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About the Alpha Workshop

We’re looking for enthusiastic, talented young writers who have a strong interest in science fiction, fantasy, and/or horror. Students from anywhere in the world are welcome. In the past, students have attended Alpha from Canada, the United Kingdom, all over the United States, and even as far away as China, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand.

Learn about writing and publishing. Meet other teens who share your interests. Talk about short stories, novels, and films. Have your application story critiqued. Brainstorm new ideas, write a first draft, receive feedback, and rewrite. Attend readings by the authors. Give your own public reading. Learn about submitting for publication, and send off your story at our submission party.

The workshop is small, with a maximum of 20 participants. Admission is based solely on the strength of the application story.

Tuition for the onsite (live, face-to-face) workshop (2024) is $1500; this includes all workshop-related costs, including housing and meals, but does not include transportation to and from Pittsburgh.

Financial aid is available for students who cannot otherwise attend the workshop.

In addition, we have resources available for students with technological limitations (for example, if you will not have reliable access to a personal computer and/or stable internet during the virtual workshop). 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.

Alpha is not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh.

By Michael Lincoln
By Michael Lincoln

Past Attendees

Wondering what Alpha’s really like? Here’s what previous students have to say.

Alpha has been held near Pittsburgh every summer since 2002. Previous attendees have placed in the Dell Magazines Award and Writers of the Future contests, and have published their novels and short stories in markets such as Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Cicada, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Nature Futures, and Pseudopod.