08 11, 2018

Mindy McGinnis & Cinda Williams Chima on fantasy, philosophy & the worst things they’ve ever written

By |2018-08-11T06:00:05-04:00August 11, 2018|

Mindy McGinnis and Cinda Williams Chima are award-winning, bestselling YA authors who were kind enough to visit us earlier this summer.

While here, they granted an interview where they discussed EVERYTHING. They talked about:

  • how to build believable fantasy worlds
  • the weirdest thing they ever researched for a story
  • how their philosophy degrees — yes, they both have degrees in philosophy — influence their writing
  • their favorite books written by each other
  • the worst things they’ve ever written.

07 30, 2018

Wordplay Writing Club gets wild

By |2018-07-30T06:00:38-04:00July 30, 2018|

Sabine and Claire relax in the Read House backyard and write in their nature journals.

Sabine and Claire relax in the Read House backyard and write in their nature journals.

Sometimes the best place for a writer to find inspiration is outdoors. That’s where our Wordplay Writing Club went earlier this summer.

They visited our Read House yard and wrote in nature journals like John James Audubon, William Thoreau, and Walt Whitman.

Each month, the writers in our Wordplay Club finds different ways to boost their creativity. For example, sometimes they use randomly selected words to create a story or create poems with refrigerator magnets.

Our club is open to all writers in third through sixth grade.

Wordplay Creative Writing Club meets at 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of (nearly) every month at our Main Branch. We took a brief hiatus in July and will return Aug. 8.

You can register your child for Wordplay online by calling us at (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.

John and Julian jot beneath a shady tree.

John and Julian jot beneath a shady tree.

11 21, 2017

5 writing tips from Paula McLain

By |2017-11-21T06:00:42-05:00November 21, 2017|

Bestselling author and spectacular human Paula McLain visited us for National Novel Writing Month.

She discussed finding inspiration for her bestsellers, The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun, in Hadley Richardson and Beryl Markham, respectively. She also mentioned how a dream about Martha Gellhorn—a war correspondent and Ernest Hemingway’s third wife—inspired her newest novel, Love and Ruin.

She also offered some writing advice for aspiring authors, gleaned from her own life.

  1. You have to be open to inspiration. (“There’s an undeniable, not-subtle-at-all experience that happens to me when I find that inspiration. Now I know to pay attention to that feeling; and if I don’t have it, I’m not going to discover it along the way.”)
  2. If something you’re writing is not working, you can’t force it to work. Before writing Circling the Sun, McLain tried to write novels about Georgia O’Keeffe and Marie Curie. No matter how hard she tried, neither worked out—not because there’s anything wrong with the subject matter, but it didn’t resonate with her like Richardson, Markham, or Gellhorn.
  3. Read what you want to write. (“Read in the genre you want to write in. Read in the genre that’s important to you. Read as if your life depended on it.”)
  4. Keep books that inspire you close at hand. While writing The Paris Wife, those books were Colm Tóibín’s The Master and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours for McLain.
  5. Write your face off.

05 8, 2017

Wordplay Writing Club pens poems for National Poetry Month

By |2017-05-08T06:00:06-04:00May 8, 2017|

The young writers in our Wordplay Club celebrated National Poetry Month by penning their own poems.

Sabine composes a poem during our Wordplay Writing Club meeting.

Our Wordplay Writing Club celebrated National Poetry Month by penning their own poems.

They wrote rhymed poems, as well as:

Emma fits her concrete poem into the shape of a dog.

Emma fits her concrete poem into the shape of a dog.

Our Wordplay Creative Writing Club meets at 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month at our Main Branch. The next meeting is May 10. It’s for kids in third through sixth grade.

You can register your child for Wordplay by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221 or by visiting our website.

 

If your child likes to write, they'll love our Wordplay Club.

If your child likes to write, they’ll love our Wordplay Club.

12 30, 2016

Wordplay goes where the music takes them

By |2016-12-30T06:00:10-05:00December 30, 2016|

Sabine uses the music she's listening to—a piano performance of "Carol of the Bells"—to inspire the scene she's writing.

Sabine uses the music she’s listening to—a piano performance of “Carol of the Bells”—to inspire the scene she’s writing.

It’s funny how one song can inspire so many different reactions. Wordplay—our writing club for kids—listened to music and used the songs to inspire different scenes during their meeting this month.

For example, they listened to a piano playing “Carol of the Bells.” Some of them pictured gentle snowfall or ice skating. Others imagined a car advertisement.

When we played “Everything Is Awesome,” some kids pictured colorful scenes of happiness and teamwork. A couple of them wanted to punch the radio.

The lesson the young writers learned: Music can inspire them, but it rarely inspires the same way twice.

Santosh Akilesh inspects the contents of his holiday "gift bag." He had to compose a story using the items in his bag.

Santosh Akilesh inspects the contents of his holiday “gift bag.” He had to compose a story using the items in his bag.

Each month, our Wordplay Club seeks inspiration in different ways. For example, sometimes we commune with nature or create poems with refrigerator magnets.

This month, each kid received a holiday “gift bag,” and they had to write a story using the bag’s contents.

Wordplay is open to all writers in third through sixth grade. It meets at 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month at our Main Branch. The next meeting is Jan. 11.

You can register your child for Wordplay by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221 or by visiting the Mentor Library’s website.

 

Olivia Wordplay

Olivia lists the scenes that she imagines while listening to swing music.

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