Missoula Public Library

Missoula Public Library

Come celebrate the work of local wordsmiths when you attend the Missoula Public Library’s Writing Contest Awards Reception, which recognizes the winners of MPL’s eighth annual writing contest at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Large Meeting Room.

This year, the library had 103 qualifying entries in the areas of fiction and nonfiction and in four age groups. We also had 17 volunteers judge the entries, and five generous prize sponsors including Altrusa International, an anonymous donor, Boom Swagger Salon, Friends of Missoula Public Library, and Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers.

All qualifying entries will be printed and bound into books that will be available for checkout later this year.

All winners are from Missoula, except the three noted in parentheses below:

  • Ages 8-10 Fiction: Cazden Cravy, first place; Lucy Johnstone, second place; Julia I. Dzomba, third place.
  • Ages 8-10 Nonfiction: Lucy Reed, first.
  • Ages 11-14 Fiction: Braden Collard, first; Zia Kloetzel, second; Mia Foster, third.
  • Ages 11-14 Nonfiction: Abbey Rhoderick, first; Cassie Berg, second; Estella Campana, third .
  • Ages 15-18 Fiction: Evan Bartel (Wolf Point), first; Anne Luhmann (Lolo), second; Paige Childers, third.
  • Ages 15-18 Nonfiction: Molli Clizbe, first.
  • Ages 19 and up Fiction: Ethan Zimmerman (Hamilton), first; Kimberly Dredger, second; Anya Vasquez, third.
  • Ages 19 and up Nonfiction: Sara Anderson, first; Ann Karp, second; Dillon Smith, third.

Unplug and Play Week

In celebration of the national initiative known as Unplug and Play Week, MPL’s Youth Services Department is “unplugging” all of its game and Internet access computers from May 1-8.

Join us in enjoying all non-screen activities that make the library fun, including reading, writing, drawing, coloring, puzzles, LEGOs, checking out the spectrUM exhibit, and more.

The library will also host an activity table at Missoula’s citywide “Unplug and Play” event scheduled 1-4 p.m. Sunday in McCormick Park.

MPL offers mental health series

The Missoula Public Library has teamed up with the Western Montana Mental Health Center to offer patrons a series of collaborative discussions in May as part of Mental Health Awareness Month. These discussions touch on the topics of stress management, grief, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention.

The series kicks off this week with “Feel Better Fast: Stress Management” on Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. in MPL’s Large Meeting Room. Mike Frost, director of Counseling Services at the University of Montana, will lead this workshop that aims to teach practical strategies to manage stress so you can “feel better fast” starting today.

We Have It: Staff Reviews

“Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly” by Gail Carson Levine (HarperCollins, 2006) Call Number J 808.3 LEVINE

Written by the author of Ella Enchanted and numerous fairy tale retellings, this writing craft book for teens is light, peppy, and very encouraging. Even the chapter headings give the flavor of the author’s temperament: “Liftoff” (preparing to write); “Hearts and Guts” (putting down the words); “Plowing Through” (overcoming obstacles); “Digging Deeper” (working to improve); and “Writing Forever” (committing to the art).

Author Gail Carson Levine comes across like a favorite aunt who both praises and pushes you to stretch and grow, and work hard at your writing. The book is loaded with exercises — which are handy for a teacher or a casual reader to pick through, though it sometimes seems like the author naively assumes that teenage writers are much more willing to practice than most actually are.

A nice feature is frequent stories of Levine’s own writing history and struggles.

It’s very comforting and reassuring for beginning and unpublished writers to hear how well-known writers weathered the undiscovered years and the piles of rejection slips. Overall, it’s a quick, easy, and enjoyable read, which makes it all the more likely that a teen writer will actually read it.

Reviewed by Dana McMurray

Hot Happenings

Here’s a sampling of some free programs coming up at the Missoula Public Library. Check the full events calendar at missoulapubliclibrary.org.

MakerSpace offerings

Open hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mondays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Computer Electronics: 3-6 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays.

Jewelry Making Workshop: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Visit tinyurl.com/mplmakers for a full calendar of MakerSpace classes

Computer classes

Computer Fundamentals: 6-7 p.m. Monday.

Learn about the various components of a computer, managing your desktop, and how to open programs. No experience necessary.

Resumes: 12:30-1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A representative from Missoula Job Services will teach basics of how to create an effective resume. Bring details on education, training, and previous jobs so that you can get a start on a resume.

Registration is required to attend MPL’s computer classes. Call 721-2665 to secure your spot.

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