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"


Writing Inspiration for Teens

Working on or even just thinking about writing a short story for the “It’s All Write!” Teen Short Story Contest but need some inspiration? AADL has a lot of books with authors’ thoughts on writing:

King of the mild frontier: an ill-advised autobiography comes directly from Chris Crutcher, author of Deadline and Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories (providing fuel for the movie Angus). He shares details of his difficult childhood as well as the cathartic effects of writing.

Hole in my life by Jack Gantos combines harsh truths with aspiring hope. He discusses his 15 months in federal prison and how he turned his life around through writing and attending college. Gantos is well-known for Dead End in Norvelt, Rotten Ralph, and the Joey Pigza series.

Still need more inspiration? Check out this list of inspirational books with writing prompts and other teens’ stories. In honor of yesterday’s “John Green Day” at Mental Floss, you can read some of his quotes on writing.

Amazon Teen Bestseller: Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students

Currently #15 on Amazon's list of bestselling teen books is the Kindle edition of Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students, by Mignon Fogarty. The author is the creator of The Grammar Girl website and Quick and Dirty Tips Network. Here's what School Library Journal said about this book: "“Budding writers will find it invaluable.”

ACT Plus Writing Tips With Kaplan Experts

Tuesday January 14, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

Brainstorming, organizing, and writing an essay in just 30 minutes is a daunting task, and that's just what test takers will face during the ACT Plus Writing test. But don't worry, we've got you covered - at this program, a Kaplan expert will guide you through the process of preparing to write an essay for the March ACT Plus Writing.

This event is intended for teens (grades 9-12).

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

Do you like to write? Do you have an idea that needs to get out of your head, or something already written that could use some editing? Then prepare for the 22nd annual "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest, which will begin accepting submissions on January 27!

Students in grades 6-12 may submit a short story according to the 2014 guidelines from Monday, January 27 through Friday, March 14. Click here to learn more about the contest and view previous contest winners. Judges will choose the top three stories from each category (grades 6-8, 9-10, and 11-12) to receive cash prizes totaling $1500. Stay tuned to find out who will be on this year's panel of judges!

The speaker for this year's final awards ceremony on May 10 will be Michigan author K.A. Barson! She recently published the popular book, "45 Pounds (More or Less)."

We look forward to reading your story! For inspiration and ideas, check out the writing resources guide for teens.

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