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Teens Invited to Get Creative, Sign Up for “Make This” and “First Pages” Workshops at Hennepin County Libraries
Teens who like being creative or want to improve their creative writing skills are invited to more than 20 free “Make This” workshops and “First Pages for Teens” writing classes offered March through mid-May at Hennepin County libraries. Registration is required.
Teens in grades 7-12 who enjoy trying new things will like “Make This” workshops on fashion design, jewelry-making, anime and manga drawing, nontraditional comic arts, assemblage arts and how to make altered books and zines (mini-magazines).
The Berger family of Brooklyn Park, with children ranging in age from junior high through college, has attended “Make This” workshops at Hennepin County Library – Champlin and other libraries.
“They did the zines class, jewelry and fashion — where they cut up shirts, made gloves, masks, scarves, arm bands, and matching hair bows,” said mom Melanie. “They liked that there wasn’t just one project and they could be creative…And we like that a whole family can attend and not be separated by age.” She added that “Make This” offers teens an opportunity to express their individual personalities.
“We love the library and spend a lot of time there — time where we can just be together,” Berger said. “Library programs offer a valuable tool for education and experience outside the required and mundane. It’s a very convenient resource for expanding horizons.”
“Make This” is funded by Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund and presented in collaboration with the Minnetonka Center for the Arts.
“First Pages” Creative Writing Classes
Of the three “First Pages for Teens” writing classes for teens in grades 7-12 offered March-May, two are new: Elements of Fiction and Novel Writing for Teens.
“We added these classes to inspire and support our teen patrons who enjoy creative writing, and to keep the ‘First Pages’ curriculum fresh,” said Johannah Genett, Hennepin County Library program librarian.
“First Pages” classes are presented in collaboration with the Loft Literary Center and are taught by Loft teaching artists, many of whom are published writers.
Kathryn Savage of Minneapolis began teaching “First Pages for Teens” classes last summer. The classes offer young people an opportunity to connect with creative writing experts and other writers beyond the classroom.
“Most students want to feel inspired to keep writing and have a community of peers of other fiction writers,” she said. “Most are active writers, working on stories and novels at home. Most are voracious readers, some have taken writing classes.”
Savage, who writes book reviews for the Star Tribune and has an MFA in fiction writing and literature, said the students want to learn “how to structure stories and move a plot forward, how to translate their ideas into stories on the page.”
“'First Pages’ are a great community-building opportunity for young writers — it’s great to have a space where students can come and be excited about the craft of writing and share their experiences,” Savage added. “It’s a great program. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
“First Pages for Teens” classes are funded by Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund and presented in collaboration with the Loft Literary Center.
For more information about Hennepin County Library’s events and classes, go to www.hclib.org and click on Events & Classes at the top of the page.
March “Make This” Workshops (9 more offered April & May)
Make This: Fashion Design
Deconstruct, up-cycle and modify old clothing. Basic sewing, appliqué and surface design techniques that push the limits of ordinary fashion will be demonstrated. Bring along a few pieces of clothing that you aren’t afraid to cut-up, color or fray. 

Westonka Library
Friday, March 1, 3–5 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-6175.

Ridgedale Library
Saturday, March 2, 1–3 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-8800.

Nokomis Library
Saturday, March 9, 1–3 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-6800.

Northeast Library
Saturday, March 9, 1–3 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-6775.

Eden Prairie Library
Saturday, March 23, 1–3 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-6275.

Make This: Jewelry
Make your own beads, belts, rings, headbands, bracelets, necklaces or pendants. Learn how to make beautiful and fun handcrafted jewelry you can wear or give away. Materials provided
Rockford Road Library
Monday, March 11, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-5875.. 

Brooklyn Park Library
Thursday, March 28, 2–4 p.m.
Registration required, begins Feb. 28. Register online or call 612-543-6225.

Make This: Anime and Manga Drawings
Work with comic artist Adam Sward on developing and refining your anime drawing skills. Practice character and concept development, composition, drawing, inking and coloring. No previous drawing experience necessary. 
Webber Park Library
Thursday, March 14, 4–6 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-6750.

Brookdale Library
Wednesday, March 20, 3:30–5:30 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-5600.

Make This: Nontraditional Comic Arts
Think comics are only created with pens and India ink? Think again. Explore the range of media used to create contemporary comics, including scratchboard, photocopies, collage and printmaking, and more traditional materials. No previous comic arts experience necessary. 
Sumner Library
Tuesday, March 19, 4:30–6:30 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-6875.

Make This: Assemblage Art
Found materials, drawings, photographs, fabrics and natural objects can be unified to create new art that makes a statement. Expand your understanding of two-dimensional art forms such as assemblage and collage. No prior art-making experience required. 
Southdale Library
Tuesday, March 19, 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-5900.

“First Pages for Teens” Classes
First Pages for Teens: Elements of Fiction
You’ve got your story or novel idea down, maybe even a first draft. Now learn the ins and outs of creating memorable settings, developing an exciting plot, and writing believable characters with depth and complexity.
Eden Prairie Library
Saturday, March 2, 1–2:30 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-6275.

First Pages for Teens: Creating Fictional Worlds
How do you create fictional, but vivid and detailed “other worlds” in fiction? Learn how celebrated authors have mastered the art of creating these alternate worlds where anything is possible, and how you can too!
Eden Prairie Library
Saturday, March 16, 1–2:30 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-6275.

First Pages for Teens: Novel Writing for Teens
Have you always wanted to write the great American novel, but don’t know where to begin? Learn the core elements of the novel to help you get started, then go home and begin your first draft!
Maple Grove Library
Tuesday, March 26, 2–3:30 p.m.
Register online or call 612-543-6450.

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