CHALLENGE! 30 Days of Feedback: Share and Comment. Post your own piece and then comment on someone else's work (find someone you do NOT know by clicking READ above.) And, if so moved, Sprout a Story by clicking the link below the post that inspires you and then create a new piece that will be forever linked to the one you read.
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Hello YWP Community,
Welcome to our latest project -- YWP Radio -- host of spoken word, live slams, podcasts, original music, mixes, and who knows what else. If you wish to set up a smart phone or tablet or desktop app to pull in the feed, here's the url: majestic.wavestreamer.com:6657
DD (doug demaio) is our grand guru of the radio and has assembled hundreds of tracks from YWP sound over the years -- recorded slams, songs, music, performances ... that loop 24/7 and which now are arranged and scheduled by tags.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING? Do you love audio? Do you like to experiment? Do you want to set up a variety show? Play your own music? Do a call-in? Interview some folks? Air a journalism project?
Talk to Doug. Write to Doug. Send Doug a message via carrier pigeon. Call him on the phone late at night. What do you think? You interested? If so, comment below. Let's get started.... think of the possibilities.
If I look at the gift I have been given by working on this project, it has been meeting, through words and sometimes in person, the remarkably talented, strong, funny, interesting kids that reside and grow and create here in Vermont. If I look at the gift I have been given by doing this work it is meeting people like Emily Lyman, a kid I have known since second grade who, sadly, died this past week. She was a freshman at Rice Memorial High School. She died, unexpectedly her mom told me, after a life defined by bouts of cancer and an incredible resilience and courage as she fought numerous "relapses." I knew her best when she was younger, but even then she had a startling clarity and strength and humor. She had voice. I still think about the first piece she sent us, in second grade, and I still tell people about it. It was in response to a prompt we had called, simply 'Hair.' It is below. (Click 'Read More')Read more »
YWP is partnering with cowbird.com to give you a WORLD-WIDE AUDIENCE on the INTERBLARG! Write stories about moments in your lives as teens. Share poetry, prose, stories, essays. Post it here; MUST have a large photo; keyword: Teen Saga. We'll post the best on Cowbird.
No story is too small or too big. But it must have a photo that complements the story. Upload a big photo -- up to 2000px wide as an attachment, and put a smaller version in the Images box.
Feel free to add audio -- a narration, perhaps, with some musical background or without. When your work is complete, post it here using this keyword: Teen Saga. And we'll post the best on cowbird.com and who knows, perhaps yours will be chosen by an indirect parter National Public Radio NPR for airing. Read more »
This speech, given by President Obama at about 1:30 a.m. (Eastern time) on Nov. 7 after his re-election, is a powerful piece of writing that shows strength, voice, vision and emotion. Obama's delivery was remarkable. It's worth study. Here is the video; the text follows and if you just want to listen while you read without the video, click the audio player. Sorry I didn't get this up sooner.
What did you think? And what are you impressions, feelings, observations, anecdotes or take-aways about the Election? Post a blog with tag of Election2012 -- gg
For those of you who remember him, comedian George Carlin had a funny bit surrounding the phrase, 'Holy ... wow!' The point was, 'how cool was that?'
And that's what this new genre is all about: Share something that really WOWS! you: Something here, or something elsewhere. Share a link or, if possible, embed it on your blog (go to plain text and paste the code). And then choose the genre, WOW!
Be judicious. Choose what you share well. And write something about why you chose it.
And to kick this off:
What I love about this package is the quality of the voices and photography, how you can understand so much about each person from what they say and what you see. These digital stories represent some of the best I've seen in revealing story and voice. Check them out.
On a personal level, this stirs my heart as a former journalist; these are exactly the types of stories I'd like to be doing. I hope to put together a team from your ranks -- anyone can join in if you are interested -- and figure out how we could do these on people in Vermont communities. Contact me if you are interested. -- ggRead more »
Hello bloggers and other assorted writing creatures,
Each week Young Writers Project publishes great work -- sparked by our prompts OR great writing you guys have done on your own -- in 21 newspapers and on vpr.net. Send us your best stuff! Submit one of your blog posts! It's EASY! And when your piece is selected you become: "A PUBLISHED AUTHOR." Your boyfriend/girlfriend will swoon. Your friends will be envious. Your parents will be happy with you! You will be proud!
Do it! So when you click WRITE click "Yes, this is a Newspaper Submission" or go into a blog post you really like, edit it and click YES!"
There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with us...
The Project's founder is Geoffrey Gevalt, an award-winning writer and editor with 33 years experience in newspapers and magazines. He was, for two years, a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in Beat Reporting. He formerly was managing editor of The Burlington Free Press.
The Project's Publications Coordinator is Susan Reid, a writer and editor.
The Web Coordinator is Doug DeMaio, a longtime YWP mentor and recent graduate of UVM.
The Administrative Coordinator is Kate Stein, a musician who has devoted much of her work career helping nonprofits -- in a variety of capacities.
To contact them:
- Geoff Gevalt, YWP Executive Director, click here or 802-324-9537
- Kate, click here or 802-324-9538
- Susan, click here or 802-324-9539
- Doug, click here or 802-324-9538
To reach us by post:
Young Writers Project Inc.
12 North St., #8
Burlington, VT 05401
And to stay on the cutting edge of what we do...
Follow, Friend, and Like us: Read more »
What if... what if we had a rasher of you out there creating video poems? This is a wonderful poem, by a high schooler in Newton, MA, but imagine what you could do... gg
For those of you who watch these sorts of things, Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who has been on several Space Shuttle missions and has been, since December 2012, commander of the International Space Station, returned to Earth on May 13. After numerous tweets, videos of experiments, a blog and other InterWeb type things, he has published this rendition of David Bowie's famous tune. It represents his goodbye to the station:
You have done it a million times. Someone tells you a story and you immediately are reminded of your own story. And then you tell yours. And then someone else tells a story that's related to yours....
So a lot of times you may read something here and it makes you think of something -- a story, a poem, a little tiny moment -- well now you can satisfy that urge: SPROUT A STORY.
At the bottom of every post, you will see the link 'Sprout a Story.' Click it and you will get a blog post form and an embedded link to the story you just read, the one that inspired you to create something related of your own. Write your piece and save, and the two posts will be linked. The original will have a short summary and link to what you just wrote.
When you create your 'Sprout' choose the genre 'Sprout' so that you can begin to see the connections others are making. Have fun with this.
On September 22, 1967, my Dad came to school to take me to my driver's test. We lived in the Berkshires, the upper left hand corner of Connecticut, which back then was nothing but farms. There were 690 people in my town, though I couldn't figure out, back then, why the number didn't change.
My Dad was a country doctor and he was rarely home, but on this day, he cancelled some appointments and came and picked me up. Some background: My Dad had been in every European invasion of World War II, had been wounded once, but had made it back to practice medicine with some war buddies who fled the city and went to where medicine was really needed. They charged only a small percentage of their patients and most in town paid barter.
In 1953, a year or so before the first vaccine, my Dad caught polio and lost the use of one leg and back. He had been incredibly active -- a skier, rider, ice skater, hiker -- but was confined to a brace, corset with metal stays and, when he was around the hospital or house, a wheelchair. It was easier than his crutches. But never did he complain.
And oh yes, he hated golf.
So down we drove to the 'big city' of Torrington, CT, for the driver's test. Fact is I had been driving with my Dad for years -- taking him on housecalls -- but on this day, my birthday, it was to be legal and my Dad thought it his obligation to get me there. I drove.
It was a shitty day. Cold, a light but steady rain. Read more »
So this is a good lesson in writing: Keep the backbone of your piece ONE thing, not two. So on this one, I talked about sprout AND chat and, of course, chat ruled the day. So instead of getting focus on what I think is a cool feature, it was lost in the discourse of chatchatchatchat.
And I also tend to do that -- to write something that has two or three or five ideas instead of just ONE.
So here's is my idea. SPROUT. Try it. See what it's like. A new form of commenting, really. Click the 'Sprout a Story' and see what happens. And we are going to have a way to view all sprouts which, if we all start doing it, will create a very interesitng network of connections.
So you read a story, a poem, a rant, an essay... or you hear a song or a podcast ... or you see a cool image or digital story, and it gives you an idea about your own story, or poem or idea or photo or song...
YWP is excited to announce a new feature, 'Sprout a Story' that allows you to react to a person's piece -- with your own -- and automatically link the two forever. A new type of commenting. A new way to LOVE! Show how you appreciate a piece by sharing your own, related, idea, your own sprout. Just click the 'Sprout a story' link below the full version of the post that is the inspiration of your idea. A 'create a blog' form will appear with the 'Sprouted from' reference (which will become a link) right in the form. And the original story will contain a link and a summary of your story once you save your own. Have fun!
But what about CHAT? Well we're going to give it a rest for a bit. Why? Main reason: The number of comments on posts has been declining -- precipitously -- lately. It seems no one 'has time' to read and then offer supportive critique or suggestions or much of any reaction at all. And we think that's because it's a whole lot easier to chat. So call this a bit of behavior modificiation, but realize, too, that the true value of this site is that it is an active, supportive writing community. We are missing a bit of that energy and strength of later. So give this a try. See what happens. See what you can grow.
ggRead more »
Thanks so much to the writers who appeared with the Anna & Elizabeth concert on Sunday: Bridget, Abhi, Emily, Taylor and Margaret. I was honored to read a piece by Emily Lyman, longtime YWP writer who passed away last December. The audience SO appreciated your words -- your humor, your insight, your power. THANKS!
UPDATE: Anna and Elizabeth are on public radio's The Story TUESDAY! Check it out on VPR at 2 p.m. or listen here: http://t.co/ddoPJqbtCH OR click the play button above. This radio piece will help you understand how storytelling can lead to music or intertwine with music and visual art. Anna, for those who don't know, was instrumental (sorry) in helping to get Young Writers Project started way back in 2004/05 when she was a senior at CVU. (And we will try to get sound on the site as soon as we can...) Read more »
Many of you know me, many of you don't. I am gg; I founded this place. Before this I was a journalist -- a writer and editor, sometimes both -- and towards the end of my 33-year career, I was the human dart board in charge of getting the newspaper out each day. It was fun stuff. I got to ask people lots of questions. My specialty was the long story, the one that took weeks or months to put together. Usually it involved several or dozens of other journalists.
I love working for you here at Young Writers Project, too. And I have not forgotten how to question. Lately I've had a lot of them: 'How we can make this site more vibrant -- a massively enthusiastic exchange of comments and feedback and creativity bouncing off each other?' 'How we can challenge you more to go deeper with your ideas? How we can wrench a little time from your wanderings on FB and Tumblr and other virtual hangouts so you can build a stronger community here?
I was recently in Chicago at a three-day conference with some of the best and brightest in the country in the field of digital media, learning and activism. Another question emerged: How we can connect you to youths around the country, youths whose experiences are so different, you can easily say they live in a different world? Want to see just how different their worlds are? GO HERE to listen to This American Life podcasts. (Warning: Very powerful radio news story. Very much worth listening to.)
My conversations in Chicago with youths and activists and digital media experts from San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Detroit ... has spurred me to take action here, in this community. We have begun conversations on how we best to connect you with them. We are opening our Burlington headquarters for Drop-In Hours during the weekdays (translation: random creative fun and sharing after school). We are planning workshops and online challenges/tutorials. We plan a Commenting Blitz and a few temporary changes to help gently persuade you to help out your creative peers. We plan some challenges -- with or without M&M rewards.
But to do all this, we need you. We always need your suggestions on how to make this site better. We need you to react, or to oblige or to lead on some upcoming initiatives. If you are interested in helping us help you help the creative risk takers on this site, comment below. Or send me an email or launch a carrier pigeon our way. But REACT!
GGRead more »
This is a remarkable two-part story by the folks at This American Life. The show appears weekly on VPR on Sundays. This radio story, which is posted here, is a remarkably powerful piece of journalism. I encourage, urge, emplore, beg you to listen to it. And then I ask you to react. Comment here. Or send the school some money. Or maybe we should meet some Saturday -- with a Skype hookup for those who can't make it here to Burlington -- to talk about it, and come up with an idea on what you, we might do.
Here is how This American Life describes this series:
We spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29. We went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances.
Then imagine what it would be like for you to go to school this way, every day. Comment below. Or post a blog with the genre: News Story and the KEYWORD: Harper
Matthew works for Detroit Future ... detroitfuture.org ... thats his network, and he is working specifically for detroitsummer.org which is going to be producing the video.
We're chatting at a conference of cool people.
This is a song done to a common lullaby, All the Pretty Horses
Students and a few faculty from Harwood Union High School are finishing up their annual trip to Rwanda, where students work at a local school and do other community visits and work. This engaging video is of one student introducing his own dancing spirit and watching what happens.... Check out some of the students' posts at rwanda.ywpschools.net
WE WANT YOUR BEST! YWP publishes your best writing and art in newspapers all over Vermont and part of New Hampshire and on Vermont Public Radio. JOIN IN! Send us your work!.
(NOTE: If you are a teacher submitting on behalf of a student, you will be the one getting the emails from us; not to worry, go to the link supplied and that author's name will be the one that is published, not yours!)
The prompts: PROMPTS TO BE DETERMINED this summer.
Here's how: Read more »
Recorded in the cold of the day at YWP World and Intergalactic Headquarters. Rajnii is a brilliant poet and performer. Google him and you'll see.
Geoff asks Isra about a joyous moment.
Katherine Paterson, the Vermont novelist who spoke at our Anthology 4 gathering in October, has won another prestigious award -- the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. Congrats to her! And remember what she said: that back in her school days few believed she had much talent for writing! Persistence, work, reading and following her ideas led to this:
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. The 2013 winner is Katherine Paterson. Paterson was born in China in 1932 to missionary parents and grew up in the American South, moving eighteen times before she was 18. After graduating from King College in Bristol, Tennessee, she herself became a missionary in Japan. She returned to the U.S. to attend the Union Theological Seminary in New York, where she met and married John Paterson, a Presbyterian minister. Her first book, “The Sign of the Chrysanthemum,” was published in 1973. Katherine Paterson currently lives in Barre, Vermont.
Burlington area folks: Burlington City Arts (Firehouse Gallery on Church Street next to City Hall) had a jam-packed opening of its new exhibition called Seat's Taken on Friday, Jan. 25. Highlight of the show was the performance of Diversity Rocks!
The show, which continues through April, is designed to continue the community-wide dialogue about race and to include more broad issues of inclusion and exclusion. The show is interesting -- a wide range of styles, genres and moods. Check it out. And write about it; use the KEYWORD: Seat's Taken.
Richard Blanco, 44, became the youngest poet to deliver the Presidential Inauguration poem on Jan. 21, 2013. What did you think of this?
One sun rose on us today, kindled over our shores,
peeking over the Smokies, greeting the faces
of the Great Lakes, spreading a simple truth
across the Great Plains, then charging across the Rockies.
One light, waking up rooftops, under each one, a story
told by our silent gestures moving behind windows.
My face, your face, millions of faces in morning's mirrors,
each one yawning to life, crescendoing into our day:
pencil-yellow school buses, the rhythm of traffic lights,
fruit stands: apples, limes, and oranges arrayed like rainbows
begging our praise. Silver trucks heavy with oil or paper -
bricks or milk, teeming over highways alongside us,
on our way to clean tables, read ledgers, or save lives-
to teach geometry, or ring-up groceries as my mother did
for twenty years, so I could write this poem.