YWP receives many exceptional photos from students around the state. One of the most spirited, prolific and wide-ranging photographers we have come across is Kevin Huang, a freshman at Burlington High School. See his photos... Read more »
Send YWP your best poetry or prose -- BY JUNE 3 -- and be one of 10 writers selected to read their work at the AMAZING 2nd Annual Millennial Writers on Stage performance at Burlington Book Festival, Main Street Landing, Burlington, Saturday, September 21, 2013Read more »
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Vermont Young Playwright's project and festival, a collaboration between the Vermont Stage Company and the Flynn Center for Performing Arts. YWP provided a digital space for the student participants and helped out in several workshops; we also did the live stream and live text commenting at the festival and will have medium and high resolution videos of each presented play soon.
In the meantime, feel free to go here and find the video of the play you are interested in:
FYI, 107 people tuned into the live two-day Festival, accounting for nearly 60 hours of total viewership! Also, the recorded videos have so far been viewed by 230 people.
Here’s a short excerpt from a longer piece titled “What Stranger? That’s Me in the Photo.” A reminiscence inspired by this actual photo.
What Stranger? That's Me in the Photo.
By Jack Dabagian
Grade Eleven, Milton High School
I had no idea what lay ahead of me. Only focusing on the present, taking carpe diem way to literally. Every photo of my childhood, every single time my face shows up in one of the million photos in my family's photo albums, they all show similar themes: sad or happy. Never a middle ground for emotions when I grew up. I either had the time of my life or was losing all sense of control.
But regardless of my emotional state, when I was aware of my picture being taken, I always smiled. I only appeared distressed in photos when I wasn't ready for a photo to be taken. Some photos are when my mom mandated me to sit or stand somewhere, either with my sisters, relatives, or myself in all my own glory. Other photos are taken like a tourist on an African safari, and I'm the animal. Read more »
OK, tell the truth. You DO have an idea or three for improving this space. Don't you? Want additional features? Wish we had more contests? Wish you could do more with other users? WHAT?! Give us some suggestions. Help us make this online community better. Click the headline and give us a comment. OR, post a blog and use the Keyword: Suggestion
This poem was written by Alan C. Homans, Emily Lyman's oncologist. He asked if we could post it here and we are honored to do so.
It is the season of short cold days and long dark nights
But it is also the season of gifts and candlelight.
When Emily left, a light went out,
But with our help, her light can still burn bright.
Emily, being Emily, left us gifts for the season before she went away.
The first gift was simply that of her presence.
For 15 years she made this a better place –writing, acting, studying,
and generally making her life as full as possible.
Moving through her time with that wild mane of red hair… or not.
The second gift was her example of how to live.
Disappointed by disease, pain, and setbacks,
She nonetheless pushed on, not ignoring adversity, but in spite of it.
The third gift is Emily’s example of how to gracefully face the end
Realizing that her disease was getting the upper hand
She faced death down, and with courage and dignity said, in effect
“you can have this body - it has served, and betrayed, me long enough.
But you cannot take, and will never take, Emily”
In this season of short cold days and long dark nights. Read more »
In 2012-13, YWP is publishing best student work in 21 newspapers in VT and NH and on Vermont Public Radio's Web site, vpr.net (and some on-air appearances, too.) Click on the prompt and see the writing that has already been submitted. Add yours today! We want your work! Attached below is a pdf version of the prompts. ALSO, large versions of the photos are in a slide show at bottom; if you click on the photo you can "download the original" for the purposes of printing it out.
Congratulations to the six winners of the YWP Farm Project writing challenge!
Seventy-seven young writers from across Vermont responded to the challenge to write about farms and food and six winners were selected by our judges. The Vermont Community Foundation, sponsor of the challenge, is awarding each writer $50 with a matching $50 donation to a Vermont farm or food nonprofit of the writer's choice.
David Amouretti, Grade 5, Thomas Fleming School, Essex Junction
Callista Bushee, Grade 8, Home School, East Wallingford
Kelsey Eddy, Grade 9, Mill River High School
Saskia Kiely, Grade 7, Vergennes Union High School
Carley Malloy, Grade 7, Thetford Academy
Eva Rocheleau, Grade 8, Williston Central SchoolRead more »
YOUR feedback, direct from your cellphone!
Text VYP1 (or, later, VYP2, or VYP3, or VYP4 – you will be advised) and then your feedback to the number 22333.
Or if you are using a smart phone, you can connect to Internet and go to http://poll4.com/ywp and text VYP4 before your feedback, then click “Submit.”
by Aiden Ellis
Think back to when you used to be so high
You rarely spoke and I refused to cry
but its coming back the days gone by
it's just a fact the hammer split your soul
You'll sing off a mountain top,
But nobody knows,
But please don't you ever stop.
It seems you don't recall the beating of the drum.
You're taking what you can not caring who it's from.
It's just as if it all was new,
and you had no one to answer to.
You'll sing off a mountain top,
But nobody knows,
But please don't you ever stop.
For a few short years, Young Writers Project had the pleasure of knowing Emily Lyman and admiring her writing. Emily wrote with "startling clarity and strength and humor. She had voice," Geoff Gevalt remembers.
Sadly, Emily passed away in December 2012. She was a freshman at Rice Memorial High School. She had courageously fought numerous relapses of cancer for years but was finally taken. As her oncologist Alan C. Homans wrote, "When Emily left, a light went out." Dr. Homans also noted, however, that Emily left her friends and family many gifts, including her writing. Emily's family has collected her poems and stories with the intent of publishing them and sharing Emily's voice with the world.
Here, Young Writers Project is honored to present "Inspired by Emily," the collection of Emily's writing that was lovingly prepared by her family. Working with the Lyman family, YWP issues this Call for Artists to illustrate Emily's work with drawings, paintings, photographs. Read Emily's writing -- and be inspired! Read more »
YWP receives "Small and Inspiring" grant from the Vermont Community Foundation to support North by North CenterSubmitted by admin2006 on Wed, 05/01/2013 - 1:46pm
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Young Writers Project recently received a $2,500 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation’s Small and Inspiring grant program to support workshops for youth in the North by North Center at YWP’s offices at 12 North St., in Burlington. The North by North Center is YWP’s community writing center that is driven by youth leaders and the needs of youth. North by North provides neighborhood youths a safe, quiet place to write, receive instruction and feedback and connect with youths from similar and different backgrounds.
Through its Small and Inspiring grant program, the Community Foundation hopes to help foster the spark that keeps Vermonters healthy and happy by finding and supporting projects in every town in Vermont where a small grant can make a big difference.
YWP is a Vermont 501(c)(3) nonprofit formed in 2006 that engages thousands of Vermont and NH students in grades 3-12 in a variety of writing projects, helps them improve and present their best work online, in newspapers and on radio and stage through a variety of media and arts partners. Read more »
|press release vcf small and inspiring grant.doc.pdf||105.25 KB|
by Margaret Slate
I walk a lonely road, full of lovely black dresses
And black parades with marching bands playing too-sad songs
All full of all too-big words, sung all too loudly just
Amounting to silence.
I’m no hero, just a person paying my rent
To live in this not-so-fair world full of
Not-so-nice people that shout too-loud speeches that only end up
Amounting to silence
So after years of built-up lies, memories and complaints
And old cobwebs and coffin-nails forced in too hard,
Boards hammered unrelentingly again and again, it’s all just sitting there,
Amounting to silence Read more »
by Sasha Fenton
I sit and wonder
I sit in front of a blank page
I hold a pencil in my hand
What is it that makes us writers?
What is it that motivates us?
What is it that gives us ideas?
What is it that makes us constantly think?
Think of what we could use?
What we can gather from the world,
And put into words?
What is it that turns our minds,
From a red ball bouncing in a metal room,
Into a Read more »
Congratulations to our SEVEN WINNERS of the YWP-Vermontivate Climate Change Writing Challenge! The writers were honored and awarded $50 each by Vermontivate (the community sustainability game -- check it out!) at a fantastic Earth Day Celebration on April 20 at Main Street Landing in Burlington. Thank you to all who participated in the challenge!
And the winners are... Read more »
by Roland Downey
I stood at the window, watching the red taillights disappear into the inky blackness of the night. I waited, hoping that suddenly I would see the bright whites of the car rushing back down the dead-end road, but as they turned the corner far, far away, I knew that would be the last time I ever saw her.
I slowly turned around, to face my almost empty house. Now that all the big boxes of clothing and furniture were gone, the house seemed too big, too lonely. I walked away from the front window, towards the dining room, where I expected the other occupant of the house to be.
As I shuffled my way down the long hall, my thoughts started to overwhelm me, and brought me to my knees.
You're gone. You've actually left me, and I'll never see you again. I can't make amends for what happened, I can't just say ‘I'm sorry,' anymore. I wish I could. I truly loved you, you know. I messed up once, but I'm not going to be able to fix it. I'm sorry.
Darkness began to close around me, as my tears streamed down my face, and I slumped towards the ground even farther. I sobbed openly for the first time in what must have been 15 years. I couldn't even see the wall in front of me I was crying so hard. Read more »
The experiences I’ve had on farms are connected to raising and caring for animals.
Once a cow named Lila died in the winter of milk fever. Milk fever is when bacteria into the blood system. That’s why animals on farms have to have good care and protection.
When I was on the bus each day, worrying about Lila, I would always ask her owner, Katy, if Lila was alright. Finally, the sad day arrived.
Katy came on the bus. I asked her how Lila was. Lila had died.
When I came home that day, I told my Mom about Lila. She loved Lila as well, so I thought she should know. My mom had milked Lila before, and visited her.
So now Lila’s calf Luna is here. Now I can milk Luna, and hope she will have a long, happy life.
The best way to stay healthy is to have a garden. It is the best way because you do not have to pay for the fruits and veggies. Also they are a lot fresher than at the supermarket.
Even though they taste fresh and are right in your yard, it is a lot of work.
You have to pull weeds, water the plants, and pick them. That's good for you though. It gives you exercise.
It's worth it because they are delicious and good for you.
Well one day I was spending the night at a farm well its kind of a farm but any way it’s a
barn with a lot of chickens . I was supposed to get eggs for breakfast so when I got there
I saw a strange bug and the rooster was trying to get it then IT GOT STUCK ON THE
ROOSTER!!!!!! So someone had to get it off. So I got the eggs myself.
Ten minutes later
I had ten eggs then I saw three more when I was picking it up, then one fell!! Than when
I got to the house my mom was waiting for me . how many eggs did you get? twelve
(smash) make that eleven .So I left my mom and her boyfriends mom in there. My mom
picked up a big egg and it had two yolks. My mom said that must have hurt and we all
My heart was beating fast “ba-boom ba-boom ba-
boom”. I was so excited. When I got off the bus “I
said YES I am here”. I started to run to the barn to put
my bag down. Then all of us went to eat. “Lunch was
good I said”. Then there were groups to go swimming.
So my group had to wait to go swimming because the
first group went. My group went I got in the water “I
screamed out loud and said its cold”. Then after we
went swimming we went to put up the tents. Then it
was time for dinner. When I found out it was burgers
“I said awesome”. Then we had desert. Then my
friend and I had to go home because my friend had to
do something in the morning and I just did not won’t
to stay, but when I got home “I said I should of stayed
because it was awesome”.
I walked through the field under the searing sun. Then I stop! The tomato
patch, with its tangy smells, and bugs filling the air, but best of all the
tomatoes. All of them on the prickly plants like little suns. I search hard,
and then at last I find what I am looking for. A big, plump, juicy tomato!
I close my eyes, open my mouth and sink my teeth into that tomato. With
tomato juice running down my chin I smile and jog to the shade to finish my
My family and I are members of Stony Loam Farm in Charlotte, Vermont. Stony
Loam Farm is a CSA farm. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. CSA
basically means that we purchase a portion of the harvest in advance. Then we get
to pick up our share of fresh vegetables each week throughout the summer. Our
friends Dave, Emma, and their son Eli own the farm. Their dogs name is Rue.
Two years ago Dave and Emma held a party at their farm for all the members. We
were invited. The party was going to be outside because they were expecting nice
weather that day. It was a potluck party and we brought brownies.
When we first got there it was nice and sunny. There was a bouncy castle for the
kids. A lot of people started arriving. Later on it started to look cloudy and started to
drizzle. Then the drizzle turned into rain. The rain turned into hard rain. Soon there
was thunder and lightning. Sheets of rain were comming down. Also it became really
Most of the kids stayed in the bouncy castle. Most of the parents crammed into the
farm stand. Then Dave went to the bouncy castle and turned it off. He didn’t think
it was a safe place for the kids during the storm. The bouncy castle quickly deflated
Most of the kids tried to cram into the farm stand with the adults. Some kids, like
me, stayed out in the rain. Then my mom was scared that I would get hit by lightning
and she asked Dave if it was okay to go inside his house for protection. Dave Read more »
I believe in taking care of animals, it teaches you to be responsible. I believe in farming, because without farms there would be no meat, milk, cheese, vegetables, or many other dairy products. Being a farmer may seem fun but there are many dangers. For example, there are bulls. I have been chased and harassed by many animals in my day, but the one animal I hate messing with the most is the bull.
I went up to the barn one day with my Mom and my sister to check on a cow that was getting ready to calf. As we got closer to the barn, we could sense that something wasn’t right. The cows were silent. As we got even closer, we could see that the momma cow was giving birth. Something was wrong; the calf was stuck and wasn’t moving. Her head was stuck in the momma cow and boy did it stink! The calf smelled like someone’s nasty gym bag with sweaty clothes in it. I got in to the pen with the cows to help the momma cow, and there he was. Our bull Charlie was standing on the other side of the pen snorting and grunting and mooing at me. I told my sister and my Mom to tell me when he started to get closer. Read more »
The following fiction story was written after the author passed a lama farm.
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Jillian, and she wanted a pet. Her parents said she could have any pet she wanted, so for the next few weeks, Jillian and her parents went to find Jillian a pet. They looked in pet stores, farms, and even the zoo! But they just could not find The right pet.
One day, when they were coming home from the store, Jillian saw a lama farm.
"Stop!" Jillian yelled.
Her mom stopped the car and they all got out of the car. Jillian ran to the lamas and started to let them, and when she was petting a brown one, the other lamas spit at her!
She looked at the lama and instantly wanted him. He had blue eyes. "May I please have this lama as my pet?" Jillian asked excitedly.
"Well, of course you can have this fine lama." Said an old farmer as he came out of the barn.
"I own him and you can have him for $30.00 today."
"That is a reasonable offer," Said Jillian's mother, "We'll take him."
And they drove home with a lama. At home, Jillian's dad put the lama into a pen and they all went inside.
Jillian asked what she should name her lama.
Her mother asked, "What do you want to name him?"
"Hmmm. Bob." Jillian said.
"That's no name for a lama." Jillian's dad replied.
"How about Bob-O-Lama then!" Jillian pronounced.
"I love it!" Her dad said.
"Me too," agreed her mother. Read more »
My Dad has a vegetable garden. All of my family pitches in to help. When he picked a spot to put the garden last year it was a plain grass patch but when we all started helping the hole got bigger and bigger. We had to shovel through millions of rocks and roots. When my Dad planted all the seeds, soon they started to sprout. Some of the things my Dad grew were watermelons, corn, onions, broccoli, tomatoes and cucumbers. The hard part about having the garden was the pests. The worst pest was the Japanese Beetles. They chewed up a lot of the plants. We had to go out and pick them off the leaves and put them in soapy water.
My Dad thought it would be a good idea to make pickles out of his cucumbers. We had to boil vinegar and then we put in other ingredients. Finally we had to put them in tightly sealed jars. After a week in the refrigerator they were ready and they were delicious! My Dad is planning to grow even more this year.