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Alpha Workshop 2023

The 21st annual Alpha Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers (ages 14 – 19) was held IN PERSON from Wednesday, July 19 to Sunday, July 30, 2023.

Alpha Workshop 2024

Alpha 2024 will take place in person.

July 24 – Aug 4, 2024

Applications ARE CLOSED (as of 10th March 2024.)
Successful Applicants will be notified mid April 2024

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. 

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 $1500*  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.

Guest Lecturers at the 2024 Alpha Writing Workshop

Vita Ayala

Vita Ayala

Mark Oshiro

Mark Oshiro

Kameron Hurley

Kameron Hurley

*Application Fees & Tuition Fees 2024

Due to inflation, and the rising cost of operations, Alpha has made the difficult decision to raise our tuition for the first time in over 10 years. In 2024, tuition for the workshop will be $1,500, and in subsequent years tuition will rise to keep pace with the cost of running the workshop.

Raising tuition for students who can pay will let us offer more generous financial aid to a greater number of students who can’t afford full tuition. If you are a returning alumnus concerned about the tuition raise, remember that Alpha offers scholarships and financial aid, and has never turned away an accepted student who couldn’t afford the workshop.

Starting this year we will also be abolishing our application fee–all applications will be free of charge.

Young writers at the 2023 Alpha Workshop

Alpha Writers Workshop 2022 group photo

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