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VSO: Made in Vermont Challenge!

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Music and language often go hand in hand. This Vermont Symphony Orchestra Writing Challenge is designed to let music drive your creativity.

Finland’s most famous composer, Jan Sibelius, wrote an evocative piece for flutes and strings called Suite Mignonne. Click above to listen to all three movements (Petite scene, Polka, and Epilogue) and see if you are inspired to write a poem that reflects its mood(s). Don't be afraid to let the music take you! When you are finished, edit the piece so that it is tight.

Deadline: Monday, June 15, 2015

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Not a prompt, but a thank you to YWP!

I was recently published in the Rutland Herald newspaper with my prompt, "How to be a Human". I did get some positive comments from my community, and of course you guys, but today my teacher gave me a copy of the Letter to the Editor section. In this, a Rabbi from my area wrote a long note about this piece and my writing. Here's what it said: 


Her feet were summer

Her feet were summer

Born for the grass

For the sunshine

Like her voice

Which couldn’t be contained


He was cold

A winter storm

A flurry


For an instant

But harsh


Autumn came round

A dance of delicate footsteps


To be broken

By laughter

And leaves


The frost

Held yearning

And the snow soon fell

As we waited for the other shoe



The cold set in

And the world was crystalline

There's something about the way..

There’s something about the way the fog gently rolls over the mountains,

or the way the birds chirp in the morning.

There’s something about the way the bacon sizzles in the pan,

or the way my orange juice spills onto the counter.

There’s something about the way I can’t remember anything on quizzes

or how my shoes squeak during gym.

There’s something about the way old books smell,

juliar's picture

Mother, Like Daughter

My mom always hated her hips,

Her dry lips,

Her split ends,

And her overall her size

I don't think it was a matter of acceptance

Or even insecurity?

But what else could it be

I used to figure it was just about what the eye could see

But now as I am grown, and see my figure setting

I to am fretting

I think all those times my mother said she hated her image

That yah, it was an insecurity, it was a need for acceptance

Because now I'm grown and I hate my hips

And my cracked lips

And my floppy thighs

Love, A Shooting Star

“First star I see tonight I wish I may, I wish I might”


To whomever it may concern,


I wish that you always have hope,

no matter what comes your way,

or how long it takes you to get through it.


I wish that you try new things

because you never know if it will make you happy.


I wish that you never have to deal with grief,

the most painful of pains.

doubledayisabel's picture


you liked trains

you played the guitar

and the piano

you loved her

you married her

and now you had four children

you had it all

but you were so sick

you couldn't do it

you couldn't fight

for them

you gave up

you left them broken,

you left her

to fall out of this trance of love.

now she's older,

now she's stronger,

now she knows better


to love a man who likes trains

and plays the guitar

and piano.

Oceania's picture


It started as a diet. 

Minimalize carbs, no artificials, you don't need that extra toffee. 

I felt strong. 

It became a hobby. 

Minimalize food, say you've already eaten, you don't feel those hunger pains. 

I felt strong. 

It became a lifestyle. 

Ignore food, look in the mirror, what do you see now?

Did I feel strong? 

They keep shouting at me, without using their voices. 

You're fat, you're stupid, you're a loser, you suck, go die, no one likes you. 


admin's picture

Final Slam a Hit! Thanks!

Final Slam a Hit! Thanks!

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who participated in our final YWP Slam! of the year Thursday (5.14) at YWP's Intergalactic HQ at 47 Maple St., Burlington. Special thanks to our video partner, RETN and the Two Colins, who video streamed the slams. (Edited video will be posted at retn.org and here in a week or so for your viewing enjoyment; AND RETN will be broadcasting that video in the coming months!)

Some 65+ folks jammed our offices (at one time; many more came and went during the night) for the slams and open mic. Participants and audience members travelled from Rhode Island (Qwerty and Geist), West Glover (Piano Lady and Mom), Waitsfield (Sam P, Katy, Nathaniel, Kevin, Mika & Mary (teacher -- so awesome that she does this!) and closer to home. 

Sam P took top honors with a powerful first poem urging us to pay attention to the revolution around us and an amazing second poem created in the Write for Your Life exercise. Katy was second. Carly was third and she happened to be the teacher of one of our early and one of our youngest slammers, Kira who's in Fifth Grade! Hats off to her for a great performance. (She had to skeedaddle to a band concert!)

Thanks also to Geist for scoring, our amazing emcee and Sacrificial Poet Bridget and all the other slammers and judges. STAY TUNED TO THIS SPACE for announcements regarding our plans for summer and upcoming year.

Check out the photo gallery of the latest slam (and a few photos from a past slam). Click "Read More."

Town Forests Writing Challenge

Photo by Kevin Huang, Burlington High School

Explore the woods this summer and write! Win prizes!

Vermont has more than 300 town forests -- there's probably one in your town or very close by. This year marks the centennial of the legislation that started them all. That means it's time to celebrate our public woodlands!

The Vermont Town Forest Centennial Celebration, in partnership with Young Writers Project, invites YOU to write about your town forest.

Prizes: 1st: $100; 2nd: $75; 3rd: $50. (Cash prizes are generously donated by The French Family Foundation.) All winners will also receive a 2016 season pass to Vermont State Parks and will have their work published.


TownForest.Prompts.A.pdf416.41 KB

Love Typewriters? You'll love this event!

It's a Type-In!

June 6, 2-5 p.m., Maglianero's Cafe, Burlington

Typewriter enthusiasts of all ages are invited to talk typewriters, mess around with typewriters -- and even write on typewriters!


Type-inSpring2015v3.doc175 KB
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