Lit Crawl Austin

Saturday, October 26, 2019 

Lit Crawl Austin celebrated its ninth year of irreverent literary programming! The Red River Cultural District lit up with a night of performances, games, trivia matches, and storytelling sessions. All events were free and for ages 21 and up.

Lit Crawl Austin Schedule


Mohawk – 912 Red River St
(Find it on the map.)

5:00 PM – Lit Crawl Happy Hour
Lit Crawlers kicked off their night at Mohawk with a happy hour before the festivities began! They recharged from a day at the Fest while catching up with friends and fellow readers. Crawlers who got there early snagged free books and TBF swag! 

6:00 PM – Austin Bat Cave Presents Story Department
At this adults-only monthly event inspired by NYC’s The Moth, talented storytellers riffed on a theme. Texas Book Festival authors told true stories on the theme “My First Book.” With Mitchell Jackson, Melissa Rivero, and Asher Price, and others.

7:00 PM – Reading Roulette
Gulf Coast presented “Reading Roulette,” a night of poetry and prose structured by chance. Our readers read from recent publications in an order determined by the hands of fate. Audience interaction! Musical guests! Impromptu writing assignments! Prizes! Festival goers joined the editors of Gulf Coast and celebrated their latest issue! This event featured Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Max Seifert, Elissa Washuta, and more.

Cheer Up Charlie’s – 900 Red River St
(Find it on the map.)

7:00 PM – Literary Death Match
Four authors. Three judges. Two finalists. One champion. (And all kinds of hilarity in between.) With Kristen Arnett, Dalia Azim, Ryan Chapman, Angie Cruz, Chaitali Sen, Andrea Lawlor, Mary Norris, Tochi Onyebuchi, and host Adrian Todd Zuniga.  

8:30 PM – Poetry Is Not a Luxury
To build on the powerful socially engaged poetry presented by Black Poets Speak Out at Lit Crawl Austin, this reading has grown in scope to address many issues of injustice. This year the poetic demonstration revisited Audre Lorde’s essay “Poetry Is Not a Luxury” and its intersection with immigration. With Lauren K. Alleyne, Francine J. Harris, Monica Teresa Ortiz, Florinda Bryant, Jesus Valles, and host Amanda Johnston. 

9:30 PM- Noir at the Bar
MysteryPeople presented a round of hip, hard-boiled, nitty-gritty noir readings by crime fiction authors. With Steph Cha, May Cobb, Gabino Iglesias, Craig Johnson, Mike McCrary, Alex Segura. Hosted by Scott Montgomery. 

Seven Grand – 405 E 7th St
(Find it on the map.)

6:30 PM – Space Squid: Strange Stories After Sundown
Craving a cultured taste of the fantastical? Lit Crawlers joined us for a program of short, punchy, and often funny sci-fi/fantasy readings interspersed with some literary games, quick contests, audience participation, and author torture. With Matthew Bey, Nicky Drayden, Jen Julian, Jessica Reisman, Patrice Sarath, and Rebecca Schwarz. Hosted by D Chang.

7:30 PM – Chicon Street Poets
Chicon Street Poets, your neighborhood house for spoken word, invited you to come together in this session of poetry and spoken-word performances. Poets read their poetry! Haiku contest judged by applause! With José Olivarez, Tomás Q. Morín, and Carolina Hinojosa- Cisneros. Emceed by Sam Treviño. 

the side bar, 602 E 7th St
(Find it on the map.)

6:30PM – Texas Observer Short Story Contest Reading
Austin-based nonprofit news organization Texas Observer, known for its fearless investigative reporting, narrative storytelling, and sophisticated cultural criticism about all things Texan, unveiled the winners of its 2019 Short Story Contest, judged by Fernando Flores. Lit Crawlers got to hear the writers read their winning work. The grand prize winner received $1,000 and publication in the Observer’s November/December 2019 issue.

7:30 PM – Lit Crawl Against Humanity
This party game for horrible people went literary. Lit Crawl attendees played the game, and left shocked, disgusted, and amused. With Chanelle Benz, Robin Chotzinoff, T. Kira Madden, and Kristen Roupenian. Presented by Awst Press and emceed by Andrew Hilbert.

Empire Control Room – 606 E 7th St
(Find it on the map.)

6:30 PM – Story Bar
Story Bar hosted a multidisciplinary “story mixer” that welcomed Texas Book Festival authors and Austin Film Festival screenwriters to the stage for some spellbinding storytelling. The catch? Artists shared a story in a different medium than what they have represented at their respective festivals. With Sehba Sarwar, Rob Walker, Hannah Leder, and Courtenay Hameister.

7:30 PM – American Short Fiction Presents Win the White House
This game pit authors’ lead characters against each other to win the votes of the audience and become president. In this town hall-style debate, candidates answered questions from ASF staff as well as those from the audience with quotations drawn from their books. With Lara Prescott, Mary Miller, Ivelisse Rodriguez, Kimberly King Parsons, Sarah Elaine Smith, Courtney Maum


Lit Crawl Austin is a project of the Texas Book Festival and the Litquake Foundation.