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IAW 2015 Get to Know the Judges: Rachel DeWoskin

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 2:31pm

Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of narrowing down our contestants. Our next judge is [http://www.racheldewoskin.com/|Rachel DeWoskin].

Originally hailing from right here in Ann Arbor (!), DeWoskin is an author, poet, and teacher of fiction and memoir at the University of Chicago. She divides her time between Chicago and Beijing, where she once starred in a Chinese soap opera called “Foreign Babes in Beijing.” [b: 1242326|Her memoir of the same name] was released in 2005.

In addition to her memoir and numerous essays and articles published by a variety of magazines, DeWoskin has published three novels. Her first two—[b: 1335604|REPEAT AFTER ME] (2009) and [b: 1374274|BIG GIRL SMALL] (2011) [set in Ann Arbor, and known for its crossover appeal with teens]--are adult novels, but her most recent book, [b: 1459999|BLIND] (2014) is a foray into young adult. In BLIND, a terrible accident leaves fifteen-year-old Emma Silver without eyesight. She works hard to adapt to her new life, but just as she’s beginning to recover her friendships and resume high school, a classmate is found dead of apparent suicide. Emma must navigate not just her own recovery process but that of her community in the wake of these tragedies.

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A3BLN- Promoting Disability and Diversity in the Workplace

Tue, 05/12/2015 - 9:45am

This Friday, May 15, join the Ann Arbor Area Business Leadership Network (A3BLN), hosted this month by the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living and Washtenaw Community College Human Resources, for the unique opportunity to learn from employers & employees about ways to improve work opportunities for people with disabilities.

A panel of employers and employees from NuStep, Select Ride, and the University of Michigan will discuss the benefits of a diversified workforce. Sessions will be lead by human resources, legal and advocacy experts sharing their views regarding hiring persons with disabilities and ADA accommodations in the workplace.

Date: Friday, May 15th
Time: 10:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m.
Location: WCC Morris Lawrence auditorium, 4800 E. Huron River Drive

This event is open to all business leaders, employers & current or potential employees with disabilities. There is no fee to attend, but registration is required- the first 100 registrants will receive a complimentary lunch!

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IAW 2015 Get to Know the Judges: Lish McBride

Wed, 05/06/2015 - 12:52pm

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Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of narrowing down our contestants. Our next judge is [http://www.lishmcbride.com/|Lish McBride].

McBride is from the Pacific Northwest (specifically in Seattle these days) and likes it there even though it rains a lot. She has a day job working at Third Place Books and holds an MFA in fiction from the University of New Orleans. She's also a big fan of wearing pajamas as often as possible.

Her debut novel, [b:1378006|HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCER] (2010), tells the story of Seattle fast-wood worker Sam who discovers that he is a necromancer. His powers, though, are latent, and he’s going to need a lot of help figuring out this new way of … er, living, before a fellow necromancer who sees Sam as a threat to his business takes Sam out of the picture. It was a finalist for the ALA's William C. Morris Debut Award. [b:1420507|NECROMANCING THE STONE] (2012) is the sequel. McBride’s most recent book, [b:1461424|FIREBUG] (2014), is about pyrokinetic hitman Ava who escapes to a life on the road with her friends in attempts to escape the magical mafia she contracts with. A sequel, PYROMANTIC, is due out in 2016. FIREBUG and its sequel take place in the same world as HOLD ME CLOSER.

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Nature Walk @ Barton Nature Area this Thursday

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:29am

[img_assist|nid=315140|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=75]The Ann Arbor District Library and [:http://www.a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation/nap/Pages/NaturalAreaPreservation.aspx|Natural Area Preservation] team up each year to offer a series of informative walks at local nature areas throughout the summer. This year's first nature walk will take place this Thursday, May 7 from 7:00-8:30pm at the Barton Nature Area.

Barton Nature Area is a 102-acre park located along the Huron River divided into two sections. A variety of ecosystems can be seen in Barton, including old field, prairie, wet shrubland, mesic forest and emergent marsh. A representative from NAP will lead the walk, offer information about native plants and animals, and about the landscape, and answer questions. We'll meet in the parking lot off of Huron River Drive, just north of Bird Rd. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes and bring water if you'd like.

Other walks this summer will take place at Argo Nature Area, Furstenburg Nature Area and Black Pond Woods.

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IAW 2015 Get to Know the Judges: Jennifer Armentrout

Wed, 04/29/2015 - 3:20pm

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Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of narrowing down our contestants. Our next judge is [http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/|Jennifer Armentrout].

Armentrout hails from West Virginia and writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance novels. Under the pen name J. Lynn, she has also written several adult and new adult novels. She enjoys watching bad zombie flicks and spending time with her husband and her Jack Russell named Loki.

The library owns [a:Armentrout, Jennifer|many of Armentrout's books], including the Covenant series (begin with [b:1445866|DAIMON]) the Lux series (begin with [b:1423405|OBSIDIAN]), and the Dark Elements series (begin with [b:1448764|WHITE HOT KISS]). Her stand-alone book [b:1449424|DON'T LOOK BACK] (2014) was nominated for the 2014 Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. In it, seventeen-year-old Sam has what she thinks is the perfect life--hot boyfriend, popularity, wealth--until one night she and her best friend Cassie disappear. When Sam returns, she has amnesia: no memory of what has happened or where Cassie is. Realizing she wasn't a very good person before her disappearance, Sam is grateful for the chance to start anew, but snippets of memory are coming back to her, and the more she remembers, the more danger she's in from someone who wants to make sure that night is kept secret forever.

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"It's All Write!" Finalists Posted!

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 11:40am

[img_assist|nid=271050|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=100]The [http://www.aadl.org/events/itsallwrite|finalists of the 2015 "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest] are now officially posted! Thank you to all of the writers who participated. This year was the most competitive yet, with more entries than ever before and even better stories.

All writers are invited to the [http://www.aadl.org/node/265530|Awards Celebration] on Sunday, June 7 with [a:donovan, rebecca|Rebecca Donovan] for writing inspiration and delicious refreshments! Winners will be announced at the Awards Celebration and will be posted online on Monday, June 8.

Don't forget to keep on writing, writers of Ann Arbor and beyond! As [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/keyword/neil%20gaiman?age=teen|Neil Gaiman] so eloquently says, "The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." To keep up your skills all spring and summer long, check out AADL's list of [http://www.aadl.org/files/Writing%20Resource%20Guide%202015.pdf|writing resources] and [http://www.aadl.org/user/lists/36585|books for teens]!

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2015 "Write On!" 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Contest Winners!

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 3:03pm

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Congratulations to the [:events/writeon| 2015 “Write On!” 3rd-5th Grade Short Story Contest Winners!]

After a record 138 entries, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place stories were chosen from each grade, and the 2015 winners were announced at the Awards Celebration held on April 19th!

Come back soon to read this year’s short story submissions on the library website!

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IAW 2015 Get to Know the Judges: Dan Wells

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 2:20pm

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Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of narrowing down our contestants. Our next judge is [http://www.thedanwells.com/|Dan Wells].

An avid reader and rabid gamer, Wells writes in a variety of genres, from dark humor to science fiction to supernatural thrillers. He grew up in the United States and spent copious amounts of time at his local library as a child. Although he didn't read much horror and didn't expect to write it, Wells somehow ended up doing just that, evidenced in his first book about teenage sociopath John Cleaver in I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER (2009). He is also the author of the young adult dystopian science fiction series called the Partials Sequence, starting with [b:1419448|PARTIALS](2012) and followed by and [b:1425135|FRAGMENTS] and [b:1449448|RUINS] (2014). This series follows the teenage medic-in-training Kira Walker, who lives on the ravaged eastern seaboard of the US after a war between humans and an engineered race of organic beings that look human devastates the globe. North American survivors of the war and of the weaponized virus RM have gathered on Long Island to recover, but time is running out. Immunity to the virus has not been born into the human race in over a decade, and their numbers are dwindling. Kira must take it upon herself to save her people, discovering secret connections along the way between humans and Partials. PARTIALS ultimately must ask: What does it mean to be human?

Wells co-hosts (with author Brandon Sanderson, webcomic creator Howard Tayler, and author/puppeteer Mary Robinette Kowal) a weekly podcast about writing called "Writing Excuses." A list of his favorite things includes the movie Mary Poppins, the book Perfume by Patrick Suskind, and the word "defenestrate."

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IAW 2015 Get to Know the Judges: Elizabeth Wein

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 3:38pm

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Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of narrowing down our contestants. Our next judge is [http://www.elizabethwein.com/|Elizabeth Wein].

Wein's name may be familiar to you, or at least her big hit [b:1408309|CODE NAME VERITY] (2012) might be. An Edgar Award winner and a Printz Honor Book, CODE NAME VERITY is about a WWII-era spy codenamed "Verity," whose plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France, where she is captured by the Gestapo. To save herself from a grisly end, she agrees to confess her mission, and draws out her life story and the deep friendship with the pilot Maddie that led her to this point. The second book in the series is [b:1436525|ROSE UNDER FIRE] (2013), and the third book, out later this year, is [b:1468895|BLACK DOVE, WHITE RAVEN] (2015). In BLACK DOVE, 1920's stunt pilots Rhoda and Delia perform masterful feats in the air together but face mounting prejudice, as one of them is black and the other is white. When Delia dies, Rhoda takes her own child, Em, and Delia's child, Teo, to Ethiopia in an attempt to live a normal life. When Italy threatens an invasion of Ethiopia, the emperor calls on the famous pilot for help, and the children find themselves swept up in the crisis. Wein has also written a series of books (available now as ebooks) called [http://www.elizabethwein.com/lion-hunters-series|THE LION HUNTERS], which draws on Arthurian legend and the historical Ethiopian kingdom of Aksum.

Wein has lived in New York, England, Jamaica, Pennsylvania, and most recently in Scotland. She is intensely interested in flying (a theme you may pick up from her books) and has a private pilot's license. She also has a PhD in Folklore and has published several papers on the topic.

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Get to Know the Judges: Len Vlahos

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 5:32pm

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Leading up to the It's All Write Teen Short Story Contest celebration on June 7 (mark that on your calendar!), we'll be posting information about the judges who have the difficult task of narrowing down our contestants. Our next judge is [http://www.lenvlahos.com/|Len Vlahos].

Vlahos is the father of two boys, an insomniac (those two things related, perhaps?), and a big fan of naps, John Green, the music service Pandora, and indie book stores and record stores. His debut book [b:1445898|THE SCAR BOYS] came out last year and was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award. The book is one that Vlahos calls "quasi-autobiographical" and is the coming-of-age story of Harry Jones and the power of music and friendship to heal wounds. Written as if it were a college admissions, THE SCAR BOYS looks back with humor and heart on Harry's life, starting from the incident when he was eight years old that left him scarred and ostracized, to middle school when he starts up a band with the guy who saved him from bullies, and up through high school when he experiences first love.

Vlahos's second book, HOUSE OF STONE, was recently acquired for publication by Bloomsbury. The tentative publication date is winter 2017.