New Workshop! Playwriting 102

Playwriting 102 (Limited Seating)

82234858_1564294787042229_6689842761056649216_oStudents who enjoyed the “The Power of Ten” playwriting class will enjoy this workshop where we write and share scenes, monologues, or completed short plays over the course of 4 weeks. Didn’t take the first class? No problem. You’ll be able to join right in. Classes will be a combination of the technique practice, discussion and sharing of material.

Meet the Teaching Artist: Kelly Bancroft’s plays have been produced in Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Cleveland. She earned an MFA from the NEOMFA program at YSU. She is also a poet and prose writer. A short documentary she co-produced based on one of her plays was a selection of the Cleveland International Film Festival.

Playwriting 102. Wednesdays, September 9-30, 5:30-6:45 p.m., on Zoom. Please click here to register. Course fee is $25 (or pay as you are able). To pay via Paypal or credit card, click on the link below, or mail a check payable to Lit Youngstown/323 Wick Ave. #9/Youngstown 44503. Thank you!

Playwriting 102



New Book News!

New Book News! (Lit Youngstown YouTube Channel)
Kelly Fordon, Mary Swan-Bell & Rachel Swearingen August 30, 3:00 EST

We are kicking off a new series of Sunday readings for authors whose books have come fordon_swanbell_swearingenout during lock-down. A new book typically means live events, and although that isn’t possible, we can still host a celebration.
Kelly Fordon will read from I Have the Answer  (Wayne State University Press)
Kelly Fordon is the author of an award-winning novel in stories, Garden for the Blind (Wayne State University Press, 2015) and a poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019).

Mary Swan-Bell will read from Post-Its and Polaroids, Snippets and Snapshots of an Overthought Life (Notebook Publishing)
Mary Swan-Bell is a writer, content creator and pathological overthinker with a penchant for coffee, musicals, and the sea. A spiritual junkie and aspiring mystic, she spends most of her time reading, writing and adoring her husband of 24 years and three children. This is her first book, but you can find more of her writing at Adventures in Overthinking, Elephant Journal, and Medium.

Rachel Swearingen’s most recent work has appeared in VICE, Kenyon Review, Off Assignment, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2015 Missouri Review Prize in Fiction, a 2012 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and the 2011 Mississippi Review Prize in Fiction. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Believe It or Not: Writing surreal, weird, and speculative worlds

82234858_1564294787042229_6689842761056649216_oRegistration is open for a new workshop led by E.F. Schraeder.

Believe it or Not? Writing surreal, weird, and speculative worlds

If your writing contains out-of-this-world elements or the suspension of disbelief is key to your project, this workshop is designed to help you craft plausible speculative fiction. From space invaders, underworld adventures, to the supernatural, we will examine
examples and strategies that make the impossible believable. Bring a concept or project overview to discuss. Fiction.

Meet the teaching artist: Author of two poetry chapbooks and the fiction collection Ghastly Tales of Gaiety and Greed (Omnium Gatherum, 2020), E.F. Schraeder is an admirer of strange wonders, slights of hand, and carousels who writes poetry and fiction often inspired by not quite real worlds. Schraeder’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Pulp Modern, Mystery Weekly Magazine, and other journals and anthologies.

Believe it or Not? Saturday, August 22 & Sunday, August 23, 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST, on Zoom. Register here by August 20. Course fee is $15 (or pay as you are able). Please click below to pay online or mail a check to Lit Youngstown|323 Wick Ave. #9|Youngstown, OH 44503.

Believe It or Not


Readers Series: New Book News

IMG_0929Writers work so hard to publish a book, and what a let-down to have a book emerge during a pandemic instead of a live celebration.

Lit Youngstown is starting an online Sunday readers series for new book authors.

The submission portal is here, for those whose books came out anytime in 2020. We look forward to celebrating writers near and far, and their newest publications.


Thank you, Ohio Arts Council!

Lit Youngstown is honored and grateful for a second-year grant award from the Ohio Arts Council for $3225. We thank Governor DeWine and Ohio State Legislators for their commitment to funding the arts, and we thank the OAC for the support and trust they put in us.

The Fall Literary Festival and other upcoming programming is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

Congratulations, Katie!

We raised a record-setting $1690 on the 2020 Armeni birdbath raffle! We split the IMG_4019proceeds with the artist and pocketed the rest for a busy summer and fall of literary programming. Many thanks to ticket buyers and to Nate at Westside Bowl for hosting the raffle. So much appreciated! And congrats to our winner. What a perfect home.

“Start a new draft by imagining other angles”: a Conversation with Janet Wong

Lit Youngstown’s summer intern Danny Gage asked children’s author Janet Wong a few questions about her work and writing life. Janet will be a featured writer at the online 2020 Fall Literary Festival September 24-26.

DG: Do you think that being a lawyer, specifically at Universal Studios, is why you have an eagerness to write for children, as well as even teach them poetry? Did the setting you worked in as a lawyer make the career shift easier?

janet wongI think that my experience as a lawyer has transferred over to my writing career in three main ways.

First, it makes me kinder and more compassionate. I became ashamed of the way that doing my job was turning me into a mean person. Not every lawyer does mean things, but I did. In my job as Director of Labor Relations at Universal Studios Hollywood, I needed to fire a lot of people—and the sad part was that it started not to bother me.


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How to Acquire a Literary Agent and Beyond

How to Acquire a Literary Agent and Beyond

This class will give writers a basic introduction on how to prepare a manuscript for querying an agent, what to include in the query, and what happens next.
Meet the teaching artist: Mary Ellen Shupe is an agent with the Belcastro Agency, seeking adult fiction mysteries, thriller, suspense, and general fiction. She is looking for a unique voice and a strong protagonist full of attitude; she likes dark and intense but wouldn’t turn away something that’s a little on the lighter side. She is also looking for young adult: fantasy, science fiction, action/adventure, contemporary, magical realism, mystery/thriller, and horror.

How to Acquire a Literary Agent and Beyond. Monday, August 31, 7:00-9:00 p.m. EST, on Zoom. Register here and here by August 24. Course fee is $15 (or pay as you are able). Please click

How to Acquire a Literary Agent and Beyond


to pay via Paypal or credit card or mail a check payable to Lit Youngstown/323 Wick Ave. #9/Youngstown 44503. Thank you!

Thanks for the Memories!

In partnership with the YSU Art Department and partially funded by a Wean Foundation Neighborhood SUCCESS Grant, Lit Youngstown is helping to create a mural on Andrews Ave. downtown.

The first step was to solicit memories from those who remember downtown–yesterday and long ago. We share the memories here. Some will be selected by YSU art students for a memory ribbon, painted throughout the mural design.

If you would like to send a memory, please do, here. We will keep the link open, so future art classes can add to the mural. There will soon be a website dedicated to the project, so we can follow the progress.

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