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Keshav Dhir, Literary Entrepreneur and Gunn Student

Keshav Dhir, Literary Entrepreneur and Gunn Student

TA Sophia N. ’19 spoke with Keshav Dhir, a Gunn student who founded an online literary journal for teens.

Keshav Dhir, a freshman at Gunn, is no ordinary high school student. At the age of 15, he created a free online literary journal to give middle and high school students a platform to share their writing and be inspired by the writing of other students around the country.

When he was very young, he discovered his passion for reading through J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series and from then on would spend hours each day immersed in the fictional worlds of Rick Riordan, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and many more. When he got a bit older, he grew curious about how authors managed to write so descriptively and transport others to their fictional worlds. After asking himself these questions, he gave writing a shot and found that he not only loved consuming written works but also creating them with his own two hands. Inspired by his favorite authors, he currently loves to read and write fantasy and sci-fi. He has also forged his own path in journalism and has interviewed people such as Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, and Steve Rasmussen, the owner of Milk Pail Market in Mountain View.

Scribere, Winter 2017 Issue

He soon reached out to a children’s publishing company to see if his work could be published, but he never gota response as to whether they would consider publishing his work. Frustrated by his experience, Keshav made it his mission to create a platform for young writers to share their work and read short stories and poems from other talented students. He founded Scribere, an online literary journal, to promote creativity in students and give them the opportunity to submit their own work for publication and receive feedback from other student writers. Scribere is growing rapidly across the Bay Area and is now sponsored by Disney, ThinkFund, Youth Service for America, and the City of Palo Alto.

However, despite his success, Keshav is no stranger to criticism and writer’s block. When faced with writer’s block, he says, “I usually take a step back and think about what I’ve written, and see how I can improve it through description or dialogue or something else. Sometimes, I will just take a break completely and wait for something new to come to me. You can’t force the creative flow; it has to come to you.” When I asked him if he had any advice for young aspiring writers, he said “Writer’s block happens, rejection happens, criticism happens. Don’t let it get you down, just keep writing! Your writing is your own, so you decide when you’re finished or how much to add, not anyone else.”

Keshav encourages aspiring writers in the Castilleja community to submit their work to Scribere, following the guidelines outlined on their website (scribere.org). He and his editorial board, which only consists of middle and high school students, will review the submission and decide whether it should be published in their journal. If not, they’ll give the author feedback on how it can be improved and invite them to resubmit. If so, they’ll reach out to the author and let them know when their work will be published.

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Love Pixar? Want to know their storytelling secrets?

Love Pixar? Want to know their storytelling secrets?

Pixar has teamed up with Khan Academy to offer a free course on storytelling! The Art of Storytelling will be released over the course of the year, with sections on narrative, character creation, storyboarding, and more. Material is drawn from artists and directors who worked on movies like Inside Out, Up, and Brave. The first two segments are up now. Go check it out!

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Got Audiobooks? (Your Library Does!)

Got Audiobooks? (Your Library Does!)

elizabeth enjoying audiobooks

The library is delighted to announce that we now have audiobooks that you can check out!

Our collection, offering a range of choices for listeners age 11-18 and beyond, is with the ebooks in Overdrive. If you want to see which of our audiobooks are recommended for someone your age, check out our Pinterest board.

If you are not an audiobook devotee already, you might be wondering what there is to get excited about. Click on a cover below to take a listen to some samples from our collection and find out:

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (Gr. 8+) Full Cast Reading

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (Gr. 8+) Full Cast Reading

The Night Circus (Adult for young adult) Reader: Jim Dale

The Night Circus (Adult for young adult) Reader: Jim Dale

The Graveyard Book (Gr 5-8) Readers: Tim Dann and Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book (Gr 5-8) Readers: Tim Dann and Neil Gaiman

 

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Gr. 6+) Reader: Katherine Kellgren

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy (Gr. 6+) Reader: Katherine Kellgren

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Gr. 9+) Reader: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Gr. 9+) Reader: Lin-Manuel Miranda

How It Went Down (Gr 9+) Full Cast Reading

How It Went Down (Gr 9+) Full Cast Reading

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Gr 7+) Reader: Ray Porter

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War (Gr 7+) Reader: Ray Porter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So check out some audiobooks today, an tell us how you enjoy experiencing books in a whole new way!

Learn how to check them out on our how-to page.

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Bluefire 1000 Word Story Contest!

Bluefire 1000 Word Story Contest!

Bluefire, an annual literary journal published by the Leyla Beban Young Authors Foundation, is now accepting entries into their $1000 for 1000 Words contest! Prizes are $1000 for first place and seven $100 prizes for runners up. The deadline to submit a story is February 1st.

From their website:

“We’re looking for an outstanding piece of short fiction that consists of exactly 1000 words. While there are no specific guidelines beyond that, we encourage you to tell a story that matters. Write something you believe in. Tell a story that only you can tell.”

Check out the contest page and the rules to learn more!

 

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The “One Ring”?

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings novels may have been inspired by a true story. Curators at the Vyne, an English estate, claim they have a golden ring which may have created the story for the fabled “One Ring” in Tolkein’s epic novels. The ring has inscriptions in Latin and is said to bear the curse of a Celtic deity.

Check out this NPR story to learn more about this ring.

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April is National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and that means that there are many exciting events happening. The 8th Graders already had a poetry reading in the library and shared their own compositions. The Middle School literary magazine is coming out soon and will be filled with poetic renderings. Are you feeling poetic? Don’t forget that April 29th is Poem in Your Pocket Day. Have a poem in your pocket and you could win a prize. You can also share your poem selection on Twitter by using the hashtag #pocketpoem. Check out the displays in the library to get inspired and bring out your poetic side!

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