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NaNoWriMo – The World Needs Your Novel

nanowrimo1

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is underway!  Maybe you’ve heard, or read, about NaNoWriMo somewhere, but you’re not entirely sure what it means.  Here are the details:

“On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30.” 

In 2012, 341,375 people participated!  NaNoWriMo, and the awesome community of people it encompasses, empowers and encourages creativity.  The NaNoWriMo website allows you to track your progress, get pep talks from authors, earn participant web badges and more, so be sure to check it out.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – East Liberty is ready to help you achieve your NaNoWriMo goals!  Join them this month for a NaNoWriMo Workshop hosted by The Literary Arts Boom (The LAB, not to be confused with The Labs @ CLP).

Check out the CLP – East Liberty workshops on these dates:

11/14 (Thurs), 4 – 6 pm
11/21 (Thurs), 4 – 6 pm
11/24 (Sun) TBD *Since we will NOT have a session on Thanksgiving, we’ll need to change the day/time/location of our last session.

If you’re interested in attending, please register here.

For more resources, check out the NaNoWriMo blog on Tumblrclpteens on Tumblr and these materials:

Reading & Writing This Week at CLP

I’m sure that by now, Teen Summer Reading (TSR) is old news.  However, if you haven’t signed up yet, I do encourage you to stop by your local library, say hi to your librarian, and sign up!  You can earn nifty prizes and free books, as well as an invitation to your branch’s spectacular End of Summer party just for teens.

If you’d like to share what you’re reading with other teens, look no further than Hazelwood’s Teen Lounge and Book Club on Tuesday, July 2 from 2-3pm.  Bring a book you are reading and share what you loved or hated about it over snacks, crafts and games.  Refreshments and free books are provided.

Reading memehttp://memebase.cheezburger.com/tag/reading

Let’s say you’ve been reading all summer long, and you figure that you’ve already read a fair amount of books by different authors, of varying genres and writing styles.  You figure it’s about time you try your hand at writing something of your own.  Look no further than East Liberty’s Creative Writing for Teens on Saturday, July 6 from 3-4pm.

This special creative writing workshop will feature special guest and YA author Siobhan Vivian, author of The List and Burn for Burn.  Not only do you get to meet this fabulous author, but she will also help you improve your writing!  Registration is required, so register here, or by calling 412-363-8232 or emailing barbert@carnegielibrary.org.

one does not simply write a novelhttp://writerswrite.co.za/writing-truths-16810

Happy reading & writing!

-Amy, CLP-Lawrenceville

Young Authors Give Back Tour Hits Brookline!

As the school year comes to a close I know many minds are roaming to the summertime… to Kennywood and Sandcastle, to staying up late and sleeping later.   You have worked hard and woken up early all year long and you deserve a little relaxation and inspiration!  Because we want you to start off summer the right way we’ve put together an amazing opportunity for any teen who loves to read or write.

young author'sThe Young Authors Give Back Tour is coming to Brookline Library June 6th!

The Young Authors Give Back Tour is your chance to learn from published authors. Thursday at 4:30 you’ll have the chance to talk to four newly published authors about their experiences, and inspirations.   Learn more about the craft of writing from authors who have first-hand experience. You’ll spend 1-2 hrs covering plot, world-building, characters, pacing & point of view, and, most importantly, how to get published once the writing is done? Workshop participants will receive a free book! Open to ages 13-18. Please note registration is required, and space is limited.

In the second half of the event join us for an All Ages Book Signing!
From 6-6:30 you can come meet the authors of the Young Authors Give Back Tour and get your books signed! Signing is open to all ages and registration is not required. Books will be available for purchase, provided by Amazing Books.

~Brooke, South Side

April Means National Poetry Month!

Most people think of April as the month when the cold, blustery, snowy days of winter lapse into warm, sunny spring.  I’m as ready as anyone else for a little vitamin D, but to me April also means something else.  April is National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month is a huge celebration of poems and poets and there’s no better way to kick things off than by writing a little poetry yourself!

The library has lots of resources to help you get started.  From books of poetry to books on how to write poetry, check out these titles.

The Rose That Grew From Concrete-Tupac Shakur

poetry handbook

To help you get your creative juices flowing, read these group poems by the Eighth Graders at Pittsburgh Classical Academy.

blog poemRemember to check out the writing workshops happening around town at CLP libraries and don’t forget to enter your masterpiece in the Ralph Munn contest!

Brooke-CLP, South Side

Ralph Munn Creative Writing Programs

The Ralph Munn Creative Writing Contest is an annual contest for high school students (grades 9-12) in Allegheny County.  Submit a piece of creative writing (short prose, poetry, or screenwriting) by the May 1st deadline for a chance to win a first place prize of $250 and to be considered for publication!  Click here to learn more.

If you need inspiration, attend one of the 22 Ralph Munn Creative Writing Workshops offered this month at our branches.  If you live near CLP-Lawrenceville, join us on April 8th from 4:30-5:30 for our Creative Writing Workshop.  If you need even more inspiration, check out these creative writing titles!

Screenwriting for Teens

Spilling Ink

A Teen's Guide to Getting Published

The Poet's Companion

Happy writing!

Amy, CLP-Lawrencevile

So, What’s Your Story? Check Out A Memoir Today.

It’s easy to see why Noah St. John has been showing up all over the internet lately. His story, told with beauty, passion, humor and honesty is the story of Family, whatever its shape or size.  It’s about staying together or breaking apart, and that resonates…
Reading other people’s stories offers a glimpse into their world.  You can see what life was like a hundred years ago and in another country.  And you can marvel at how someone so different can have the same fears and hopes as your own.
Check out this great list of memoirs on the CLP Teensburgh Website, tune in to hear amazing storytellers entertain or stop by your library and grab one of these great memoirs off the shelf.

  never fall

One of the most freeing things anyone can do is tell their story in their own words.  Life stories have been around for as long as there have been people to tell them.  Telling your story as poetry, memoir or disguised as fiction gives you a reason to focus on the events that changed your life and can be incredibly liberating.  You can write your story down in the form of a diary or journal meant just for you, or tell it to the world.   If getting your story out there sounds like an exciting opportunity check out Teen Ink for a really cool venue to publish your work.  Either way writing down your experience is a great way to reflect and remember.

Happy Weekend,

Brooke~CLP, South Side

Pittsburgh: haunted by historical photographs and documentary poetry!!

Have you ever taken a walk down a Pittsburgh street and wondered what wonderful or terrible things may have happened there in years past?  There’s a way to maybe find out.

crazy clown time

Go to Retrographer to see the past overlaid upon the present.  There, over 5,000 historic images of Pittsburgh have been tagged to the locations at which they were taken.  You can see that in 1935, there was a particularly scary Halloween Party  happening in front of the fountain at the Frick Fine Arts building (read: clowns) and that trolley car tracks used to criss-cross Centre Street.  You can check out how bustling East Liberty looked in 1928, and a road crew working in Homewood, around 1910, looking towards some very familiar rowhouses on Hamilton Ave. that I drive past almost every day of my life.

Or maybe you’d like to take a walk and read poems about the streets on which you’re wandering?  Then get yourself over to Public Record, a project done in 2010-11 by Justin Hopper in connection with Encyclopedia Destructica and Deeplocal.

Hopper uses poetry to expose history.  You can download an iPhone app that will show you a map of Pittsburgh and the locations that correspond to the poems, written about what daily life was like in 19th century Pittsburgh.  Or you can download the MP3s for free.

I hope these sites will inspire you to go create your own Pittsburgh-centered creative works.  Find some history there, at the library, or the Heinz History Center Archives, and make it your own. Submit it to the Ralph Munn Creative Writing Contest. Record it in words, film or music at the Labs.   Find the cutest historical boy from Historic Pittsburgh and send the link to My Daguerreotype Boyfriend.

Happy exploring,

-Tessa, CLP-East Liberty

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