An amazing, miraculous festival happened this week. You might even have heard of it: SXSCongress Literary Extravaganza, hosted by our very own writing group, We Put Words on Paper.
I realize you’re all thinking: A Literary Extravaganza while the biggest music festival in Austin riots in the streets? You might be thinking it’s abit ambitious for a small writer’s group to compete.
And you’re WRONG! The point of this Literary Extravaganza, or Rebellion, if you will, was to prove literature can take just as much precedence in the world of entertainment as any other art form. With a crowd of nearly 30 people filling the backyard of the Pickle Palace (including a few members from The Chronicle!), it’s safe to say, our first literary celebration fulfilled all of our nerdy word hopes and dreams.
The itinerary was simple: two or three readings then a small break with music that accompanied Zakk’s conceptual piece. And of course, there was the Haiku-off. Think battle rap, but in lines of 5-7-5.
Amanda took the prize after a fierce competition amongst fellow members Eric, Elizabeth, and Laura. The energy stayed mighty and powerful all evening, and that I contribute to Amanda’s
vibrant mc-ing and a crowd that was genuinely interested in the event. Our guest speaker, Miracle Jones, from the New York fiction collective Fiction Circus, read a captivating short story that was the cherry on an already electrifying night. Sample (or buy!) his first novel of “The Fold” series on Smashwords. I’ve read the first 20 pages, and wow. Stunning work, Mr. Jones.
The coolest part was the audience participation! A few brave, awe-inspiring friends stole the stage with stories of their own. Our friend Nate even performed a monologue.
None of this would have been possible without the members of We Put Words on Paper grabbing hold of what first started as a small, vague idea, and over the course of THREE DAYS, gave it legs as we watched this event take off sprinting. D-I-Y (do it yourself) all the way! The group’s dedication and enthusiasm for storytelling truly pulled this thing together, validating our core purpose: make art, share art, get people excited.
We thank everyone who made it out. Stay tuned on our Facebook page for more festivals in the indeterminate future.