Teen Short Story Contest in Its 21st Year!

The Teen Short Story Contest has come of age, in this its 21st year! 'It's All Write!" cosponsored by the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library and AADL is a contest open to middle and high school writers in grades 6 - 12, with submissions being accepted starting January 28, and running through March 15, 2013.

You’ll have seven weeks to perfect that short story, and guidelines are easy to follow. When you’re ready, just send your story to allwrite@aadl.org

You can read previous winning stories here or check out writing resources that might be helpful.

1st Place Winners receive ($250), 2nd Place ($150) and 3rd Place ($100) in these three categories: Grades 6-8, Grades 9-10, and Grades 11-12

A panel of published authors will judge the stories. The Awards Ceremony, this year featuring award winning author A.S King, will be held Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Downtown Library.

Good Luck!

Anne Of Green Gables Scriptwriting Workshop

Sunday February 3, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Calling all writers in Grades 4-12! The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre Junior Theatre Company is performing an original adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables". Help write an original scene that will be performed during their May productions.

Participants should be familiar with the book and have read chapters 1-3. The workshop will also discuss the process of adapting a classic book into a play.

All workshop participants are also encouraged to attend auditions.

The 2013 Edgar Allan Poe Awards nominees have been announced

The nominees for the 2013 Edgars, honoring all things mystery -- novels, non-fiction, and television -- that first appeared in 2012, have been announced.

Named after Edgar Allan Poe, considered the grandfather of the genre, the Edgar is enjoying its 67th year.

Some of the nominees are:

Best novel category:
Gone Girl, Gillain Flynn. In this twisted, double-triple-quadruple backstabbing epic, the reader falls into an ever-changing quagmire between one of literature's most twisted couples. Haven't heard yet of a reader who read the whole thing and DIDN'T fling it across the room.

Live by Night, by Dennis Lehane is set in the Prohibition Era and stars Joe Coughlin, son of a Boston cop who eschews his father's line of work and strives to be a gentleman gangster. Since this is a Lehane novel, you know that's not going to happen.

Best first novel category:
The Expats, by Chris Pavone -- CIA spy Kate Moore falls in love, marries has two sons, and willingly gives up her career to move to Luxembourg with Dexter, her nerdy banker husband. They are befriended by a couple who raise warning flags for Kate. Soon she becomes in clandestine efforts to unravel the threads that make less and less sense, not the least upsetting is the growing suspicion that even Dexter is not who he seems.

Best paperback original:
Louis Berney produces a sequel to Gunshot Straight (2010) with Whiplash River. In another fast-paced thriller, Shake Bouchon buys a restaurant on Ambergris Gray, an island off Belize. But things don't work out so well -- not only does he dodge three hitmen's bullets, but someone burns down his restaurant.

Another sequel is in contention in this category. Malla Nunn brings back her popular character, Det. Emmanuel Cooper, first seen in A Beautiful Place to Die (2009), in Bleassed are the Dead who is investigating the death of a beautiful Zulu housemaid.

For a complete list of nominees, check out this link.

The winners will be announced on May 2nd in New York.

2012 National Book Award winners have been announced

The 2012 The Story Prize has announced its finalists for short story collections that were written in English and published last year in the U.S.

The finalists are:

Stay Awake, by Dan Chaon. A two-headed baby, a child with a sleeping disorder, a near-fatal car accident -- these are just some of the themes around which Chaon builds twelve stories filled with unsettling tension and unexpected resolutions.

In Dominican author Junot Diaz's wildly popular This Is How You Lose Her, he brings back Yunior, the narrator of Drown (1996) and of his prize-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) who takes it upon himself to relate the "...important and necessary story of the inner lives of 'bad boys..." in nine riveting stories.

Battleborn, by Claire Vaye Watkins is a collection of ten stories in which the rich Nevada landscape is as much a character as the individuals who populate these tales.

For the first time in the Story Prize's nine-year history, they are announcing a new award, The Spotlight Award, given to an author who may have slipped under the radar. This year's recipient is Krys Lee for her debut collection Drifting House. Ms. Lee's nine stories tackle the Korean immigrant experience.

The winner of The Story Prize will be announced at the New School's Tishman Auditorium in New York City on Wednesday, March 13th.

The Alchemy of Scent

Saturday January 12, 2013: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Have you ever noticed how the aromas from a perfume or certain spice can evoke a strong memory and association?

Allow Michelle Krell Kydd, a trained "nose", editor and writer of the Glass Petal Smoke blog lead you through a workshop that explores the sense of smell against the canvas of story, sound and vision. Participants will learn the art of "smell mapping," a tool that can be used to explore aroma and flavor!

For Grade 6 to adult

Mittenfest VII is coming up soon!

Mittenfest is an annual local music festival held in Michigan and played by Michigan bands. The festival serves as a fundraiser for 826michigan, dedicating 100% of its profits to the non-profit organization which helps tutor students ages 6-18 with writing. 826michigan is part of a nationwide network of non-profits, started in San Francisco by the acclaimed author Dave Eggers. Last year, Mittenfest raised $21,290.00 for 826michigan, bringing the total raised over the last six years to $55,000.00!

For its seventh consecutive year running strong, Mittenfest is going to run a full 5 days, over which 50 Michigan bands will perform live, including Frontier Ruckus, Starling Electric, Shigeto, Patrick Elkins, and Our Brother the Native, just to name a few! To see the other 45 bands and a complete 5-day schedule, click here.

Mittenfest VII will be held this year at Woodruff's at 36 East Cross Street in Ypsilanti, starting Friday Dec. 28th and running through Tuesday Jan. 1st. Bands will starting playing at 5:30pm and will run through 12:30am each day. Tickets are $10/day or $82.60 for the full 5-day pass. It's only 9 days away - don't forget! - head on out next weekend to hear some great live music and support a great local organization!

You Wrote a Novel Now What? Revising and Submitting Your Work

Saturday, December 8 | 2:00-4:00 PM | Traverwood Program Room | Grades 6-Adults

Writers: here's your chance to get tips on revision and submitting your work for publication. Dan Wickett, co-founder and executive director of Dzanc Books, discusses what he looks for in submissions; what things automatically put a writer in a hole; and things he's learned about revisions from books that Dzanc has published.

Author, poet, and Pioneer and EMU creative writing teacher Jeff Kass will discuss revisions and what he's learned about submitting work. In April 2011 Dzanc books published Jeff’s book Knuckleheads. There will be plenty of time for Q & A with Dan and Jeff so bring your questions -- whether you are a writer, an aspiring writer, or just curious about the writing process!

This event is held in conjunction with November's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

December is Write a Friend Month

In the age of texting, Twitter, and email, letter-writing has become a lost art. Rediscover it by writing a heartfelt-note to distant family and friends on Letter Writing Day on December 7, during Write a Friend Month!

Learn how to compose a well-crafted letter with The Right Letter!: How to Communicate Effectively in a Busy World, or spruce up your grammar with It was the Best of Sentences, It was the Worst of Sentences. For teaching children the art of writing, try How to Write a Letter or How to Write Letters and Email.

If you want to get real fancy, how about trying your hand at calligraphy?

NaNoWriMo TGIO Celebration With Author Lara Zielin

Saturday, December 1 | 2:00-3:30 PM | Traverwood Branch | Program Room

TGIO (Thank God It's Over)! Celebrate and recognize the completion of novels by NaNoWriMo participants! Guest author Lara Zielin will share tips on how to get your novel published and the local NaNo organizer be our host. Enjoy refreshments and celebrate!

Join us - whether you were one of the NaNoWriMo participants or a person with a passion for writing! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a non-profit event that encourages teens and adults to tackle the challenge of writing a novel during the month of November.

Lara Zielin is the author of three young adult books. Her most recent book is The Waiting Sky. This event includes a book signing with Lara's books for sale.

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

Music And Pop Culture Writer Susan Whitall Visits

Thursday November 15, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Susan Whitall became the first woman to become editor of the irreverent Creem magazine in the late ‘70s. This rock journal was immortalized in the film “Almost Famous”.

Since the 1980s Susan has been a feature writer for the Detroit News, writing about pop culture, music and radio, often returning to stories about the R&B and soul music that came out of the Motor City.

Come hear Whitall discuss her career and amazing interviews!

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