Ask Vivek: Recap

This, sadly, is my last post as E-Writer in Residence. It’s been such a gift to connect with you in person at various libraries and events, and online through your writing. I feel fortunate to have been given this opportunity to read (and listen) to your words. I am immensely...

Ask Vivek: How do you write about the personal?

This week’s question is about how to write about the personal—specifically, how to write personal narratives based on or including friends and family. Different writers approach this in different ways, but it is something many of us struggle with. In my case, I am often inspired by family and the...

Ask Vivek: How do you deal with rejection?

This week’s question is about dealing with rejection as a writer and artist. When I first started singing Western music, I began signing up for talent contents at shopping malls in Edmonton. Every talent show had multiple rounds (i.e. semi-finals, finals, etc.) with a giant prize. I never made it...

Ask Vivek: How do I write poetry?

This week’s question was about how to write poetry. This is a question that I resonated with a lot. Working on my recent book of poetry, even this page is white, I often felt lost and unsure about what I was writing, and if it qualified as poetry. Given what...

Ask Vivek: How do I make comics?

This week’s question was about comics. I don’t have any experience making comics, so I thought I would interview two comic artists that I really admire: Michael DeForge and Eric Kostiuk Williams. Michael has created several comic books and zines and recently worked on Adventure Time. Eric has created a...

Ask Vivek: How To Write A Novel

Last week, I received a question (thank you!) about how write a novel—where to begin and how to finish. This is a question I asked myself a lot when trying to map out my first novel, She of the Mountains. I think part of my draw to other literary forms...

Ask Vivek: What is your advice for a beginning songwriter?

I recently received a question regarding songwriting (thank you!) and decided to put together a short list of tips that have worked for me over the years as a songwriter. An important part of being a good writer is reading. Similarly, an important part of being a good songwriter is...

Ask Vivek: What is your favourite writing prompt?

Over the years, I have turned to writing prompts especially when I have felt stuck (a.k.a. “writer's block”). Writing prompts are a useful way to ignite the writing muscle, not unlike the ten minutes of stretching you do before hopping on the treadmill or begin lifting weights. I also use...

Vivek Shraya - E-Writer in Residence for Teens

September 18, 2016 | Susan

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We are so lucky that the multi-talented Vivek Shraya is the E-Writer in Residence for 2016. She is a writer, musician and filmmaker and will share advice and ideas for young artists on this blog during October and November. And if you've ever wished for someone smart, kind and encouraging...

Young Voices Magazine- Congrats!

September 1, 2016 | Youth Advisory Group

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by Editorial Youth Advisory Group member Chantal When an email titled Young Voices Magazine- Congrats! appeared in my junk folder, my first thought was that it must be a scam. But then my common sense kicked in and I figured that clicking on it was very worth my time. And...

10 Questions with Author Ryan North

August 23, 2016 | Claire A

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The Maria A. Shchuka Youth Advisory Group recently had the opportunity to ask some questions to Ryan North, author of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. 1. Which of your characters are your favourite? My favourite character is T-Rex from Dinosaur Comics: he's the first character I really came up with, and...

Write Like You Mean It - and Change the World!

August 12, 2016 | Ken Sparling

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If you missed last night's Young Voices writing workshop at Toronto Reference Library with author Kristyn Dunnion, have no fear... Kristyn will be back to do three more workshops, including one tomorrow, Saturday, August 13! You can go to any or all of them, they're free, and you can just...

What's On @ the Library - August 8-13th

August 8, 2016 | Monica

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Check out all the cool things happening at the Toronto Public Library this week, from the art of filmmaking to designing your very own video game! 1. Maker Monday: Book Vault at Bloor Gladstone Turn an old book into a place to hide your valuables. 2. Film In A Day...

Poetry Contest! Win Headphones!

August 8, 2016 | Susan

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The winner of the poetry contest is B, for "This Cool Blue Hue!" Thumbs up to all the poets who submitted and keep writing! Sharpen your pencils! Limber up your typing fingers! Shake the ink into your pens! It's time to use your poetic prowess for a chance to win...

Darkness

Darkness Image from weknowyourdreams.com Swallowing all the laughter Cries that turn into screams after Filling emptiness Devouring happiness They say it is the reason why this world suffers through sadness But I believe that that is true madness They say darkness is where all the evil creatures lay But the...

Tips for an Aspiring Teen Writer

by Editorial Youth Advisory Group member Melanie At High School TCTE Short Story Contest: This contest is run by the Toronto Council of Teachers of English and is open to all TDSB secondary students. I found out about this contest through my Writer’s Craft class in grade 12, and submitted...

Roots

Roots The need, The need to please, Was Everywhere We Looked. Mother and Father brought with them the seeds from the Old World, And, like the water hyacinth, they quickly blossomed, spread, Invaded, Trailed out of our mouths and eyes; A kowtow: beautiful and ugly. Now that I am grown,...

Short Story Contest (June 27 – July 10)

June 27, 2016 | Cameron

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What’s the story you were meant to write? Maybe it’s about fighting dragons or eating gelato in Rome or waiting in a hospital Emergency department. (Or maybe it’s about a dragon eating gelato in an Emergency department in Rome!) And the winner is Ahmed Mohammed and his short story: "Bitter...

YAG Writing: Poetry

June 23, 2016 | Alice

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The poem I wrote is actually inspired by Shakespeare, written in a sonnet style and starting in a similar fashion as Romeo and Juliet. Hope you'll like it! Shall I compare thee to a love story Thou art more revolting and rather fake For love is no more than a...

Call out for new writers group members at North York Central

April 10, 2016 | Cameron

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The awesome, amazing, stupendous, so good I cannot even believe it myself, teen writers group at North York Central is looking for new members. Do you like writing? Do you like talking about writing? Are you a teen between ages 12-18? Then come check it out. Photo of flyer has...

GET PUBLISHED! Submit to Young Voices by April 5 for the 2016 Issue

April 1, 2016 | Ken Sparling

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Wanna see your creative work published in 15,000 copies of Young Voices? You have till Tuesday, April 5, 2016 to send us your best creative endeavours for consideration in this year's issue. Submit online now! Send poems, stories, rants, raps, comics, reviews, or black and white artwork or photos! See...

Imagine 15,000 copies of Young Voices magazine - with your story in it!

March 25, 2016 | Ken Sparling

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Why not go for it! We circulate nearly 15,000 copies of Young Voices every year! Submit your story, photo, comic, artwork, poem, rant... Here's some work from Toronto teens who were published in Young Voices last year to get you inspired. Hypnotized, by Rabaya Khan, in Young Voices 2015 atmospheres...

"No one deserves to be harassed. No one."

March 20, 2016 | Ken Sparling

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Human Nature, by Jasmine Zhang, age 14, from Young Voices 2015 So ends Carrie Noble's rant in Young Voices 2015. Got a rant you want to share? Or a story? A poem? Artwork? A photo? Send it to Young Voices for a chance to get it published in Young Voices...

Show Off Your Stuff! Submit Your Artwork to Young Voices Now!

March 19, 2016 | Ken Sparling

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Submit online! Or bring your artwork and a submission form to your neighbourhood Toronto Public Library branch. Here are a few of the Toronto teens who got their artwork published in Young Voices last year: Brenden, age 12 Chun, age 15 Showmiya, age 17 Shrabanti, age 14 Check out more...

Aneeqa got published when she was 14 years old

March 17, 2016 | Ken Sparling

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Wanna see your writing or artwork in print? Submit to Young Voices magazine now! Aneeqa's story: When the time is right by Aneeqa Tahsin, age 14 -from Young Voices 2015 She liked her coffee black, no sugar. We drove for five hours through small towns with no bathrooms in the...