Tell Your Story: Encouraging Young Writers to Share Their Voices is a poster in the 2020 PNLA Virtual Poster Session. We encourage you to engage in discussion by leaving a comment on the page. The author of the poster will respond to comments the week of August 4-7, 2020.

Presenter: Patricia Lesku

Track: Public & School Libraries

Abstract: Tell Your Story gives young writers and artists in West Vancouver the chance to turn their original projects into real ebooks that can be checked out by anyone with a WVML card. It aims to:

  • Pair inspiration with action: take a young artist’s idea and help them turn it into something shareable
  • Empower young people to create and share their original stories
  • Amplify young voices in our community
  • Help young creators form a community in West Vancouver

Tell Your Story is generously supported by the West Vancouver Memorial Foundation


Supporting Material:

About the Presenter:
Patricia is a Digital Access Librarian with the West Vancouver Memorial Library. A passionate teacher for more than 20 years, she is always looking for creative ways to use technology to inspire learners of all ages — especially young writers.

Chat with the Presenter:
Patricia will be available to chat in real time via comments, Thursday, August 6, 9:00am-10:30am (Pacific time). Can’t make it during these times? Don’t worry! Leave a comment and she will get back to you.


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3 years ago

Great concept! We have a teen writing club and provide writing activities or prompts, but this takes it even further into publication.

Reply to  Lynn
3 years ago

Thank you! I’d love to hear more about your teen writing club and how you set it up and the kinds of activities you choose.

Erin Hvizdak
3 years ago

I think that this is SO COOL! I started thinking about how we could also offer something like this for undergraduates at my university – maybe not a full-fledged ebook, but how we could offer support for Zine-creation, maybe, or even just highlighting student submissions on a library guide or something. Do you offer any other programming around this, like promotional events or celebrations or anything (difficult now, I suppose!). I’m also wondering if you’ve gotten any feedback on this from the wider community, like if adults are reading these and considering doing this as well.

Reply to  Erin Hvizdak
3 years ago

Thank you for your comment! I agree the idea has a lot of potential for academic libraries and Zine creation.
Re: promotional events: Earlier this year, we’d started a partner project of Tell Your Story with an elementary school. The idea was that there would be a celebration event once the kid creators’ work was available to borrow. We were planning on having some of the young authors read, for example. The partnership survived the pandemic, we kept in touch by email and video, and the kids’ ebooks were published in June. There was a virtual celebration — which was the best we could do in the situation. There’s a strong social-emotional piece to inviting feedback and sharing your work and I think it’s very important that we offer creators the chance to celebrate doing the hard work. It’s something I’m seriously thinking about as we move forward.
Re: feedback: We do hear from adults in the community who are interested in participating (and in fact did have one adult try and submit for our upcoming Anthology). Because our funding is for Youth, it’s not something we’re offering right now. That being said, I do teach adult classes in using Sigil to create ebooks, and using Canva to design ebook covers. Pre-pandemic, our Library also worked in partnership with other local libraries on a project called the North Shore Authors Collection which gave a bigger spotlight to works by local authors. I think the program would work very well with an adult audience.

3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this. It is important for children to discover their voice and be able to share their experiences. This is a great project to help with that.

Reply to  Rick
3 years ago

Thank you for your comment! We’ve been finding that children really do value the opportunities to have their voices shared.