Library offers prizes for teens to film book reviews

June 7, 2011

By Laura Geggel

Some books make great movies, especially if they have a great director.

For the third consecutive year, the King County Library System is holding the Read.Flip.Win Video Book Review Contest, open to middle and high school students.

Library staff members invite teenagers to shoot a short video about a book they have read. The contest has two categories — video book review and video trailer — allowing participants to create a review for the book or to film a trailer about it.

All videos must be three minutes or less.

“It’s totally a fun contest,” Issaquah teen services librarian Jessica Gomes said. “It’s a highly interactive way of sharing what you’re reading with other people.”

Once teenagers create their video, they have to post it on YouTube and give it the tag, “RFWkcls2011.” Participants can enter as many videos as they want, and each submission must have a registration form.

The deadline for the contest is July 31. A panel of librarian judges will award the winners Aug. 27 during a red carpet event at the King County Library System Service Center in Issaquah.

The top winner in each category will receive a $150 gift card to Best Buy, purchased by the KCLS Foundation. The judges will award mini Oscars to other creative entries.

Last year, 53 teenagers entered the contest, and “we would love to double that” this year, KCLS education and teen services coordinator Jerene Battisti said.

She challenged Issaquah teenagers to participate, as no one from Issaquah has ever won the competition. If students don’t have access to a video camera, they can borrow one from the library in one-week increments.

In 2010, the winners created sophisticated videos, with one girl dressing up like Jane Eyre, the heroine of the book by Charlotte Brontë, and reviewing it for her YouTube audience. The other winner filmed a video of himself rapping about the book “Castration Celebration,” by Jake Wizner.

Battisti offered a few tips for this year’s participants.

“Just use your imagination and your passion for what you have read and that will guide you,” she said. “It’s an absolutely fun thing for teens to do who are interested in visual arts or film. It really allows them to be completely free and creative and still relates to books and reading.”

On the Web

Read the official rules online or get a registration form at www.kcls.org/teens/rfw.

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