AASL and Figment.com celebrate School Library Month with teen writing contest

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/05/2011

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CHICAGO – In honor of the 2011 School Library Month theme, Create Your Own Story, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and Figment.com have collaborated to present a month-long story writing festival for teens. Students 13 and up are invited to participate in four story writing contests to be judged by some of young adult literature's most exciting authors: Gayle Forman, Alyson Noel, Lauren Oliver, and Paolo Bacigalupi.

A new contest in a different genre of creative fiction will be announced each week in April via the Figment.com blog and AASL website. Figment.com site users will vote to select the finalists, and the guest author judge for the week will select the winner. Winners of each weekly contest will receive autographed books from that week's judge and one grand prize winner will receive a Kindle. All finalists and winners will be featured on the Figment.com and AASL websites.

Week one: Gayle Forman is the best-selling author of the popular novel "If I Stay."  The highly anticipated sequel "Where She Went" releases this month. Entry submissions for week one will be accepted April 4-10.  User voting will be open April 11-15, and Forman will announce the winner April 19.

Week two: Alyson Noel is a New York Times best-selling author of young adult novels, including "The Immortals" series. Site users may submit their stories April 11-17, and voting will take place April 18-22.  The week’s winner will be announced by Noel on April 26.

Week three: Lauren Oliver is a New York Times best-selling young adult author of the novel "Before I Fall." Submissions will be accepted April 18-24. Site users can vote on their favorite stories April 25-29, and Oliver will announce the winner May 3.

Week four: Paolo Bacigalupi’s recent novel "Ship Breaker" is the 2011 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature.  The submission period is April 25-May 1, and the voting period is May 2-6.  Bacigalupi will announce the winner May 10.

School Library Month, begun in 1985, is celebrated in conjunction with National Library Week (April 12-18). Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career. The 2011 theme is "Create Your Own Story @ your library."

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.