Whitman & Brass

Join us at 2:00 Sunday, March 22 at the Purple Cat Theatre in a celebration of America’s iconic poet and the music of his generation, played by highly acclaimed local musicians.

whitmanLit Youngstown hosts an afternoon of Walt Whitman readings by Kelly Bancroft, Tim Francisco, Jeanine Rees & Steve Reese, and period pieces performed by Susan Sexton’s brass quartet, Susan Sexton & John Veneskey on trumpet, Jonathan Willis & Eric Rowles on trombone.
Literature-inspired refreshments will include green eggs and ham, chocolate bars with golden tickets and handmade brassfortune cookies. Literary Themed Raffle benefits Lit Youngstown.
Sunday, March 22, Purple Cat Theatre, 220 W. Boardman St. Doors open at 2:00. Admission advance $35, available here until March 15; $40 at the door.




2019 Annual Report

We published our 2019 Annual Report! Thanks to all–you put the light in Lit Youngstown. There were so many to thank, our hearts are full. We hope we haven’t forgotten anyone, but if we did, please let us know.

First Wednesday Features Holly Christensen & Chris Gibowicz

Join us for a First Wednesday Series reading by Akron Beacon Journal columnist Holly Christensen and Youngstown poet Chris Gibowicz. Open mic to follow, emceed by Jimmy Sutman. We will also be celebrating National Nutella Day. Wednesday, February 5 at the Soap Gallery at 7:00.

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Holly Christensen is a 2010 graduate of the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. The mother of five children between the ages of 26 and seven, Holly has been the parenting/family/community columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal since 2016. She also teaches writing at the University of Akron.


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Chris Gibowicz is currently a district level administrator. She was formerly a teacher, and an inner-city school principal. She continues to deepen her yoga and mediation practice through retreats. She drew inspiration for her book, Lead, Love Live, from her self care practices, leadership, love and life.


2020 First Wednesday Readers Series:
March 4 Cliff Richeal (poetry) Kayla Jeswald (nonfiction)
April 1 Thomas Beck (storytelling) Humor Open Mic
May 6 Angie Orlando (memoir) Christine Howey (poetry)
June 3 Nikki Robinson (poetry), Terry Provost (poetry)
July 1 Diane Kendig (poetry), Hannah Rodabaugh (poetry)
August 5 Kathleen Strafford (poetry), Ted Lardner (poetry)
September 2 Susan Petrone (fiction), William Heath (poetry)
October 7 Kelly Bancroft (play), Jessica Jewell (poetry)
November 4 Craig Paulenich (poetry) & James Winter (fiction) NEOMFA reunion reading

Flash Fiction Workshop Enrollment Open

“Cinema of the Mind” — Flash Fiction Through the Camera’s Lens

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and teacher Robert Olen Butler teaches a moment-by-moment method of writing fiction that shares many similarities with the medium of film. We will learn how to take two of the most important elements of all fiction—desire and emotion—and create compelling flash fiction and short stories using Butler’s “Cinema of the Mind.” We will practice with such flash forms as Triptychs and numbered list flashes since they work well with brief, focused scenes.

“Cinema of the Mind” — Flash Fiction Through the Camera’s Lens. Teens & Adults. All experience levels welcome. Saturday, March 7, 9:00 a.m.-noon, St. John’s Episcopal Church,  323 Wick Ave. Course fee: $15 (collected at workshop). Need-based scholarships are available. Register here. Deadline March 1.

Gene Brode is a short fiction writer and fire alarm technician. He’s an avid reader and long time blogger who has been writing fiction since his days at GMU where he studied Spanish language and literature in the mid 90s. He is the founding editor of TransfiguredLit.wordpress.com

Thank You, Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell and Youngstown Foundation!

Join us in thanking Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell for a $500 contribution toward the upcoming Winter Writing Camp, noting “It is a pleasure to support this initiative.” This is HHM’s third year in Winter Writing Camp funding, and we are so appreciative.


We are also profoundly grateful to the Youngstown Foundation for matching contributions made through the Support Fund at the Foundation, and for selecting us as a $500 recipient of the Youngstown Foundation Promotion and Goodwill Fund. The Foundation is a force for good in our community, and it’s terrific to receive this endorsement. youngstown_foundation

Teen Writers Workshop


New! Are you a teen looking for a writing community? Join us for the first teen writers workshop; all experience levels welcome.

We will meet on the third Thursday of each month, beginning Thursday, January 16, 6:00, at the Lit Youngstown office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Come to the door on the right, under the stone archway, and ring the buzzer.

Third Thursday Writers Circle

Would you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written? Bring 12 copies (one pexels-photo-2112054poem or excerpt of prose, 2000 words max.). to the Third Thursday Writers Circle.

We will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, January 16. Come to the door on the right, under the stone archway, and ring the buzzer.

Food for Thought: For a Little While

67776435_1413485245456518_8050088538974191616_oNew Year’s Day bumps our book discussion to the 15th! Join us for a conversation about the short story collection For a Little While by acclaimed writer Rick Bass.

New York Times reviewer Dwight Garner writes of Bass’s collection, “He is a keen and relentless observer of woods and prairies and beasts of every variety, so much so that many of these stories could be dropped intact into The Best American Science and Nature Writing and no one would blink.”

You can find copies of the book at the Trumbull County libraries, YSU Maag Library via OhioLink and the YSU Barnes & Noble.

Food for Thought book discussion will be hosted by our community partner Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, January 15, from 6:00-7:00 pm. If you would like to order a bite to eat, please arrive well before the counter closes at 6:00. Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Join us.

February 12 (Nonfiction) The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
March 11 (Fiction, Novel) Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
April 8 (Nonfiction) The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health by David R. Montgomery & Anne Biklé
May 13 (Nonfiction) Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

Winter Writing Camp Registration Open!

Winter Writing Camp

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Winter Writing Camp 2020 will take place Saturday, February 8, from 9:30-3:00 at St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning Valley. This is a free all-day event, including lunch and childcare. All ages and experience levels are welcome.

Registration is now open! To register, click here. Seating is limited. You will be added to a waiting list, and we’ll let you know if a seat opens up for you!

Here is the schedule of sessions. Participants will receive a program with this schedule, and more information about the sessions and teaching artists. Please consider this a draft; there may be changes to this program. See you soon!

9:00 – 9:30 Registration & Bagels
9:45 Welcome

Schedule Adults  Adults  Adults  Teens  5-7th Grade K-4th (K-1 w/ Adult)
Session 1
Barbara Sabol

Descriptive Language


Marion Boyer
Poetry Revision

Josh Nauman

Technical Writing


Meg Silver

5-7th Grade

Regis Coustillac

K-4th Grade

Carrie George

Session 2
Nikki Ericksen

Writing a Children’s Book 

Robin Wesson

Inspired by Maya Angelou 


Stephanie Stearns

5-7th Grade

Carrie George

K-4th Grade

Regis Coustillac

12:00-12:50 Lunch & Open Mic
Session 3

Katie Passerotti How to Open a Novel or Story


Bridgid Cassin

Poetry Touch & Taste

Mari Alschuler


5th Grade-Teens

Liz Skeels

K-4th Grade


Session 4
Storytelling Performance
Jocelyn & Robert Dabney

Please join us in thanking our funders Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell; Anita Gorman;  Maureen Reardon and St. John’s Episcopal Church. Thank you!