If you are working on a book — fiction or nonfiction, first novel or 10th — the Jefferson Parish Library has many resources to help you create your work:
The East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday nights at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, in rotation with the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writers Group. It’s a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story-development skills. This group also focuses on discussing writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery and literature. Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays and comics are accepted; however, nonfiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays or magazine articles, is not.
The SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writers Group meets at 7 p.m. on Thursday nights at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, in rotation with the EJ Fiction Writers Group. This group encourages local writers to create fiction with science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. It’s open to all levels.
The West Bank Fiction Writer’s Group meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Westwego Branch Library, 635 Fourth St., Westwego. The group focuses on writing exercises or discussions of various points of fiction, as well as critique sessions of members’ submissions.
The Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America meets at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. It features guest speakers who discuss all aspects of writing, editing and publishing. Topics frequently explore subjects other than romance writing, but they focus on ways that make writers better at their craft.
The Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Louisiana Poetry Society meets at 2 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month at the Old Metairie Branch Library, 2350 Metairie Road, Metairie. Meetings consist of poetry readings and discussions.
The library also hosts authors who talk about the craft of writing. For example, author Elizabeth DeSimone will discuss “Images” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. The talk focuses on how to use concrete, significant details to invigorate one’s writing, the importance of sensory details, and the avoidance of abstractions and clichés.
ESCALERA STEM FAMILY SUMMIT: The summit occurs from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, at the West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey. Students from Puentes’ Escalera STEM program teach their parents about STEM. Included in the event will be a panel of STEM professionals for parents and students to meet.
DO I HEAR A SONG?: The East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, hosts three musical groups in the next week. The first is the Ken Veca Big Band, which performs at 2 p.m. Thursday. The 14-member group performs Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. The Jefferson Parish Community Band performs holiday music at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. GNOYO WINGS, The Jean Montes Experience, a part of the New Orleans Youth Orchestra, performs at 3 p.m. Saturday.
PARLEZ VOUS FRANCAIS?: If you’re learning to speak a new language, the Jefferson Parish Library has two resources for you: Mango Languages and Pronunciator. Both are online language-learning systems that can help you learn English, Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian, Russian and more.
Both can be found under the “databases” tab on the library’s website. Both can be accessed from home. All one needs is a library card.
All programs at the library are free of charge and are open to the public. For more information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, go to www.jp library.net, or “like” the library’s Facebook page for daily programming updates.