Alpha: science fiction writing workshop for teens in Pittsburgh

Alpha is a science fiction/fantasy/horror writing workshop for young people aged 14-19, held at University of Pittsburgh's Greensburg Campus from July 13-22 (it leads up to the annual Pittsburgh science fiction convention, Confluence, which runs July 22-24). This year's instructors include Tamora Pierce, David Levine and Ellen Kushner (I've taught a workshop with Ellen before and she's fab, as, I'm sure, are David and Tamora). Tuition is $995, and the application deadline is March 1.
Learn about writing and publishing. Meet other teens who share your interest in writing speculative fiction. Talk about short stories, novels, and films. Have your submission story critiqued. Brainstorm new story ideas, write a first draft, receive feedback, and rewrite. Attend readings by the authors. Do a public reading. Learn about submitting for publication, and send off your story at our manuscript mailing party...

Finally, at the conclusion of the workshop, attend Confluence, Pittsburgh's annual, literature-based convention, where you will have the opportunity to attend panels and readings, and interact with other fans, authors, editors, musicians, artists, agents, and scientists.

2011 will be Alpha's tenth year. Previous attendees have placed in the Dell Magazines Award and Writers of the Future contests, and have sold stories to Boys' Life, Realms of Fantasy, Fantasy Magazine, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Fantastic Stories, Corpse Blossoms, Aberrant Dreams, and Fantastical Visions. (Read more about Alpha graduates' publications and awards.)

The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers (via Whatever)


  1. I’d definitely go if I got the money. $995 dollars ain’t cheap, so if you can’t attend like me you can still find online resources for free.
    I’m actually writing speculative fiction in blog format. Every weekday a new post. It’s postcyberpunk. Anybody doing similar things feel free to exchange ideas with me.

    I guess I’m not teen any more. But I wish i did something like it while in school.

    my scifi blog fiction post #1:

    ATM I don’t edit much. They are more or less mental puke.

  2. Hello! I’m an Alpha alum (from back in ’05 and ’06), and I’d like to chime in by saying that yes, it’s expensive. However, there are some partial scholarships available for students who can’t afford the entire tuition. I wouldn’t have been able to go without financial assistance. So don’t let money discourage you from applying! It was one of the best experiences of my life to date, and so worth every cent that I *did* have to pay.

    (Also, thanks for posting, Cory!)

Comments are closed.