TPL Seeks Comic/Graphic Book Artist in Residence for Young Voices Program

June 30, 2017 | Ken Sparling

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Toronto Public Library invites applications from comic/graphic book artists for the Young Voices fall 2017 Comic Artist in Residence - Young Voices position. The residency is designed to encourage exchanges between the artist and Toronto teens and requires creation of online content, plus attendance at 14 events in Toronto. The...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Young Voices March Break Writing and Arts Festival for Teens

March 12, 2016 | Susan

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“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein Yes! The eminently quotable Al Einstein nailed it! And this March Break, you can come to the library for a whole week’s worth of creative, intelligent fun. It’s the Young Voices March Break Writing and Arts Festival! The festival is a series...

Farewell to the TPL Teens e-Writer in Residence 2015 and a Final Contest!

I can't believe that my time as e-Writer in Residence has come to an end. It feels like it passed in a blink. There were so many amazing moments, and I feel privileged to have been a part of this program. Thank you, Toronto Public Library for giving me this...

What Type of Publishing is Right for You?

Self-published young author Dylan Doose offers a breakdown of the different types of publishing and some answers to questions about self-publishing. Dylan's bio: Writer. Sculptor. Bad fitness advice. In between writing books I fill my not-so-busy schedule with the practising of martial arts, mountain biking, paddle surfing, weight lifting, and...

What Libraries Mean To Me

As a kid, I hung out at Toronto Public Library’s Centennial Branch and North York Central Branch searching out sequential volumes of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books and Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. Libraries were my refuge, my haven, the most wonderful place in the world. Books, books, and more books...perfect. As...

Haiku to Win!

Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry. A Haiku is three lines long. It has seventeen syllables. The syllable count is 5/7/5. Haiku often depicts nature and stresses simplicity, elegance, and clarity. It is traditionally written in the present tense. Modern Haiku often breaks the 5/7/5 rule and moves...

Writing Prompt #3

Missed the Flash Fiction post, Writing Prompt #1 and Writing Prompt #2? Check them out now! Today I'm offering a few writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing. Is the person you present online different than the person you are in real life? In what ways does the real...

The Industry—Part 2: What's a query letter?

Missed The Industry—Part 1: How do I find an Agent? Check it out here. A query letter is an introduction: you're introducing both yourself and your manuscript to an agent or editor. The letter needs to grab the reader's attention, make her sit up and take notice. So what do...