All application materials must be submitted by March 1, 2015.  If you would like to be reminded of the application deadline in advance, see the form at the bottom of this page.

How to apply:

1. Fill out our online application form. (Applications for 2015 are now closed. A link to the 2016 application form will be posted when applications open in the fall.)

If someone other than you will be paying your Alpha tuition, please let them know that you are applying to Alpha at the time of application and not when the tuition has come due.

Important note: a limited pool of scholarship funding is available for Alpha applicants. If the possibility of a full or partial scholarship would make the difference between being able to attend Alpha and not attending, then applicants are encouraged to inquire about a scholarship. Asking for a scholarship will have no effect on your chances of admission, but in order to receive a scholarship, you must make the request in the appropriate section on the application form.

2. Send in the application fee ($10.00 USD).

The application fee may be sent either by cheque, made payable to “Alpha” in U.S. dollars and sent to the following address:

Alpha, the SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers
P.O. Box 3681
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-3681

or electronically via PayPal by clicking on this button:

Do not include any payment for the workshop until you have been notified of your acceptance.

3. Submit one original SF, fantasy or horror short story between 2000 and 6000 words.

You must submit a complete short story with a beginning, middle, and end (NOT a chapter of a novel).

Your story may NOT contain characters or settings from another author’s work, or from a TV show, movie, or video game.

All submitted stories must be:

  • In proper manuscript format (external link)
  • Submitted electronically by 11:59 P.M. Pacific time on March 1, 2014
  • In RTF or MS Word format
  • Followed by submission of the application fee (if you haven’t sent it already)

E-mail your story to

How do I know whether my [fill in the blank] arrived safely?

If something arrives over a weekend, or a holiday, you may not receive an immediate response but you will receive a timely response for all stages of the application process. Including, but not limited to:

  • Alpha application
  • Application story
  • Application fee
  • Workshop tuition
  • Permission / insurance form

All confirmations are sent via email. Therefore, it is critical that you enter your email address correctly and that you can reliably receive email at the supplied address. We strongly suggest that the email account used is not one that is shared between friends or family members. We’ve had problems more than once with email addresses that are shared by more than one person where mail never made it to the intended recipient. If you sent something in and more than a day or two has gone by without a response (excluding weekends and holidays), please feel free to contact us.

We will notify people of their acceptance by April 15 (by e-mail, unless otherwise specified).

Questions? Contact us.

Application deadline reminder

If you would like to receive emails reminding you that the Alpha application deadline is coming up, sign up using the form below. We won’t use your email address for anything else.

Script by Dagon Design