Teens have something important to say

Free Teen Creative Writing Program at Somerville Public Library Are you a teen who likes to write stories about aliens, blogs, flash fiction, or poems? Are you interested in becoming a novelist, short story writer or poet? Somerville Public Library's Teen Creative Writing Program will offer teens writing exercises to flex their writing muscles in a fun, low-pressure, supportive environment. The Somerville Public Library is pleased to announce the start of a free Teen Creative Writing Program, designed for any teen aged 13-17. The program will be offered once per month on Sundays, beginning Sunday, March 24, from 1pm to 4pm. Seven three-hour, stand-alone sessions will be offered. The sessions will be run by Somerville writers Ethan Gilsdorf and Becky Tuch, who will lead writing exercises in a variety of genres, from fantasy fiction to lyric poetry. No previous writing experience is needed. Students are encouraged to come as they are and need not attend all seven sessions. Materials and lunch will be provided. Advance sign-up is requested. To register, please contact Marita Coombs, Somerville Public Library, 617-623-5000 x 2942, mcoombs@minlib.net. Additional program dates are Sunday, April 14, Sunday May 19, and Sunday, June 9. The final three session dates will be announced at a future time. "We'll provide unexpected writing prompts to get teens to generate as much new work in as short a time as possible," said Gilsdorf, an essayist, journalist and author of the book "Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks." "Teens have something important to say." Both Gilsdorf and Tuch are published writers, and teach at Grub Street Writers, Boston's independent creative writing center. Both have extensive experience teaching teens creative writing. "Nothing inspires me more than my students, at all ages and all stages of their writing careers," said Becky Tuch, a fiction writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and has taught fiction to kids, teens, and adults throughout Boston. "As a Somerville resident myself, I can't wait to teach and learn from the young writers in the area." The Teen Creative Writing Program is funded by the Somerville Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Mass Cultural Council, as well as the Friends of the Library. More information about the instructors: Becky Tuch has received literature fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Somerville Arts Council, awards from Briar Cliff Review, Byline Magazine, and The Tennessee Writers Alliance, and her fiction has been short-listed for a Pushcart Prize and Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction Award. Other stories and essays have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Hobart, Quarter After Eight, and elsewhere. She is the founding editor of The Review Review, a website which has twice been listed by Writer's Digest as "Best of the Best" among 101 Best Websites for Writers. She is also one of the founders of the writing and publishing blog, Beyond the Margins. Ethan Gilsdorf is a journalist, memoirist, critic, poet, teacher and geek. He wrote the award-winning travel memoir investigation Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms. Based in Somerville, Massachusetts, he publishes travel, arts, and pop culture stories, essays and reviews regularly in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Salon.com, wired.com, PsychologyToday.com, and WBUR's Cognescenti blog. He is a book and film critic for the Boston Globe and is the film columnist for Art New England. An award-winning poet, he has published poems in Poetry, The Southern Review, and The North American Review, and several anthologies. He is co-founder of Grub Street's Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP) and teaches creative writing workshops at Grub Street, where he also serves on the Board of Directors.   --end--

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