Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Category: Pencil it in your diaries Page 1 of 3

Books Alive: Damien Wilkins and the Subtle Art of Surprise

The announcement of the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults draws nigh! To celebrate, we’ve invited YA Fiction Award nominee Damien Wilkins (Aspiring, 2019) to run an awesome creative writing workshop for teens called ‘The Subtle Art of Surprise.’ How does language do its tricks? How do we harness its power to pull our readers in? And once we’ve pulled them in, how do we keep them guessing as to what will happen next?

The answers to these questions and more will be yours, should you attend the workshop! Deets below:

What: The Subtle Art of Surprise with Damien Wilkins
Where: Johnsonville Library at Waitohi Community Hub
When: Friday 7 August, 4.00pm

Sadly, we cannot guarantee pizza for this event, but we can guarantee intellectual enlightenment and snacks. Oh, how the snacks will flow. What more could you possibly need?

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s an excerpt from our blog post about the NZ Book Awards where we talk about Damien’s book, Aspiring, and its general awesomeness:

Aspiring / Wilkins, Damien
Our thoughts: We loved the verbosity and relatability of 15-year-old Ricky’s near-constant internal monologue throughout this book — it’s full of the kinds of observations about life in a small town that we recognise and empathise with. It’s exciting to see the author’s bold and unpretentious voice applied to young adult themes and characters for the first time in this book, and we’re hoping there’s more to come in this space in the future!

Pete’s was where I had an after-school job. There was no one at the restaurant called Pete. The owner’s name was Garth but he hadn’t got around to changing the name. He didn’t want to climb on a ladder and paint it up. ‘Besides,’ Garth said, ‘who’d want to come to a place called Garth’s? Sounds like someone clearing his throat.’

I wouldn’t have needed a ladder.

— Damien Wilkins, Aspiring, Massey University Press, 2020.

Waitohi Youth Nights Return!

Now that we’re all done with that business of emerging, blinking, into the sunlight following the national lockdown, a lot of our regular events and programmes are getting back underway. Happily, this includes our regular Youth Nights at Johnsonville Library at Waitohi Community Hub!

‘What is Youth Night?’ I hear you plaintively ask. ‘Why would I spend my Saturday night in a library of all places?’ Well, friends. Perhaps a more apt question is ‘what isn’t Youth Night?’ We play games, we make music, we watch movies, we debate the ins and outs of LGBTQ+ representation in contemporary media (this one is optional), we try to beat each other’s high scores in Beat Saber, we laugh, we cry, we rank the characters of the classic 1990s cartoon Gargoyles in order of hotness (Goliath and Demona come in at joint first place, obviously, with everyone else trailing a distant second), and most importantly, we eat pizza.

Our Youth Nights are totally free (pizza included!), but you do need to be 14+ in order to come, so please bring your student ID. Once you’re in, our spaces are all yours. Youth Nights are on the first Saturday of every month, from 5.00-8.00pm. The first one since lockdown is this Saturday, the 1st of August. See you there!

Got A Month? Get Writing with CampNaNo!

Today is the first day of April. That means a lot of things for a lot of people: pleas for no pranks, people ignoring those pleas, and the sixth day of lockdown here in New Zealand.

For many around the world, though, it is also the start of CampNaNoWriMo, which itself is a spin-off of the November National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo for short. Unlike the classic NaNoWriMo, where the goal is 50,000 words of a new draft, CampNaNo is far more flexible. You can continue a project, write multiple short stories, do editing and rewrites, and set your own goal for the whole thing. Think 50,000 words is far too much, and just want to get a solid start on that novel? 20,000 is grand. Struggling through that finale? If you’re sure it’s just 10,000 between you and typing ‘the end’, set that for your goal.

Best of all, you don’t have to go it alone. Unique to CampNaNo is the cabin feature – writing groups where you can discuss your project and cheer each other on. So why not gather up a group of your friends and get writing socially even when you are distanced physically? There’s plenty of resources available for teens as well, from workbooks to pep talks from famous novelists.

Whether you’re the next teen author like Hannah Moskowitz or Kody Keplinger, or feeling a little like teenage Mary Shelley when she created Frankenstein and the Monster during the Year Without A Summer, each novel begins with an idea and putting words on the page.

We’ve set up a WCL Teen Writers classroom group as well as a Discord server if you want to join us on our month-long writing journey – we will be writing as well, so you won’t be alone. If you are interested, either Facebook message or email us with your details (if you’re a WCL member, include your card number — if not, let us know which library you belong to), and once confirmed we will send out an invitation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Summer Scribes at Karori Library

Do you ever look outside during these idyllic summer months and think to yourself, “What a perfect opportunity to go to the library and hone my writing skills?” Many of us at the library (especially this librarian, who promptly burns to a crisp upon setting foot outside between the months of December and March) sympathise — so during the month of January, we’ve arranged the perfect programme for you.

Summer Scribes — following on from the immensely popular Winter Writers series of workshops held last year — is a series of writing workshops for teens designed to help you develop your individual voice in writing, whether in prose, poetry, or any other writing style you please. Check the details below:

What? Summer Scribes
Where? Karori Library, 1st floor nonfiction area
When? Every Tuesday in January, 3:00pm

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

I’ll leave you with the aptly-titled — and, as you’ll see, totally gorgeous — poem by the late Tom Leonard (it helps if you read it with a strong Scottish accent):

A Summer’s Day

yir eyes ur
eh
a mean yir

pirrit this wey
ah thingk yir
byewtifl like ehm

fact
fact a thingk yir
ach a luvyi thahts

thahts
jist thi wey it is like
thahts ehm
aw ther iz ti say

(© Tom Leonard, 1996)

(Disclaimer: We promise not to make you write in Scots. (Well, maybe a little. (Trust me, it’s so much fun to read out loud!)))

Winter Writers at Karori Library

Looking for a way to stave off those winter blues? Come and get your writerly juices flowing at Winter Writers, a new creative writing programme for teens starting up at Karori Library next week! Learn about everything from short fiction and poetry to scriptwriting and more at these fortnightly meet-ups during the winter months. Check the details below:

Where: Karori Library, 243 Karori Road, Karori
When: Every second Thursday, 4:00-5:00, from the 31st of May to the 26th of July
What: Creative writing workshops for teenagers, focussed on developing your command of language, ability to evaluate and critique your own writing, and — most importantly — create whole new worlds with a stroke of your pen.

Registrations are not required. If you’d like more information, call Karori Library on 476 8413, or talk to your local librarian.

Hark, what worlds from yonder pencil spring?

 

Creative Writing Workshops with Anna Mackenzie

Is there something you’ve always wanted to say, but you’re not quite sure how to say it? Or perhaps you know how to say it, but you’d like to learn how to say it better? Maybe you like how you say things, but you’re searching for ideas on what to talk about?

Well, you’re in luck. The wonderful Anna Mackenzie is coming to Wellington City Libraries to run two creative writing workshops for all you creative folks out there!

Dates and Times:

Karori Library, Thursday May 3, 4:00-6:00pm
Johnsonville Library, Friday May 4, 4:00-6:00pm

You can register either in person at the Libraries where the workshops are taking place, or by calling Karori Library on 476 8413, or Johnsonville Library on 477 6151.

Anna Mackenzie

Comicfest 2017!

I hope you’ve heard about our amazing event Comicfest! It’s now a yearly event that celebrates free comic book day and puts the spotlight on some of our amazing local talent. There’s competitions, talks from said local talent, and of course, free comic books!

Check out the Comicfest 2017 Facebook page for details.

Two Free Coding Classes

Title image

Got an idea for a website but don’t know how to develop it? Get along to these two free coding classes during the April school holidays. They’re perfect for beginners and a great way to learn how to code using CSS/HTML, and you’ll get a chance to create your own live website. BYOD.

Places are limited and bookings are required: bookings and info

Sunday 12th April, 9am – 3pm, Central Library: for 12-14 yr olds

Monday 13th April, 9am-3pm, Central Library: for 15-18yr olds

TFIOS is nearly here!

The wait is nearly over!! The Fault In Our Stars movie comes out on Thursday! That’s just TWO DAYS away! And we even get it before the USA does. Time differences rule sometimes. I’ve collected together some TFIOS facts for all you excited people out there across the interwebs – have you got anything interesting to add to this list?

1. John Green was trying to get an international release date for TFIOS so that all his fans would be able to see it at the same time. It kind of worked – NZ, Australia and the Netherlands are the first to be able to see it on June 5th, it comes out in the USA on June 6th and the UK gets in on June 19th. Amazingly we are one of the first to see it instead of having to wait a few months after the USA release!

2. The TFIOS trailer had over 3 million views on it just 24 hours after it was released.

3. Shailene Woodley (Hazel) and Ansel Elgort (Gus) already appeared in the Divergent movie together earlier this year, and in it they played siblings. Hmm.

4. TFIOS is the 4th solo novel by John Green.

5. John and his brother Hank run a Youtube channel called vlogbrothers where they upload videos three times a week.

6. John Green took the time to cast all the character of TFIOS as US presidents.

And just in case you forgot, here’s the trailer again:

Aaaaaand the special extended trailer as well:

So who’s coming to the see it with me on Thursday? Or do I have to go and bawl my eyes out in the cinema alone? Let us know your thoughts on the movie down in the comments!

New Zealand Music Month is here!

Yes, that means it’s already May! WHAT? How did this happen?! Four months of the year have already gone past in a complete blur, and here we are at NZMM 2014. There are so many events happening up and down the country, and lucky for us we have a whole bunch of events happening in our libraries! More events may be added to this list later, check back to keep up to date with the scheduled library events.

Thursday 8th 12pm Amiria Grenell (Kids stuff) – Central Children’s area
Saturday 17th 11am Kitty Hart – Central Library Mezzanine Bridge
Friday 22nd 12pm Amiria Grenell (Adults stuff) – Central Library YA area
Friday 23rd 5pm Andy Gibson – Central Library YA area
Friday 23rd 7pm Jessie Moss – Newtown Library
Thursday 29th 12pm Mahinarangi Maika – Central Library YA area
Friday 30th 12pm Mat Enright – Central Library YA area

There will also be a whole lot of events out in public places, such as Courtenay Place near Tommy Millions (yum!), the Courtenay Place tripod, Cuba Street near the Body Shop, Lambton Quay, the train station and more. You should be able to find some information on these in your local library. You can also check out the full schedule of NZMM events at the official website.

And to finish off, here’s a video for “St Louis” featuring Gemma Syme by The Shocking Pinks that a couple of my very clever friends worked on:

I’ll be featuring music-centred posts all through May, so check back next Tuesday for more NZMM goodness!

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