"It's All Write!" Contest Guidelines are now posted!

Teen writers interested in entering the "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest may now view the 2015 Guidelines! The guidelines have all of the most important information about submitting to the contest.

The "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest has now been running for 23 years! Last year received the largest number of submissions at 358 stories. Teens all over Ann Arbor, Michigan, and even across the world choose to participate each year.

"It's All Write!" will begin accepting submissions on Tuesday, January 27. For more information about the contest, please visit the contest homepage: http://www.aadl.org/events/itsallwrite

Happy writing!

Pete the Cat Fanmail and Puppet-making!

Are you a fan of Pete the Cat? With his groovy blue color and cool style, how could you not be?! Join us on Monday, December 22 at Traverwood from 2:00 to 3:30pm to make a Pete the Cat puppet and write letters to Eric Litwin and James Dean, the author and illustrator of the popular children's series. This event is intended for kids in grades K-5. All supplies will be provided!

Colorful Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Illustrating Children’s Books

Lois Ehlert, the well-known children’s book author and illustrator, has recently released The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life, an illustrated autobiography giving us a sneak peek into her creative process. Ehlert, whose picture books include Growing Vegetable Soup, Eating the Alphabet, and Planting a Rainbow, is known for her collage style, which mixes colored paper with everyday objects like leaves, plastic lids and even vegetables! Fans of Ehlert’s books will enjoy not only learning the stories behind some of her well-known illustrations but also hearing stories of Ehlert’s childhood and her encouraging words to future artists.

Looking for more fantastic picture-book biographies? Also check out these titles:

Balloons Over Broadway chronicles the life of Tony Sarg, the man who created the first balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

What to do about Alice? offers an energetic and insightful story about Teddy Roosevelt's oldest daughter Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

The Tree Lady tells the story of Kate Sessions, a turn-of-the-century schoolteacher who started a movement to plant trees throughout San Diego.

Webcomics Lab: Making Webcomics - Brad Guigar

Tuesday January 27, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 9 and up.

Got an idea for a webcomic but don't know where to start? Having trouble finding the time to put into that comics project? Or maybe you just want a break from creating alone in your studio (or the coffee shop) and wish you could work along side of your fellow comics creators? Come to the monthly Webcomics Lab at AADL, where you can make your comics in the company of other cartoonists. Work you finish during the Lab can be submitted for inclusion on the new AADL Webcomics Page!

This month Brad Guigar co-author of How to Make Webcomics, will be our special guest via Skype. Brad has been working on webcomics for over a decade now, starting with Greystone Inn and eventually spinning that off into Evil Inc. He’s been a very active voice in webcomics, working as the editor-in-chief for Webcomics.com, author of The Webcomics Handbook (follow-up to How to Make Webcomics), and one of the hosts for the Webcomics Weekly podcast.

Emerging Writers: Writing & Review Meetup

Thursday March 19, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.

This is a monthly meetup that welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects. Local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will be on hand to offer encouragement, answer questions, and point writers to resources. These open houses complement the Emerging Writers Workshops. These events feature perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing and considerations for fiction and non-fiction writing.

Emerging Writers Poetry Writing Workshop: Whatever It Takes: Settling Down

Thursday March 5, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

Let's face it, life in the twenty-first century rarely lends itself to the kind of care and attention that leads to great poems. (Henry David Thoreau fretted about the pace of mainstream life before we’d even begun traveling in cars or talking on the telephone!) We'll explore the sorts of atmosphere and habits-of-mind that will lead to your best poems ever. We'll focus on identifying what’s already working and learn some brand new approaches to the blank page. You'll generate new material and leave with resources to keep you going. Finally get tips for organizing your drafts and final versions, and submitting your work for publication. Regular speaker, Lara Zielin, will be joined by Alison Swan for this poetry writing and publishing workshop.

Alison Swan's poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in many publications, including Poetry in Michigan/Michigan in Poetry, a new anthology from New Issues Press; North American Review; TriQuarterly; and her poetry chapbooks Before the Snow Moon and Dog Heart (both Alice Greene and Company). Her book, Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes (Michigan State University Press), is a Library of Michigan Notable Book. Alison Swan earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and teaches in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program at Western Michigan University. Her website and blog, Forage, can be found here

Emerging Writers Workshop: Where in the World is Your Hero? Create Page-Turning Novels by Perfecting Your Characters, Setting, and Dialogue

Thursday February 5, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.

Take your readers into your fictional world by giving them a character to care about, a world to live in, and interesting conversations to listen to.

This workshop will cover these three important elements that pull readers into your stories and keep them there. Join authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang as they discuss how to write larger-than-life heroes, dynamic settings, and dialog that pops off the page.

This is part of a monthly series of writing and publishing events called the Emerging Writers Workshops, featuring perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing.

There will also be an opportunity for workshop attendees to meet up at the Traverwood Branch on Thursday, February 19 to discuss their works-in-progress. Both Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will be on hand to offer advice, tips and review. These open houses will be a wonderful time to meet your fellow writers and potentially create your own writing group.

Emerging Writers: Writing & Review Meetup

Thursday February 19, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.

This is a monthly meetup that welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects. Local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will be on hand to offer encouragement, answer questions, and point writers to resources. These open houses complement the Emerging Writers Workshops. These events feature perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing and considerations of fiction and non-fiction writing.

Emerging Writers: Writing & Review Meetup

Thursday January 22, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.

This is a monthly meetup that welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects.

Local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will be on hand to offer encouragement, answer questions, and point writers to resources.

These open houses complement the Emerging Writers Workshops. These events feature perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing and considerations of fiction and non-fiction writing.

Emerging Writers Workshop: Cure for the Common Cliche: Overcoming the Most Frequent Writerly Pitfalls to Take Your Prose off the Shelf and Into Readers’ Hands

Thursday January 8, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

It was a dark and stormy night...which might be okay for Snoopy, but you can do better!

Learn how to overcome the most frequent writing pitfalls to take your prose off the shelf and into readers’ hands. In this workshop, you’ll vanquish the enemies of a good story including slow pacing, information dumps, bad dialogue, and more.

Authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will explain how to polish your prose and avoid the traps of tired text. This is part of a monthly series of writing and publishing events called the Emerging Writers Workshops, featuring perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing. Considerations for fiction and nonfiction writing will be covered.

There will also be an opportunity for workshop attendees to meet up at the Traverwood Branch on Thursday, January 22 to discuss their works-in-progress. Both Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will be on hand to offer advice, tips and review. These open houses will be a wonderful time to meet your fellow writers and potentially create your own writing group.

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