Lit Youngstown Press Kit

Lit Youngstown is a literary arts nonprofit founded in 2015 by Karen Schubert, Liz Hill and a small committee of community 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 Eastern 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 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, analyzing, 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, 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 Albert Urrea

  • YSU Art Department, to create a 180×20’ memory mural on Andrews Avenue

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

  • Yellow Brick Place, developing writing groups for cancer survivors


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.

​​Cassandra Lawton, Outreach Coordinator, is a student in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program. She received her bachelor’s in Human Development and Family Studies and her master’s in Social Work from Michigan State University. Her career goal is to bring creative writing and its healing effects into therapeutic and community spaces, with a focus on expressive therapy and community outreach.


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.

Voice Mail: 234.254.9549

Office address: 323 Wick Ave. Suite #6, Youngstown OH 44503*
*Please note that office hours vary