Pittsburgh Worldwrights


The Pittsburgh Worldwrights is a science fiction, fantasy, and horror writer's workshop. Our stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Analog, Amazing Stories, Asimov's Science Fiction, Cicada, F&SF, Interzone, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, Spectrum SF, Sword & Sorceress, Writers of the Future, Year's Best SF, and many small press magazines....

Additional information

The Individual Worldwrights

The following Worldwrights have web pages that you can browse:

Barton Paul Levenson

The remaining Worldwrights are Flonet Biltgen (to whom we owe both our name and the design of our logo), Ken Chiacchia, Chris Ferrier, Robert L. Nansel, and Elizabeth Penrose.

Workshop Format

The basic format follows the Clarion model.

People hand out copies of their stories to everyone else to take home. Between meetings, members critique the stories, marking line edits and writing down overall comments. At the next meeting, we go round in a circle with each reader in turn giving their reaction to the story. During this process everyone else, including the author, tries to remain quiet. Once everyone has given their opinion, the author can ask questions and people can add any further remarks. Then we proceed to the next story.

We also exchange market information, chat, eat ice cream and potato chips and candy, and generally have a good time.

Market Response Times

We record all our story response times, and send the data to Submitting to the Black Hole, a response time tracker maintained by Andrew Burt.

To workshop, or not to workshop?

I joined a workshop almost as soon as I started writing short stories, and have found them very helpful. But workshops are not for everyone, and nor are all workshops equal. To start with the positive aspects of workshops.... And some of the negative aspects....

Read the Worldwrights!

Look here for a complete list of Worldwright credits. The most recent credits for each Worldwright are as follows:-

Worldwrights Quiz

Credit for this effort belongs to Barton Levenson, who has courageously stated ``If anyone is offended by this, I am prepared not only to retract it, but to deny under oath that I ever wrote it.''

  1. Years from now, the PWs are at a science fiction convention, and two PWs who have suddenly discovered an intense romantic interest in one another -- no, I won't say who -- are making out in the con suite. Suddenly, Barton Levenson walks in on them. What has just occurred? Answer.
  2. What does one really cool Wurrayna say to another at a party? (Warning: will be baffling to anyone but a Worldwright.) Answer.
  3. Flonet waited till no co-workers were watching, then tried on the helmet. At once she was trillions of light-years away, High Priestess of the Five Galaxies Confederation. Every day she made life-and-death decisions for millions of worlds.

    Flash. She was a small, quivering fox-like creature, a galley-slave in the feudal Twancrian empire. Here was no honor, no courtiers to hang on her every word, only endless, mindless work for the huge, blue, hippo-like Overlords.

    Flash. She was a merchant space pilot, a dealer in VR disks and algorithms along the Finger Nebula route, willing to fly where the Patrol feared to tread in search of a quick profit.

    Flonet took off the helmet, never wanting to use the weird alien mechanism again. She had always hated .... Answer.

  4. Marked copies of Bill's novel, ``Saidiya,'' (pronounced Sigh-dee-uh) are found without signatures. What's the best question to ask the group? Answer.

Joining the Worldwrights

While the Worldwrights regroup, membership is temporarily frozen. But Diane Turnshek runs a workshop called Write or Die in the Pittsburgh area, and there is also a third workshop called the Pittsburgh South Writes.... I also recommend PARSEC, a Pittsburgh science fiction club with monthly meetings. Lastly, PARSEC organizes Confluence, an annual science fiction convention, which I heartily recommend.

Other Writer's Groups

Last updated 27 May 2005 by Mary Soon Lee