Welcome to the Contests Page!

AADL sponsors a variety of contests for kids and teens. Each contest offers participants the opportunity to show off their creativity from writing to graffiti. Our annual contests include...

The LEGO Contest is for ages preschool through adults. This annual event happens every August. This year's contest is on Thursday, August 8, 2013. Participants build their projects at home and bring them to the Kensington Court Hotel on a designated date (address in link below) for judging. Prizes are awarded in the form of gift certificates and award ribbons during a large awards ceremony on the evening of the judging. The top three winners in each age category and the people's choice winners each get a custom made LEGO trophy too. For more information take a look at the LEGO Guidelines for the 2013 contest. Check out the list of winners from every contest and look at all the entries to the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011,2012 and 2013 LEGO Contests. Mark your calendars! The 2014 LEGO Contest will be on Thursday, August, 2014 at the Kensington Court Hotel!

The Annual "It's All Write!" Short Story Writing Contest includes generous prizes to be distributed among nine winners! The contest is open to students in grades 6-12. Submissions are accepted January through March (specific dates & details in the guidelines below). Writers submit an original short story to be judged by a panel of published authors. The Awards Ceremony is held at the Downtown Library in May. Check out the list of 2014 FINALISTS and read the winning stories from the 2008-2013 contests. To learn more, take a look at the 2014 contest guidelines.

The 2nd Annual Short Story Challenge for Grades 3-5 will be accepting submissions April through May, (specific dates & details in the guidelines below). All writers will be invited to a Short Story Celebration in June at the Downtown Library. The top three stories from each grade will be recognized and each writer will receive a certificate of participation. Award-winning author Lisa Wheeler will be the guest speaker. Check out the list of winners from 2013 and writing resources. To learn more, take a look at the contest rules and guidelines.

The Graffiti Art Contest is held annually during the Ann Arbor Art Fairs for grades 6-12. All supplies, including paint and painting surfaces, are provided. Participants work on site within a structured time period. Judging occurs the same day and prizes are awarded in the form of gift certificates. All artwork will be displayed for one month at the Ann Arbor District Library. Check out the list of winners and look at all the artwork created for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 contests.

Be a part of AADL's Logo Remix Contest! Make your own video-animated "remix" of the AADL logo and enter it to win prizes! We'll host open workshops in early March with our computers and software available for you to get started building your entry! A few selected animations will be projected above AADL's activity area during the Ann Arbor FoolMoon event. Get the contest rules and guidelines starting Friday, February 22nd at aadl.org or have staff print them out for you. Here's a link to the AADL logo in PNG and JPEG formats.

The Manga Drawing Contest was for grades K-12. The library no longer hosts an annual Manga Drawing Contest. The last contest was in 2009. For more information on past contests see rules and guidelines. Check out the list of winners and look at all the drawings entered in the 2008 & 2009 contests.

The Make It Happen in Ann Arbor Photo Contest is new in 2010, but we hope to make it a yearly event! Kids and adults are invited to submit photos of what summertime in Ann Arbor means to them. The top photos in each age group will receive gift cards and bragging rights. All participants will have their work displayed in the exhibit area of the Downtown Library and on aadl.org. Take a look at the rules and guidelines for more information and start thinking about your picture of summer today!

Read the blog posts below for more information on upcoming and past contests....

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge # 9: Sandra Neil Wallace

Sandra Neil Wallace is a true-blue nature lover: when asked what literary world she’d like to live in, she responds with “Little House on the Prairie.” Wallace grew up on a farm surrounded by horses and rabbits, and still finds great solace in taking long walks in the wilderness. Before becoming a writer for kids and teens, Wallace worked as a sports journalist covering the NHL and NBA. Now she writes full time, and loves to hear from her readers and aspiring writers.

Wallace is best known for her teen novel, Muckers, based on the true story of a high school football team in Arizona. “Muckers” was named a Booklist “Bookends” Best Book of 2013. She also just released “Babe Conquers the World”, a biography about a determined woman entering the world of sports, which she coauthored with her husband, Rich Wallace.

To learn more about Sandra Neil Wallace, visit her website. Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

The 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge 2014 has officially begun!

Look! It's a bird... it's a plane... no wait, it's a SHORT STORY SUPERHERO participating in the second annual 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge!

Do you have the grit to become a Short Story Superhero? Astound all your friends and teachers... they'll never see it coming! Vanquish the winter blues with powerful prose and punchy plot!

Here's how to become a Short Story Superhero:
1) Write a story of up to 5 pages (double-spaced) or 1000 words
2) Type it in a Word document, with the story title on top
3) Attach the file to an email and include your personal information OR print it out with an information cover sheet (what information, you ask? check out the guidelines)
4) Send it to youngwrite@aadl.org or bring it to the Youth Desk at the Downtown branch by Monday, May 5!

Use your x-ray vision on our Jump! brochure to keep an eye out for the final celebration featuring guest author Lisa Wheeler, on June 3!

Please e-mail youngwrite@aadl.org or call the Youth Desk at 734-327-8301 with any questions, and happy (super) writing!

2014 "It's All Write!" Contest Finalists!

The finalists of the “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest have been decided! This year was particularly difficult for our dedicated readers, who reported that all of the stories were incredibly creative and a pleasure to read. This year was also the most competitive year ever, reaching an all time record of 358 submissions!

Are you ready to find out who will make it to the next round? Finalists’ stories will be passed on to the Panel of Judges, who will carefully select the 2014 Winners. Click here to see the list of finalists!

Congratulations to all of the chosen finalists, and a hearty “THANK YOU!” to all the talented writers who contributed their stories to the “It’s All Write!” Contest this year! Let’s also give a round of virtual high fives to the readers- they put a lot of time into this process, and loved reading each and every story. Stay tuned for more judge blog posts, and see you at the awards ceremony on May 10!

Coming Soon: 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge!

It's almost time for the second annual 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge! Starting April 14, young writers will be able to submit a typed short story of five pages or less to either to the Downtown Youth Desk or by e-mail to youngwrite@aadl.org. Make sure you check the guidelines before you submit your story! Stories will be accepted from Monday, April 14 until Monday, May 5.

Need help writing a story or finding ideas? Check out this list of books for kids on writing at AADL. You can also visit these recommended websites for writing.

Keep an eye out for the final celebration on Tuesday, June 3 honoring all writers, featuring Lisa Wheeler as the guest speaker!

Please e-mail youngwrite@aadl.org or call the Youth Desk at 734-327-8301 with any questions, and happy writing!

"It's All Write!" FAQ

Do you have a burning question about the "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest? Several writers have sent in similar questions about the contest, so hopefully you'll find the answers here. If not, feel free to email allwrite@aadl.org!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: When do I find out if I'm a finalist?
A: Finalists will be announced on or before Friday, April 11.

Q: When and where is the awards ceremony?
A: 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 10 at the Downtown Branch in the Multipurpose Room. The MPR is located downstairs, just past the Friends bookshop and to the left.

Q: When will you announce the contest winners?
A: The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony.

Q: What if I can't come to the awards ceremony?
A: We'd love to see you there, but it's also understandable that life (and sometimes distance) can get in the way. If you're a finalist, we'll let you know the outcome after the ceremony.

Q: Who can come to the ceremony?
A: ANYONE may attend! Bring your friends and family (pets have to stay home, sorry) and whoever else might want to come to enjoy a fun celebration of writing and hard work! More details coming soon!

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #8: James Kennedy

James Kennedy wrote his very first story when he was just seven years old. It was called “The Strange Ship,” which included characters called “money people”, terrifying creatures, and droids. He channeled this creativity into many opportunities, never missing the chance to try something new. Kennedy has lived in Japan, studied physics, joined a band, written a musical, dabbled in computer programming, and taught science in a middle school.

True to his creative nature, Kennedy pioneered the 90-second Newberry Film Festival, a contest that is now in its third year. Kennedy is best known for his published book, The Order of Odd-Fish, which was named a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children in 2008. His writing influences include Roald Dahl, Douglas Adams, and Madeleine L’Engle.

To learn more about James Kennedy, check out his website and blog.

Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge # 7: Jeff Hirsch

Jeff Hirsch has always loved to write, and even attended writing summer camps growing up as a teen in Virginia. He then pursued his interest in theater, and graduated from the University of California, San Diego for playwriting. After becoming inspired by distinguished teen authors, Hirsch found his writing niche.

Hirsch is well known for his first novel, The Eleventh Plague. Readers can preview the first three chapters of his newest release, The Darkest Path, and should keep an eye out for Black River in 2015.

Jeff Hirsch loves to hear from his readers and is a fan of Prince and Tom Waits. Last year, AADL featured his wife, Gertie Hirsch, in a retro sewing program. To learn more about Jeff Hirsch, visit his website.

Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #6: Bill Konigsberg

Bill Konigsberg has a long history in writing prior to authoring teen novels. As an avid sports fan, Konigsberg covered the New York Mets and other teams as a sports writer and editor for the Associated Press and ESPN.com. He also contributed a fantasy baseball column to several newspapers countrywide. Since writing his award-winning article in 2001, Konigsberg has been a strong advocate for homosexual awareness in sports.

In addition to his debut teen novel, Out of the Pocket, Konigsberg published Openly Straight in May 2013. Openly Straight, featuring a student looking to shed gay labels and stereotypes, was listed on YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list and was recently awarded the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor.

To learn more about Bill Konigsberg, visit his website and blog.

Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

Reminder to all “It’s All Write!” participants: The deadline to submit your story is today, March14! Submissions will be accepted until midnight. Please make sure you have followed the guidelines, and happy (last-minute) writing!

Only ONE WEEK left to submit a story to “It’s All Write!”

The “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest has already received over 90 submissions, and we are excited to see even more arrive in the next week! If you’re thinking about entering the contest, you still have time to send a story before Friday, March 14, which is one week from today!

Maybe you’ve already written a story, but it needs some editing. The Writing Tips for Teens list features AADL materials focused on story details, grammar tips, and how to get published.

Or maybe you've written five stories and can't decide which one to submit. Consider publishing your other work online! Check out the “It’s All Write!” Writing Resources page. Magazines like Teen Ink and Polyphony H.S. encourage teens to get involved in writing and editing.

If you have questions about the contest, feel free to email Kayla at allwrite@aadl.org or call the Downtown Youth Desk at 734-327-8301.

Stay tuned for future “meet the judge” blog posts, and happy writing!

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