Photo (cropped, edited) credit: SilverGoose.
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Weekly Challenges

Plastic Bag

Write a response to this video in poetry or prose. What does it make you think about? How does it make you feel?

Extension: Write from the perspective of an inanimate object like a plastic bag or any piece of garbage. Follow its journey once it has been discarded, or consider where it would like to travel and why.

#staywoke #summerofstories16

Look Around

Sit and observe the world around you, paying close attention to your environment -- what you see, hear, smell, and feel. Weave these details into a story or poem.

Extension 1: Continue to observe the world, but now pay particular attention to how the environment has changed over time (either positively or negatively). Try to incorporate your feelings about these changes into your writing.

Extension 2: Media and phones are now a part of the everyday world. Keep a log of how often you absentmindedly look at your phone, thinking about what apps you open the most frequently and the feeling you get when your phone buzzes.

#staywoke #summerofstories16

Ted Talk

Watch this Ted Talk:

What could you talk about for ten minutes nonstop? Write a convincing proposal for a Ted Talk on your subject, explaining what it is and why you are so interested in it.

Extension: Write the transcript of what you would say for those ten minutes -- in other words, write the Ted Talk itself.

#staywoke #summerofstories16

Poems, stories, audio,
photos, writing tips and news:

Writer of the Week!

EmilyAnne's picture

Open Your Eyes A Little...


I have lived in Vermont for about four and half years now. 

I moved from Pennsylvania. 
Not like here. At all. 

It's been a big change. 


There's a lot of differences here, but one thing I couldn't help but notice was 
a topic people seem to squirm over...

It's a fact when I say
Vermont is very very very

Maybe not in all areas, 
but here,
it is. 

Very much so. 

I was talking with one of my closer friends the other day. 
She had recently gotten back from a trip out of state. We were sitting outside in the sunshine when she turned to me and said 
"I had a wonderful time...but I did notice something, different...."

I asked her to go on.

"Well, there's a lot of.." She looked around. "Black people there."

I was stunned into silence. 

Maybe it's just because I'm not from here. 
Maybe it's just because I've traveled and have seen many different places and people. 

I know that everyone isn't this way. But I also know some people, in fact, are.

But I must warn you.
If you've never been out of state. 
If you've never had the opportunity to travel.
If you've lived here all your life and are used to the people and surroundings around you...

I have a little spoiler for you. 
There are going to be people who are different than you.
There are going to be changes you're not used to. 
But you know what?

That is the real world.

Open your eyes a little.




Fresh New Read

angelaweasley's picture


I dyed my hair with henna today.
Because I wanted to change something,

"Don't do it!" they said, 
"You're so beautiful already!" they said.

Screw beautiful.
I didn't do it to make myself more attractive,
I didn't do it so maybe a guy would notice me,
I didn't even do it because I really wanted to.

I did it because I could.

Because there are so many terrible things happening in the world,
and sometimes I feel like I can't change anything,
like I can never really make a difference.

So I dyed my hair.

To show,

that I can do anything I want.



UPDATE: Young Writers Project needs to raise $2,200 more in order to send Muslim Girls Making Change and their coaches to the Brave New Voices Festival and national slam poetry competition this July  - and we need your help! For more about MGMC and their poetry, go to

All donations should be sent to Young Writers Project, 47 Maple St., Burlington, VT, 05401 and are tax-deductible. Checks should be made out to Young Writers Project with a memo to let us know that it's for MGMC's trip.

You can also donate
  • in person at any of the team's performances: The next one is June 25 on Cherry Street (or, if rain, inside the mall in front of Macy's) at 6:30-8:30 pm; or,
  • by card via secure PayPal transaction - just click the 'Donate' button below!
We will send you acknowledgement of your kindness. Thanks! 

Feedback for MGMC

gg's picture
As many of you know, Young Writers Project selected a team of four sophomores (soon to be juniors) as YWP's Slam Team to represent Vermont at the Brave New Voices competition in July. They call themselves Muslim Girls Making Change and they are hard at work finishing their poems, writing new ones and rehearsing both in public and with their YWP coaches -- Rajnii Eddins, Denise Casey and Sarah Gliech.

They need your help. They would love to have some comments about their work -- things you like, suggestions, things that confuse you -- as they get to the final polishing of their work. Can you do it?

Please go to http:/ and read and comment on as many as you can. They will SO appreciate it!

(And the SummerOfStories elves will be rewarding ALL commenting everywhere AND all responses to commenting!)

Help YWP Thrive!

Young Writers Project depends on your generosity to provide programs to thousands of youths. YWP  is a 501(c)3 nonprofit so all donations are tax deductible. Donate what you can —$25, $50, $100, or more — to help us provide this creative, respectful space for youths from all over and to mentor them and publish their best work for free.

Credit card donations may be made securely through


Or PayPal:


Check donations may be sent to:
Young Writers Project
47 Maple Street # 106
Burlington VT 05401Thanks so much.

To learn more about YWP: or email me or call at 802-324-9537.

Geoffrey Gevalt
YWP Founder and Director