Put it in Writing @ your library launches

Contact: Megan Humphrey
312-280-4020
mhumphrey@ala.org

For Immediate Release
January 2002

ALA launches Put It in Writing @ your library program with Woman’s Day Magazine

The American Library Association (ALA) announced today a new national partnership with Woman’s Day magazine called Put It in Writing @ your library™. The program is designed to promote the wealth of opportunities that all types of libraries offer—in schools, on college/university campuses and in communities large and small—that can spark a writer’s imagination and creativity and help develop a community of writers.

The program features a national essay contest for unpublished women writers, to be announced in the March 12 issue of Woman's Day, on sale at national newsstands on February 19, and writers' workshops for the public in libraries across the country scheduled on April 16.

“Great writers get started and inspired in libraries,” says Nancy Kranich, immediate past president of ALA, who is featured in the issue of Woman’s Day promoting the new program. “Libraries provide the first sources for a writer’s ideas and the ultimate home for their creative contributions. Libraries are where writers come together to learn and share ideas as a community.”

Women writers agree that libraries and librarians have great power to charge imaginations and make a difference for readers and writers. “The library is an arena of possibility, opening both a window into the soul and a door onto the world,” says former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. “When I got my library card, that's when my life began,” says famed “Sneaky Pie” mystery novelist Rita Mae Brown.

The national Put It in Writing @ your library essay contest kicks off during National Library Week (April 14–20) and continues until August 1. Unpublished women writers are encouraged to send in essays to Woman’s Day in any of three categories: Health, Essay and General Reporting.

The grand-prize winner in each category will be published in the March 2003 issue of Woman’s Day. Contest rules and guidelines are posted on The Campaign for America’s Libraries Web site.

"As an avid reader, writer and editor, I can't speak highly enough about the importance of public libraries," says Jane Chesnutt, vice president and editor-in-chief of Woman's Day and editorial director of Woman's Day, Woman's Day Special Interest Publications and Home magazine. "We at Woman's Day are proud to partner with the American Library Association on this promising program."

As part of the Put It in Writing @ your library program, eight libraries have been selected by Woman’s Day to host writing workshops during National Library Week. The workshops will be held in and around Los Angeles; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Denver; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Vancouver, Wash. Woman’s Day writers and contributing editors will conduct two-hour sessions for new writers on how to get published, drawing from their own experiences and specialties. These workshops are free and open to the public. Librarians will showcase some of the resources available to help local writers break into the business.

Libraries in other cities are urged to hold writing workshops, as well. Guidelines and suggestions on how to organize a writer’s workshop @ your library are being prepared by Woman’s Day. These guidelines and other support materials, including a bibliography for writers, tips for getting published, writing-related programming ideas from ALA and local libraries, sample press materials and more, will be available at on the Put it in Writing Web site at the end of February.

Put It in Writing @ your library is the latest partnership of The Campaign for America’s Libraries, ALA’s five-year public education campaign designed to showcase the value of public, school, academic and special libraries and librarians in the 21st century. Libraries of all types in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have joined the campaign since its launch in April 2001. The Put It In Writing @ your library program is a great way for libraries to jump on board the campaign.

Woman’s Day, a publication of Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc., is a founding partner in the campaign. Other founding partners include 3M Library Systems, Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Major League Baseball and Morningstar Foods, Inc., maker of Hershey’s Milk.

For more information about The Campaign for America’s Libraries, including how to subscribe to a discussion list for the latest updates and idea-sharing, see the Web site at www.ala.org/@yourlibrary. Libraries are encouraged to send multiple hard-copy samples of how they are involved in the campaign to: Megan Humphrey, Campaign Coordinator, ALA Public Information Office, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Samples may also be sent electronically to: atyourlibrary@ala.org.