marchetto, Sarah McCoy, Keija Parssinen, Neal Pollack, and Sung J. Woo. How the exquisite corpse game works: One person writes the first few paragraphs. We send the final line of those paragraphs to the next writer, who continues the story. Then the writers come together to read their collective tale, without knowing where it began or where it will end.
Clayworks Studio/Gallery, 1209 E 6th St.
**Ongoing Cocktails and Coloring
Featuring Latin Twist’s own Vianney Rodriguez mixing Tequila 512 drinks and Little, Brown Coloring Books coloring contest.
Three authors tap in and out of one another’s readings. Enjoy the juxtaposition and collaboration of this literary mash-up presented by Bat City Review. With authors Jynne Dilling Martin, Benjamin Percy, and M.O. Walsh.
8:30-9:15 Gulf Coast—Back to the Futurismo
The future is a raw, beautiful machine, brought to you fast and fabulous by authors Matt Bell, Kelly LInk, Lincoln Michel and Laura van den Berg, and Gulf Coast. Expect words to dazzle and games to delight.
9:30-10:15 NANO SEHR Flash: Fiction Becomes Music
Flash fiction comes to life in this special collaboration between NANO Fiction writers Kelly Luce, Jessica Richardson, Matthew Salesses, and Vincent Scarpa and classical music composers Russell Podgorsek and Hermes Camacho. Includes very short fiction performed alongside the Cordova Quartet.
The Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota St.
7:30- 8:15 Are You Afraid of the Dark? ALL AGES EVENT
Gripping, eerie, and spooky tales from a raft of YA stars. This event is for all ages. The cemetery can be dark—bring a flashlight! With authors Jake Halpern, Stephen Graham Jones, Peter Kujawinski, Nova Ren Suma, and April Genevieve Tucholke.
The Volstead, 1500 E 6th St.
7:30-8:15 Catapult—Writers Catapulting Writers
Every emerging writer needs a strong catapult. Three established authors share short odes to the mentors who propelled their careers forward and then introduce a favorite future lit star. A night of signal-boosting, tequila, and bookish camaraderie. With authors Geoff Dyer, Sarah Hepola, and Jonathan Lethem.
8:30-9:15 Lit Crawl Against Humanity
This party game for horrible people goes literary. Prepare to be shocked, disgusted, amused, and titillated? Maybe? Presented by Awst Press and Newfound. With authors Kendra Fortmeyer, Jessica Hopper, Chip Kidd, Matt Summell, and Caroline Zancan.
9:30-10:15 Super Fun Party
Fun Party is an Austin-based reading series where art, literature, and film connect. With authors Thea Brown, Nick Flynn, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, and Robin Beth Schaer.
The Liberty, 1618 1/2 E 6th St
7:30-8:15 Greetings from Queer Mountain
Austin’s own LQBT storytelling showcase hosted by Micheal Foulk and Ralphie Hardesty. With authors Jamie Brickhouse, Saeed Jones, and Maggie Thrash.
8:30-9:15 The Austin Review Presents: You Talkin’ to Me?
Come join us for a night of dialogue as authors read from works that best highlight their gift of the gab. “It’s your move. . .
You talkin’ to me?” With authors Elisa Albert, Jennine Capó Crucet, Catherine Lacey, and Thomas H. McNeely.
9:30-10:15 Kickstarter Presents: Who Said It?
In this quick-fire trivia match, authors must suss out who said these alternatively deep, cryptic, and absurdly hilarious quotes—Elena Ferrante, Karl Ove Knausgaard, or Taylor Swift? With authors Jami Attenberg, Amy FitzHenry, Daniel José Older, and Karolina Waclawiak.
Lit Crawl Austin is a project of the Texas Book Festival and the Litquake Foundation. San Francisco’s Litquake literary festival runs October 9-17, 2015, with affiliated Lit Crawls in San Francisco, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Miami, Austin, Los Angeles, Iowa City, Seattle, London, and Helsinki.
The 2015 Texas Book Festival is co-presented by AT&T and H-E-B. Other major sponsors include Brigid Cockrum and family, Kirkus Reviews, the Texas College Savings Plan, Texas Monthly, the Tocker Foundation, C-SPAN2 Book TV, St. David’s HealthCare, Buena Vista Foundation, Pentagram, Central Market, and the Austin American-Statesman.
The complete 2015 Texas Book Festival schedule, Oct. 17-18, is available at www.texasbookfestival.org.