top of page

Lit Youngstown Press Kit

Lit Youngstown is a literary arts nonprofit founded in 2015 by Karen Schubert, Liz Hill and a small group of group of members, to  promote the literary arts in the Mahoning Valley. To that end, we developed several ongoing programs and have engaged thousands of writers and readers in Ohio and the U.S.

The First Wednesday Readers Series features published writers and an open mic, and writing workshops focus on many aspects of writing and publishing. Food for Thought book discussion is centered around such themes as The American Experience, Humankind and the Natural World, and Black Authors. Teen Writers Workshop meets monthly, as does the Writers Circle Critique Group.

The February Winter Writing Camp is a multi-generational day of writing and music hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church and the main public library. The free event includes sessions for children aged five and up, and a variety of workshops and activities for teens and adults.

Fall Literary Festival is a high-quality conference of award-winning writers and dozens of concurrent sessions on writing, reading, understanding, teaching, editing, publishing and performing creative work. Daytime sessions take place at Youngstown State and evening readings, free and open to the public, in downtown venues.

Unique events include Words Made Visible, a project that began with poems and stories solicited from Ohio poets. From hundreds of submissions, visual artists created visual works such as drawing, painting, ceramics, multimedia and graphically-designed posters by YSU students; hand-letterpressed broadsides by The Cranky Pressman and poems stamped in sidewalks downtown by signmaker Michael Staaf.


The New Book News reading series (to highlight books published during the pandemic lockdown) featured 70 poets and writers from throughout the U.S.

Lit Youngstown has also collaborated with

  • YSU Summer Festival of the Arts on a poetry contest, printing the winning poem on 1000 totes offered to festival attendees

  • Jewish Community Center, hosting readings in the Thomases Art Gallery

  • YWCA on Slice of Life, an evening of storytelling and desserts that raised money for the YWCA children’s library

  • Purple Cat, writing poetry with adults with disabilities

  • YSU Writing Center, featuring student essayists at readings

  • National Council of Negro Women Youngstown Chapter on Phenomenal Women: Twelve Youngstown Stories, an oral history project culminating in a book of stories about twelve local women

  • local agencies and activists to bring in food policy author Mark Winne

  • McDonough Museum, leading ekphrastic workshops

  • Public Library of Youngstown & the Mahoning Valley on the NEA Big Read, with dozens of events related to themes in In the Beautiful North, including an author visit by Luis Alberto Urrea

  • YSU Art Department, to create a 500'×80’ memory mural on Andrews Avenue

  • Akron Children’s Hospital, leading writing workshops for teens

  • Yellow Brick Place, developing writing groups for cancer survivors

  • Historian Vince Shivers and the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor on a Black history tour, featuring Cleveland poet Quartez Harris

  • Hopewell Theatre and the Youngstown Playhouse on a theater stakeholder roundtable, led by Cleveland playwright Mike Geither

  • The Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center, OCCHA and many partners on a Hispanic Culture Celebration featuring poet Manuel Iris

  • Filmmaker Karla Murthy and the Youngstown Playhouse on a community screening of The Place That Makes Us

Karen Schubert

Karen Schubert, Co-Founding Director, earned an M.A. in English from YSU and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts. She is the author of six poetry collections and has taught in numerous academic and community settings.

Lisa Viscusi

Development Coordinator, Lisa Viscusi, is an educator, writer, and cultural curator. Originally from Pittsburgh and new to Youngstown, Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from John Carroll University and studied at DePaul University while living in Chicago. Lisa has spent her career working in non-profit fundraising, education for all ages, and public programming. She believes in the power of thoughtful, creative, and generative community-building.

Fall Literary Festival Logo
Winter Writing Camp Logo

Event Logos


Lit Youngstown’s YouTube Channel features New Book News and Fall Literary Festival readings, poetry readings and a workshop for children in conjunction with 100,000 Poets for Change, Writer-Partner interviews and readings, and a short film about the making of the Phenomenal Women project. 


Lit Youngstown’s Facebook page video archive features First Wednesday Readings recorded during the pandemic lockdown.


Voicemail: 234.254.9549

Office Address

323 Wick Ave., Suite #6

Youngstown OH 44503*


*Please note that office hours vary

bottom of page