Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #4: Siobhan Vivian

Siobhan Vivian was a boisterous child in Rutherford, NJ; she always wanted to have fun and enjoy life. One of her most favorite enjoyments was and still is writing. After graduating from the University of the Arts for Writing for Film and Television, she continued on to receive her Master’s degree in Creative Writing. Now she teaches at the University of Pittsburgh in addition to going on tour for her books.

Siobhan Vivian recently coauthored Burn for Burn with Jenny Han in 2013. All of her books have been published with international editions, including those for Greece, France, Germany, and the UK. YALSA listed three of her books in their annual Best Books for Young Adults: The List (2013), Not That Kind of Girl (2011), and Same Difference (2010).

If you would like to learn more about Siobhan Vivian, check out her website and blog.

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

New Teen Nonfiction: This is NOT a Writing Manual, by Kerri Majors

Kerri Majors was once a teen writer, fantasizing about the day when her book would be published. She'd be featured on "Oprah," and smile politely to her friends with a hidden smirk of pride. But one day she realized that writing was not what she had expected: it really was difficult to face the naysayers and her more successful friends, and she really did need to find a job in addition to her first calling.

Majors has come a long way since then, and her new memoir serves as inspiration to passionate young adult writers with a dream. This is Not a Writing Manual exposes the harsh realities as well as the glorious triumphs that Majors faced as an emerging writer. She does not impose strict grammar rules or stiff writing advice. She simply writes honestly, providing "therapy for writers."

Kerri Majors is best known for her creation of YARN, an online writing magazine for teens. She loves reading YA novels, identifies herself as a California girl, and lives in Massachusetts with her family. To learn more about Kerri, visit her website.

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #3: Roland Smith

Roland Smith is a prolific author of teen and youth fiction as well as youth nonfiction. He started writing on a typewriter when he was just five years old in Portland, Oregon. In college he stumbled across the opportunity to work at a children’s zoo, which opened his eyes to the beauty of nature and wildlife. As an animal keeper he traveled the world and worked with animals for over 20 years! He now writes full time, and still expresses his interest in animals through his nonfiction books for children.

Smith just published the fourth book in his I, Q mystery series, I,Q: The Alamo in July 2013. He is well known for his novel Peak, which won the National Outdoor Book Award in 2007, several state awards, and was listed on ALA’s 2008 Best Books for Young Adults.

If you would like to find out more about Roland Smith, visit his website or his blog.

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

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #2: Rebecca Donovan

Rebecca Donovan started writing when she was trapped inside during a blizzard, and is still loving it years later. She is best known for writing the bestselling “Breathing” series, including Reason to Breathe, which she originally self-published online. Donovan is not only #15 Most Popular Teen Author, but also #81 Most Popular Author overall on Amazon.com. She has a massive online fanbase and contributes regularly to her personal blog.

Before becoming an author, Donovan majored in psychology with a minor in sociology. She’s a devoted optimist and loves attending concerts whenever she can. To find out more about Rebecca Donovan, check out her website.

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

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #1: Carrie Ryan

The “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest has officially begun, so it’s time to introduce our phenomenal panel of judges!

Carrie Ryan, bestselling author of the “Forest of Hands and Teeth” series, loves to write fiction for young adults. In addition to her popular book series, she has written two short stories set in the zombie-ridden world of “Forest of Hands and Teeth” and has contributed to several anthologies. Keep an eye out for the “Forest of Hands and Teeth” movie, which is currently in the pre-production stage.

Carrie is a true Renaissance woman: she has lived in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Massachusetts. She has played multiple sports including soccer, field hockey, cheerleading, lacrosse, hiking, and cycling. Growing up, Carrie also showed her leadership skills through student government and a local renovation project. After moving on to become a litigator, she now writes full time.

To learn more about Carrie Ryan and her thoughts on writing and life, visit her website and her blog.

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

2014 Kick Off: "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest

Become A Short Story Ninja!
Calling all teen writers in grades 6-12, AADL is now officially accepting submissions for the 2014 "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest!

Here are the steps you need to take in order to achieve Ultimate Short Story Ninja Status:
1. Read the guidelines
2. Write a story! (Need some help? Check out these writing resources and inspiration)
3. Check the guidelines
4. E-mail your story to allwrite@aadl.org
5. Receive an e-mail confirming your submission
6. Achieve Ultimate Short Story Ninja Status!

What makes it so "ultimate?" By entering the contest, you could be the winner of fabulous cash prizes of up to $250! Plus all winners and finalists will be published in the official contest booklet, and all writers can meet Kelly Barson, author of 45 Pounds (More or Less) at the awards ceremony on May 10!

Please e-mail allwrite@aadl.org or call the Youth Desk at 734-327-8301 with any questions! Submissions will be accepted Jan. 27 through Mar. 14. Happy writing!

Emerging Writers: Writing & Review Meetup

Thursday April 17, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

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

This monthly meeting 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 monthly Emerging Writers Workshops which feature perspectives from both traditional publishing and indie publishing.

Emerging Writers Workshops: Finding Your Literary Tribe

Thursday April 3, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

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

They say that writing is a solitary craft, but it never has to be lonely. Learn how writers can connect to one another and how writing can be inspired as a result.

Local authors Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang will lead a workshop that will cover everything from social media to conferences to networking. This is the second Emerging Writers Workshop, a monthly series of writing and publishing events that feature both traditional and indie publishing perspectives. Considerations for fiction and non-fiction writing will be covered as well.

There will also be an opportunity for workshop attendees to meet-up at the Traverwood Branch on Thursday, April 17 from 7 – 8:45 pm 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 also be a wonderful time to meet your fellow writers and potentially create your own writing group.

Emerging Writers Workshop: Red Pens & Rewrites

Thursday March 6, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

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

Mine your prose for the diamonds, leave the coal behind and polish your gem with local authors and writer supporters, Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang. This workshop will cover the revision process from the complete plot arc down to the last serial comma.

This is the first in a monthly series of writing and publishing workshops that feature both traditional and indie publishing perspectives. There will also be an opportunity for workshop attendees to meet-up at the Traverwood Branch on Thursday, March 20 from 7 – 8:45 pm to discuss their works-in-progress. Both Lara Zielin and Margaret Yang on hand to offer advice, tips and review. These open houses will also be a wonderful time to meet your fellow writers and potentially create your own writing group.

Short Story Challenge for Grades 3-5

The 2nd Annual Short Story Challenge for Grades 3-5 will be accepting submissions April 14 through May 5, (specific 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 this year!

To learn more and enter the contest, take a look at the 2014 contest guidelines. Wondering how to get started? Take a look at some writing resources for K-5.



2013 Short Story Challenge

Around 100 young writers turned in stories for the 2013 3-5th Grade Short Story Challenge! Below is a list of the 2013 winners.

3rd Grade Winners:

1st Emma Crownover "My Secret"
2nd Alma Moga "The Story of the Talking Hamster"
3rd Mohammed Hamoud "Allians-A True Story"

4th Grade Winners:

1st Arjun Purohit "A Weird Day at the Science Museum"
2nd Abby Dobson "Winston and His Ears"
3rd Anabellee Jones "Blueberry Girl"

5th Grade Winners:

1st Ashlee Freeman "Pastel's Journey"
2nd Krishna Davis "The Boulder Block"
3rd Jenna Allman "Sallie Sweetwater and the Nebraska Disaster"


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