Alpha Workshop: Summer Solved for Teen Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Writers

Know a teen aged 14-19 whose notebooks are overflowing with spaceships and lycanthropes? Who has NASA’s New Horizons mission bookmarked as a research guide for their next novel? Maybe they (and you) should check out the Alpha Workshop for Young Writers for a summer experience that is close to out of this world.

For fifteen years, Alpha Workshop has welcomed 20 teens to the University of Pittsburgh – Greensburg campus. This summer’s session runs from July 21 to July 31, 2016.

Guest authors for the 2016 Alpha Workshop are: Malinda Lo (Adaptation, 2012; Inheritance, 2013 both Little, Brown.), co-founder of Diversity in YA project; Max Gladstone (The Craft Sequence, Tor); and award-winning poet, prose author and critic Amal El-Mohtar.

New York Times bestseller and Alpha Workshop stalwart Tamora Pierce fills the fourth author slot. Pierce is the author of books including Song of the Lioness, Protector of the Small, and the Circle of Magic series.

Alpha students write and critique stories, attend (and perhaps participate in!) readings, and — at the end of the workshop – submit their story to well known science fiction and fantasy magazines.

“Perhaps the most important thing about Alpha is the fact that the staff and guest writers all treat you like a serious artist,” ~ Rachel Sobel, Alpha alum ’08 & ’09.

Alpha Workshop is open to applications now through March 5, 2016. To apply, and for more information, visit

Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy. Her first novel, Updraft (Tor, 2015) is called 'Soaring' by Publishers' Weekly and Barnes & Noble SFF blog, while NPR Books says it was "one of the most original fantasy novels I've read this year." Her next novel, Cloudbound releases in September. Fran's short stories appear at Asimov's, Nature, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and She writes for publications including The Washington Post, SFSignal,, Clarkesworld,, and She can also program digital minions, tie most of the sailor's knot board, and re-load a fountain pen without spattering herself with ink (usually). She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their tween-minecraft fanatic / book addict / budding Scratch programmer.