Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Get your verse on for National Poetry Month!


April is National Poetry Month! If you are a poet and everyone knows it, a secret scribbler, a reader but not a writer, a bard (okay you get the point!) this month is for you. The website home of National Poetry Month, part of, shares some nifty ways to celebrate like carrying a poem in your pocket on April 18, taking place in 30 days of activities around poetry, and subscribing to an emailed poem-a-day. Here are some more fun resources to keep you immersed in verse all month long:

This website is the headquarters for the Poetry Foundation and is totally bursting with all kinds of poetic goodness. Not only is it a great place to visit if you’re a poetry fan, but if you ever find yourself needing to write about poets or poetry for an English paper, head over here to read poems, read about poets, and more.


Run by the Poetry Foundation, this app is completely awesome. You can shake your phone to find a randomly chosen poem (like a poetry Magic 8 Ball!), search for poems by memorable lines, and filter out poems about specific topics for when you need to find just the right words to express how you’re feeling.

30/30 Poetry Contest:

Whether you are just entering the poetic arena or are an old hand at writing free verse but need some new inspiration, this contest is a challenge! Sign up to receive a daily email throughout April with a one-line prompt – something like “from start to finish”, which was the very first prompt for the month – to use as inspiration, riff on, ponder, etc. Write a short poem and post it to the 30/30 website by noon the following day. You’ll sharpen your writing and have some fun!

Need to get your poetry in paper form? Check out this list of Novels-in-Verse (yep, those are poetry), or just stop into the library to explore the poetry section (811 in Dewey Decimal), biographies of poets, and more!



New Books Highlight: New Books, New Year, New You!

This week I’m showcasing some new nonfiction at SPL that has to do with self-betterment/inspiration, just because it’s that time of year when we all think about such things. Yeah, I know: no one really keeps their New Year’s resolutions. But, it’s still worth it to start the year off with an inspiring book or two. Who knows, maybe this really will be the year you achieve your dreams! YOLO!

New Year’s Resolution #1: Write. You should read…

Just Write, Here’s How! by Walter Dean Myers

Myers’ slim volume of writing advice – Myers is, by the by, one of the biggest YA authors of the 90s-2000s – packs a punch. Myers gives you some great prompts and practical tips, while also filling you in on a little bit of his own experience and what works for him.

New Year’s Resolution #2: Volunteer and get involved more. You should read…

A Random Book About the Power of Anyone by Talia Y. Leman

High school student Talia Leman shares her random and awesome experiences in harnessing the power of herself and kids like her. When she was in the 5th grade she got inspired by the tragedies in the wake of way that Hurricane Katrina affected the people of the south, and took action to raise over $5 million with the help of other kids around the U.S. She was in 5th grade, you guys! Her wonderful writing is really off-beat and funny, and she will inspire you.

New Year’s Resolution #3: Understand others, understand yourself. You should read…

The Letter Q: Queer Writers Notes to Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon

Queer writers from all genres and types of books come together in this anthology to share their experiences and their worlds through writing letters about the future to their younger selves. This is the ultimate “It gets better…” read and will help you find your path to hope and understanding this year, whether or not you are LGBTQ.

So read on and challenge yourself to keep those resolutions!


Happy NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo sounds like a Pokemon character or something (right?!), but is actually the cleverly shortened version of National Novel Writing Month, which occurs every November and is widely celebrated. What is NaNoWriMo about? It’s about writing novels and, more generally, celebrating the written word.

NaNoWriMo challenges everyone to put pen to paper and/or fingers to keys (or screen if you’re a tablet person) and write a novel (or 50,000 words of one) in just 30 days. Can it be done? Sure! Check out the NaNoWriMo website for inspiration and information on what the month is all about, including tips from real authors, and lists of authors who have completed the challenge and the books that have resulted. The Young Writers Program, sponsored by NaNoWriMo, is geared towards teens, with a Dare Machine which features a new writing-related dare every day and interviews with awesome authors like Ransom Riggs.

For more writing motivation check out the display in the Teen Space at SPL featuring young authors who hit it big. You might just have an author inside of you, and these famous young folk (Kody Keplinger and Christopher Paolini, among others) will inspire you to find out.

If you decide to take the plunge and try to write a novel this month (even if you don’t but are still interested in writing), hunt down these recommended books for even more guidance:

Finding Your Writer’s Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction (Call # 808.042 F828)

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (Call # 92 K54)

Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write (Call # YA 808.3 H241)

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and Those Who Want to Write Them (Call # 808.02 P966)

Go forth and write!