Extra Life – Gaming for Charity

Extra-LifeOn an Autumn Saturday each year since 2008, tens of thousands of gamers have joined together to save the lives of local kids in a celebration of gaming culture that we call Extra Life. This weekend Parsec board member Bonnie Bogovich will be ‘gaming for charity’, playing a variety of board, card, and video games for 24 hours straight, with team Schell Games to raise funds for the Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh. Like a normal marathon Extra Life works on pledges/nonprofit donations. Check out Bonnie’s pledge page, the Schell Games team page, or visit the Extra Life 2014 information page to see how you can form a team and help raise money for your local childrens hospital!

Parsec Read-a-thon Fundraiser

Click the button below to donate!

Rickert & Beagle Books 24 Hour Read-A-Thon Fundraiser Benefiting Parsec

Event Guidelines

Parsec is holding its first-ever 24-hour Read-A-Thon fundraiser. Be a Reader or be a Sponsor (or be both!) and help us spread the news about Pittsburgh’s long-running Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror group.

Scheduled from noon Saturday, October 18, 2014 through noon Sunday, October 19, 2014, this group reading session includes food, companionship and awards for our intrepid readers! Join us at Rickert & Beagle Books in Dormont for the *quietest* Parsec Party you’ve ever attended, as we raise funds to support all the good works Parsec brings to you year round: Fun and interesting monthly meetings, Confluence SF Conference, Alpha — the SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers, Parsec Ink and the newly created YA Author Lecture Series.

You must register by October 15 to be a reader for the Read-A-Thon. We will be handing out fundraiser packets at the annual picnic this Saturday (September 20, 2014). If you can’t attend the picnic, please see our web page or contact Chris at Chris@Rickertandbeaglebooks.com. Click here to download the Read-a-thon Registration Packet.

New children’s book by Parsec member

sleepinghandsomeecvrBook release: Quest for Sleeping Handsome (children’s book, ages 8-18)

Written by Clarita Hagans and Parsec member Henry T. Lund (but you know him as Henry Tjernlund)

For Ursune, a young shepherdess from the High Mountain, no challenge is too great. So when the Red Kingdom is in danger of falling into the hands of the neighboring Forest Kingdom, she is eager to join the contest for the Questers. With the help of some unlikely companions: a talking blue sheep, a handsome knight-in-training lad, a love-struck apprentice astronomer, and a famous martial arts dance star, they have to find the missing sleeping Prince Handsome before it is too late. Of course the quest will not be easy for them when they have magical monsters, thieves, and an evil enchantress chasing after them. Can they find the prince in time? And will they be able to wake him up with a kiss?

Available in print or eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobobooks, and SmashWords.

Reminder: Oct 2 ArtDOG Event

Arts Day of GivingArtDOG is an 18-hour fundraising event through the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. As a 501c3 non-profit organization, Parsec is eligible for some funds to match donations. Funds raised during on 10/2 will be channeled to the YA Lecture Series. The next YA lecture/writing workshop/book signing event will be held on Nov 15 at CMU. Please support Parsec in bringing favorite authors to teen readers and other fans along with instruction in YA writing for all ages.

Children’s book author Caroline Carlson has agreed to give the YA writing workshop on November 15 at CMU in the University Center. (Free parking in the East Campus Garage on Saturdays.)

Other plans for the day’s main lecture are still being worked on. You can help! Even a small donation will go a long way towards bringing outstanding guest speakers to Pittsburgh.

Parsec benefits from ArtDOG event Oct 2

Arts Day of Giving

On Thursday, October 2nd we will have the opportunity to help Parsec by donating between 6am and midnight. ArtDOG, or Arts Day of Giving, is enthusiastically sponsored by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and The Pittsburgh Foundation. Both organizations invite the public to make a monetary contribution with the added incentive that all donations up to $1,000 will be partially matched by The Heinz Endowments.

This is our moment to celebrate and thank the arts and culture oriented non-profits we cherish the most. Your commitment furthers the advantage of Pittsburgh as a home, industry backer and playground.

Whether your gift is large or small, dedicated to one organization or split between several, each and every donation is 100% tax deductible and partially matched – making your dollars go even further.

Last ArtDOG nearly $1.9 million was raised! What can we do together this year?

Book launch party Sept 23

Josh Bellin bookThe launch party for Parsec member Josh Bellin‘s debut novel, the Young Adult science fiction adventure Survival Colony 9, will be Tuesday, September 23 at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop in Oakmont, from 6-7:30 pm. There will be books for sale and signing, cake and other delicacies, prizes, and fun! Here’s the link:

Josh Bellin Book Launch Party at the Mystery Lovers Bookshop

About the book:

Fast-paced and action packed, Survival Colony 9 paints a vivid, gritty landscape of a future world ravaged by war, where a small colony’s hopes for survival hinges on one teenage boy. Can he save himself? Can he save them all?

About Josh:

Joshua David Bellin is a Pittsburgh native, a graduate of Wesleyan University with a PhD. in English from University of Pennsylvania. He taught English and has published three books for college students, including one about monsters. Josh has his own popular blog, YA Guy and belongs to several YA author groups including OneForKidLit, The Fall Fourteeners and Darkly Delicious YA.

Survival Colony 9 already has fans that include fellow YA authors Margaret Peterson Haddix and Jonathan Mayberry who says: “Joshua David Bellin brings serious game in a post-apocalyptic thriller that collides breathless action with devious world building and genuine heart. A terrific novel!”

Young Adult Lecture Series Writing Workshop (Nov 15)

Caroline Carlson [Photo courtesy of Amy Rose Capetta]

Caroline Carlson (Photo courtesy of Amy Rose Capetta)

Caroline Carlson will run a writing workshop on Saturday, November 15, 2014 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm in the Danforth Lounge at Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15213.

The title of the workshop is Blueprints for Enchantment: Constructing a magical world for your fantasy novel. Advance registration is required (see link below) and a there is a $10 suggested donation.

Caroline Carlson is the author of The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, a funny and fantastical series of novels for young readers. Her first book, Magic Marks the Spot,  was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an American Booksellers Association Best Book for Children, and a Junior Library Guild selection. The Terror of the Southlands was published in 2014, and a third book in the series is forthcoming, all from HarperCollins. Caroline holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Pittsburgh with her husband.


11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Writing Workshop with Caroline Carlson in the Danforth Lounge in the University Center at Carnegie Mellon Univeristy. Advance registration required, free parking on weekends in CMU’s East Campus Garage.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, YA Author Lecture: Free lecture; McConomy Auditorium in the University Center at Carnegie Mellon Univeristy, free parking on weekends in CMU’s East Campus Garage. Speaker TBA

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Book Signing in the Conan Room of the University Center. Books for the signing can be purchased in the CMU bookstore in the University Center or brought from home.

To register, click on the donate button below.

Register for the Caroline Carlson writing workshop and send in your donation by clicking the PayPal button:

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.