2009 It's All Write! Short Story Writing Contest

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It's almost time for the 2009 It's All Write! Short Story Contest to begin! In less than one month, on FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, entries will start being accepted in our annual writing contest. Winners will be announced at the Ann Arbor Book Festival Short Story Contest event, Saturday, May 16 featuring teen book author Gary D Schmidt. Here are the facts for this year's contest:

1st Place ($250), 2nd Place ($150), and 3rd Place ($100) prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Grades 6-8, Grades 9-10, and Grades 11-12.

Entries accepted FRIDAY, JANUARY 23 through FRIDAY, MARCH 20.

Guidelines are attached here.

Prize Winning Short Stories is a booklet available for check out of previous years' winners, or you can read last year's winners online. Good Luck!

Author Greg Mortenson comes to Ann Arbor in January

AADL is pleased to bring American mountain climber and humanitarian Greg Mortenson to Ann Arbor on January 24 as part of his nation-wide tour to promote the new youth and teen versions (coming soon!) of his book Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time. This event, which will include a book sale and signing courtesy of Nicola's Books, will take place on Saturday, from 6-7:00 p.m. in the Huron High School Auditorium at 2727 Fuller Road in Ann Arbor.

T-o-o-o-o-o-t! Trains in Toyland sounds fun

Tomorrow Dec. 13 the Washtenaw County Historical Society opens its Trains in Toyland exhibition which runs through Sunday Jan. 25 at the Museum on Main Street, 500 N. Main St. Hours are 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday, and demos will be offered each Saturday and Sunday by the Ann Arbor Model Railroad Club. Firefly the Magic Clown is scheduled for Sunday Dec. 14. Remember, the exhibition will be closed Dec. 24 and 31, but open on Jan 19 Martin Luther King Day. Sounds like a good winter outing for young train fans, who may want to prepare by checking out a train book, maybe C is for Caboose: Riding the rails from A to Z or Puff, puff, chugga-chugga.

A touch of bluegrass in the snow

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Tonight, December 12, The Ark presents the RFD Boys a favorite local bluegrass band. Their shows are a mix of great music and funny in-between songs dialogue. Proceeds from the concert go to the Leslie Science Center, a city parks facility that provides environmental education activities to the community. The show starts at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30. Get those toes tappin'. Also, check out their cd at the library.

Chesstastic moves to Traverwood and other good stuff

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We had a great turnout for last Sunday's Chess Strategies and Tips session. Now Chesstastic officially moves to Traverwood this Sunday, December 14 (1-4 p.m.). Join the fun by taking on players of all ages. Sets are provided, but feel free to bring your own.

Ever tried a chess tournament? If you are in Kindergarten through 8th grade, try the Thurston Chess Tournament on Saturday, January 24. This local, low-cost tournament is a great first tournament for kids and parents who want to see what a chess tournament is like. There will be two afternoon sections for beginners and casual players, and two full-day sections for more experienced players. Space is limited to the first 120 players, so sign up as soon as possible. Entry fees range from $6-$10, depending on the section and if you sign up prior to December 31.

Listen up!

Don't miss the the 8th Annual Poetry Night in Ann Arbor this Thursday, December 11 at Rackham Auditorium at 8 p.m. (Doors open at 6:15 if you want to get a good seat). This celebration of the spoken and written word will feature poets Marty McConnell and Tim Seibles and a special return guest appearance by Paco, the 2003 Ann Arbor Youth Poetry Slam Champion and former U-M Poetry Slam Champion. Also appearing will be poets from the Volume Youth Poetry Project and A2 Wordworks, a U of M troupe. This is always an "electric" evening full of the passion and joy of these young people who literally speak truth to power.

The Victors: Michigan Jazz with Hazen Schumacher

Come celebrate the publication of Hazen Schumacher’s A Golden Age of Jazz Revisited, on Sunday, December 14, 2-3:30 at the Downtown Library. The book makes the case that the years 1939-42 were the artistic highpoint of popular jazz, and it includes 2 CDs with the tunes he feels back up his claim. Schumacher, who was jazz radio host at UM for thirty years (WEMU-89.1 FM has taken over that role), will discuss and play recordings of the most loved jazz in Michigan and on the UM campus of the mid-twentieth century. He is a master of the genre and will entertain and enlighten new and old jazz lovers.

Go! the Board Game

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Learn to play the board game Go or test your skills against members of the University of Michigan Go Club. Players of any skill can enjoy Go. This Saturday, December 13, from 2:00-4:00 at the Traverwood Branch/AADL, all ages are welcome to play.

If you need to brush up on the basics, check out Go Basics or Go for Beginners. The US Go Association site is a great source for Go-related links and resources. The U-M club regularly meets at the Espresso Royale Cafe at State Street and North University, 7-11 Thursdays and 1-5 on Sundays. See you Saturday at Traverwood!

Tile-Making Workshop: Motawi Tileworks

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Make your own impressed art tile, using Motawi's clay and tools. The nationally-renowned sibling duo of Karim and Nawal Motawi, co-owners of Ann Abor-based Motawi Tileworks will share their expertise about art tile and tell the story of the Boy Reading tile mural at the Pittsfield Branch. Your original art tile will be fired, glazed and available for pick up at Motawi Tileworks on December 22. Tiles make great gifts! There is no charge for this event.

Books that may inspire you ahead of time are, Handmade Tiles or Motawi Tileworks

Winter Shadow Art Fair This Saturday

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The Winter Shadow Art Fair, featuring more than 40 local vendors and artists, is this Saturday from noon to midnight at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. Stop by the PLAY Animation Station at the Ann Arbor Film Festival's table to make your own animation right on site. If you like what the Animation Station has to offer, then check out Terence Sacks' Opportunities in Cartooning and Animation Careers available at the Library. The AAFF will also be selling and playing their new DVD, Time Pieces, which highlights last year's winning film submissions. The Art Fair costs 2 cents for admission (so remember your shiny Abe Lincolns), and if you're under 21 you will need to be accompanied by an adult.

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