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Fundraiser is Over

March 4, 2013

The fundraiser is officially done! As a whole, we raised $2110! Thank you so much to those of you who donated!

Each year, we receive as much as $10,000 dollars in scholarship requests, so feel free to keep spreading the word! For anyone who chooses to donate at any time outside of the fundraiser, the e-book anthology of flash fiction written, edited, and illustrated by Alpha alumni, is still available with any size donation.

Thank you again. Your donations mean so much to young writers across the world.


Fundraiser Ends March 3!

February 28, 2013

There’s five days left of the fundraiser! So far, we’ve raised $925, out of our goal of $4,400. That’s enough for one full scholarship, or several partial scholarships. We really appreciate the donations we’ve already received that will enable talented young writers to attend the workshop, but if you haven’t yet, there’s still time!
Thank you so much for your support!

Alphan Interview Quotes v 2.0!

February 26, 2013
Interviews from the website of Sarah Brand!

Laurel Estes

“Alpha made me able to take much bigger risks with my stories, and also gave me the tools to much more deliberately and concretely shape the multiple elements of a story, so that they all work together instead of in parallel.”
“The feedback you get from everyone at Alpha is insightful, thoughtful, and extremely helpful. Most importantly, realizing that your fellow Alphans know what you mean, in too many ways to ever list individually, is heartening, freeing, and galvanizing.”

Evelyn Lumish

‘All I could think was “this is how writing should work. Spending ten days with people who shared my interest in writing was the coolest thing I did.””I now have a greater understanding of how to write stories, and I have the greatest support group of alumni in the world.”

“If you love writing speculative fiction, Alpha will be the best experience in the world.”

“Now, after Alpha, the idea of publishing and making a commercial piece that I can submit to a publication or the Dell Awards is a possibility instead of just a dream.”

From the website of Sarah Hollowell!

Madeline Stevens

“Alpha stands head and shoulders above.  The format, the instructors, the peers, and the intensity of a live-in writers’ education combine perfectly.”

“If you require an explanation of an advanced scientific concept, or any historical period, to complete the scene you’re working on, chances are someone in the room can help.”

“Before Alpha, I wrote but didn’t really know anything about getting published.  Now, I know which publishers might take a given story I write, and I have the confidence to send my work to them.  I know contests that take undergraduate fiction, like the annual Dell Awards, which Alphans often sweep.  And through Alpha I’ve made acquaintances and even friends in the business.”

“The greatest benefit that comes from Alpha long-term, though, is Alphans themselves.  It’s an incredible thing, to walk into a room in Pittsburgh and suddenly find yourself amongst people who click with all your strangenesses, and having had that experience, Alphans tend to hold on to it.”

“Personally, I met some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known at Alpha, and have had the privilege of becoming friends with a good number of them.  I don’t think my experience is unusual.”

We really appreciate your support! If you haven’t already, why not head on over to the Donate page?

Talking up the Blogs!

February 19, 2013

Shortly after my last post, I realized that some of you are probably a lot like me, by which I mean, are unlikely to click on a link in a blog. And that made me sad, because that would mean that you are missing out on AWESOME Alpha related material. So, without further ado, some salient quotes from Alpha alumni!

From the website of Sarah Brand!
Jill Hardy
“It’s difficult to accurately capture the overflow of creativity that energizes the workshop, or the validation of being unconditionally accepted by one’s peers for the first time. Alpha will always rank among the best experiences I’ve ever had.

Rachel Halpern
“That’s just how Alpha is – everyone there is a storyteller, and everyone there is willing to take an idea and run with it. And that’s what I love about Alpha: even the mundane things become magic because of the people you’re with.”

You’ll meet some unbelievably cool people. You’ll play Ultimate Frisbee in the dark. You’ll visit mysterious graveyards and explore fairy castles and learn from some of the greatest authors around. And then you’ll go to lunch and chat with those authors about anything you want, along with a bunch of other brilliant, engaged, fascinating writers your age.”

Alpha works so hard to keep their prices low, between an all-volunteer staff and intense alumni support. But without your help, they can’t afford scholarships for all the students who want to go.”

“You can do it because there are a lot of young people out there, all over the world, dreaming of an opportunity like this, and money should never be the reason they can’t.”

Seth Dickinson
“I’ve now sold enough science fiction and fantasy short stories to qualify for SFWA, the professional organization for science fiction and fantasy writers. Alpha made that happen. Alpha will make you a better writer, and it will teach you how to turn those words on your screen into a professional sale.”

“I am trained as a statistician and so I can assign significant confidence to this statement: for many of the people who go it will be the greatest thing that ever happened to them.

From the website of Sarah Hollowell!

Lara Donnelly
“At Alpha, do not expect to sleep. But DO expect to get into the best and weirdest conversations you’ve ever had, with people who meet you right on your nerdy, book-loving level. You will not have to explain to these people the anatomy of a hippogriff, or the concept of the singularity. You can get right down to arguing about whether androids do or do not dream of electric sheep.”

“But expect, most of all, to sink into a warm, welcoming community of people just like you. With your classmates around you, I can guarantee you will actually ENJOY sinking into the insanity.”

Malina Suity
“I have written most of my body of work at Alpha. This is because of my own work ethic and stress levels – I’ve been in school for most of the time I have not been at Alpha – but I find myself at my most creative when I am around other creative people. By bouncing ideas of of each other formally and informally, sometimes by just being silly, Alphans inspire each other. I’ve seen and experienced first-hand the way these working relationships and friendships last years and span miles.  Alpha provides young writers with the kind of support network every writer should have.

Rachel Grinti
“Before Alpha, I hadn’t had any writing instruction. A few years later, I took a couple creative writing courses in college. Nothing in those college classes stuck with me. Every college writing course is different of course, but the ones I attended were not useful to me. At Alpha, we gave critiques and learned how to respond to constructive criticism. In my college writing classes, I risked Glares of Doom from the class at large if I criticized a story when it was time for feedback. Students at Alpha aren’t writing for a grade, they’re writing because it’s their passion. It was a big difference.”

“I’d love to return as staff someday — I’d love to be a resource for young writers and a friend and source of support, just as people I met at Alpha were (and still are!) for me. I’m part of the workshop alumni Google group where former students I’ve met and many more I haven’t keep in contact, share news, and critique stories. I still keep in contact with people I met through the workshop. And I suppose I should mention I’m now married and co-authoring books with Mike, who eleven years ago was some kid I met at Alpha. (No, I’m not saying go because you’ll find True Love. But you’ll definitely find some true friends!)”

“Hello future Alphan. You are a cool person, you will meet other cool people, you will have fun and learn things and it will be awesome. Don’t stress. Okay? Cool.”

There’s more where that came from! Click those links!

Halfway Report

February 18, 2013

We’re halfway through the fundraiser, and so far we’re $840 closer to our goal of $4,400! That’s nearly enough for a whole scholarship. We really appreciate how much we’ve already received from generous donors, and hope there are a few more of you out there who are able to make Alpha accessible to young writers.

In other news, Alpha alumni are doing interviews with bloggers! If you’re interested, you should check out and  to see what they have to say. And if you do the Twitter thing, might be of interest to you.

Thank you again for your support!

Fundraiser is On!

February 10, 2013

In order to get you excited, here are a few teasers from the gift-anthology!

“Lucia decided on a coconut white frosting for the cupcakes, mostly to cover up the taste of poison.” Cupcakes, Tiera Greene

“The Devil is wonderfully flattered when the young woman asks him to be in her film.” The Devil You Know, Lara Donnelly

“The winter has lingered for seven months now, thicker ice each day over the windows, and we have seen the winter fae walking like ghosts among the snowflakes.” Chess in the Dead of Winter, Rachel Halpern

To learn more about Alpha and the fundraiser, see the About page. Instructions on how to donate can be found here. Thank you for your support!

3 Days Until the Fundraiser!

February 7, 2013

The 2013 anthology fundraiser to support the Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers kicks off February 10! Just as a reminder, this is why we love Alpha:

“On a personal level, I have never been very much of a social person. However, I felt 100% comfortable at Alpha. Everyone shared values and interests similar to my own. In short, Alpha was probably the most fun and engaging experience I have ever had. While Alpha is writing intensive, I believe its primary strength is providing an opportunity for like-minded creative individuals to bond. I processed a vast amount of information during the workshop, and the interaction with the guests, staff and fellow students only helped to increase my understanding and appreciation. Alphans inspire each other in such a unique way—the air is virtually filled to the brim with ideas. The bonding at Alpha is simply extraordinary. You have to feel it to believe it. I consider every single person involved with the workshop an equal, a colleague, and a personal friend.”
– Ian Corse, 2011

“Alpha taught me how to write better, taught me how to critique at all. It convinced me to keep writing at a time when I was convinced my writing was worthless. It’s hard to tell people what Alphans mean to me. They’re always asking ‘How long have you known each other? Where did you meet?’ And we have to say, ‘We hung out for a week… three months ago (or three years ago),’ as if that defines how close we are.”
– Rachel Halpern, 2007 & 2008

“Alpha is a magical place you can go and share your brain with people who will appreciate it, and give you some of their brain in return. When you leave, you will have a patchwork brain filled with such diverse influences and incredible inspiration that you can hardly contain it inside your skull.”
– Lara Donnelly, 2007 & 2008

“One of the strongest aspects of Alpha is the networking that occurs there: Many Alphans build up a network of friends who’ll support them in their writing for years to come. That’s vital. Having a group of peers to critique your work and motivate you to write is how you become a better writer.”
– Isaac White, 2007 & 2008

We hope that nobody has to forgo this experience because of financial considerations. To read more testimonials, check out our Student Experiences page.

Thank you for your support!