Middle and high school teens are offered a chance to get their poetry published. Timberland Regional Library (TRL) is launching its sixth annual Teen Read Week events with a "Poets Know It" Teen Poetry Contest, Oct. 1 to 31, at all 27 Timberland libraries in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific and Thurston counties in Washington.

Each October, teen programs take up the national Teen Read Week theme. This year it is "SLAMMIN' @ your library" and the focus is on poetry as both a written and a performance art. The contest was developed by TRL Teen Services Librarian Kristine Mahood as part of Teen Read Week 2003 (Oct. 19-25), a project of the American Library Association affiliate, the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Teens can pick up entry forms for the "Poets Know It" Teen Poetry Contest at any Timberland library. Entry forms will also be available at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Olympia. Between Oct. 1 and 31, teens can enter up to three of their original poems. Each poem must be no more than 125 words in length and be accompanied by an entry form. Poems will be exhibited in the libraries Oct. 19 to Nov. 21. Three winning poems from each of the five Timberland counties will be announced Nov. 24 and all 15 poems will be published as bookmarks and distributed in December and April (National Poetry Month).

During October the libraries will gather together poetry-related books that teens can check out for inspiration - books of poetry, books on how to write poetry, fiction in poetry form, and books about presenting poetry as a performance. Some Timberland libraries are also having special "SLAMMIN' @ your library" events for teens. Information on other activities and resources for teens is available at the TRL Web site at www.trlib.org and at local libraries.

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