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What Is Alpha – The Young Writers Workshop?

Alpha is a twelve-day writing workshop for 14 to 19 year olds held in July each year at the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg campus**.

There are 20 students, 10 staff, and 4 author guests at the workshop. Past author guests include Tamora Pierce, N. K. Jemisin, Ellen Kushner, and Mark Oshiro. Each guest spends two days at the workshop, giving lectures on writing, eating meals with students, and leading writing exercises. Tuition is $1200 [* NOTE: 2021 Virtual Workshop was only $300] and covers all meals and lodging on campus.

Scholarships are available for any students with financial need.

All students are expected to write an original science fiction, fantasy, or horror short story during the workshop (2000 words or more). During the workshop they learn how to generate ideas, turn those ideas into a complete draft, critique their own and other’s stories, how to attack revisions, and how to submit their work to professional, paying markets and think about a career in writing.

We also have resources available for students with technological limitations. We are also committed to meeting all accessibility needs. If you have any concerns (for example, if you require an ASL interpreter), please contact us at any time during the application or acceptance process.

REGARDING THE 2022 ALPHA WORKSHOP & COVID – 19:

We take the health and safety of our students seriously. 

Both the Alpha 2020 Workshop and Alpha 2021 workshops were run in a virtual format. Although challenging, both were deemed a big success, with students and authors adapting well to the virtual format.

At Alpha 2022 (held in person on the University of Pittsburgh – Greensburg campus), we maintained strict COVID testing protocols, along with required masking in public spaces, and are pleased to report zero COVID cases at the workshop!

All students and staff were tested upon arrival at the workshop and every three days thereafter. All guest authors were also tested every day that they attended at the workshop. Students, staff, and guest authors were encouraged to test prior to beginning their travel to the workshop, and to mask while en route. We will likely continue these protocols going forward.

For further inquiries, please contact contact@alphawritersworkshop.org

Alpha Workshop 2023

Alpha 2023 will take place IN PERSON
July 19 – July 30, 2023.

Applications will OPEN 9th January 2023.
Applications will CLOSE on 12th March 2023.
Successful Applicants will notified mid April 2023

Alpha Workshop 2022

The 20th annual Alpha Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers (ages 14 – 19) was held IN PERSON from Wednesday, July 20 to Sunday, July 31, 2022.

Support Alpha

Our goal is to put Alpha within reach for as many students as possible, regardless of financial need.  Donations like yours help us fund scholarships and cover increases in workshop expenses without raising the costs. 

Alpha Writers Workshop 2022 group photo

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** Alpha Workshop For Young Writers Inc is not affiliated with University of Pittsburgh Greensburg.