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Express Yourself at the library

Story and photo by Renita Naraine

You can mail your art or written pieces to the McLaughlin Branch

Get your utensils ready! No, you won’t need your spoons and forks, but this contest will require painting and writing utensils of your choice.

Express Yourself is a teen art and writing contest run by the Oshawa Public Libraries. It is open to all Oshawa students from Grade 7 to 12 who currently own an Oshawa Public Libraries card.

Participants can enter one piece of original work by the deadline of May 1. Submissions may consist of one short story, poem, non-fiction essay or work of art, which can be hand delivered to any of the Oshawa libraries or mailed to McLaughlin Branch on 65 Bagot St.

“The library holds the contest to encourage people to continue to enjoy art and writing, as well as help showcase local teen talent,” said Teresa Gawman, Teen Services Librarian at the McLaughlin Branch.

For artists, the entry may be in any medium such as watercolour, oil pastel, but no larger than 24” by 30”. It must be mounted on Bristol board for exhibition purposes with the entry form taped to the back.

For authors, the piece may be no longer than 1500 words and pages must be numbered. For anonymity, don’t put your name on the entry. Instead, enclose a cover page with the title, your contact information and word count and submit the piece unfolded in a large envelope.

“People who aren’t big library users, but are into art, benefit from the program as well,” said Gawman, they are somewhat reintroduced to the library and all the programs it has to offer – not just books.

First, second and third place winners will be announced in May and will receive gift certificates of $100, $50 and $25 respectively. Winners will also be asked to submit an electronic copy and the winning submissions will be published in the Express Yourself Anthology.

For more information and a complete list of guidelines, visit the Oshawa Public Libraries website.

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