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First-ever ChiTeen Lit Fest

Chicago-area teenagers, ages 13-19, are invited to join together for the first-ever ChiTeen Lit Fest, on April 15 – 16, 2016. This inaugural “for teens, by teens” festival honors Chicago’s young writers and creative writing community. The festival will be held at two locations, including the Harold Washington Library Center (HWLC), 400 S. State St., and Columbia College Chicago, 618 S. Michigan Ave. The free event is the perfect opportunity for Chicago teens to showcase their writing and creative talents. Teens must RSVP at visit to attend.

Che “Rhymefest” Smith
Che “Rhymefest” Smith

The two-day festival begins with a kick-off party on April 15, from 6 to 10 p.m., in the 9th floor Winter Garden at HWLC (400 S. State St.). The kick-off party presents teens with excellent networking opportunities, and a chance to query headlining authors and artists in a fun, social atmosphere. The party also features a DJ, performances and refreshments. This event is open to only 300 teenagers. Go to to make a reservation.

On April 16, an all-day presentation of workshops, readings, panel discussions and more, will be held from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Columbia College Chicago. (618 S. Michigan Ave.). Some of the program’s highly anticipated events include workshops with festival headliners, and the “ChiTeen Showcase.” Other scheduled discussions, workshops, and activities include “Got It Covered: Publishing Your Work,” “8Bit Lit: Storytelling in Gaming,” “Awesome Intros, Fierce First Lines, and Beginnings You Just Can’t Quit!,” “Power to the People: Social Justice in Writing,” “Street Art in Words: A Wabash Arts Corridor Writing Tour,” “LED Card Making,” and much more.

Erika L. Sanchez
Erika L. Sanchez

Headlining artists and authors at ChiTeen Lit Fest include Che “Rhymefest” Smith, Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winner; Erika L. Sanchez, acclaimed poet and novelist; Nambi E. Kelley, award-winning playwright and actress; and Ben Tanzer, award-winning novelist and essayist.

Additional guests include Christine Maul Rice, Eric May, Kathleen Rooney, H. Melt, Kush Thompson, Quraysh Ali Lansana, Osiris Khe- pera, Corrine Mucha, Jacob S. Knabb, Twone Gabz, Billy Lombardo and more.

Developed and managed by Teen Advisory and Marketing Committees, the ChiTeen Lit Fest aims to provide a safe and creative space for young adults to unlock and discover their unique voices through the literary arts. The event seeks to bring together young people from across Chicago to celebrate their talents as they express themselves through exceptional and authentic art forms. The ChiTeen Lit Fest is presented through a cohesive partnership with Chicago Public Library, Columbia College Chicago, After School Matters, Poetry Foundation, Center for College Access and Success, UIC College of Education, and Kuumba Lynx. Support for

the event is provided through the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Hive Chicago Fund for Connected Learning at the Chicago Community Trust.

Join the ChiTeen Lit Fest online at, and on social media Twitter: @chiteenlitfest; Instagram: @chiteenlitfest; and

Since 1873, the 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 80 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. CPL received the Social Innovator Award from Chicago Innovation Awards; won a National Medal for Library Services from the Institute for Museum and Library Services; was named the first ever winner of the National Summer Learning Association’s Founder’s Award in recognition of its Summer Learning Challenge; and was ranked number one in the U.S., and third in the world by an international study of major urban libraries conducted by the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf in Germany. For more information, call (312) 747-4050 or visit


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