Hark, Young Writers!

Shakespeare_Selfie_2016_620Calling all young writers in Grades 7 – 12….it’s the 2016 CBC Books Shakespeare Selfie Challenge!! No, they don’t want you to take a photo of yourself dressed like Shakespeare…they want you to do a modern take on one of Shakespeare’s best ideas….the soliloquy! After all, Shakespeare was doing his best to speak to his audience through them, just like young people do with their camera phones today.

Drop by the website, click on the link, and download the topic PDF.  Then, write 200-400 words on the subject, and you’re on your way! There are great examples on the site, so you won’t be wondering just how to do this, and you’ll even get to know the judge a bit.  Did I mention there is an iPad mini up for grabs for each age group? Why are you waiting? Go and do this now!

Find out everything at the CBC Books Shakespeare Selfie Challenge website.

Now, go forth, and write thee a soliloquy!

They’re Writing!

12819314_10153891925659299_7508758285292817912_oWe have lots of participants in Camp NaNoWriMo again this April. Many of our library writers have done this before, but we also have three new people who are going to do their best to write books this month. It’s a hard task, but it’s also a very rewarding challenge!

And later this Spring, we’re hoping to debut a fun new aspect of our library writing group. (Hint: you’ll get to “meet” them and see what we’re all about.) So, stay tuned for more fun happenings at the library this month. And if you happen to see someone working on a book while you’re at the library, cheer them on. They’ll appreciate it!

April and Camp NaNoWriMo at the Library

Write a novel(1)Our post on Friday was all about our writers group at the library. But we’ve also got a strong following with members who have participated in past National Novel Writing Month events, and who might be writing again in April.

However, we’d LOVE to bring in new people to try their hand at writing a book next month with the library. Absorbing them into the established writing group has been a little bit difficult when it comes to talking about NaNoWriMo, so we’re going to open this Camp NaNoWriMo Kick Off event to new members only. (Don’t worry, if you already write with us, we’ll have something different to talk about earlier on.) We’ll answer questions, talk about the goals, and purpose of trying to write a book in April, and hopefully meet new writers in our community. It’s going to be fun…and a great challenge!

If you have any questions, you can always give us a call at 257-2702, or drop by the library to pick up a handout to get you ready to write a book in April.  We’d love for you to come to the Camp NaNoWriMo Kick-Off on Tuesday, March 22nd from 6-7pm, too! No registration is necessary…just come by that evening.

We want you to finally write that book in 2016!

Writing at the Library

WritingDid you know we have an ongoing writers group at the library? We started almost two years ago when we were approached about participating in National Novel Writing Month. Little did we know we’d have so many people participate and write more than one novel over many NaNoWriMo events! There are lots of writers in our community!

Our group consists of adults from all walks of life, and we’re looking for new members. Prior to our first meeting, almost no one had finished a novel on their own. But we’ve done workshops, writing challenges, and held many group meetings and our writers have completed novels, plays, poetry, memoirs, and even children’s books! It doesn’t matter what you write, we’re happy to have new members.

This is not a typical critique group where everyone submits work for criticism and editing. We are here to support each other, help with ideas, create long lasting friendships, and get to know people who are interested in writing. If you’re a more advanced writer with published books, plenty of critique partners, and workshop experience, this might not be the group for you, but you’re welcome to try us out.

In the next several months, we’re excited to start up a blog that will allow us to post some of our work, talk about the library writing group, and let everyone know what’s happening. We’ve also got plans to participate in upcoming NaNoWriMo events and maybe even a contest or two.

If you’d like to know more, drop by our March session on Tuesday, March 22nd from 1-2pm at the library. We’d love to grow our group a little more and get to know some more writers in our community.  Give us a call at 257-2702 for more information.

NaNoWriMo and the Library

crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafbOnce again, we’re finishing up a NaNoWriMo program at the library in a few days. We have a great group of writers who have participated in many of our National Novel Writing Month programs, and this session was filled with a fantastic group as usual.

What have we been working on this month?

  • We have 11 participants who are either writing a new novel, working on a previous book, or plotting a new book for 2016.
  • Since we began this program, we’ve had 10 novels completed, from thrillers, to fantasy, to romantic comedies.
  • We are busy prepping for a fun creativity workshop in the new year that will help our writers—and anyone else who feels stifled in their creative zone—to work through the block and start creating again.
  • Due to popular demand, our Carleton Place Public Library writers are working on plans to start a writing blog to tell our community about what we do, and allow new members to check us out before coming to one of our meetings.
  • And our future plans include a community writing project that we hope will allow other library patrons to see exactly what we’re working on at the library!

If you’re interested in joining our writing group, you can send us a quick email to find out more (cplibrarywriters@yahoo.ca), drop by the library for more information on NaNoWriMo and how we participate at the library, or watch for one of our upcoming sessions in the new year, listed in our Winter Newsletter.

On a fun note, our writers finishing up books this month are going to be heading into the last four hours of the event with a fun write-in at the library…until midnight! We’ll have word sprints, prizes, and probably lots of coffee to keep us all going.

This is a great group of people at all experience levels and writing many different things. If you need some support to help you follow through with your writing plans, this might be the group for you. If you’re looking for some detailed criticism, we can also probably help you with that, too, although we’re not a critique group per se. Regardless, we’d love to have you at one of our meetings if you’re able to attend.

See you writing at the library!

 

How to Tell a Story

8631214f-e8d3-40db-937d-c846b748b766Recently, at one of our NaNoWriMo group meetings, we talked about how to put together a story, and the art of the first line. While I spend a great deal of time with my young writers talking about elements of a story, and working specifically on first lines, I’ve never really done this with the adults.

But I came across this fabulous new book called, HOW TO TELL A STORY, by Daniel Nayeri, which is part book, part game…and now I want to use it everywhere! This book is used as a resource to allow children to learn how to construct a story using 20 interactive colour-coded blocks to help them along. Used in big groups or small, it’s a great way to get children of all ages to think about how stories work, and why they won’t work. I’m pretty sure our adults would have fun with this as an exercise as well.

You can see more about this interesting new teachable here:

Doesn’t this sound fun? I can’t wait to see what everyone writes!

Do You Have a Plan?

PLANI have written this blog since 2007. It’s a wonderful way for us to share information about our library, but also to connect our readers with fun or informative posts about all things bookish. (And not so bookish….we’ve had a lot of posts about Star Wars, apparently!)

I also have a personal blog, and write for another group blog, so you could say that blogging takes up a lot of my time. (Although I must admit, the last post in my personal blog was from—er, early October.)

Recently, we’ve had discussions with our adult writing group at the library about starting a blog, and what types of information we’d like to get out there to the public about writing at the Carleton Place Public Library. It’s in the beginning stages, really, without much of a plan yet, but I know that having a direction, and getting everyone on board with the same goals is going to make things a lot easier in the long run. Which made me very happy to see this informative post on By Regina regarding having a blog business plan.

A lot of the Regina’s plan involves making money, which is not the intention of our blog at all, but most of the advice is really, really good. And if you’re considering ways to make your personal blog even better, you could do a lot of good by trying to implement a few of the ideas.

My favourites?

  • Having a blog style guide to help you keep the look of your blog consistent and polished.
  • Tracking your monthly stats/analytics to see where you are generating traffic, and where things need to be improved. Stats can really tell you a lot about your content, and how you might manage slow spots.
  • Social promotion. We don’t do enough of this at the library, but promoting blog posts on other social media sites in a timely way, will bring in different readers.
  • Have a posting schedule.

There are plenty of great ideas here, but you can take what you like and mix and match. Also, if you followed a previous post about intentional ignorance, this might be too exhausting to work through. Even if you take one thing from this, it will improve your blogging greatly. Then….file it away and forget about it until you need it again.