Alpha, the SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers is a Success

Alpha once again went swimmingly. In our 13th year now, guest authors were Rachel Swirsky, Tobias S Buckell, Tamora Pierce and Bruce Coville. They shared the love of writing with twenty teens from as far away as Shanghai, China and as close as Pittsburgh!

Our ten-person staff outdid themselves filling in a couple days during the ten-day workshop, which went so well we’ll be scheduling Alpha for eleven days next year. Two bookstore readings at Barnes and Noble in Greensburg were well populated (and Bill Keith showed up!). We won’t find out how the B&N Bookfair went for a month or so, but last year we made over $100 on it (for the scholarship fund).

We videotaped students and staff for a promotional video that’s being put together by the alpha-support team. We enjoyed sharing the UPG campus with a local band camp so much more than previous years where we were overrun with cheerleaders, oldsters and a military camp, but we’re still looking into alternative schools due to the increased rigid regulations necessary for any Pitt campus after the Pitt Main bomb threats of 2012. Twelve students sent out stories they wrote during Alpha at our mailing party and the students are now on a list where they can get free critiques from former Alphans. You can follow their publishing progress at the Alpha blog http://alpha.spellcaster.org/blog/.

Like our Facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alpha-SFFH-Workshop-for-Young-Writers/133481160019572

YA Lecture Series a Success

Hundreds of fans of Bruce Coville and Tamora Pierce happily greeted them at the very first YA Author Lecture Series event held at Carnegie Mellon University on Sunday, July 27th. Bruce and Tammy spoke for an hour on the trials and joys of writing, captivating the audience with their sage advice and witty banter.

PARSEC, SFWA and CMU banners decorated the stage (as sponsors of the talk) and Parsec bookmarks were handed out. The event and parking were free. Several Parsec members were in attendance and, after the talk, we spoke to everyone in the book signing line that stretched out the door and down the hall.

The University of Pittsburgh Bookstore provided book sales at the meet-and-greet and did a fantastic job. The talk was scheduled from 5 to 6, but we didn’t finish up until 10 pm. 

Before the lecture, twenty-two participants joined Jonathan Auxier for an afternoon workshop on writing YA fiction. Parsec donations of $10 apiece for the YA workshop were split with Jonathan for doing a fantastic job (he was a CMU Drama graduate school alum and it was quite an entertaining, educational performance!). We’re building a new student club at CMU to take over the CMU organizational part of the event, Partners in Speculative Fiction. This will insure that we get free function space for the lectures, which are scheduled for three times a year (July, November, March). We thank the Alpha branch of Parsec for paying travel costs for Bruce and Tammy and the Parsec Library for buying a book from each author. Big thanks to all the Parsec members who helped out with this! Ideas for future YA SF/F/H authors to invite? Discuss them on Parsec-talk.

Parsec Picnic: Sept 20

Who:      Parsec members and friends
What:     Parsec Picnic
When:    Saturday, September 20; noon to dusk
Where:   Dormont Park, Dormont, PA; large pavilion
Why:       Because you’ll have fun!

The Annual Parsec Picnic at Dormont Park will be the third Saturday in September. The picnic starts at noon and runs until dusk. Parsec supplies the meat and buns and everyone should bring a dish to share (side dish or dessert). Nonmembers of Parsec are welcome but a $5 donation is requested (but not required). Facebook Event

Dormont Park Map

Click map for larger version

Alpha book signings

Location:

Barnes and Noble Greensburg
5155 Route 30
Greensburg, PA 15601
724-832-0622

Schedule:

Monday, July 28, 7 to 9 pm
Tamora Pierce (Tamora’s website)
Bruce Coville (Bruce’s website)

Thursday, July 31, 7 to 9 pm
David Barr Kirtley (David’s website)
Karina Sumner-Smith (Karina’s website)
Seth Dickinson (Seth’s website)
Tobias Buckell (Tobias’ website)
Rachel Grinti (Rachel’s website)

Bookfair purchases:

Our bookfair ID number is 11395167. Any purchases using this ID at ANY Barnes & Noble from July 28th through July 31st and online from August 1st through August 5th will raise money for Alpha. (Alpha gets a good percentage of the money spent.) In the store, use the Bookfair ID at the checkout register. Online, it should be entered during checkout.

Click here for more information about Alpha: Alpha website

NEW Young Adult Lecture Series at CMU

A new genre lecture series featuring young adult and middle grade authors is starting at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on Sunday, July 27th. Three times a year, two invited guests will speak to the CMU community and the public. Each event will include a writing workshop focused on science fiction, fantasy or horror, a book signing and a meet-and-greet with the popular YA or MG authors. Read more…

Carnegie Library Summer Reading Extravaganza

June 8th This weekend PARSEC will have a table at the Carnegie Library Summer Reading Extravaganza.

Our location will be on the Schenley Drive Ext, table 4.
Come on out and show your support for literacy and Parsec!
Date: June 8, 2014
Time: 12 – 5 pm
Place: CLP – Main (Oakland)

Parsec will be raffling off three different baskets:
1. A basket of children’s books and a brand new slip n slide
2. A basket of YA reader books that will also include a gift card to Rickert & Beagle books
3. A basket that includes two weekend passes to Confluence and copies of the Triangulation anthology books.

Raffle is free to enter. One entry per person please.
http://www.carnegielibrary.org/summer/extravaganza/