Youngstown Stories Project Video

As part of our oral history project Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories, we created a 10 minute video about the process. It includes shots from our celebratory reception in December, and comments from some of the people involved in the project.

View the video on YouTube.

The video was created by Jim Stickel and funded by the Raymond John Wean Foundation‘s Neighborhood Success Program. It was premiered at the Association of Writing Programs (AWP) annual conference in February.

lityoceremony_122016_061Jim also videotaped the staged reading of excerpts from the book. The reading was created by Kris Harrington, and read by Sierra McCorvey, Davita Fitzgerald, and Kim Voeks at our December reception. We love hearing the audience reaction to local names and places and the heartwarming stories. They gave the piece a standing ovation at the end.

View the staged reading on YouTube.

Please contact us if you’d like us to come to your group or class to discuss the project and the book, or share the video. We can also arrange a live staged reading, or share the script so your students or members can present it.

Meet Our Intern

We thank Sarah for helping us out this semester! Thanks, too, to the support from the YSU internship program.

sarah davisSarah Davis is a senior Creative Writing major and English studies minor at Youngstown State University and will be graduating in May 2017. She is the president of YSUrvivor, a student organization on campus based on the show Survivor. She is a lover of storytelling, superheroes, film, and television. Sarah will be continuing her education as a graduate student in Fall 2017, studying  Fiction in the NEOMFA program.

Friends, Writers, Countrymen! Send Us Your Words

Ohio-affiliated Writers: Call for Submissions

Lit Youngstown seeks poetry and prose for a series of public art projects called Words Made Visible, including posters, poems stamped into sidewalk squares, and a month-long gallery installation.

Lit Youngstown staff will select visually strong writing to be made into posters and distributed at the Summer Festival of the Arts on Youngstown State’s campus in July, 2017. Authors of accepted work will be invited to read during the Festival.

Other installations incorporating contributor work will be planned and implemented on a two-year timeline. Lit Youngstown will seek permission from writers to use selected poems and prose.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Send submission in the body of an email or as an attachment to Include a cover letter with your address/connection to Ohio. Submissions may also be mailed to Lit Youngstown/P.O. Box 804/Youngstown, OH/44501.
  • Please limit submissions to five pages. Previously published work is eligible; include publication acknowledgements in cover letter.
  • For the posters and sidewalk embossing, we seek poems of under 25 lines and prose of 100 words or less, that are suitable for public viewing.
  • Deadline: April 30.

Lit Youngstown Co-sponsors Visit by Nationally Respected Food Policy Advocate


Mark Winne, author of Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty, will lead a workshop on bringing grocery stores to neighborhoods with inadequate food resources, Wed. April 5 at 12:00 at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave.mark_winne_0021

The workshop is free and open to the public and lunch is included. Reservations are required by Mon., March 27, and can be made by calling St. John’s at 330.743.3175 or emailing

Winne will also read at 7:00 Wed. April 5 at St. John’s, with a Q&A moderated by WYSU’s Tim Francisco. The talk is free and open to the public, and part of Lit Youngstown’s First Wednesday Reading Series. No reservations are required.

Mark Winne has forty years of experience on food policy issues, and has crossed the country speaking and consulting on hunger, food insecurity, local and regional agriculture, community food assessment, and food policy.

Winne’s visit is co-sponsored by community partners St. John’s Episcopal Church, ACTION, Common Wealth, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Lake to River Food Co-op, Mayor McNally, Mercy Health Partners, NYO Property Group, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, The Raymond John Wean Foundation, YWCA of Youngstown, Oak Hill Collaborative, Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority, Junior League of Youngstown, and Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation.

Closing the Food Gap is the Food for Thought April book club selection.

Food for Thought: Closing the Food Gap

The last three books in our food-themed book series will be non-fiction, but very different in tone and content: from serious to humorous to scholarly, all fascinating and

This month we will read and discuss Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty by visiting writer Mark Winne (who will read Wed. April 5 at 7:00 at St. John’s Episcopal Church). A review in Beacon Press notes

In Closing the Food Gap, food activist and journalist Mark Winne poses questions too often overlooked in our current conversations around food: What about those people who are not financially able to make conscientious choices about where and how to get food? And in a time of rising rates of both diabetes and obesity, what can we do to make healthier foods available for everyone?

… Using anecdotal evidence and a smart look at both local and national policies, Winne offers a realistic vision for getting locally produced, healthy food onto everyone’s table.

Haven’t read the book yet? No worries. Come join us. 5:00-6:00, Thurs. April 13 at Cultivate Co-op Cafe, 901  Elm St. (No potluck: the cafe will be open and serving.)

The evening will coincide with Lake to River Co-op’s Online Market pick-up night. The monthly gatherings are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Here are the rest of our monthly selections:

May 11: Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese by Eric LeMay
June 8: Salt: A World History by Mark Kulansky

Photos: Phenomenal Women Book Event

At our reception for the release of Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories, photographer Melanie Rae Buonavolanta took such beautiful photos, we wanted to share some of them with you all. Enjoy!

The video of our staged reading of excerpts from the book is now up on YouTube. It’s about a half-hour long and very powerful.


The Twelve Women: Front: Louise Payne; Middle:  Josephine North, Frances Carter, Ollie McCurdy, Joyce Davidson, June Ewing, Estella Bender, Mildred Payne; Back: Carol Donnelly, Audrey Gillian, Bobbe Reynolds, Pamela Collins.

Spring Workshop Enrollment Open!

Announcing our Spring 2017 Menu of Workshops!beautiful-you

Is there a road you didn’t travel? Thinking about writing the family story? Looking for advice on the nuts and bolts of editing prose? And who told you not to copy, anyway? Get your creative on in one of our spring workshops.

Visit our workshop page for more information and to register.