MN Writes MN Reads is pleased to announce that Minnesota is one of eleven states hosting the Virtual Library Comic Convention (VLCC) in partnership with library services company BiblioLabs. VLCC offers two key opportunities for comics and graphic novel fans:
To celebrate comic and graphic novels together even while the pandemic keeps us apart, there will be virtual events being held on the afternoon of July 30, 2020, with free, unlimited registration for everyone in the state. The sessions feature comic authors and artists, as well as librarians discussing publishing programs available at public libraries. Sessions include:
- Worth 1,000 Words: Visual Storytelling Through Comics and Graphic Novels
- Comic Book Art 101: Demonstrations, Tips and Tricks of the Trade
- BookFeud: Graphic Novel and Comic Edition
And more! All comic and graphic novel fans welcome.
To register for these free sessions and learn more, visit:
Second, leading comic and graphic novel publishing partners are coming together to help libraries deliver remote services. A huge collection of more than 4,000 titles is available to read online for free, no login required, through August 31, 2020. The comics and graphic novels are organized by category, including superhero stories, real-life history, sports, fairy tales, horror, and more. There’s something for every graphic novel and comic fan. To check out the collection, go to: https://mn-comics.biblioboard.com/
MN Writes MN Reads announced this week the availability of over 4,000 comics, graphic novels, and children’s materials as part of an innovative program to make this content freely available to all residents of Minnesota throughout the summer. This project is a collaboration with 9 other states and is intended to provide easy access to digital resources while also supporting statewide summer reading programs for all ages during the COVID-19 period. More eBooks will be released throughout the summer from additional children’s, comic book, and science fiction publishers.
“Firstly, we want to thank our valuable publishing partners who generously took the lead on driving the creation of this program,” said BiblioLabs CEO, Mitchell Davis. “We have worked on innovative eBook models at the state level for years and this shines a light on the close collaborations between publishers and libraries that are emerging today. This program has the potential to positively impact the lives of millions of people and highlights the role libraries have always served in being a provider of resources in a time of need.”
All of the eBooks are available in an unlimited simultaneous use model and served to patrons via geolocation. “In the modern era, delivering and using statewide eContent resources should be as easy as catching an Uber, and we are proud to work with statewide library organizations and publishers adapting the digital library experience to modern user expectations. This model creates seamless support of information deserts throughout the state and ensures all states can provide a baseline eBook collection to all residents,” Davis added. The VLCC collection will be free to libraries and patrons through August 31st, serving as a valuable tool in statewide summer reading program support for all libraries.
MN Writes MN Reads is also participating in a VLCC online event, to be held on July 30th, featuring interactive sessions with leading talent as well as librarians talking about grassroots graphic novel creation and local zine publishing programs available through public libraries. More details on the online event will be released soon.
The event is a collaboration with the canceled CoMIXgraphicCON, part of the Twin Cities Teen Lit Con. “When we had to cancel our event, we reached out to BiblioLabs to see if this project might help fill the gap for us and for other canceled events across Minnesota. They reacted quickly and we are now in the process of re-organizing around the new virtual format,” said Sarah Hawkins, Project Manager at the Metropolitan Library Services Agency (MELSA).
To access the comic and graphic novel collection and learn more, visit: https://mn-comics.biblioboard.com.
Minnesota public libraries are pleased to announce the call for entries in the first annual Minnesota Author Project: Communities Create contest.
For Minnesota organizations and communities who have creative written work to share – a short story collection from a classroom, a local history book by a team of librarians, a poetry anthology from a writers group, a cookbook by a local foodie society – this new contest is the perfect opportunity to get that work out to a wide audience and maybe win a contest in the process!
Marlene Moulton Janssen, board member of the Minnesota Library Foundation, which sponsors the Minnesota Author Project (along with Minnesota’s libraries and Bibliolabs), explains that this new contest category is designed “to recognize community-created writing and to highlight the central role that libraries play in providing support for local authors and the communities they serve.”
Submissions will be accepted from April 1-May 31, 2020.
The winning organization will receive:
- A $1000 cash prize
- Honors at the 2020 Minnesota Library Association Conference
- An honorary plaque
- Printing of the winning book and the opportunity to make the book available statewide in the Indie Minnesota collection on BiblioBoard Library
- Media promotion throughout the state
In order to be eligible for the contest, the book must be:
- have been created by a Minnesota-based organization
- available in either PDF or ePub format
- be of a recommended minimum length of 10,000 words or 20 pages
There are no genre or creation date restrictions, and organizations of all types are encouraged to submit their work, including nonprofits, libraries, schools, cultural groups, historical societies, artistry guilds, and beyond.
Groups are invited to submit entries at https://indieauthorproject.librariesshare.com/minnesota-creates/. Groups that have content ready but need help formatting or creating a book file are encouraged to use the free MN Writes MN Reads self-publishing resources available to all Minnesota residents.