Library plans fan art, fiction contest 

Southern Oaks Library seeks metro youth skilled at telling stories through words or images.

The local library is accepting entries for its annual fan art and fan fiction contest " a competition that centers around art and writing based on copyrighted characters from well-known works of fiction, such as books, video games and comics.

"It's a good way for young people to get a taste for writing and art, and start off learning to write because you already have all the background filled in," said John Hilbert, young adult services librarian. "It's a great way to teach writing."

Entries are not restricted to any particular genre, and contestants may submit art work in any medium. Fan fiction should be no more than 2,000 words, and any type of writing qualifies, such as a short story or poetry. Participants can add their own characters, but Hilbert said the submitted story must contain at least one character from the source material.

"We get poetry, comic books, writing " we get all different types of art," he said. "We get mostly Japanese manga, anime and a lot of things based on computer games, like 'Final Fantasy.'"

Although about 90 percent of entries comes from kids and teens, Hilbert said contest organizers will split the competition into two categories this year: 12 and under, and 13 and up. The first prize for each category is a $50 Visa gift card, and second prize is $25.

Contestants can e-mail entries to through 6 p.m. March 15. Judges will announce winners 2 p.m. March 21 at Southern Oaks Library, 6900 S. Walker. Contenders must be present to win. For more information, call 631-4468.

"Caitlin Harrison

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