Just as the library concludes its second community novel penned by local authors, 22 young writers also celebrate their debut in publishing through a library program.
“We’ve seen success with helping adult writers from all over the community get published, so we thought why not try it with the kids. Most of our literacy-based programs for kids focus on reading. Writing offered a whole other vantage point,” said LeAnn Petrie, Youth Services supervisor. “This program series kept kids’ minds active and gave them a tangible product they created from start to finish.”
Imaginative titles like Cowboy Taco and Lady Apple, Turkey Apocalypse and The Case of the Talking Runaway Hamster came forth. The children crafted mysteries, adventures and works of nonfiction about their own life. Characters like cowboy taco were invented. Illustrations helped tell the children’s stories. All the pages of all the books were hand-written and hand drawn.
Kids, ranging in age from 8 to 12, will receive a copy of their book and have an opportunity to share their stories with each other at a library-hosted party for the young authors. At least two children expressed an interest in becoming authors.
The kids showed up each week for eight weeks during summer. They had to brainstorm, write drafts, refine copy and illustrate. Some of the kids made friends with other children who helped them along when they got stuck.
Homework Coaches Leah and Tracie, who led the program, encouraged, assisted and answered questions about writing and publishing. It was the library’s debut of the program Write-a-palooza and we hope to do it again.
The coaches sent the books to be published through StudenTreasures, a Topeka-based company that prints books for schools. They said we were their first library.