Thursday 20

YOUTH WRITING CONTEST, for students in grades 6-12, an original short story or poem. Submissions received 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today and Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday; deadline, 5 p.m. Sunday, Olney Branch Library, 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Rd., Olney. Free. 301-570-1232.

UPCOUNTY REGIONAL SERVICES TALK, a county representative will answer questions about county services. 10 a.m.-noon, Damascus Branch Library, 9701 Main St., Damascus. Free. 240-773-9444.

BLOOD-PRESSURE SCREENINGS, provided by the American Red Cross. 10-11:45 a.m., Aspen Hill Branch Library, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd., Rockville. Free. 240-773-4410.

CHILDREN'S PENNY THEATER, for ages 3-6, a Halloween tale with puppets and music, presented by library volunteers. 10:15 and 11:15 a.m., Quince Orchard Branch Library, 15831 Quince Orchard Rd., Gaithersburg. Free; registration required. 240-777-0200.

TODDLERS STORY TIME, for ages 18-24 months, stories, songs and rhymes about autumn. 10:30 a.m., Potomac Branch Library, 10101 Glenolden Dr., Potomac. Free; registration required. 240-777-0690.

WIDOWED PERSONS SUPPORT, for people whose spouses died within the past two years. 2 p.m., Holiday Park Senior Center, 3950 Ferrara Dr., Wheaton; 3 p.m., Leland Community Center, 4301 Willow Lane, Bethesda. Free; registration requested. 301-949-7398.

AUTHOR LECTURE, for 11 and older, Kenneth Oppel discusses writing high school adventure fantasy and the experience of becoming a published author at age 18; sponsored by the library in connection with "Teen Reading Week." 4 p.m., Bethesda Branch Library, 7400 Arlington Rd., Bethesda. Free. 301-986-4300.

TWINBROOK YOUTH POETRY CLUB, for ages 6-14, read, write and listen to poems with the help of children's librarian Eve Burton. 4:30 p.m., Twinbrook Branch Library, 202 Meadow Hall Dr., Rockville. Free. 240-777-0240.

MEDICAL FILM DRAMA AND TALK, "Safe" (1995), starring Julianne Moore as a woman with a mysterious illness that she believes is caused by environmental factors or multiple chemical sensitivities; a physician-led discussion follows the film; refreshments available; sponsored by the National Library of Medicine. 6 p.m., Lister Hill Center Auditorium, first floor of Building 38A, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda. Free. 301-496-6308.

BOOK TALK, Octavia E. Butler's novel "Kindred"; sponsored by the library's African American book group. 6-8 p.m., second-floor board room, Rockville Branch Library, 99 Maryland Ave., Rockville. Free. For information, call 240-777-0078 or 240-777-0166.

TWINBROOK BRASS CONCERT, for all ages, the Rockville Brass Band plays marches, patriotic songs, popular music and Broadway show tunes. 7:30 p.m., Twinbrook Branch Library, 202 Meadow Hall Dr., Rockville. Free. 240-777-0240.

DICKERSON HAUNTED FOREST, a dimly lighted forest trail and encounters with Chainsaw Man and 11 other frightful features; plus hayrides, a scary movie, fortune-telling, a haunted bus, bonfires and food; proceeds to benefit Calleva, an outdoor adventure program and camp. 6:30-9:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, Wednesday and next Thursday; 6:30-10:30 p.m. tomorrow, Saturdays, and Oct. 28-31, Markoff's Haunted Forest, 19120 Martinsburg Rd. (off Route 107), Dickerson. $20, Fridays, Saturdays, Oct. 30 and Halloween night; $15, other nights. 301-216-1248 or www.calleva.org.

Friday 21

OLNEY STORY TIME, for children 12 months and younger accompanied by an adult; songs, rhymes and stories; a Born to Read program sponsored by Friends of the Library. 10:15 a.m., Olney Branch Library, 3500 Olney-Laytonsville Rd., Olney. Free. 301-570-1232.

WHEATON STORY TIME, for 2 and younger, songs, puppets and rhymes; a half-hour program. 10:15 and 11:15 a.m., Wheaton Branch Library, 11701 Georgia Ave., Wheaton. Free; registration required. 240-777-0678.

Saturday 22

BREAST CANCER SYMPOSIUM, staff members discuss nutrition's role in health and healing, plus a cooking demonstration, food samples, a gift and a light lunch; proceeds benefit the hospital's breast cancer services program. 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Suburban Hospital Conference Center, 8600 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda. $20 (scholarships available); registration requested. 301-896-3939.

BABY STORY TIME, for children 18 months and younger accompanied by an adult; rhymes, songs, movement and stories. 9:30 a.m., Chevy Chase Library, 8005 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase. Free. 301-986-4313.

TODDLER STORY TIME, for ages 18-36 months, stories, rhymes and songs. 9:30 a.m., Germantown Branch Library, 12900 Middlebrook Rd., Germantown. Free. 240-777-0110.

ROCKVILLE BOOK SALE, new and used books, including children's literature, history, romance, cookbooks, comics and more; proceeds fund library programs and the purchase of new technologies and equipment for Montgomery County Public Libraries. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Friends of the Library Bookstore, 4886 Boiling Brook Pkwy., Rockville. Admission is free; book prices start at 25 cents and depend on book condition. 301-984-3300.

CELEBRITY READ-A-THON, authors read from their work, including Ann Brashares, author of "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants." 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Chevy Chase Library, 8005 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase. Free; tickets required and must be picked up in person at the library. 301-986-4313.

CHILDREN'S CRAFT WORKSHOP, for 4 and older, taught by volunteers from the 4H Club. 1-3 p.m., Twinbrook Branch Library, 202 Meadow Hall Dr., Rockville. Free. 240-777-0240.

CLARA BARTON OPEN HOUSE, explore the American Red Cross founder's historic house with the lights turned down low, volunteers and rangers answer questions and tell stories about Barton's vision and experiences; plus a 20-minute presentation about disaster preparedness for the 21st century. Open house, 7-9 p.m.; disaster presentation, 7:30 p.m., Clara Barton National Historic Site, 5801 Oxford Rd., Glen Echo. Free. 301-492-6245.

EATING DISORDERS SUPPORT GROUP, for people recovering from body-image and eating disorders, sponsored by Eating Addictions Anonymous, a 12-step fellowship. 7 p.m. Saturdays, Holy Cross Hospital, second floor, 1500 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring. Free. 301-526-6746.

Sunday 23

ROCKVILLE SINGLE PARENT ORIENTATION, information on discussion groups, socials, workshops, sports, children and adult activities; sponsored by Parents Without Partners, Chapter 60; children welcome; buffet lunch follows meeting. 11 a.m., CiCi's Pizza, 12111 Rockville Pike, Rockville. Lunch, $5.50; children, $4.25; admission, free; preregistration required. 301-469-6645.

POTOMAC RIVER SINGALONG, "Voices of the River," the Potomac Conservancy and members of the Folklore Society of Greater Washington sing river songs and other tunes from when the C&O Canal was active. 4-5 p.m., River Center at Lock House 8, C&O Canal National Historical Park, Cabin John. Free. 301-608-1188, Ext. 212.

Monday 24

CHRONIC PAIN LECTURE, Jan Dommerholt, physical therapist, discusses "What Makes Pain Chronic?"; bring pillows, mats, ice or hot packs for your comfort. 1-2:30 p.m., Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, 1000 Forest Glen Rd., Silver Spring. Free. 301-309-2444.

PRESIDENTIAL RETREATS LECTURE, Kenneth Walsh, White House correspondent for U.S. News and World Report discusses his new book, "From Mount Vernon to Crawford: A History of the Presidents and Their Retreats," and illustrates with slides. 7:30 p.m., Friendship Heights Village Center, 4433 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase. Free; registration requested. 301-656-2797.

BOOK TALK, Carolyn Parkhurst's novel "The Dogs of Babel." 7:30 p.m., Potomac Branch Library, 10101 Glenolden Dr., Potomac. Free. 240-777-0690.

IRAQI WAR DISCUSSION, U.S. Rep. Albert Wynn (D-Md.) hosts a discussion of the pros and cons of the war in Iraq; Jim Phillips, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and Subodh Atal, a U.S. foreign policy analyst and former member of the Cato Institute, organized and moderated by Vic Simon, a local volunteer. 7:30 p.m., Sherwood High School, 300 Olney-Sandy Spring Dr., Sandy Spring. Free. For information, call Jennifer Carter at 202-725-5912 or Vic Simon at 301-588-1871.

Tuesday 25

VITAL AGING LECTURE, for retirees and those about to retire, Gene D. Cohen, physician and director of George Washington University's Center on Aging and founder of the D.C. Center on Aging, discusses harmful myths about aging, and the biological and emotional foundations of creativity; sponsored by Montgomery County's Vital Living Steering Committee and Brookside Gardens. 10 a.m., Brookside Gardens Auditorium, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton. Free. 240-777-1132.

BOOK LECTURE, Marilyn Goldstein, the Aspen Hill librarian, discusses "The Bookseller of Kabul," an account of life in Afghanistan under fundamentalist Islamic law, by Norwegian journalist Asne Seierstad. 11 a.m., Kensington Park Branch Library, 4201 Knowles Ave., Kensington. Free. 301-897-2211.

PARKINSON'S DISEASE LECTURE, neurosurgeon Christopher Kalhorn and neurologist Fernando Pagan discuss medical management of Parkinson's disease and new diagnostic and treatment options, including deep brain stimulation; meet patients who have undergone some of these new procedures; presented by Georgetown University Hospital's Movement Disorder Center. 6:30-8:30 p.m., Marriott Washingtonian Center, 9751 Washingtonian Blvd., Gaithersburg. Free; registration required. 202-342-2400.

CANCER SCREENING LECTURE, a staff member discusses "Genetic Cancer Risk Screening -- A Powerful Weapon in Cancer Prevention." 6:30-7:30 p.m., Boyer Community Learning Center (second floor), Montgomery General Hospital, 18101 Prince Philip Dr., Olney. Free; registration requested. 301-774-8881.

HALLOWEEN PROGRAM, a spooky story time, puppet show, craft project and snack. 7 p.m., Potomac Branch Library, 10101 Glenolden Dr., Potomac. Free; registration required. 240-777-0690.

POOLESVILLE BAT LECTURE, Jerry Schneider discusses and presents a slide show about bats; bring a T-shirt for painting (or use one provided by the Poolesville Library Advisory Committee). 7 p.m., Poolesville Branch Library, 19633 Fisher Ave., Poolesville. Free. 240-773-9550.

HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR, for children of all ages in costumes and accompanied by an adult; stories, crafts and snacks. 7-8 p.m., Potomac Branch Library, 10101 Glenolden Dr., Potomac. Free; registration required. 240-777-0690.

TAKOMA PARK KNITTING GROUP, for 10 and older and all experience levels, an informal group meets to knit and crochet. 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month, Savory Cafe, 7071 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park. Free. 301-587-7174.

SILVER SPRING FILM, Domino Boulware's "Family Across the Sea" about the Gullah people of South Carolina's Sea Islands and their connection with Sierra Leone; sponsored by the library's African American Film Circle. 7 p.m., Silver Spring Branch Library, 8901 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring. Free. 240-773-9420.

Wednesday 26

HALLOWEEN PARTY, games, crafts, face painting and spooky stories; wear a costume. 7 p.m., Little Falls Library, 5501 Massachusetts Ave., Bethesda. Free. 301-320-4880.

ROCKVILLE JAZZ CONCERT, Saucy Bills Trio plays music, including funk, rock, jazz, blues and hip-hop. 7 p.m., Aspen Hill Branch Library, 4407 Aspen Hill Rd., Rockville. Free. 240-773-4410.

KAFKA LITERARY DISCUSSION, Faye Moskowitz, author and professor at George Washington University, leads a discussion about Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis"; copies available for checkout at the circulation desk; sponsored by the American Library Association, Nextbook and Friends of the Library, Bethesda Chapter. 7:30 p.m., Bethesda Branch Library, 7400 Arlington Rd., Bethesda. Free; registration required. 240-777-0937.

Thursday 27

MEDICARE LECTURE, Leta S. Blank, program coordinator for the Maryland Department of Aging's Senior Health Insurance Program, discusses Medicare Part D, the new rules to cover prescription drugs, and the enrollment process, which begins Nov. 15. 10 a.m.-noon, Leland Community Center (left entrance), 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase. Free; registration by Oct. 25 requested. 301-530-6458.

BURTONSVILLE BOOK DISCUSSION, Andrea Levy's novel "Small Island." 10:30 a.m., Fairland Branch Library, 14910 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville. Free. 240-773-9460.

OLNEY BLOOD DRIVE, administered by Inova Blood Services; donors receive a T-shirt and a gift from Caribou Coffee. 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Montgomery General Hospital, 18101 Prince Philip Dr., Olney. Free. To schedule an appointment (walk-ins are welcome too), call 301-774-8969.

HALLOWEEN CREATURE-FEATURE, "Island of Lost Souls" (1933), starring Charles Laughton and featuring Bela Lugosi, a classic horror film set on a tiny tropical island with Dr. Moreau and a growing population of gruesome human-animal hybrids; plus a doctor-led discussion about the dangers of medical hubris and the distinction between humans and animals; refreshments; sponsored by the National Library of Medicine. 6 p.m., Lister Hill Center Auditorium, first floor of Building 38A, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda. Free. 301-496-6308.

ROCKVILLE AUTHOR LECTURE, Susan Coll discusses "Rockville Pike: A Suburban Comedy of Manners," sponsored by Rockville Friends of the Library; parking available in the bank parking lot adjacent to the building. 7 p.m., Executive Office Building Auditorium (use cafeteria entrance), 101 Monroe St., Rockville. Free. 240-777-0158.

PARENTING LECTURE, "Motivate vs. Intimidate," Robert Roth, adolescent behavior coordinator at Montgomery General Hospital, discusses how to use motivation to communicate effectively with teenagers. 7 p.m., Boyer Community Learning Center, Montgomery General Hospital, 18101 Prince Philip Dr., Olney. Free. 301-774-8969.

-- Compiled by TINA TOLL

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