Who are the Judges? 2008 Short Story Contest for Teens

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Aaron Burch - Editor of the literary journal, "Hobart." His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in "Quick Fiction", "elimae", "Smokelong Quarterly" and other publications.

Nan Willard Cappo - Author of "Cheating Lessons" a YA suspense novel set in Michigan. "Cheating Lessons" received a starred review in "Horn Book," a Junior Library Guild selection, and was nominated for an Edgar award as Best Young Adult Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America. Nan grew up in Pennsylvania but has lived in Farmington, Michigan, for the past 20 years. She and her husband have three grown children. At various points she's worked as a waitress, speechwriter, computer sales rep, and college English teacher, and often draws on those experiences for her fiction. Currently she is a sales rep for National Geographic School Publishing and Heinemann. When she's not selling school books, she is working on her third novel, a murder mystery set in a southeast Michigan auto assembly plant.

Cassandra Carter - A 19-year-old honors graduate of Huron High School in Ann Arbor. Her debut novel, "Fast Life" was written was she was fifteen. Two years later, she signed a contract with Harlequin and was published in July 2007, just one month after receiving her diploma. Also a part of the brand new YA imprint, Kimani Tru, her newest work, "16 Isn't Always Sweet" was released on March 1, 2008. Cassandra resides in Ypsilanti, MI where she's been busy promoting both titles. She is also currently hard at work on her third novel, a sequel to "Fast Life."

Elizabeth Ellen - The author of "Before You She Was a Pit Bull" (Future Tense) and "Sixteen Miles Outside of Phoenix" (Rose Metal Press). She lives in Ann Arbor and is deputy editor of the literary journal "Hobart."

Kathe Koja - Kathe Koja has written award-winning novels and short fiction for adults and for young people. Some of her most recent books include "Buddha Boy", "Talk", and "Kissing the Bee". "Headlong" is forthcoming in fall 2008. She lives in Berkley with her husband, artist Rick Lieder, and their cats.

Alex Mindt - The author of the short story collection "Male of the Species." He has published stories in numerous magazines, including the "Missouri Review", and "Confrontation, the Literary Review". His plays have been produced in Seattle and Los Angeles, and he co-wrote, directed, and produced the feature film "Nowheresville". He has taught at Bennington College, University of California at San Diego, and Columbia University. He holds a BA from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University.

Nami Mun - Nami Mun's stories have been published in journals such as the 2007 Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Iowa Review, Evergreen Review, Witness, and Tin House, and was named by Tin House as an Emerging Voice of 2005. She received her MFA in 2007 from the University of Michigan and currently lectures in their English Department. Her novel, "Miles from Nowhere," is forthcoming in January 2009 from Penguin/Riverhead.

Amy Sumerton - Serves as assistant editor of "Orchid Literary Review." She plays cello in a local band called Canada. Amy currently makes a living as program director for 826michigan, a nonprofit writing center designed to help students ages 6-18 develop their writing skills.

Sailing Through Difficulty

John Otterbacher will visit the Downtown Library Wednesday, May 21 at 7:00 p.m. Otterbacher, a resident of Michigan, a former Michigan Congressmen and Senator, and psychotherapist, will discuss his book, Sailing Grace, in which he chronicles his experiences battling heart disease, not wanting to give up, and moving past it. Integral and interwoven into his story are details about learning how to sail, honesty and a bit of self-deprecating humor on mishaps along the way, and eventually making voyages across the Atlantic. Sailing Grace is a 2008 Michigan Notable Book. Michigan Notable Books are a yearly list of books “reflective of Michigan's diverse ethnic, historical, literary, and cultural experience.” Copies will be available for purchase, and there will be an opportunity for books to be signed. Please join us!

2008 . . .and the Winners are. . .Short Story Contest

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We salute all those 200 teen writers who turned in a story for the "It's All Write!" short story writing contest. It's takes courage and creativity; clearly you all have that. Congratulations!

MIDDLE SCHOOL WINNERS:
1st Mari Cohen "Purple"
2nd Lydia L. Brown "Bittersweet"
3rd Caroline Elliott "Notes of Amadeus"

HIGH SCHOOL 9TH/10TH WINNERS:
1st Regina Rose Kazanjian "Loways and Highways"
2nd Lindsay Fischer "Everything is Connected"
3rd Sussy Pan "Breaking the Birthday Curse"

HIGH SCHOOL 11TH/12TH WINNERS:
1st Eva Colas "Searching"
2nd Lindsey Maxon "Networking"
3rd Josh Ballard "Premonitions of a Janitor"

Come out to the Book Festival's Street Fair this weekend

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Ann Arbor's annual Book Festival culminates this weekend with Saturday's day-long Street Fair. AADL is proud to host Friday night's opening reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Downtown Multi-Purpose Room, where you'll have the chance to meet many distinguished authors. Also tonight, the Michigan Theater will be showing "The Life Before her Eyes" based on the book by local author Laura Kasischke. On Saturday, at 2:00 p.m. Deb Caletti, author of Fortunes of Indigo Skye, will be at the State Street Association Stage on Ingalls Mall to announce winners of AADL's annual "It's All Write!" teen short story writing contest. Check out the complete schedule for all the many fun-filled festival events this weekend.

Deb Caletti

Deb Caletti is in Ann Arbor for the upcoming Book Festival and is the guest speaker for the library sponsored Teen Short Story Writing Contest for area teens! Of her newest release, Fortunes of Indigo Skye, Caletti says, "It's about a waitress with a great family and a hunky refrigerator-delivery-guy boyfriend. Her life changes one day when she gets a big tip. A BIG tip." This newest title is already listed on 2009 Best Book Nominations for teens.

Later on Saturday the Celebrity Spelling Bee is also on tap, with Deb Caletti, Cassandra Carter, and others matching wits.

Getting Things Organized Online

Is your online life a mess? I don’t mean your Second Life or your Facebook life, but your real life that seems to have found its way online, from shopping and banking to the daily news and even your favorite television shows. Del.icio.us: Organize your Life Online, Monday evening at 7pm at the Malletts Creek Branch will offer some coping mechanisms in the form of online organizational tools like del.icio.us, a social bookmarking (we’ll explain what that means) site, Yahoo! Bookmarks and Google Notebook. See something you want to remember online? Learn how at this class! (registration required, call 734-327-8367 to sign up)

Weapons of Musical Diversity

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The last in the series Weapons of Musical Diversity at the Neutral Zone is this Friday, May 16 at 7:00 pm. You’ve got to hear the hot Cuban combo Tambao Bravo as they explore the authentic rhythms of Mambos, Cha chas, Rumbas and Boleros. After Tumbao Bravo’s set there’s a Reggaeton DJ Dance Party. OMG. It’s all ages and free, too! The Neutral Zone Rocks and Rumbas! Check out Afro Cuban Roots and have your own house party after the show.

Are you a Jandek fan?

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Probably not. "The Representative from Corwood Industries" has put out 53 albums in the last 30 years, none of which you can find in stores or libraries (except ours, now, see Jody's post below), and he is rarely played on the radio. Jandek performs live in Ann Arbor at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater on Saturday, May 17 at 7:30, and a lot of people there will have never heard a single Jandek song.

Jandek is more famous for his unusually secretive nature than his music: he has only granted 3 interviews in the last 30 years and only began playing live in 2004. In fact, his real identity was not even known until a few years ago, and it has yet to be officially confirmed by Jandek or Corwood Industries, the record label that puts out Jandek records exclusively and can be contacted only through a Houston P.O. box.

If you have heard Jandek's music, you probably didn't like it. It is often dark and depressing, lacking structure, melody and harmony, and is sung and played out of tune. But he has a tiny, devoted following. Intrigued? Come see this free performance sponsored by WCBN and UMMA to find out if this is all as weird as it seems.

First there was Woodstock and then....

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Folk guitarist Richie Havens burst onto the scene at the famous Woodstock Folk Festival of 1969. Since then, he has been wowing audiences with his high energy guitar playing, powerful voice and stirring lyrics. Havens comes to The Ark this Sunday, May 11. You can buy tickets online at Ticketmaster or in person at the Ark ticket office, the Michigan Union or at the Herb David Guitar Studio.

Looking for a good used car?

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Whether you're shopping used cars dealers or Craigslist, auto technology instructor Paul Kruthaup will tell you the things you need to know to buy a car that not only looks good but runs well too. This program, titled "Buy a Ride: No Clunkers, Lemons, or Junkers," will be held from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, in the Malletts Creek branch program room.

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