MELANIE MINTY: Young writers, Surrey Libraries has a contest for you

Also in the works is the 'We Are Newton!' anthology project

Get that computer fired up for Surrey Libraries' Young Adult Writing Contest.

SURREY — I love to read books. Notebooks, not tweets, postings or texts – although they are sometimes useful. No, I mean real printed books. I know you can get books and all online, but I want a real book. Genre doesn’t matter, it just has to be well written, interesting and with good character development in non-fiction. There should be a beginning, middle and an end – a story, in other words. It’s lovely to hold a book, feel the texture of the paper, admire the font and the cover artwork. Then read. It can be so absorbing that the rest of the world is gone; I have become part of the world created in a book.

It is a blessing that there are so many gifted writers. Not everyone can write a novel, of course, but maybe we all have a story we want to tell. Write it down, share it. Well, like so many art forms, it needs nourishing and mentoring. Surrey Libraries is promoting its Young Adult Writing Contest, and if you were born between 1998 and 2004, you might want to consider entering. You have until next Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 10 a.m. to submit your entry – electronically.

Ah well, but there it is.

Entry is free, and you can enter once to each of the three categories (comics, stories and poems). There are cash prizes for first, second and third place in each category.

All entries will be judged on originality and style, including grammar and spelling. Entries that do not meet the criteria will be disqualified without notice, and that includes if you submit too many entries. So do pay attention to all the rules, which are posted at Surreylibraries.ca/programs-services/4944.aspx.

All entrants must have a valid Surrey Libraries’ card in their name. If you don’t have one, do visit your local library. Breathe in the book atmosphere.

If you have a story to tell about the Newton neighborhood, here is another opportunity to get your word smithing an outing, and for this event, age is no obstacle. You are invited to submit a story or poem to the “We Are Newton!” anthology project, to celebrate the people and places in this up-and-coming Surrey neighbourhood. The stories can be fact or fiction, long or short, stories or poems, but they must take place in Newton. All ages and backgrounds, are welcome to submit. Submission deadline is Oct. 2, and the finished book will be the first to go in the Little Free Library to be installed in The Grove in the fall. For submission guidelines, read the blog post at Friendsofthegrove.ca.

The Surrey Muse group has generously offered to help people write and review their submissions if you are interested. Surrey Muse is initiated by writers, performers and artists who want to excel in this art, and who wish to bring together through art and literature Surrey’s culturally diverse communities. Go to Surreymuse.wordpress.com/program.

RELEATED STORY: Surrey Muse group unites poets, writers, performers.

Of course, libraries are about more than just books, and I was amazed by what is offered at our Surrey libraries. They even have literacy programs for adults, and computer help. It’s a wonderful world inside the libraries – and once you have your card you can visit the library online, just for the digital generation. It’s all about words and writing them down. May the written word live long and prosper.

melminty@telus.net

 

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