MPL’s Writing Contest for Adults, and Summer Writing Workshop Series!

This year’s Summer Reading Program theme for adults is “Escape the Ordinary!”  To inspire our community to get creative and try something new, the Reference department at the Main Library is hosting a writing contest, and an accompanying writing workshop series.

The Writing Contest is open to all adults aged 18+, who live in Hidalgo and surrounding counties.  Both poetry and prose submissions will be accepted for the theme of “My Hero.”  Submissions can be fiction or nonfiction.  Check out the contest guidelines located at the library website: Writing Contest Guidelines.

To get in gear for the Writing Contest, we invite the MPL community to take part in our Summer Writing Workshop Series.  The first session in the series was held this past Saturday, May 30th.  Guest presenter René Ballesteros of the Museum of South Texas History led a discussion about historical photographs, and the role of libraries, archives, and museums in preserving and providing access to these important historical and cultural records.

Attendees also participated in several informal writing exercises using photographs from the archives at MOSTHistory, like the one pictured above, and also using photographs brought from home for more personal explorations of family history and experience.


“Escape the Ordinary – 
Online Publishing and the Unexpected Hero”

Our next writing workshop session will be held at the Main Library this Saturday, June 6th, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

Guest speaker Katie Griffin, Editor in Chief of Raconteur House Publishing, will share the basics of online publishing, and what publishers and editors are looking for in an author and a manuscript.

Her writing workshop will offer insights and tips to help tackle the challenge of creating dynamic, believable characters, drawing examples from our favorite characters of all: Superheroes!


“Escape the Ordinary – Write a Poem!”

Next we have a poetry writing session on Tuesday evening, June 16th, from 6:00 to 8:00pm at the Main Library.

Priscilla Celina Suarez, McAllen’s very own Poet Laureate, and librarian Elizabeth Hollenbeck will introduce different poetry styles and techniques.

The writing workshop will give attendees a chance to practice these techniques, with a focus on bringing poems to life through the use of sensory imagery.


“Escape the Ordinary –
Creative Nonfiction 101”

The final session in the Workshop Series will be on Saturday, June 20th, from 10:00am to 12:00 noon, at the Main Library.

Tony Hughes, who teaches AP Language & Composition at Harlingen High School, will present on the topic of Creative Nonfiction.

Attendees will explore the creative process through writing, become familiar with the conventions of the craft, and learn to draw stories from one’s own life.


Submissions to the Writing Contest will be accepted between June 15th and July 6th, so we hope you will take advantage of our Summer Writing Workshop Series and get those creative ideas flowing.  To register for any of these programs, or to find out more information about the Writing Contest, please call the Main Library at (956) 981-3000 and ask for the Reference department.


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