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First Pages helps budding writers tell their stories

Hennepin County Library offers a bounty of writing labs for every stage in the writing process.

Do you have a story that needs to be told? Or a first draft waiting to be edited and polished? Maybe you want to try your hand at writing but never have the time.

Whatever your situation, whatever your goal, First Pages has a writing class for you.  

A collaboration between Hennepin County Library and the Loft Literary Center, First Pages offers writing labs that cover all aspects of writing, from getting ideas down on paper to getting published.

Classes are free — thanks to funding from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund — and are held at a variety of library branches, with sessions in winter, spring, summer and fall.

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Started in 2008, First Pages has become one of the most popular programs at Hennepin County libraries. Early registration is recommended — classes fill up fast and generally have waiting lists. 

Topics for the upcoming winter session are provided below. For writing lab dates, times, locations, and registration information, visit Hennepin County Library’s First Pages event listings.  

Start Your Memoir
For writers age 55 and older 
Take the initiative to write a personal or family history. Learn the basic elements and techniques of memoir writing and go through exercises to get you started.

Capturing Life-Changing Experiences
Share personal stories through creative nonfiction writing. Explore tips, techniques and tools that will help you capture the moments, decisions and events that have significantly altered your life. 

What Would You Like to Write?
For beginning writers
Examine the differences between the creative writing genres. Discover where your writing interests lie through exercises in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry.

Taking Your Great Idea from Brainstorm to Page
Learn how to get those great ideas down on paper. Receive tips and resources to keep you focused and motivated. 

(Re)Work It
Learn the editing basics needed to revise that first draft. Focus on techniques and exercises that can shape a piece of writing into a stronger finished work.

Write Out Loud
Explore the art of spoken word poetry. Get instruction on writing and performing slam poetry from a professional local writer.

Creative Writing for Book Lovers
You know books better than anyone. Here is your chance to write your own. Learn writing exercises that stimulate good ideas and get them to the page. 

Once Upon a Time, There Was a Writer
Take a break from reading to the kids and learn how to write for them instead. Discover myths about writing for children and learn exercises to get the stories flowing.

The Parent Trap – Finding Time to Write
Writers must write — even if only for five minutes a day or five minutes a week. Learn ways to make writing a habit, even within the busiest parent’s schedule. 

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Character Creation
For children in grades 4-6
From secret powers to high-top sneakers and glasses — discover how authors create their storybook characters. Learn how to develop a character that keeps the reader interested and your stories full of surprises.