Write Michigan Short Story Contest

The second annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest just began one week ago on September 3! All ages are encouraged to enter their stories of 3000 words or less in one of the following categories: Youth (up to 11 years old), Teen (12-17 years old) or Adult (18 or older with a $10 entry fee). Writers have three months to enter, with November 30 as the final submission date. A few of the judges for the contest include Liesel Litzenburger, Lori Nelson Spielman, Ruth McNally Barshaw, Deborah Diesen, and Laurie Keller.

To find out more information about submitting a story, click here.

Want even more opportunities to write and express yourself? Keep an eye out for three of AADL’s exciting writing programs: National Novel Writing Month (November 2013), It’s All Write Short Story Contest for teens (January 2014), and the Youth Short Story Program (March 2014) for grades 3-5!

Elmore Leonard, crime writer extraordinaire, has died

Elmore Leonard, longtime Michigan resident who captivated his readers for years, died this morning in his beloved Detroit.

Born in New Orleans in 1925, he started out as a writer of western fiction. One of his earliest (1953) westerns, 3:10 to Yuma, was the first of many of his novels to be made into a movie. In the case of Yuma, both the 1957 original release, starring Van Heflin and Glenn Ford and the 2007 remake, with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, were popular.

Once westerns reached their peak in the early 1960s, Leonard stuck with his copywriting career which had funded his writing since the 1950s. Then in 1965, his agent sold the film rights to Hombre(1961) (on order) which was released two years later, starring Paul Newman and Fredric March.

With the money from that sale, Leonard switched gears and began writing one entertaining, suspenseful crime novel after another, many of which, again, were optioned into movies. First up was The Big Bounce, 1969, which hit the the silver screen in 1969 and again with the remake in 2004.

Get Shorty, the movie (John Travolta and Rene Russo, 1995), was based on his 1990 novel by the same name.

In all, more than two dozen Elmore Leonard novels got the Hollywood treatment.

Critics and fans adored his books, marveling at his gift for dialog and spare storytelling. On July 16, 2001, Leonard wrote an article for the New York Times. In WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle, he laid out his ten rules for writing which have become revered guidelines ever since.

Elmore Leonard was the recipient of multiple awards, including a couple of Edgars, a Peabody, and the Owen Wister Award.In addition he had honorary PhDs from The University of Michigan, Florida Atlantic University and University of Detroit Mercy.

Mr, Leonard, who had suffered a stroke on July 29th of this year, was 87 years old.

“Murder in Battle Creek,” Discussed by Michigan Author Blaine Pardoe

All fans of the true crime and mystery genres are sure to love our upcoming program about a 50-year-old murder mystery that still goes unsolved, despite the presence of witnesses! Blaine Pardoe, a Michigan author hailing from Battle Creek, will be at AADL’s Downtown Multi-Purpose Room to discuss his new book about the infamous murder. His book, titled “Murder in Battle Creek: The Mysterious Death of Daisy Zick,” will be sold and signed at the event. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday August 21, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Made in Michigan Writers Mad Lib Poetry Workshop

Saturday May 18, 2013: 11:30 am to 1:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Hey! It's a one-of-a-kind Mad Lib Poetry Workshop with the poets of the Made In Michigan Writers Series.

Team up with a famous poet to create a one-of-a-kind poem. After the poems are completed, they will be read aloud, followed by a reading of original poetry by the Michigan poets.

Books from the Made in Michigan Writers Series will be for sale. The event includes a book signing.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 4 and up).

The picture book Woolbur has won the 2013 Michigan Reads! Award

The 2013 Michigan Reads! title has been announced! The award goes to the picture book Woolbur, written by Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Lee Harper.

Woolbur is a unique story about a young sheep who is not afraid to be himself! Some of his antics include running with the dogs and dying his wool blue! His mom and dad are worried about him at first, but his grandparents tell them not to worry. In the end, the other sheep start to see the beauty in Woolbur’s creative ways and realize it is not so bad to live outside the box of a “normal” sheep life.

Helakoski, originally from Louisiana, is a graduate of Northern Michigan University and currently resides in southwest Michigan near Kalamazoo. Her picture book Big Chickens also won the Michigan Reads! Award for 2007.

The Michigan Reads! One State, One Children's Book program “focuses on the importance of reading and sharing books with children, especially toddlers through early elementary, and the vital role libraries play in providing access to the quality books, programs and services that lay the foundation for reading and school success.”

Improved Benefits for Families of Emergency Workers Killed on Duty

A recent change in a federal act fixes coverage gaps and provides a better safety net for families of first responders killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. The action closes gaps in the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act that had left some first responders without benefits. The program started more than 30 years ago to help families of federal, state and local firefighters, police and medics. The new legislation extends the program to private, nonprofit emergency medical services volunteers and personnel. A push for change came following the 2008 line-of-duty death of Cheryl Kiefer, who worked for Jackson Community Ambulance in Michigan, a private nonprofit service. To learn more, visit the website of Huron Valley Ambulance.

Leading a Healthy Lifestyle - Maintaining Motivation

Thursday, April 4 | 7 - 8:30 pm | Downtown Library | Grade 9 - Adult

John Farah and Nelson Williams, authors of Let's Pick It Up A Bit: A Guide To A Running Lifestyle, return to AADL to discuss fitness as a lifestyle, including ways to get in shape and get healthier. They will also review general run-training concepts and answer questions about the training plans in their book.

John and Nelson have been active in marathons for years. Let's Pick It Up A Bit is more than a collection of their tips for runners -- it is about creating a strong foundation to keep active, fit and healthy, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well. The challenge of life is to learn how to keep growing to keep getting better! Books will be on sale at this event, which will also include a book signing.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

Bats of the World

Tuesday, April 2 | 7 - 8 pm | Downtown | Grade 6 - Adult

Discover the truth about bats and how they live at this multi-media presentation by the Cranbrook Institute's Organization for Bat Conservation.

Learn how bats use sound wave (echolocation) to navigate in the dark; the bat's role in the food web; and about conservation and ecosystems from Michigan and around the world. Meet bats from North and South America and Africa - some with a 3-foot wingspan!

Check out these video clips of the Organization for Bat Conservation on Ellen, The Tonight Show, Conan, and more. Also, learn more about bats with these books from the AADL.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

Wade's World

Readers of David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, and Augusten Burroughs (a.k.a. fans of ridiculously funny memoirs) should check out Wade Rouse. Rouse grew up “different” in Missouri, and now lives in Michigan with his partner Gary. He has written several snarky books recounting the dramas of his daily life. From being caught as a kid wearing his grandmother’s high heels, to clearing patches of poison ivy off his property, Rouse’s stories are always a riot. Rouse is a regular contributor on Michigan Radio, and his books consistently appear on a host of “Best Of” lists. Check him out!

Wild Swan Theater: “Shipwrecked!”

Wild Swan Theater presents "Shipwrecked!" March 14-16 in Towsley Auditorium in the WCC Morris Lawrence Building. This original play, appropriate for kids in about grades 3-8, was written by accomplished local playwright Jeff Duncan. The story is a coming-of-age drama set during a fierce storm on Lake Huron in 1893. Twelve year-old Aaron Buchanan is sailing with his parents on their small schooner loaded with Christmas trees. Aaron's mettle is tested when a fierce gale hits "Shipwreck Alley," and he helps rescue his family. The play is based on historical accounts of the time and should give young people a good chance to learn some of the history, geography, music and maritime heritage of Michigan and the Great Lakes. For those families who may want to learn more about shipwrecks before going to the play, AADL has some great resources.

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