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Teen Mags: Grip

by Emily - 0 Comment(s)

Grip is the last teen magazine I'm going to be sharing with you. It's Alberta based, has been around since 2006 and features writing by teens for teens. Grip accepts submissions for art, poetry, fiction and nonfiction articles and book reviews. Unlike the other two magazines I told you about, Grip puts out a print version of their magazine, although you can also read their most recent issue online. If you're interested in submitting contact Lyndsie Bourgon at:

So I've given you a few tips on how to volunteer for magazines and submit work to them, but how about getting your work ready to send out? If you're sending work out to a magazine just doing one draft of your writing isn't enough. You want to make sure it's the best it can possibly be so you have a better chance of getting published. Here's some quick tips for making that first draft even better:

1. Leave the writing alone for a little bit. After you've finished your first draft, just leave it for a week or so, and then come back to it. Ask yourself what parts you still like about it, and see if you can find any parts of it that don't seem quite right and try to figure out why that might be and what you can do to fix it.

2. Read it out loud. This works really well when you're in the final stages of a piece, because it will help you find mistakes that you might have missed. It's good for the early stages of writing too. If a sentence sounds awkward when you read it out loud then that's a sure sign that it needs a bit more work.

3. Have a friend or family member read it. Getting another pair of eyes to look at it is always a good idea. They'll be able to let you know if something was confusing to them, or if they thought maybe you could describe a certain scene a bit better. Make sure you pick someone that you trust though. The best kind of person to read your work is someone who will be honest, but also kind with your work. You don't want someone to tell you all of it was terrible and then not explain why. Likewise, you don't want someone who will only shower your work with rainbows, because that's not really going to help you make it better is it?

You might also want to look into some of our writing guides. I've included the book covers for two of the writing books we have designed especially for teens. If either of them look like they might be of interest the book cover will take you straight to our catalogue.

Teen Mags: Germ Magazine

by Emily - 0 Comment(s)

Germ Magazine

woman writingNext in my list of cool magazines for you to check out is Germ. Germ is "a magazine for girls—high school and beyond—that celebrates beginnings, futures, and all the amazing and agonizing moments in-between. From facts to fiction, beauty to boys, movies to music, how to\'s to where to's, you start here." Author Jennifer Niven created Germ after writing her first YA novel All the Bright Places, which will come out early next year. One of the characters in her book, Violet, runs an online magazine called Germ, and that got Jennifer thinking, why not actually create that magazine? So she did.

In Germ you'll find honest, engaging articles that tackle the issues teen girls face. Jennifer likes to think of Germ as the "Katniss Everdeen of magazines." Germ accepts creative writing submissions from teens as well as articles on a wide array of topics. You can find out more about their requirements for written work on their submissions page. On the submissions page you'll also find a link to their Literary Submissions page, which will tell you all about their requirements for different kinds of writing.

Make sure you read through the submissions guidelines page of any magazine REALLY carefully. Submissions guidelines will tell you the word limit on the kind of writing you want to submit, how many pieces of work you can submit (for instance Germ allows you to send three stories in one submission) and also what kind of information you need to include along with your submission. If you fail to follow the guidelines that a magazine sets out, then your work will be rejected right away. All magazines receive a lot of work from writers, so if they get work from someone who hasn't followed the guidelines, then it makes their job easier. I don't think Germ mentions this on their submissions page, but make sure you pick a clean, simple font for your work. You might think that putting your story in comic sans makes it look more interesting, but what it really does is make your writing look less professional. Times New Roman might seem like a boring font, but remember it's your writing that should be attracting the editor's interest.

Check in next time when I feature yet another teen magazine and give you more handy tips on sending your work out!

Teen Mags: The Young Wanderer

by Emily - 1 Comment(s)

Over the next little while I'll be blogging about magazines where teens can get their creative work published. If you're a writer, or an artist, these magazines can be a great place to start showcasing your work to others. When you're starting out, getting magazine publications shows that you're serious about being a writer. Unfortunately, most magazines publish work by writers who have a bit more experience and have been writing for a fairly long time. This is why teen magazines are an awesome place to send out your writing, because they only publish work from teens, and are often run by teens too.

For this post I want to introduce you to The Young Wanderer. The Young Wanderer is "a student-led online magazine based in Alberta with the aim of showcasing the thoughts and perspectives of high school students across Canada." They accept submissions for the six topics they cover on their site: Business, Culture, Politics, Sciences, Sports and Arts. They publish fiction, non-fiction essays, photography and visual art.Teen Writing

I know when I'm picking places to send my work I often have to be a bit more suspicious of online journals that I haven't heard of before, because you don't want to send your work out just anywhere. One of the things I do is read the work they've published, and look at the design of the page. The Young Wanderer has lots of great writing aleady up, and the website is really well designed, so it's definitely a trustworthy place to send your work. You should check it out for yourself so you can read some of the writing that's already been chosen. This will help you figure out if your work is ready to be sent to them.

Volunteering for a magazine is also a great experience for a young writer. I noticed on the The Young Wanderer's website that they say they are constantly expanding their editorial committee. This means they'd probably be happy to have some more volunteers, so you might want to ask them about that through their contact form on the website. Volunteering for a teen magazine would look really great on your writer's resume! If they are interested in having you volunteer for them make sure you take your job seriously, nothing frustrates editors more than volunteers who sign up to help out and then suddenly disappear.

Are you interested in sending your work out, but you don't have very much written yet? That's ok! Use the idea of submitting to magazines as an inspiration to get you writing and stay tuned for my other posts on magazines you might want to check out!

Neil Gaiman's Visit to Calgary

by Emily - 0 Comment(s)

At the end of February, Calgary had the great pleasure of getting a visit from one of our favourite authors, Neil Gaiman. While Neil was here he taught a master class for students in the English graduate program at the University of Calgary and also gave a reading, as the 2014 Distinguished Visiting Writer for the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program (CDWP), that was free for the public to attend.

I was lucky enough to get to attend the private reception for Neil before his reading and decided to conduct an eccentric interview with him, using post-it notes, for filling Station magazine where I volunteer.

I decided I should also get him to answer a post-it note question for the teen blog. If you're looking for some recent Neil Gaiman books to read check out Unnatural Creatures and The Silver Dream.

Image of Post it note with question and an answer by Neil Gaiman

Youth SLAM!

by Emily - 3 Comment(s)

calgary spoken word festivalDo you have what it takes to belt your poems out on the mic? If so you should definitely sign up for Youth Slam, the Calgary Spoken Word Festival's event for teens under the age of 19. In order to compete you need to bring 3 poems, no longer than 3 minutes each. You may not get to perform them all, but bring them just in case you make it through all three rounds. You could have a chance to win the grand prize: $150!

Maybe you love poetry, but you're not quite sure that you're brave enough to read just yet. No worries! Why not come and be a part of the audience? Part of the poet's score is based on audience reaction, so make sure to come out and support your favourite poets!

Event Details:

Saturday, April 05 - 11:00 AM - Free

The Central Library – John Dutton Theatre – 616 Macleod Trail SE

The 5th Annual Prom Dress Extravaganza!

by Emily - 0 Comment(s)

Prom season is upon us again and the library wants to help you find the perfect dress for a memorable evening with your friends! Drop by our participating locations to browse the dresses we have and why not tell your friends so you can make a girls' day of it? There will be a number of talented, volunteer designers on hand to help you find the perfect fit, or feel free to bring a dress you already own and our volunteers will be happy to lend their expertise to resize or update it for you.

This event will be held at the following libraries:

Forest Lawn Library: Saturday, March 1, 1-3:30 p.m.

Southwood Library: Saturday, March 8, 2-5 p.m.

Village Square Library: Saturday, March 15, 1-3:30 p.m.


Even if your own prom is past, your party dress can still do some good — we are happy to accept donations of gently used formal wear at any library location!

Roaring Twenties Reads: Vixen and Bright Young Things

by Emily - 0 Comment(s)

If it’s the fashion and style of the prohibition era that fascinates you, the juicy gossip whispered beneath jazz music, or romance sparking at a speakeasy, then this week’s books are meant for you. For all those who are fans of Gossip Girl, or The Luxe, I’ve got you covered. Play some Caravan Palace in the background to get a real 20's atmosphere going!

Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things, the first in the Bright Young Things series, follows Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey as they flee from their mundane small-town lives to New York. Letty feels she’s destined to find fame in the big city, while Cordelia believes a gangster living there and sharing her last name may be the father she’s never known. Cordelia soon comes to know and trust Astrid Donal, a wealthy, eccentric flapper, but delving into a world of crime and intrigue brings danger, and perhaps even murder!

Vixen, the first book of Jillian Larkin’s series The Flappers, follows the lives of Gloria Carmody, Clara Knowles, and Lorraine Dyer. Gloria is the daughter of a prestigious family, and her engagement to Sebastian Grey means her future is secure, but the thrill of becoming a flapper is too much to let go of. Her needy best friend Lorraine has become jealous of Clara: to what extreme actions will her jealousy drive her? Clara is Gloria’s cousin, sent to live with them due to a dubious past that she’s determined to erase. The lives of all three become intertwined while the jazz music of the speakeasies howls in the background.

Roaring Twenties Reads: The Diviners

by Emily - 0 Comment(s)

With the latest film version of The Great Gatsby recently out in theatres the glamour of the prohibition era is all the rage in everything from fashion to music, and of course, books! Over the next little while I’ll showcase some teen reads that are guaranteed to have all the roar of the twenties. So blast some Parov Stelar in the background and enjoy!

Lithe diviners book coverbba Bray's The Diviners is a fast-paced, supernatural thriller set in New York in the twenties. We follow sassy Evie O’Neill, who’s been sent to live with her Uncle Will after her unusual powers upset people in her hometown. While Evie is in New York she meets up with her bookish, socially awkward friend Mabel and makes friends with a flapper named Theta, a Ziegfeld girl with a troubled past. We also meet Sam, a fast-talking thief, Jericho, Uncle Will’s quiet, mysterious assistant, and Memphis, a numbers runner.

Evie’s Uncle Will runs The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, affectionately called The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies by the locals. Known as a specialist in all things occult, Uncle Will gets called in to assist the police with a string of murders that have something strangely supernatural about them. Evie and her new friends get drawn into helping solve the murders, but the investigation will lead them down a dangerous and horrifying path.

Libba Bray does a terrific job of balancing scenes of horror, with lighter, more comedic moments. This book certainly isn’t for the faint of heart: you might want to plug in a nightlight if you plan on reading some of it just before bed! Evie’s witty quips are sure to charm and entertain any reader though, and the descriptions in this book create a rich, at times macabre, setting for the action and believe me, the action in this book hardly ever slows! This book is a guaranteed page turner sure to satisfy those who love everything to do with the prohibition era, or for those who really enjoy all things occult.