Thinking Outside the Box With Books

Lit Crawl comes to Austin

Thinking Outside the Box With Books

Yesterday we revealed the featured speakers at the Texas Book Festival's annual glitzed-out literary gala. Today we've got the dirt on a new TBF event this year called Lit Crawl. Dress code = less fancy pants, more beer goggles.

I chatted with Texas Book Festival Literary Director Clay Smith about the impetus behind Lit Crawl, which first started at San Francisco's Litquake Festival in 2006 and has since expanded to New York.

"One of the beautiful facts about the Texas Book Festival is that we create this community of readers who get to know one another and mingle with one another on the Capitol grounds and in downtown Austin," Smith says.

But, he says, TBF organizers have been eager to expand the fest's base and to explore more parts of town and more nontraditional venues. Partnering with the Austin-based literary magazine American Short Fiction, they plan to do just that with Lit Crawl, which pairs those nontraditional venues with, shall we say, hipper, more younger-skewing authors.

Smith estimates there will be 15 to 20 authors participating in the event, including some "major writers," spread over five confirmed Eastside venues: Cheer Up Charlie's, Public School, the Texas State Cemetery (how deliciously creepy), the East Side Drive-In, and the Blue Starlite Drive-In. (Another Eastside bar is in negotiations to join the crawl.)

He hopes Eastside inhabitants won't think of this is some kind of literary land grab. "It isn't just the Texas Book Festival and American Short Fiction being big literary players here in town taking over the Eastside," he says. "What's happened here is we've gone to each of these venues and gotten them excited about writing and about literature.

"It's a real community effort and involvement, and that's crucial to its success."

Lit Crawl will take place in two time chunks on Saturday night during the Texas Book Festival, which runs Oct. 22-23. The full lineup – of the Lit Crawl participants as well as the hordes of other TBF authors coming to town – will be released on Sept. 8.

READ MORE
More Texas Book Festival
Texas Book Festival 2017: Connecting … Connecting …
Texas Book Festival 2017: Connecting … Connecting …
Authors talk Florida and what you don't know about your family

Melany Jean, Nov. 6, 2017

Texas Book Festival 2017: <br>A Conversation With Dan Rather
Texas Book Festival 2017:
A Conversation With Dan Rather
At launch for What Unites Us, newsman shares positivity

Katarina Brown, Nov. 6, 2017

More by Kimberley Jones
Justice League
Another ho-hum entry to the DC Extended Universe

Nov. 17, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express
You may want to cancel your ticket to this latest Christie adaptation

Nov. 10, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Lit Crawl, Texas Book Festival, Clay Smith, American Short Fiction, Litquake

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)