For kids, reading and writing go together like peanut butter and jelly.

That's why we offer a monthly Young Writer's Workshop at the Hudson Area Library. Even if young writers don't want to become professional writers, the skills they learn through creative writing will benefit them in virtually any career.

More teens and tweens than ever have developed an interest in creative writing, partly due to the explosion of online fan fiction sites. These sites allow writers to post original work or their personal adaptations of stories such as Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. (Note to parents: Some writing sites, even those designed for children, can have inappropriate content and bullying can occur in the comments sections. Additionally, adults are able to create profiles in which they pretend to be children.)

A quick Google search also turns up countless writing contests for youth as well as writing classes and camps. Kids can also get their name in print through various self-publishing options.

Teachers, however, have less classroom time to focus on creative writing. Curriculum changes and the emphasis on standardized tests have cut teachers' classroom time. Some people think creative writing is a frivolous activity, but educators know it's a process that stimulates imagination, fosters expression and improves reading skills.

With our monthly workshop - held on the fourth Monday, each month - the library provides structured time for young writers. Writing is often a solitary process, but there are many benefits to gathering in a group. Structured activities build skills. Young writers can analyze and discuss professional examples, share their own work, review the work of their peers, learn the importance of revision and meet new friends.

For more information about our programs, check the library website at

Upcoming events

The Magic of Isaiah, Tuesday, July 10, 1-2 p.m.. An interactive comedy magic show! Part of our Book Your Summer reading program. A whole family event!

Book Birdhouse, Tuesday, July 10, 3-5 p.m. Make a decorative birdhouse out of an old book. Ages 14+. Registration required.

Reading With Teachers from Willow River Elementary, Wednesday, July 11, 1-2 p.m. Teachers read with students and friends. Grades K-3.

Genealogy at the Library, Thursday, July 12, 10:30-11:30am. "Voyage to America," presented by Tina Norris, M.L.I.S. Toddler Time, Tuesdays 10:15 a.m. Babies & Books, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10:15 a.m. Stories for All (0-5), Wednesdays 11:15 a.m.

Grandparent/Grandchild Book Club, Thursday, July 12, 1-2 p.m.. "Hatchet," by Gary Paulsen. Register and get a copy of the book at the children's desk. Novel Bunch Book Club, Thursday, July 12, 6:30-7:30 p.m. "We're Going to Need More Wine," by Gabrielle Union. iLABS: Open Lab Time: Monday-Thursday, noon to 7 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tech Help: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursday, 4-5 p.m.