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Chicago Public Library Invites Teens to 7th Annual ChiTeen Lit Fest

Chicago Public Library (CPL) invites youth throughout Chicago to participate in the 7th Annual ChiTeen Lit Fest (CTLF), the only all-genre storytelling festival honoring Chicago’s young writers and creative writing community, from April 24 through April 30. A series of programs and events will be offered throughout the week at select branches across the city for teenagers ages 13-19.

ChiTeen Lit Fest is designed for-teens-by-teens and connects Chicago’s youth to hone their unique talents through literary arts. Throughout the week, participants will learn from their peers as well as local literary professionals, organizations, and festival headliners. The 2022 headliners are young adult author Elizabeth Lim, rapper and songwriter Jean Deaux, and poet educators Noelle Berry and Rich Robbins.

“ChiTeen Lit Fest provides creative space for teens to unlock and discover their unique voices, supporting them to positively and proactively shape their worlds.” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Chris Brown. “As an extension of our YOUmedia program for youth, the festival empowers teens to lead peer-driven and authentic self-expression in a safe space.”

The 2022 festival will offer opportunities for youth the entire week of April 24, featuring a line-up of interactive workshops, discussions and special guests. Programs and events will take place in-person at participating library locations across the city. Author Q&As and select programs will also stream to CPL’s YOUmedia YouTube channel.

This year’s headline events will be moderated by teens and take place at Chicago Public Library’s three regional libraries. The following main stage events will also be livestreamed at CPL’s YOUmedia YouTube Channel:

  • Jean Deaux– April 30, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Legler (West) Regional Library – 115 S. Pulaski
  • Elizabeth Lim– April 24, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. – Sulzer Regional Library – 4455 N. Lincoln
  • Noelle Berry and Rich Robbins– April 24, 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. – Woodson Regional Library – 9525 S. Halsted

This year’s session topics include gaming, poetry, photography, song-writing, storytelling through sustainability, improv, murder mysteries, zine and bookmark making, author Q&As, open mic and more.

For a complete listing of programs, visit the Chicago Public Library website at  Registration is only required for some programs and closes 24 hours before each program begins.

ChiTeen Lit Fest is developed and presented in partnership CPL’s YOUmedia program as one of the many ways CPL caters directly to teens’ interests. YOUmedia, a nationally recognized program, connects teens with supportive adults to engage in active learning in a teens-only space. Programs and services provide Chicago’s youth opportunities to develop skills in graphic design, photography, videography, production of music, STEM, 3D printers and vinyl cutters, as well as participate in hands-on maker workshops and activities.

Initiated in 2015, the inaugural ChiTeen Lit Fest hosted more than 300 participants, with attendance doubling by 2018. The 2022 CTLF brings youth back in-person to celebrate storytelling through programs developed by CTLF’s Teen Council.

Select CPL locations, where ChiTeen Lit Fest programs will take place, are offering SWAG bags while supplies last, starting April 18th. The list of locations can be found here.

Support for the 2022 ChiTeen Lit Fest is provided by Allstate, Amazon, Comcast, Kathy and Grant Pick Fund at the Chicago Community Trust, The Poetry Foundation and other generous donors to the Chicago Public Library Foundation.

Participants can connect with ChiTeen Lit Fest on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @chiteenlitfest as well as through @YOUmediaChicago on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook using the hashtags #CTLF22 and #CTLF.

Quotes from previous ChiTeen Lit Fest Teen Council members:

“CTLF was my first pre-professional opportunity and it greatly improved my work ethic skills and has also taught me a lot about proper workplace customs. I’ve learned how to be better at multitasking, and how to manage a lot of after school commitments alongside schoolwork.” – Joelle R.

“I got to create a few posts on the CTLF Instagram and content creation is not my area, so that is a skill that I will be able to take with me. And overall event planning. Planning the fest shed light on everything that goes into planning an event (which is a lot.)” Summer B.

“The most memorable part of the fest this year for me was definitely the first day. It was like wow ok, we have a full week of things to attend and we planned the entire thing- no pressure.” Kindraya B.

About Chicago Public Library

Since 1873, Chicago Public Library (CPL) has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment, and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 81 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens, and adults. For more information, please call (312) 747-4300 or visit To follow CPL on social media, visit us on Twitter (@chipublib), Facebook (Chicago Public Library), or Instagram (@chicagopubliclibrary).

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