ages 11-18

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!

"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!

Amazon Teen Bestsellers: The Maze Runner

The Kindle Edition of The Maze Runner, by James Dashner currently is #5 on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Teen and Young Adult Books. In the book, sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up in a maze with no memory. If he is to escape, he must work with his community. From Amazon: “Read the first book in the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent." The Maze Runner motion picture is due out in September.

Yoga @AADL

Monday March 31 | 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm | Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room
This event is FREE and intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

Spring is here, but after this tough winter, most of us are still trying to chase the winter blues away - and yoga can help! Join us for a clarifying and detoxifying yoga set with local yoga instructor Victoria Duranona. We will learn about how yoga can be used to detoxify the body, mind and emotions, while cleansing the blood through breathing and movement.

Please note: Bring your own mat or towel to sit/lay on and dress comfortably for the workout.

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!

UMSI MakerFest

Are you interested in finding out more about the University of Michigan’s new Bachelor of Science in Information degree? Would you like to watch a demo of Google Glass, see a 3-D printer in action, learn how to crochet, or play with some of AADL’s music tools? If so, then you should definitely check out the UMSI MakerFest on Wednesday, March 26th from 12-2 PM at the Michigan Union.

So what is a MakerFest? UMSI's MakerFest grew out of the Maker Movement, which encourages people to combine their love of crafts and DIY projects with innovative technologies. MakerFest is an opportunity for "makers" of all types to get together, try out new tools, and most importantly, make new things.

This event is cosponsored by the School of Information, the Center for Campus Involvement, Ann Arbor District Library, All Hands Active, MakerWorks, U-M Computer and Video Game Archives, and Michigan Makers.

You can find out more at the UMSI MakerFest Facebook page.

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!

Winter is on its way out, but Season 4 of Game of Thrones is coming!

Many of us are eagerly awaiting the start of season four of Game of Thrones, which begins on Sunday, April 6th on HBO. The AADL has the first three seasons of the show on DVD and Blu-Ray, but we also have a large selection of other Game of Thrones-related materials that fans may be interested in. The show was inspired by and is strictly based on the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin. The library has all five of the currently published books available. Martin has said that he may publish the sixth installment of the series, The Winds of Winter, in 2015. Even if you’ve already seen the show, reading the books is a cool way to find out more details and clear up any confusion.

The AADL also has graphic novel adaptations of Game of Thrones. These are fast-paced and colorful reads that fans will surely enjoy. There are also unique books about the Game of Thrones fantasy world and the show in our collection. The Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister collects a number of the hilarious and witty quotes said by one of the most popular characters into a fun book. The Unofficial Game of Thrones cookbook: from direwolf ale to auroch stew—more than 150 recipes from Westeros and beyond has appetizers, side dishes, main courses and desserts, all inspired by meals or situations from Game of Thrones. We also have the official companion to the HBO show, Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones. It is filled with hundreds of photos of the set, actors, and props from the show. Finally, an extremely helpful book is The Lands of Ice and Fire: maps from King’s Landing to across the Narrow Sea, a collection of maps and diagrams that show the world described by Martin in his books and shown to viewers on the show. As fans know, keeping the many settings of Game of Thrones straight can be a challenge; this book can help those who are struggling better visualize the continents of Westeros and Essos

Creepy, Brilliant Teen Science Fiction: "Unwind," by Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a wildly imaginative dystopic tale published in 2007, yes, even before Hunger Games burst on the scene. Shusterman's believable, terrifying science-fiction thriller is based on a fictional future law which allows parents of children age 13 to 18 to have their teens "unwound," with al their organs transplanted into different people. Oh my. As a result of this law, the main characters in the novel -- Connor, Risa and Lev -- are running for their lives in a world gone mad. The story contains several nightmarish medical scenes that may keep you up at night, worrying about the future of the characters and/or of America. But overall, I found this to be an entirely engaging, exciting book that once begun, could not be put down. When it was published, the novel was well received and earned this starred review from Publishers Weekly: "...Gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller . . . could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens." The [www.ala.org|American Library Association] named the novel a Best Book for Young Adults and a Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. After reading this book, I'm eager to read the next two books in the Unwind dystology -- UnWholly, published in 2012, and UnSouled, which came out last year.

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!

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