Austin Writers Loft Party Recap

On September 14th the earth’s core shifted a little as Austin’s writing community came together for the networking event of the century—the Austin Writers Loft Party, at WriteByNight.

Okay, the structure of Earth did not really move, and there may have been one or two better parties over the past hundred years. Obviously I have a slight exaggeration problem. But one thing is for sure—it was one heck of a lovely evening.

Close to 100 of Austin’s best and brightest writers turned out for the event, which was a collaboration of the Professional Writers of Austin and PWA’s official sponsor, WriteByNight. As many of you already know, Professional Writers of Austin has recently reformatted and re-launched its approach, and teamed up with WriteByNight in the process. (If you are not aware of this fact, read this riveting post about the origins of PWA now.) Originally starting out as just a group on Meetup.com last February, founder Riki Markowitz decided to move up and out when she realized how many people were showing interest. PWA is now a standalone organization that, with the support of WriteByNight, aims to unify the local writing community via networking, career-building, and good old fashioned solidarity.

The Loft Party brought these two organizations together, not to mention writers of all genres and experience levels, in a fun, relaxed environment. Soon after the 7:00 start time, WBN was packed with people, drinks in hand and writing on the brain. I got to man the front door, collecting donations and explaining WBN’s and PWA’s offerings. This also provided an excellent opportunity to talk with just about every single writer who attended the event, if only just briefly. I asked the question “What kind of writing do you do?” several dozen times, and the responses ran the gamut. Poetry, technical writing, blogging, YA, editorial—you name it, these partygoers wrote it, resulting in a smorgasbord of interesting conversations and excellent networking opportunities.

Between all the chit chat, the attendees perused the WBN space, exploring its awesome patios, admiring its collection of local art, and craning their heads back to try and take in the massive upstairs mural in its entirety—and resisting the urge to steal from its excellent collection of books. They sipped on Shiner Hefeweizen, snacked on everything from homemade cake to gourmet cheese, and even dipped into a smuggled-in bottle of vodka. There was laughter, there were tears; the sharing of stories and the sharing of dreams.

Okay, there weren’t really any tears … unless they were tears of joy at finally being united with a community that understands the need to check out a dozen library books at a time or gets ridiculously excited when the Texas Book Festival comes to town. The Loft Party was truly a successful joining of two amazing organizations who share a common passion for serving those people in Austin who love putting words on paper and getting their voices heard.

Did you attend The Austin Writers Loft Party? If so, we want to hear all about your experience, and what better place to tell us than in the comments section below.

Katie’s work has been featured in Austin Lifestyle Magazine, Redbook Magazine, Thrillist.com, and Homerun.com. She is also excited to be contributing to the new Austin publication BE Mag, launching its first issue this November. Prior to moving to Austin, Katie worked as an associate producer for an NBC affiliate in South Florida.