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 7, 2014 @ THE KENSINGTON COURT HOTEL! 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 2014 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.

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 was held at the Downtown Library in May. Check out the list of 2014 WINNERS 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 accepts submissions April through May, (specific dates & details in the guidelines below). All writers are 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 receive a certificate of participation. The official results of the 2014 contest are posted! 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.

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....

3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge- All Submissions 2014

2014 submissions were accepted for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. The following are all the students and the work they submitted for this year's Short Story Challenge. The winning stories can be viewed here.

Third Grade

Hiraku Aso, "Planetarium"
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Abby Bowers, "Harry on the High Seas"
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Caitlyn Cupitt, "My Ordinary Day"
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Connor Fischer, "Captain Pickel Pants and the Time Machine"
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Jadon Fischer, "Niko de Angelo's Adventure"
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Madeline Hendriksma, "Suri Story"
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Joe Hickman, "Ghost in the House"
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Anniyah Hinton, "Girls Night"
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Salsabeel Hodge, "Three Kids Three Different Lives"
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Michael Howard, "Without a Sun"
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Emily Jiao, "The Magic Rug"
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Joe Juarez, "Quacky Duck"
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Thomas Kaechele, "Mystery of River Creek"
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Brigit Keiter, "Vampire Girl"
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Sophie Kriz, "The Original Adventures of Emily"
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Amy Lei, "The Story of Nancy Silk"
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Emma Li, "Dragon Friends!"
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Peyton Manning, "Sled Ride"
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Shannon McKay, "My Birthday"
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Julia Mei, "The Start of Skating"
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Sydney Richardson, "Mackinac Island"
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Jane Ryu, "Benjamin"
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Alexandra Salazar-Esquivel, "My Turtle"
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Kureha Shibuya, "My Trip to Japan"
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Mica Sims, "The Surprise"
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Niko Stamadianos, "Ted"
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Justin Su, "The Land Nobody Knew"
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Meena J. Suresh, "The Ghost of the West"
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Kaden Thornton, "The Magical Book"
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Eliza Ann VanEe, "Save the Slaves!"
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Jack Vlasak, "Snow Boarding"
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Tyler Waller, "The Day I Got My Horse"
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Fourth Grade:

Rokaya Benloucif, "My Diary"
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Georgie Branch, "Pop"
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Anna Clingenpeel, "The Best and Worst Times of Life"
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Suri Doepfer, "Untitled"
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Becca Kingham, "The Epic of King's Adventure"
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Fionnuala MacKercher, "The White Wolf"
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Alma Moga, "Lupa and the Pie"
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Mandy Pritts, "The Mystery of the Missing Cookies"
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Jennifer Shim, "I'm Always Here for You"
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Kendall Spink, "Princess"
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Karinne Tennenbaum, "One Thought After Another"
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Katrina Walbridge, "My Marvelous Friend"
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Amy Xiu, "The Dangers of Pollution"
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Eric Huayi Zhang, "The Gum Story"
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Fifth Grade:

Ahmed Adudiab, "The Winter of 2014"
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Zaina Al Habash, "Two Giraffes, One Big Story"
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Zakariya Alem, "Zomz"
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Luna Alkassem, "That Jaguar"
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Huda Al-Regib, "The Man in the Woods"
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Romaissa Ameziane, "The Amulet of Vadla"
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Nina Ang, "Bram's Quest"
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Abigail Anne Tejero Babila, "Carol the Hero"
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Samuel Bechar, "Traveling Through Time"
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Kira Brehob, "King of the Clouds"
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Evelyn Carroll, "Ivy and the Brain Wave Scooter"
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Myra Davis, "Nicole's Mermaid Adventure"
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Abby Dobson, "The Penguin Who Wanted to Fly"
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Nathaniel Dodge, "Resc-alcon"
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Rachel Amanda Eglinton, "The Impossible"
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Muneer Elshaikh, "Monday Midnight"
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Noor Elshaikh, "Iris"
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Niv Fisher-Pinsker, "Stuck in Time"
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Grace Franklin, "Josephine's Canyon"
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Aarush Goel, "WhiteJill"
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Lirit Green, "The Worst Day of My Life"
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Shoshana Green, "Mystery at Midnight"
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Gracie Greenberg, "Be Careful What You Wish For"
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Nadra Harbali, "The Demon Dragon and the Gem"
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Makayla Harris, "Hutch McLaw: The Case of the Sparkling Torch"
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Luka Hecht, "Misplaced"
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Hajawr Khan, "The Magic Mirror"
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Max Klarman, "Falling"­­
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Sarah Larson, "Lenny the Leprechaun"
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Ari Leflein, "The Door to Happiness or Despair"
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Aishah Mahmood, "The Cipher Competition"
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Asieh Mohammed-Azizi, "The Lightning Girl"
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Aafaf Moustafa, "The Magic of Magena"
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Zach Newpol, "The House in the Woods"
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Adi Orlyanchik, "Kwiko the Dragon"
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Evan Rago, "I am a Deity"
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Marisa Redding, "The Meadow Song"
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Saphira Samuels, "A Tale of Two Sisters"
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Jessica Schwalb, "The Squirrels"
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Laibah Siddiqui, "The Journey"
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Nathan Strauss, "Falling from an Airplane"
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Joann Sun, "The Stolen Glasses"
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Brendan Sutton, "Mission Possibility"
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Zayd Tanbour, "The Broken Arm"
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Aakarsh Verma, "Mines of Ashland"
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Kinneret Weiss, "Jake the Handyman"
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Layla Youssef, "The Postcard"
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Quiz: How much do you know about the upcoming Awards Celebration on June 3?

Take this quiz to see how much you know about the 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge Awards Celebration on June 3!

1. The fabulous children's author who will be present at the event is...
a. Bob Shea
b. Laura Numeroff
c. Lisa Wheeler
d. Lara Zielin

2. Writers who participated in the Challenge will receive...
a. bacon
b. a certificate
c. a commemorative pen
d. a wheelbarrow

3. Everyone interested in kids' library events can pick up...
a. the pace
b. steam
c. the pieces
d. the new summer Jump! brochure

4. There will be a food table with...
a. cookies and water
b. cookies and cream
c. donuts and lemonade
d. Elephant and Piggie

5. The top 9 winners of the Challenge will get...
a. a deflated tire
b. a smelly old sock
c. a pony!
d. a Target gift card

Whew, tough quiz. Let's see how many you got right:
(p ϛ 'ɐ ㄣ 'p Ɛ 'q ᄅ 'ɔ Ɩ)

If you got:
1 correct: You need to study up. Try stopping by the Awards Celebration and then try again!
2-4 correct: Nice! It sounds like you missed a couple things, but you can make up for that by coming to the Awards Celebration in person!
5 correct: Superstar! Show off your amazing quiz-taking skills by coming to the Awards Celebration!

"It's All Write!" 2014 FINAL RESULTS

If you weren't able to attend the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, the official list of the 2014 Winners of the "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest is now posted! Finalists and winners that were absent from the ceremony will receive their awards in the mail.

Thank you to all who participated and those who support the writers of Ann Arbor and beyond!

Looking for cool writing events to attend now that the school year is almost over? Check out the upcoming Emerging Writers Workshops with Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang on May 15 and June 5!

Happy writing!

Meet the "It's All Write!" Guest Speaker: K.A. Barson!

Kelly ‘K.A.’ Barson published her first novel, 45 Pounds (More or Less) in July 2013. She has always loved reading and writing, and even teaches writing at Spring Arbor University. According to Me, My Shelf, and I, Barson loves spearmint Chapstick, wears sweatpants while writing, and likes to dye her hair all different colors. She is also a local author hailing from Jackson, MI!

If you’re near the Downtown branch this Saturday, May 10, be sure to stop by the “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest Awards Ceremony! Barson will discuss her thoughts on writing, sign copies of her book, and award the top nine writers of the contest!

To learn more about K.A. Barson, check out her website and blog.

Stay tuned to find out the Winners of the “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest!

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #11: Ben Stroud

Are you ready to hear about the last author to round out the entire team of this year’s judges? Introducing: Ben Stroud!

Ben Stroud recently published his first book, Byzantium, in 2013. He is best known for writing literary short stories, as featured in several anthologies, Harper’s Magazine, Boston Review, and The Literary Review. He has lived in Texas and Ann Arbor, and currently teaches creative writing at the University of Toledo. In an interview with One Story, he gave the following advice to other writers: “There’s so much we can’t control as writers, no matter what stage we’re at…We can sit down, we can work, we can write our stories. If we remember that, and remember why we started doing this in the first place—not for all those other things but for that magical feeling of stringing words together into a story—then the rest will take care of itself.”

Stay tuned for more information about the “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest and the upcoming Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 10!

May 5 LAST DAY to enter the 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge!

Calling all writers in 3rd-5th grade, today (Monday, May 5) is your last day to submit a story to the 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge! Please make sure you have checked the guidelines, and then either send it by email to youngwrite@aadl.org or drop off a paper copy at the Youth desk Downtown. The story submission mailbox will be closed at midnight tonight. Happy writing!

Six Days Left to Enter the 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge!

There are only SIX DAYS left to enter the 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge!

If you think you've already made up your mind, just think of how bored you will be without this challenge. After doing a poll* of kids in the United States, kids report they did the following things instead of entering the 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge:

1. Twiddled their thumbs
2. Stared at the ceiling
3. Ate that gross thing on the floor
4. Flipped a pencil so it became "rubber"
5. Sang car alarm sounds
6. Tried to lick their elbows

But think of all the incredible reasons to enter the SUPER AMAZING SHORT STORY CHALLENGE for which you could possibly receive an INSANELY COOL PRIZE! Here are the top six reasons you should enter the Short Story Challenge**:

1. Writing is fun!
2. You have an entire six days! That's almost a whole week.
3. At the awards celebration you can meet a real professional author!
4. The awards celebration will also have cookies.
5. If you give permission, your story could be published on the AADL website!
6. You could win one of 6 AWESOME prizes!

Visit the Short Story Challenge page for more information, and email youngwrite@aadl.org with submissions or questions!

*this poll was not done using the scientific method, or any reliable sources.
**no puppies were harmed while making this list

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #10: Douglas Trevor

Douglas Trevor has been writing throughout his entire life. As a child, Douglas Trevor wrote stories about a caveman named Cowwow Bowwow and has since achieved great success as an author and professor.
Trevor’s short stories have appeared in several publications, including Fugue, The Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Paris Review. He is best known for his work of short stories, A Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space, which received the Iowa Short Fiction Award. He recently published Girls I Know, his first novel.

Trevor currently teaches creative writing and poetry at the University of Michigan, and resides in Ann Arbor. He is a fan of the Denver Broncos, Joyce’s Dubliners, and studied in France.

Stay tuned to find out who is the 11th and final judge for to the “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest!

Little Red Writing

If you're working on a story for the 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Challenge and need some writing inspiration, be sure to check out Little Red Writing by Joan Holub and Melissa Sweet! Inside you will find vibrant illustrations depicting the adventures of Little Red, a pencil who needs to write a story for class. The teacher, Ms. 2, shows what elements make up a great story and Little Red's classmates share their ideas. Each page explains a different part of speech and how you can make it work in your story. Little Red's adventure is hilarious and exciting. Whether you read this book by yourself or with friends, it's sure to spark creativity for story writing!

You can also check out other great writing resources from AADL with this Writing Help for Kids list.

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