Previous YA Lectures/Workshops

Fall 2015

Lecture Speaker: Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater writes Young Adult fiction novels and short fiction, notably the 2010 New York Times Bestseller Linger and the 2011 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book The Scorpio Races. She worked for some time as a portrait artist and is a race car and race car driving enthusiast. She was a competitive bagpipe player in college while studying at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She lives in Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with her husband, two children, three dogs, and one cat.


Writing Workshop: Rachel Grinti

rachel grinti

Rachel Grinti writes books for children and teens and is a part-time youth services librarian. She thinks every story is better with dragons and every house is better with a Boston Terrier. Her most recent novel is Jala’s Mask (Pyr, 2014), co-written with Mike Grinti.

Summer 2015

Lecture Speakers: Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman

ellen_kushner-150x150Ellen Kushner began her career in publishing as a fiction editor in New York City, but left to write her first novel, Swordspoint, which has become a cult classic, hailed as the progenitor of the “mannerpunk” (or “Fantasy of Manners”) school of urban fantasy. Swordspoint was followed by Thomas the Rhymer (World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Award), and two more novels in her “Riverside” series. Her short fiction appears regularly in various anthologies. Ellen Kushner’s fiction has been translated into numerous languages, including Japanese, French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Latvian and Finnish. She has narrated and co-produced “illuminated” versions of all three of the “Riverside” novels with SueMedia Productions for Neil Gaiman Presents at–and won a 2013 Audie Award for Swordspoint. Other recent projects include the urban fantasy anthology Welcome to Bordertown (co-edited with Holly Black), and The Witches of Lublin, a musical audio drama written with Elizabeth Schwartz & Yale Strom (Gabriel, Gracie and Wilbur Awards).

delia_sherman-150x150Delia Sherman was born in Tokyo, Japan, and brought up in New York City. Delia’s short fiction for adults has appeared most recently in the anthologies Naked City and Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells. Stories for teen readers have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Steampunk! and Under My Hat. “CATNYP,” a story of a magical New York Between, inspired her first novel for children, Changeling. The sequel, The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen, followed in 2009. The Freedom Maze, a time-travel fantasy set in Louisiana, was awarded the Norton Award, the Prometheus Award, and the Mythopoeic Award. Her recent collection of short fiction, Young Woman in a Garden, has appeared on PW’s list of Best SF of 2014. She has worked as a contributing editor for Tor Books and has co-edited the fantasy anthology The Horns of Elfland with Ellen Kushner and Donald G. Keller, as well as The Essential Bordertown with Terri Windling, as well as two anthologies of Interstitial fiction, Interfictions 1, with Theodora Goss and Interfictions 2, with Christopher Barzak. She is Executive Editor of Interfictions Online: A Journal of Interstitial Arts. (Photo by Austen Burroughs.)

Writing Workshop: Mary Turzillo and Geoffrey A. Landis

LandisMary Turzillo‘s 1999 Nebula-winner,”Mars Is no Place for Children” and her Analog novel An Old-Fashioned Martian Girl are recommended reading on the International Space Station. Her poetry collection Lovers & Killers won the 2013 Elgin Award. She been a finalist on the British Science Fiction Association, Pushcart, Stoker, Dwarf Stars and Rhysling ballots. Sweet Poison, her Dark Renaissance collaboration with Marge Simon, was a Stoker finalist and their collaboration, Sweet Poison, is on the 2015 Elgin ballot. She’s working on a novel, A Mars Cat and his Boy.

Geoff Landis is a writer, a scientist, and a poet. His short stories have been published in over 20 languages, and have won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best science fiction. He is also the author of the novel Mars Crossing and the story collection Impact Parameter (and Other Quantum Realities). As a scientist, he works for NASA on Mars exploration, and on developing advanced technologies for spaceflight. He was the 2014 recipient Robert A. Heinlein Award “for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space.” He lives in Berea Ohio with his wife, poet Mary Turzillo, and four cats.

Spring 2015

Writing Workshop: Joshua Bellin

Joshua Bellins-285x300Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since the age of eight (though the first few were admittedly very, very short). A native of Pittsburgh, Josh received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches at La Roche College. His debut novel, the YA science fiction adventure Survival Colony 9, was published last year, and will be followed soon by a sequel, Skaldi City. Books will be available for purchase after the workshop at the book signing event in Doherty Hall 2315 at 3:00 pm.

*Parsec, Inc. is a Pittsburgh non-profit, charitable organization seeking to promote literacy through the enjoyment of science fiction, fantasy and horror. A $10 tax-deductible donation to Parsec is suggested for workshop participants. No money will be collected in person at the door. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation separately through PayPal, send it to, or you may mail a contribution to: Parsec, PO Box 3681, Pittsburgh PA 15230-3681.

Lecture: Kristin Cashore

(Photo by Laura Evans)

(Photo by Laura Evans)

Kristin Cashore grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside. She received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer. She has called many places home (including Sydney, New York City, Boston, London, Austin, and Jacksonville, Florida), and currently lives in the Boston area. Cashore wrote the New York Times bestsellers Graceling, Fire, and most recently, Bitterblue, all of which have been named ALA Best Books for Young Adults. The books are world travelers, published in over thirty languages.


Fall 2014

Lecture: Nalo Hopkinson

Nalo HopkinsonFans old and new attended Nalo Hopkinson’s inspiring lecture Keeping it (Un)Real at the second YA Author Lecture Series talk event held at Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday, November 15, 2014. After the talk there was a lively question and answer session, followed by a book signing. Nalo Hopkinson, born in Jamaica, has lived in Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana and for the past 35 years in Canada. She is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside.

Writing Workshop: Caroline Carlson

CarolineCarlsonBefore the lecture, those signed up for the workshop participated in Caroline Carlson’s writing workshop. She is the author of a series of funny and fantastical series of novels for young readers. 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.

Summer 2014

Lecture: Bruce Coville and Tamora Pierce

bruce_coville2-150x150tammy_smallHundreds 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 27, 2014. Bruce and Tammy spoke for an hour on the trials and joys of writing, captivating the audience with their sage advice and witty banter.

Writing Workshop: Jonathan Auxier

Jonthan Auxier Headshot - web fullBefore the lecture, twenty-two participants joined Jonathan Auxier for an afternoon workshop on writing YA fiction. Jonathan was a CMU Drama graduate school alum and it was quite an entertaining, educational performance!

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