Carnegie Mellon University
Scott Barsotti

A Writer Writes, Always

CMU staff member Scott Barsotti lives a life of words.

Scott Barsotti’s world is filled with words. As a content writer at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy, he crafts everything from press releases to feature stories about alumni. Surrounded by this dynamic community, he has plenty of inspiration — not only for his position at CMU, but as a prolific playwright and a published novelist.

 “Working at CMU does get the creative juices going,” says Barsotti. “I get to be part of inspiring conversations at Heinz College about the future, policy and technology and how it should all work together.”

Part of the Chicago theater scene for more than a decade, Barsotti loves telling stories and exploring the possibilities of an idea. Most of his creative writing lands in the sci-fi and horror genres, which he says allows him the freedom to ask “What if?” and explore what could be as technology, politics and society change — something that’s often discussed as part of his work at Heinz College.

 “Single Version,” Barsotti’s first novel, was released in September 2016 and is a dystopian cautionary tale set in the Chicago of an alternate America.

Barsotti found his passion for playwriting in college when he wrote a one-act play on a whim for a student theatre festival. He found the experience, from writing to production, to be “one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had.” In a way, Barsotti’s career has come full circle.

More than 30 original and adapted plays later, Barsotti is still in love with writing. He and his wife — also a native Pittsburgher whom he met in a Chicago Steelers bar — moved back to Pittsburgh to be nearer to family. He has small children (including a newborn) at home, making it more difficult to find time to write these days. But he and his brother have plans to write a novel about artificial intelligence and how it affects relationships — which might draw inspiration from his work at CMU.