Steve Brezenoff, a Minnesota author of books for teens, will discuss his writing and answer questions from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the R.H. Stafford Library, 8595 Central Park Place in Woodbury.

His latest book, "Brooklyn Burning," is a story of two homeless teens. It was a finalist in National Public Radio's Best-Ever Teen Book feature and is on the 2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults list by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Find more about Brezenoff at

The Teens Know Best Author Series is the first regionwide author series to focus on writers for teens. Working in collaboration with the Teens Know Best Book Club, each of the eight metro public library systems will host an author. It is an opportunity for teens, and adults who love teen fiction, to hear, meet and be inspired by authors who are writing for teens.

It is a collaborative program of Metropolitan State University and St. Paul Public Library Dayton's Bluff branch.


Rivertown Art Festival seeks vendors, artists

Applications are now being taken for vendors and artists to participate in the Rivertown Art Festival, the St. Croix Valley's largest art fair, scheduled for May 18 and 19 in Stillwater.

Artists, market vendors and food vendors can apply at For more, contact Dolly Parker at the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce by e-mail at

Creativity coach to discuss 'writer's block' and more

Author and creativity coach Rosanne Bane will discuss writer's block and other questions at a Writers on Writing program at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, at ArtReach St. Croix, 224 N. 4th St., Stillwater (across from library).

Bane, author of "Around the Writer's Block" and "Dancing in the Dragon's Den," also teaches writing classes at the Loft Literary Center and University of Minnesota. Bane has worked with more than 1,000 writers and artists over the course of 20 years to help them overcome and understand the roadblocks to their creativity.

Writers on Writing is sponsored by ArtReach St. Croix. The goal of the program is to bring authors into the community to talk about writing, publishing and the writing life.

It will include the presentation, question-and-answer session, book signing and the opportunity to mingle with other writers, artists and book lovers. The event is free and open to the public.

Writers on Writing is sponsored by Valley Bookseller of Stillwater and supported through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.


New Century Artists exhibition focuses on 'Growth in Harmony'

New Century Artists will present a group exhibition through March 2 at ArtReach St. Croix galleries, 224 4th St. N. in Stillwater. The galleries are open Wednesdays to Fridays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays noon to 4 p.m.

For several years, artists have been gathering to paint on Monday nights at the Lake Elmo Regional Arts Center. Together they have grown through encouragement, motivation and the evolution of their group into a learning community. The group, known as New Century Artists, includes Dagny Bilkadi, Lou Cunico, Laurel Gregorian, Mike Kramer, Bor-Jiin Mao, Jill Marudas, Bev Marx, David Swanson and Mark Weersma.

Their exhibition, "Growth in Harmony," is built on a simple image of a stand of birch trees. The birch is often seen as a symbol of growth, and the nine paintings show the growth of the individual artists as they interpret the image through watercolor, acrylic, pastels or oil. Each artist will exhibit pieces that will highlight the diversity of the group.


Library on Mondays offers space for writers to work, talk

Writers looking for a quiet space, free coffee, craft conversation and inspiration are invited to Lake Elmo Public Library on Monday mornings from 8:30 to noon starting Feb. 11.

Membership is free and open to any writer seeking motivation and heads-down drafting time in the writing room. Organized by Renee Murray, the East Metro Writing Room will cater to writers who need and crave structure and serious time to move projects forward.

In addition to the writing room, there is a "procrastination station" for coffee breaks and lively chat with other authors. A smaller breakout room is available for discussions.

Lake Elmo Library is at 3537 Lake Elmo Av. and online at


New plants, landscapes are topic of Garden Talk and Tea series

Guest speaker Mike Heger of Ambergate Gardens, author of "Growing Perennials in Cold Climates," will discuss best new plants for 2013 and how to enhance your landscape at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at Squire House Gardens in Afton, 3390 St. Croix Trail S. in Afton.

It's part of the Winter Weekend Garden Talk and Tea series. Complimentary tea will be served.