Skip to Main Content

Announcing the 2021 Teen Writing Contest & Ned Vizzini Prize Winners

Karen Keys, Coordinator of Young Adult Services
April 30, 2021

We received hundreds of submissions, and the Teen Writing Contest Committee is pleased to announce the following prizes, honors, and selections for the 2021 Teen Writing Contest & Ned Vizzini Teen Writing Prize. Poetry  Middle School First Place: Where I’m From by Nwabude Anthony-Alexandre Ibeanu Second Place: One Thirteenth by Ivy Laidlaw-Morris Honorable Mention: Breezy B by Brian Babb Honorable Mention: Free (After S.E. Hinton) by Iago Macknik-Conde  Honorable Mention: The Swamp by Tara Wong High School First Place: Type Designer by Kai...


Happy National Poetry Month! If you also like poetry, or novels-in-verse, check out any, or all of these five books! APPLE: SKIN TO THE CORE BY ERIC GANSWORTH: "The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside." Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young...


This poem is centered around Ramadan, a spiritual holy month for Muslims. I captured the importance and what this special month means to me. Also, how Ramadan shapes how I perceive everyday things and moments. I keep this month very close to my heart. which I attempted to write about in this poem.  The Holy Month of Ramadan Indeed it is not a burden, but a blessing. from dawn to dusk  to talk with you is to talk with he who illuminates noor  the flowers that you so blossom  during this month and celebrate this as if you’ve been given a new beginning, a restart...

The Holy Month of Ramadan by Zoha Butt

Teen artist Yanari Rodriguez created this poster to promote Earth Day, and gives some background here. Thank you, Yanari!   Happy Earth Day to all! My inspiration for creating this poster is my love for nature. Going outside every morning and taking a breath of fresh air gives me a purpose and makes me feel alive. I feel it is necessary to take care of our beautiful planet, because without it, where would we all be? 

Happy Earth Day from Brooklyn Public Library

Brought to you by the same manga artist of Kaguya-sama: Love is War and the manga artist of Kuzu No Honkai, the story initially follows a sparkling idol of fake smiles, Hoshino Ai, and a doctor who idolizes her. However, an accident happens, and the doctor soon finds himself to be reincarnated as his idol’s son, Hoshino Aquamarine. Together with his twin sister, Ruby, who also reincarnated, the characters took steps into the showbiz industry. The story centralizes itself on the showbiz/entertainment industry. It explores what happens behind the scenes and shows how everything isn’t as...


At nineteen, Nirrim is everything her foster mother wants her to be. She is patient, dutiful, and a hard worker—traits that benefit her low status. She has never tasted anything sweet or worn color; those things are reserved for the High Kith, the rulers her people serve. More importantly, she has never left Herranth, the militarized city that she calls home. There is no room for questioning anything in Herranth. Should any citizen step out of line, they are made to pay a tithe. The tithe can be anything from a few lost pieces of hair to actual fingers. Nirrim knows to keep her head down...


Looking for a paid internship, a scholarship, or a free class? We will post opportunities for teens from BPL and other NYC institutions regularly here to make sure our info is up to date. Feel free to contact BPL or email [email protected] with any questions about these and other opportunities!  Opportunities at Brooklyn Public Library BPL's Teen Writing Contest If you're a teen writer from New York City, grades 6-12, you're invited to submit your poetry and prose to be judged by a panel of BPL's expert young adult librarians for creativity, style and voice....

Paid Opportunities & More for Teens

If you watched this year’s Grammys like I did, chances are you were also angered by who received the pop duo performance award. Nominated for the Best pop/duo performance were: J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny & Tainy- "UN DIA (ONE DAY)" Justin Bieber feat. Quavo- "Intentions" BTS - "Dynamite" Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande- "Rain On Me" Taylor Swift feat. Bon Iver- "exile" Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande won for“Rain On Me.”  No disrespect to those AMAZING artists. However, BTS’s "Dynamite" had so many more achievements than "Rain On Me." "Dynamite" was on top of...

The Grammys are a Scam

This internship application is due April 6th and has a few steps, so hurry if you want to apply! Are you someone who identifies as a girl in 8th or 9th grade in NYC? Do you like science, technology, or computers, and want to meet other girls who like exploring how to solve problems? Looking for a cool experience this summer that will help build your resume?  Check out GOALS for Girls at the Intrepid Museum. They are looking for girls in all five boroughs to participate in a summer intensive, and if you enjoy your experience, to become interns for one of the wildest museums in NYC (...

Summer Internship: Apply now!

Our Story

Michelle Lin
March 25, 2021

We are thought to be invisible in history- to not voice our thoughts, and to stay at home and not be seen.   We are thought to be silent- to listen and not be heard to swallow and gulp down our words of anguish beneath our tongues.   But we can no longer be invisible, because we have learned to raise our voices- the meeting at Seneca Falls, and the series of protests that follows.   We as women have united and will no longer be silent under abuse, to voice our thoughts and sufferings and to be set free under the wings of...


Brooklyn Public Library's Teen Writing Contest is still accepting submissions, through March 31! The contest is open to middle and high schoolers all over NYC. Get the details and the link to submit here: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/teen-writing-contest Need some inspiration? Here is a list of books selected by BookMatch Teen for their spectacular writing.    

Ned Vizzini Teen Writing Prize

New York City high school student Madison Xu is launching a free virtual storytime for children, filled with stories from around the world!  Read on for some background, and program details, from Madison.  When I was younger, my mom was always there to help me find amazing books about  different cultures and people. I loved the way that the words could transform even the most distant living experiences into something familiar. I’ve always noticed the lack of more diverse and international narratives within our educational institutions and our popularized children's books....

Storytime with the Pajama Club

 If you’re a horror fan like I am, chances are that during quarantine you’ve been binge watching every scary movie out there, you're now used to cheap jumpscares, and nothing has gotten you. Well, this list contains five of the highest rated horror movies, all of which are filmed as found footage!  Watch at your own risk.... Gonjiam Haunted Asylum- This movie gave me the chills and it has to be the scariest one on this list. It follows the story of six people who break into an abandoned haunted asylum, livestreaming the whole thing. It takes a while for all...

Top Five Scariest Movies You Shouldn't Watch

One of the biggest losses for me over the course of quarantine has been my social life. There were so many people who I would see every day at school, and I had a lot of friends. However, when we weren’t able to go to school anymore, I lost contact with a lot of them and only really remained in touch with my best friends. I started to feel lonely and wished that I could make new friends. Finding ways to be social and meet people while following all COVID guidelines was difficult—but it was possible!  I know it can be really daunting to interact with people over Zoom, especially when...


Sunday, March 14 is COVID-19 Day of Remembrance, an official day of remembrance in New York City. In honor of this day, BookMatch Teen members have created a list of the books that got them through this past year. What books, or shows, games or songs, helped you? Want more good reads? Fill out this short form, and BookMatch Teen will send you a personalized booklist.     

COVID-19 Day of Remembrance, March 14, 2021

Yesterday, March 8th was International Women's Day and March itself is Women's History Month. While a  Women & Gender Studies major in college, I learned all about how women's lives and experiences have NOT been front and center in literature, the news, history, media, etc. for far too long. Especially Women of Color (WoC) and queer and trans women.  Therefore, I present to you five of my favorite novels about young women and their quest to better understand themselves and the world around them in the past and present. Displacement by...


Calling young hip-hop enthusiasts! Now's your chance to get the basics on how to drop your rhymes. Join us for two classes with educator and performer Dyalekt. On the first session Dyalekt will teach you the basics. Then on the second session you can try out what you learned! Registration required, this event holds up to 15 people. This event will be held over Zoom, registrants will be emailed a link prior to the event. Please call librarian Eric Horwitz if you have questions: (718) 398-8713. This program is brought to you by a generous grant from the Kaplan Fund....


Everyone has heard of Martin Luther King Jr,  Malcolm X and Rosa Parks, but there are others out there who have made a huge impact. Here are five Black heroes you may not have heard of. Linda Brown- Does Brown v. Board of Education sound familiar to you? Well, this was the little girl who was barred from attending an elementary school because she was Black. She fought for equality in education and brought up the idea that segregations in schools was unlawful. She is one of the many reasons that schools aren’t segregated these days. Thanks, Linda Brown! Fred Jones- A...

Five Black Heroes You May Not Have Heard Of

Looking for a paid internship, a scholarship, or a free class? We will post opportunities for teens from BPL and other NYC institutions regularly here to make sure our info is up to date. Feel free to contact BPL or email [email protected] with any questions about these and other opportunities!  Opportunities at Brooklyn Public Library BPL's Teen Writing Contest If you're a teen writer from New York City, grades 6-12, you're invited to submit your poetry and prose to be judged by a panel of BPL's expert young adult librarians for creativity, style and voice. Accepting...

Paid Opportunities and More for Teens

Silence

Dina Abuali
March 1, 2021

Silence  Silent night  Silent morning  Silent fun  Silent boring  Cost me a great deal  Worth the peace  Quiet to observe my happiness  That I alone have given to me  “WHy SIlence,I want to scream!!!!!!”  As I watch the souls express  As they understand themselves but not others  As I understand the standards of those who do not test their selves  It is my silent day  It is my silent moment  It is my silent pleasure  And my silent life that I have been...


Synopsis 3,700 years have passed- and all of humanity has turned into stone.  The story initially takes place in the modern world with the genius highschool scientist Senku and his childhood friends Taiju and Yuzuriha. On the day when Taiju was about to confess to Yuzuriha, the Earth was struck by a mysterious green light, and humanity was petrified. After several millenniums, Senku and his friends broke away from the stone and found their civilization destroyed. However, together with Senku’s smarts and Taiju’s strength, they began to revive humanity and rebuild their civilization...


King

Zoe Lafontant
February 23, 2021

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” —Martin Luther King Jr. Let them break our legs, bash our heads, but as swiftly as we fell, we’ll rise. Let them shoot us in the back and watch the blood seep into the ground, but, as long as they keep firing, we’ll keep moving. Let them strip us of our bronze skin, down to the blood and bones we share, but we’ll show them the power embedded in our minds because You can’t break the wings of a bird and expect it not to sing. You...


If you’re looking for a great movie to watch during Black History Month, then this list is for you!  Below I’ve listened a few AMAZING movies you must watch, if it's Black History Month or not. Twelve Years a Slave (2013) This movie is an essential. It's about Solomon Northup, a free black man who lived in the North and was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The movie follows his struggle to survive and how he spent the next twelve years of his life fighting to be free again. A MUST watch! Antebellum (2020) Viewers are saying that this movie has a HUGE plot twist...

Black History Month: Top 5 Movies

Silence

Dina Abuali
February 20, 2021

Has left me in bliss  Stoned forever  Withholding my tongue Nibbling on my mumbled words Mistaken them for none Tears shiver Triggering my emotions Source or weapon To keep my point form going You withled my tongue  Weaponized my manipulation Claiming to be what may be love Only in your eyes will be salvation Truth may be told for you May I ask “What is peace” What availability must I approach for you Stepping over my boundaries


Demetria Baptiste is an 11th grader at Nazareth Regional High School in Brooklyn and a participant in the Librarians of Tomorrow (LoT) internship program. She is currently working with the Paerdegat branch on virtual programs. We caught up with her to learn more about teen life during a pandemic and what’s on her bookshelf! What's school look like for you this year? School for me this year is actually pretty easy. It is a lot less stressful, I can do everything how I want to, and I have more time to get more done in a day. For example, being at home eliminated my thirty minute commute...

Librarians of Tomorrow

I think high school literature needs a serious update. There are the “classics” we’re always required to read—Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men—and while they’re great books that have valuable themes, they’re also so stale.  They’ve been assigned on a loop to kids, and their parents, and their parents' parents. Most high schoolers can’t connect with or don’t care about Jay Gatsby and Holden Caulfield: they’re all often white, very Eurocentric, and authored by men. Anyone who has read a book published in the last five to ten years knows that there’s...


Untitled

Dina Abuali
February 12, 2021

Pressure to make it Pressure to only succeed Winning to embrace heroic intentions But only to gain heroic attention Has the struggle not been noticed Has the tears not reflected on the surface of our face Falling down symbolizing our past failures Yet covered,yet seen through a clear glass vase Broken down to pieces Never to be seen Only in the heat of the moment  What is revealed to us is the struggles we have bled and fought through in secrecy


Featured Poem: YOU by Mehrin Faisal YOU I’ve seen you with the corner of my eyes, I’ve gotten to know you by the way you socialize, I’ve asked God for your replies, When I’ve prayed with my eyes set on the skies.   I’ve seen the beauty of your eyes, I’ve seen the way it captures lies, I’ve seen the way your heart aches, When our love song belies.   I’ve communicated with you through my eyes, I’ve seen the way they verbalize, I’ve vocalized my thoughts through my eyes, When I’ve thought you’d apprize.   I’ve seen the pain in...


I remember when I was alone and cold. Especially in freshman year of college, you were there across the hall from me, wearing your baggy sweats, with your imperfectly perfect bangs, complimenting your beanie. There you were, listening to that song, KANON. The way the chords complimented each other, how peace transformed into thunderous harmony. Every key turned into you. The look you gave me. The look you saw from me. Was it the same look? I don’t know. I remember how the song complimented your blue eyes, how it rushed and flowed like the ocean, neverending, never standing still. How can one...


In Natasha Ngan’s world, Ikhara, there is an oppressive hierarchy in place. The Moon Caste are the unequivocal rulers of Ikhara; they are fully demon, possessing demon traits and heritage. They rule Ikhara with an iron fist. The Steel Caste is second best to the Moon Caste, as they are humans with demonic traits. The Paper Caste are the lowest of the low, being fully human. They are the most disrespected and overlooked members of Ikhara’s society. Lei and her father belong to the Paper Caste.  When Lei is ten, the soldiers of the Demon King come for her mother. Lei never sees her...

line drawing of stack of books

Untitled

Dina Abuali
February 6, 2021

Can we start over  And pretend to see the light So it may come to vision And see the stars align A man once loved a woman Lived his life for a cure A cure of pure simplicity And this woman has made him sure Moving too fast Forgetting his patience Caught up in a trance of love Barely noticing what has been fading Memories keeping him alive Making him saint Turning him to an angel A position to not faint 


I have always loved America. The idea that everyone’s  opinions can be represented through democracy makes me feel validated as a citizen. Lately, I feel like this right of mine is being pried from my hands. All across social media, respect for others and their opinions has become a foreign concept. People are being attacked and unfollowed for their political views. Peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters are labeled as violent. Recently, a student at my school told her friend that he was brave for telling people who he was voting for. Why should we have to be brave in order to express...

Multi-colored mural that says VOTE

It’s absolutely wild to think that we are approaching the one-year anniversary of our lives being put on pause. Many of us were so busy before being abruptly forced to stay at home with limited options of how to occupy ourselves. I confess that the first few months, sitting around being overwhelmed by my boredom were pretty rough. I realized that this period in my life was going to last longer than I initially anticipated, so I decided that I needed to find some things to make quarantine more bearable. Taking up a New Hobby With my days now free, I wanted to put all that extra time to...

Stay Home written on chalkboard

Haters

Fatema Jahura
January 29, 2021

People tell you,  you are too dark like an ink, People tell you, you are extremely unattractive like villains, People tell you, you are really unsmart like SpongeBob, People tell you, you are too short like an elf, People tell you, you are too tall like a giraffe  People tell you, you are too skinny like a dry fish, People tell you, you are too fat like an elephant,   But….   You should tell them, NOBODY IS PERFECT, Everyone has something they are concerned about, Whether it’s their appearance or their...


It’s no surprise that a lot of teenagers don’t spend time outside very often; many of us barely leave our rooms. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a contributor to this, of course. Things like shopping and traveling to indoor places are difficult, if not impossible. I’ve lamented a lot about how I don’t have access to my old refuge away from home: the Central Library. Without safe, comfortable spaces like that, it kind of feels pointless to leave the house.  However, I think many teens are really missing out on local green spaces—even if they aren’t currently so green. Those of us that...


Over the past year, people have picked up many different hobbies. Seeing others’ success in sewing, music, writing, and painting made me want to try these pastimes. But each thing I tried never worked, and I would get frustrated when I was not an automatic expert. Ultimately, reading became my favorite thing to do because of the comfort it brings—certainly needed during quarantine. It was something steady I could lean on after being thrown into such an unusual year. I researched many books and realized that I wanted to start with the classics—the “blueprints” of literature. Anyone looking...

Colored pencils arranged in a maze

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  Steve Jobs, Former Apple CEO I worked in my neighborhood library when I was 17 (late ‘80s) and I loved it! I learned how to research for my school reports, and I was able to show other kids how to do their own research. I felt like I was being helpful, and I did something valuable.  I loved it so much I wanted to become a librarian, so I looked it up in the OOH. The Occupational...


I'm so grateful 2020 is FINALLY over and I'm sure many of you are too. At the end of each year I set a minimum of five resolutions or goals for the next year. This year, I hope to: Get my driver's license Read fifty books Move into a new apartment Bake at least once a month, and... Try watercolor painting, again. Setting goals can be fun. They can help motivate you, keep you focused and feel a sense of accomplishment. They can also be torturous! In Mia Garcia's novel, The Resolutions, four high school seniors and best friends assign each other dares, instead of...

2021

“The tiny plot was what had been set aside now to indicate the spot, but in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the site had been large, some six acres, as far north as present-day Duane Street, and as far south as City Hall Park. Along Chambers Street and in the park itself, human remains were still routinely uncovered. But most of the burial ground was now under office buildings, shops, streets, diners, pharmacies, all  the endless hum of quotidian commerce and government. Into this earth had been interred the bodies of some fifteen to twenty thousand blacks, most of them...


Christina Armieri  December 29, 2020  My Passion is discovering things (research). Discovering information about other people, other cultures, different ways of thinking, or just new things to study.    I found that I love being a librarian by working in my neighborhood library as a teenager. I learned the Dewey Decimal system (pre-electronic catalog) and it made writing my papers so much easier. I discovered I enjoyed helping others with their papers and schoolwork. I started seeing how...

Find Your Spark

close navigation 
Tell City Leaders: Protect our Libraries!
Sign a Letter