Author Archives: lityoungstown

First Wednesday Reading & All That Jazz

Join us for a prose and poetry reading, followed by live jazz by Matt Jackson & Dan Mihelarakis! Also, we’ll be celebrating National Cream Puff Day. No open mic this month. Wednesday January 2 at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. 7:00. Street parking or in the lot at the corner of Front & Champion Streets.

Marion Boyer

Marion Starling Boyer has three published poetry collections and her fourth book, The Sea Was Never Far, is forthcoming this spring from Main Street Rag. Boyer’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart, the Lenore Marshall Award, and the “Best of the Net.” She’s recently moved to Twinsburg from Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Arya F. Jenkins’s short stories received three separate nominations for the Pushcart in 2018. Her poetry chapbooks are Jewel FireArya.Sept.2018 3 (AllBook Books, 2011) and Silence Has A Name (Finishing Line Press, 2016). Her short story collection, Blue Songs in an Open Key, was published by Fomite Press in 2018.

Third Thursday Writers Circle

35227851_1088461724625540_4618874573910179840_nWould you like some gentle feedback on new work you’ve written?

The Lit Youngstown Writers Circle will meet in our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. at 6:00, Thursday, December 20. Come to the door on the right, under the arch, and ring the buzzer. Bring 10 copies of your work in progress, one poem or 3 pages or prose. We welcome facilitator Dante DelBene.

Be a Supporting Member


Kirkus prize-winning author Lesley Nneka Arimah provided the keynote at our Fall Literary Festival. (Photo credit Courtney Kensinger)

Dear Friends,

When we set out four years ago to conceptualize our mission, we wrote: At Lit Youngstown, we believe that the acts of writing and reading foster creativity, an increased understanding of the self, a strengthening of community, and a broader knowledge of the world.

Each year, we strive to live up to that mission, developing engaging programming, fostering strong partnerships, and growing thoughtfully with an eye towards inclusion and accessibility. This year was no exception. From a highly successful trial run of our Winter Writing Camp, to bringing world-renowned author Lesley Nneka Arimah to town, to maintaining our consistent First Wednesday reading series, 2018 kept us busy—and growing.

Next year will be no different. That is why we are asking for your support as we plan for the future of Lit Youngstown. Your generous gift will allow us to build on our strong foundation as we go after some of our big dreams, while tending to the day-to-day needs of our growing organization.

Rest assured, we will put your contribution to work!

  • $25 will pay workshop tuition for a low-income writer.
  • $50 will pay for signage at events to help folks find us.
  • $100 will help fund a YSU intern to gain experience in an arts nonprofit.
  • $500 will give a boost to our larger events like the Winter Writing Camp.
  • $1000 will help fund the director and a new marketing/web specialist, putting us on a strong path to sustainability.
  • $2000 will allow us to develop an outreach program with incarcerated youth, helping them to develop their voice that will lead to a deeper understanding of their own thinking and experience.

Major donors of $500 and more are listed on our website.

Please make your donation below by PayPal or credit card, or send a check payable to Lit Youngstown to 323 Wick Ave., Youngstown, OH 44503.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank all contributors at any level of support. We pledge to be good stewards of your donation.

Most sincerely yours,
Lit Youngstown

Executive Director Karen Schubert

Board of Directors: Kelly Bancroft,  Anne Garwig, Liz Hill, Courtney Kensinger, Lee Murray, Nicole Robinson, Elizabeth Skeels, Ginny Taylor, Molly Toth

P.S. We are planning a big thank-you party for our members as our gift to you for supporting our work. It’s going to be so fun, and we’ll share details soon!


What a great year, and we can’t wait to get started on the next one.

Food for Thought: Line Study of a Motel Clerk

Join us for a conversation about Line Study of a Motel Clerk by First Wednesday visiting writer and native daughter Allison Pitinii Davis. Read more about/purchase this poetry collection here.

Food for Thought book discussion will meet at Cultivate Cafe, 901 Elm St., on Wednesday, December 12, 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. Here are the remaining titles in this year’s selections by writers who have recently visited the Valley:

January 9 (Historical Novel) Robert Olmstead Savage Country
February 13 (Nonfiction) Austin Channing Brown I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made For Whiteness
March 13 (Novel, Speculative Fiction) Kelly Link Get in Trouble
April 10 (Memoir) Scott Simon Unforgettable
May 15 (Nonfiction) Cokie Roberts Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Call for Proposals for Winter Writing Camp

Winter Writing Camp Logo-1 (2)Winter Writing Camp, February 16, 2019, will be an daylong event for writing enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels, held at St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County.

Do you have an idea for a writing workshop? Submit your proposal here. The deadline is January 7 or until all spots are filled. You may submit up to three proposals, but please submit each separately.

We are looking for workshops for kids in elementary school (who may have an adult with them) and middle school, as well as teens only, teens and adults, or all ages.

Workshops that include a writing prompt and time to write are preferred, although we will consider other kinds of sessions such as editing, plotting a novel, or researching history.

First Wednesday Features Mike Geither

Join us for a staged reading of Heirloom by Mike Geither Wednesday December 5 at 7:00 at the Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St. Open mic to follow (5 minutes per reader). NEOMFA Reunion Reading! Special welcome to Northeast Ohio MFA alumni, students and faculty. Also, we’ll be celebrating Comfort Food Day with cookies and cocoa.

Mike GeitherHeirloom considers the effects of incest and violence across four generations of a Cleveland family. It considers the commonalities between family dysfunction and the genocide of Native Americans carried out by the US government in a search to bring dignity and awareness to their victims.

Mike Geither is a playwright and solo performer whose works have been staged in San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, New York and London. He is a four-time Ohio Arts Council fellow and is currently a Professor of English at Cleveland State University where he teaches in the Northeast Ohio MFA in creative writing.

Join us at the Lakeland Literary Festival

lakelandJoin us at the Lakeland Literary Festival! Lit Youngstown is pleased to be invited to participate in the book fair at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio. We will leave at 7:00 a.m. from our office at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 323 Wick Ave. Like to ride up with us? Please let us know:

Celebrate the many exciting forms of literature with noted writers. The Lakeland Literary Festival is being held Nov. 30, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in HIVE in the H-Building.

Acclaimed writers and poets will present a variety of workshops in areas such as non-fiction, fiction, poetry, translation and publishing. There will also be a book fair with many presses, magazines and organizations.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for the workshops. Register here.

The event will begin with a continental breakfast and then the workshops will run from 9-10 a.m., 10:15-11:15 a.m. and 11:30-12:30 p.m. Lunch will be available for purchase from food trucks on the campus. After lunch, at 1 p.m., keynote speaker Dave Lucas, Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio will speak. The event will close with a poetry reading by winners of the 31st Annual Poetry Competition, slated from 2-3 p.m.

For more information, contact Assistant Professor James DeMonte at or call 440.525.7458.