Olivia Pintair's piece featured on vtdigger.org
CHECK IT OUT!
Cheers to Olivia
A year ago Emily M. Lyman died. She was a freshman at Rice Memorial and was a voracious reader and writer. She was a writer with voice, and strength. (Below is something she wrote in 2nd grade.)
Her Mom, Monica, has led an effort to create a book of Emily's work and started with encouraging and gathering art work -- related to Emily's writing -- from people all over. The work is amazing, heard tell, and if you'd like to see it: A public showing of visual art "Inspired by Emily" was held Saturday in South Burlington. (google it.) It was a full, wonderful and, yes, inspiring experience. And so begins the Emily M. Lyman Foundation.
The Story of My Hair
By Emily Lyman
Mater Christi School, Grade 2
When I was born, like most babies, I was bald. My hair grew as I turned one and two. Then when I was almost three, I got Leukemia. Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects your blood cells. I went on medication that would help me, but chemotherapy made my hair fall out. It got shorter and shorter until I was bald.
My parents and friends bought me lots of bandanas, wigs, and hats but I didn’t wear any of them. I was only three. I didn’t care if any one saw my bald head. I went to preschool bald and pretty much everywhere bald. Soon my hair grew so it was short and later it grew into thick red curls. I went through one more year of preschool, and then in kindergarten I had a relapse. A relapse is when you have cancer again after the first time.
When I had a relapse, my hair fell out again and once again my parents and friends bought me lots of bandanas, hats, and wigs. Since it was winter, I chose a purple winter hat. I even wore it inside, but then spring came and my head got hot. My friend bought me a blue hat with clouds and a brim. I chose that gift to be my next hat. I wore it through the rest of kindergarten and all through first grade. Now in second grade, I still wear that hat.
My story of hair is different from others but I act like a regular kid. My body looks no different from any other kid’s body and I will always be myself. No matter where I go, I will always be me.Read more »
Some of you know that for nine months last year and this, I had the honor of working with Bess O'Brien, Fred Holmes, assorted artists and counselors and a couple dozen courageous recovering addicts in a series of writing workshops. I learned so much. And, as it turns out, each one of those participants captured a part of my heart.
I went to the formal, 'gala' opening of The Hungry Heart, O'Brien's latest activist documentary about the enormous problem of prescription drug addiction in Franklin County and throughout the state. You need to watch it. Click here for the schedule and some more information about the film. It will be coming to a town near you; don't miss it. It will change you. HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET? NEXT TOWNS:
- 10 -Montpelier -Bethany Church
- 11 -Montpelier -CCV
- 12 -Randolph -Randolph High School
- 13 -Waitsfield -Big Picture Movie House
All of you have encountered or will encounter alcohol and drugs... in your community, in your school and, perhaps, even in your family. This movie is intended to start a conversation, to see drug addicts as people, to understand that recovering addicts are courageous people facing enormous odds against them and to see that there is much more we should be doing to help them, protect us and try to address the myriad of issues drug addiction entails.
I would love to see you use this space to write about the movie -- your reactions, your ideas for next steps, what you could do ... -- and about the pressures you face, particularly in high school, surrounding peer pressure and prevalence of alcohol and drugs and partying and, more generally, the pressure you face from others to do something you ultimately know is either stupid or dangerous or both.
Tag your writing: hungryheart
Thanks, and check out the trailer below:
A RENEWED CHALLENGE! 30 Days of Feedback: Share and Comment. This community is based on sharing ideas and then giving and receiving respectful feedback. We'd like to challenge you, again, to make a habit to post your own piece and then comment on someone else's work (find someone you do NOT know by clicking READ in the banner above.) And, if you are so moved, Sprout a Story -- write a story the piece reminds you of -- by clicking the link below the post that inspires you and then create that new piece that will be forever linked to the one you read. (And example below.) NOTE: Do not use the YWP Writing Challenge tag.
Support and strengthen the YWP community!
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.
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 »
YWP Community Members,
We are looking for a handful of active site users and YWP community builders to help us in a HUGE but exciting project: to redesign and rebuild this Web site.
We have some clear ideas and a vision and are putting the final touches on a proposal for some large-scale funding. But we need some of you to help all along the way:
- DESIGN: After the holidays, we are going to pull together a group of users to ideastorm about what the perfect ywp site would be: what you might be able to do on it, who you might be able to connect with ... We'll have a couple of sessions here at YWP (though you could participate from afar in a smaller way). Pizza and M&Ms, of course, will be abundant. We'll also ask you to do some prep work ahead of time. Commitment to this would be for a limited time.
- ITERATIVE TESTING: We will want users to critique and test as we get going. This can be done online; starts in the spring. Ongoing commitment; mostly online.
- CODING: We will be looking for one person who wants a JOB being the primary builder of the site. I realize that most of you are in school, but some of you may know of someone ... We want someone who lives and breathes Web; is intrigued with coding/Web development and knows something about it; and who would relish being mentored to work in Drupal (the open source software we use) by the very best. An amazing opportunity. We are taking names... but won't be filling the position until we have the funding. (Spring or bust.) Send me the name and contact info, or have them get in touch.
- SUGGESTIONS: We want your suggestions, links to sites YOU love, ideas, complaints... Create a BLOG post for this and use the keyword, ywp3.0. Only requires energy to keep those crazy ideas coming...
If any of you would like to talk to me in more detail, drop me an email, give me a call, send smoke signals, message me, Skype me, send me a telegram, Twitterize me, mind-meld me, release your carrier pigeon, whatever... But give us your best ideas!
Remember: Only The Strong Writers Survive!
ggRead more »
One of the things that has most gratified me in my 7+ years at YWP has been the remarkable respect you show for each other. Sadly, this is not always true in othe "social" learning sites. So I'd like some help. Shouldn't take long and you can just respond in a comment below:
- Why is this place civil and respectful?
- What ONE piece of advice do you have for other students -- think of it, perhaps, as one thing you do -- to keep things civil, safe, respectful, positive on other sites.
Can you do it? Comment below. THANKS! -- gg
Welcome to Chat-Free December.
I know, I know. I can hear the howls of protest, the swirls of controversy, the ministrations of pleadings... But here's what we're up to. We'd like you to focus your energies for a bit on your posts, your feedback, your digital creations.
YWP is, if nothing else, an experiment in creativity. And, while we like this to be a site driven by you, every once in a while, we need to take the wheel for a moment and take a side road. Now you drive ...
The reason is simple. When we disabled chat the last time, we saw an amazing spike in posts, page reads, comments, loves, 6-word stories, etc., and THAT's what this site is all about. So enjoy. And create a podcast. Or a rant. Or a digital story. Be inspired ... cheers, gg
Read more »
(Photo by Kevin Huang)
By David Gossens -- BHS Register Staff
What was accomplished at the meeting? In what direction should we be moving now? And what impact did the meeting have?
The meeting achieved its intended purpose. People came together and spoke about racial injustice and inequity. Being heard meant a lot to people. Safia Haji, a student at BHS, said, “This meeting had a huge impact on me personally...I felt like my voice was heard loud and clear and that there are people out there who actually care and are working towards making change. It was definitely worth going to.” Norah, a member of the BHS student council who helped facilitate at the meeting, said that the meeting couldn’t give solutions but it kept the conversation up and helped people express their opinions. Hal Colston, Director of the Partnership for Change, said “We need to have more and deeper conversations that lead to actions of justice and equity.” He explained that both parties, the dominant group and the oppressed group, must both be on the same page. “Learning to see and experience the world through the eyes of those oppressed can lead to healing and reconciliation.”
Both Safia and Norah agree that the conversation must keep going. And that seems to be the clear path forward from this meeting. As Safia said, “Change will take a while but we’ll always be where we are if we don’t take any action. Educate people about racism, talk about racism to your kids, students, colleagues, friends.”
By Emma Forbes -- BHS Register Staff
Eva Edwards-Stoll may be small in stature, but she has no fear of making her voice heard. Thirteen years old and an eighth grader at Edmunds Middle School, Eva has spoken out for Treyvon Martin, participated in campaigns for better gun control, and helped to raise awareness for William’s Syndrome and other disabilities at a number of public forums. She came to the Racial Justice conference with a clear, honest point to make.
A common complaint at the conference was that conversation and clarification were not enough, and tensions were running high. But the volatile atmosphere did not daunt Eva, who seems to understand more than anyone the transformative power of words.
“Kids don’t really talk about things like this…but I didn’t grow up that way,” Eva said confidently. “I grew up like, you talk about what you want, and then what you believe in, and if no one hears you, do it again. And if no one hears you – do it until someone hears you. And then you get your point across.” Read more »
By Lizzie Michael - BHS Register Staff
Perhaps the most peculiar occurrence at the race and diversity event was the repeated use of the word “racism.” Contrary to the night’s title, Working Together, We Can Do Better: An Intergenerational Community Dialogue on Racial Justice, the issue in Burlington does not lie specifically with racism, but with diversity as a whole.
It is often seen that when people begin discussing diversity, they tend to lean towards black vs. white instead of all ethnicities. This is an issue whose roots can be easily pinpointed- after all, race has been a focal point of American culture since the eighteenth century. Unfortunately, this view is growing too old to be relevant, and thus must be corrected.
In the world of anthropology, most scientists agree on three basic, extremely general “races” in mankind: Caucasians (typically white), Mongoloids (typically Asian), and Negroids (typically black). Yet there are more than three ethnic groups in the world, which makes the term “race” incomplete. The use of a word that gets its roots from the Middle Ages to describe the issues within Burlington is weak, lacking substance, and outdated. The incredibly large range of cultures in Burlington should be focused on instead. Read more »
Burlington High School students, staffers on the newspaer, Register, covered a citywide discussion last month on the topic of Racial Justice. The writer was a faciilitator of one of the break out groups.
By Mabel Prine -- BHS Register Staff
Throughout the event, two main things resonated with me as a facilitator. The first was how impressed I was with the citizens of Burlington. The members of my group were passionate about their community, open to sharing their stories, conscious of the importance of listening to others, and ready to see change in the community. When it was time for groups to “share out”, most round tables talked along similar lines. Community members spoke about themes, personal stories, standout moments, problems, and solutions. Although some topics could be harsh, they were always shared sincerely and with positive outlooks on how to do better.
The second thing that stood out to me was the results yielded from the “fishbowl” talk. The people in the group were not new to this scene; many were experienced racial justice activists. Many had seen events like this happen time and time again, with no results. They were done with “conversations” on race. They were angry with the injustices occurring in Burlington, and ready to make change NOW. Read more »
Last month, the City of Burlington and Partnership for Change sponsored a discussion about racial justice: We Can Do Better. Six members of Burlington High School's newspaper (Register) staff, with YWP and teacher David Lamberti's guidance, covered the event. Here is the main story. Click the keyword, Burlington Dialogue for the other pieces. Photos by Kevin Huang
By Emmett Werbel - Burlington High School -- Register Staff
More than 100 members of the Burlington community gathered at the Echo Center in late October to attend Working Together, We Can Do Better: An Intergenerational Community Dialogue on Racial Justice. The event featured speeches from Mayor Weinberger and Police Chief Mike Schirling, as well as small and large group discussions.
The direction of conversation shifted throughout the night from cheerful banter to a more harsh dialogue. While most attendees arrived in high spirits, at times the mood of the discussion became heavy and emotional.
The event was organized to generate broad and collegial conversation. The night began as Mayor Weinberger briskly took the stage and gave a short speech on the topics of the evening. Read more »
Order Anthology 5 -- the best of the best of your work -- for great reading or gift. Here's how:
- Contact YWP's Kate Stein via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-324-9538.
- Mail your info, number of copies and check to YWP (YWP, 12 North St., Burlington, VT, 05401) (1 copy-$7; 2-$14; 3-$21; 4-$26; 5-$32 Costs include shipping)
- OR order here by PayPal (or credit card) or through SQUARE Market (also credit card) by clicking READ MORE.
ebook version: http://youngwritersproject.org/node/87807
We'll announce the book store locations soon!Read more »
So here is an example of how a story rapped around a tiny moment can gain an audience. I wrote it in 2012 on cowbird.com...it was featured on upworthy.com in October ... and then it was featured on huffingtonpost.com and aol.com and others. The cowbird version has more than 310,000 views.
I share this all only to encourage you to try this technique out, that is, to take a tiny, memorable moment, add a photo and record your text.
And enjoy the story, of course. Cheers to all of my pals on this site. You inspire me so. Happy Thanksgiving. -- gg
Nov. 21st -- Poetry Reading Day:
ALL-AGES SLAM: Led by Geof Hewitt: Bring your poems to The Whammy Bar or just come to listen or maybe judge! Located in The Maple Corner Store, 10 miles north of Montpelier on the County Road. Sign-up 6:45 - 7p (Nov. 21)
PODCASTING AND PIZZA PARTY: Can't make it all the way up to Montpelier? The Grammar School in Putney is hosting a podcast recording and open mic session starting at 5:30 (Nov. 21)
Any other happenings? Comment below. Read more »
Ok, so we're all breathless from the wonderful Celebration of Writing on Saturday, but WAIT there's more:
WHAT: Workshop on Poetry
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 16
WHERE: YWP Intergalactic HQ, 12 North ST., Burlington, VT Second Floor.
WHY: 1. Reuben. 2. FREE book: Poetry 180 (anthology of best poetry selected by Billy Collins) 3. M&Ms (the clincher)
Are you coming? Let us know in the comments below or email gg at ggevalt (at) youngwritersproject (dot) org
Thanks to everyone who came to Celebration of Writing of Writing 2013. What amazing energy, fun and work was done.
We want you to tell us what you thought and what you did: Share your reactions, give us ideas, post your photos AND writing AND video using the Celebration of Writing 2013 keyword!
- More photos on instagram.com/ywpvermont#
TONIGHT, Nov. 21 5:30p The Grammar School in Putney will be hosting Young Writers for an open mic poetry reading and podcast recording sessions. Bring some of your own work and be submitted for publication on VPR.net and VTDigger.org!Read more »
Editor's note: This poem represents The Before, as in before the author enrolled in South Burlington High's Big Picture School. The author, Cecilia Giordano, a senior, read this poem at the Rowland Foundation's annual Education Conference held Nov. 6. Ceal was one of two students to speak as part of the keynote of Dennis Littky who developed Big Picture schools around the world. In her keynote, Ceal, an intern with YWP last year, said she is now far more confident and directed and has a clear vision for her future. Read more »
I was deeply moved by the images in the story from which this piece is sprouted ... Alym22's description recalled a memory I had when I was 9 ... Thanks for that and nice piece. gg
When I was 9, I went everywhere on my bicycle. I should explain that when I say everywhere, there wasn't that much everywhere around. We lived in the country. So I would go for long rides, sometimes several miles, to get to a friend's house, and often we'd make our way across fields or down woodsy paths or along the roads. There was little traffic. And anyone going by would wave because I knew them or they knew me.
One hot summer day, I came home from a long trek to my friend's house. I was surprised by the many cars in my drive. I leaned my bike up against the large elm next to the house and went in. Adults everywhere in the living room. My mom reachd out to me and hugged me hard. My cheeks pressed uncomfortably against her dress and I remember wondering why she was holding me so tight, why, even, she was wearing a dress and not her work clothes. Then I realized she was sobbing. I pulled back and our eyes met.
"Your grandfather has died." Read more »
Photographers, Audio Storytellers, Video Producers, Journalists, Writers:
Join YWP for a day-long adventure in digital storytelling! Nov. 9 as part of the Celebration of Writing.
If you're into taking pictures, recording voices, making videos, collaborating on digital storytelling, this workshop is for you.
Come create multimedia stories (any mix of text/image/video/audio goes) about the Celebration of Writing and have your final product put on display THAT DAY! (and hopefully elsewhere).
Expand and deepen your skills with our digital storytelling specialists, Barbara Ganley and Bryan Alexander, while having a blast capturing the stories of the day.
In the morning workshop, we’ll explore examples of micro-videos, audio stories and text-image storytelling. You'll break into teams to plan and develop projects during the middle hours of the conference, returning for an afternoon editing workshop followed by the unveiling of your creations.
YOU MUST SIGN UP IN ADVANCE. IT IS AN ALL-DAY WORKSHOP, so you won't be able to sign up for the other sessions. (But you will be sitting in on some as part of your digital storytelling!)
So as much as I hesitate to suggest an idea like this (we'd hate to see you absent for a while) we have a unique challenge. And an amazing one at that...
A senior editor at a major New York magazine asked us to find a few of you who would be willing to STOP USING THE INTERNET FOR TWO WEEKS and write about it in a casual, natural way, i.e., using your VOICE.
This is an amazing writing opportunity. You must be in the 14-17 age range. It would be really cool if you were a social networking butterfly (not that I want to inflict pain upon you, but it might make the writing challenge more fruitful). Contact me ASAP. No guarantees you will be chosen; I'll give you some more details and then pass your contact info to the editor.
And if any of you just want to do it -- and for me that would be like not breathing for two weeks -- and want to keep a journal and then post excerpts later, have at it! Keyword: NO INTERNET And try writing in advance; write about what you expect to happen. Then when you return tell us what really happened.
All-ages slam in Barre on Friday; screening of Girl Rising in Burlington on Saturday; screening of Hungry Heart in central/southern Vermont this week. Go see the movies! Write about it here!
Very interesting event THURSDAY at the ECHO Science Center, Burlington. -- a Conversation about Racial Justice, sponsored by the City of Burlington. Burlington High School students stood proud as facilitators and journalists. Look for the BHS journalists work here and at various other YWP partner publicatons in the coming weeks.
FRIDAY, OCT. 25, 6 p.m. at Aldrich Library, BARRE: All Ages Slam. (6 PM for free pizza, 6:30 for brief quickwrite, 6:45 Slam begins: bring a couple of your poems or choose to read whatever you've written during the quickwrite). Enter through back door! Share your slam here!
SATURDAY, OCT. 26, 7:30 p.m. at Main Street Landing, 60 Lake St., Burlington: Screening and discussion of GIRL RISING. $7 adults, $5 students, proceeds donate the Girl Rising Fund for Education. Hosted by acclaimed Vermont YA author, Tanya Lee Stone. To reserve seats PLEASE RSVP to: email@example.com
TIckets will also be available at the door The film is deemed appropriate for 12 and up. Around the world, millions of girls face barriers to education that boys do not. And yet, when you educate a girl you can break cycles of poverty in just one generation. Girl Rising is a groundbreaking film that has already been seen by millions. More info at girlrising.com/IDG
Read more »
THANKS to all of you who submitted your entry to win "THE CALVIN" a writing award sponsored by Vermont's Calvin Coolidge Foundation. The deadline has passed. CONGRATS to the winner who has been chosen and notified. The winner will recieve $1,500 and $500 will be donated to the "teacher" of the winner's choice as well.
All participants should be receiving an email of thanks from the foundation. Some of you may also have heard that you made it into the finalist round! Congrats to you.
The award banquet will be held in NYC on Tuesday Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. I have been asked to attend and say, in one minute, why The Calvin (and writing in general) is important. Wish me luck.
For those of you who didn't win, there is always next year! The age limit is 19. Thanks for taking the risk! We hope you will share your entries here as well.
Read more »
Our new publication partner!
YWP is excited to let you know that we will have, starting this weekend, a 20th Vermont publication point for your best work: vtdigger.org What's vtdigger? The news medium of the future, a website run by devoted, talented journalists who report all sorts of news about Vermont, particularly news about how our government works and, sometimes, doesn't work. The site is also a nonprofit organization.
vtdigger gets a great deal lot of traffic and we're honored that vtdigger's founder, Anne Galloway, was interested in providing a new audience for your best work. We will be sending them a couple of stories, a photo and, whenever possible, a podcast. They will highlight the work each weekend.
Click the links in the pieces below to see them on vtdigger.org.
As you know YWP, under the leadership of YWP's Susan Reid and her team of kid (and a few adult) reader/selecters publishes 1,000 of your pieces each year in 19 Vermont and New Hampshire newspapers and on vpr.net (and occasionally on air on Vermont Public Radio). YWP also publishes, and will be publishing more frequently, best work on cowbird.com
So on any given week, your best work can be seen by hundreds of thousands of people.
See how far your words can travel!
Keep reading for more info on how to... Read more »
We mourn the sudden passing of Olivia Mae Scott, 16, a student at Mt. Abraham Union High School. By all accounts, on Facebook and elsehwere, bullying played a part in her death. Which makes it a deeper tragedy.
Our hearts go out to her family, to her friends, to the Mt. Abe community and to all students in Vermont who are touched by the issues surrounding her death.
We did not know Olivia, but perhaps some of you did, and we encourage you to share your thoughts here -- remembrances or, even, the problems students face with bullying. As always, be respectful. Keyword: Olivia Mae Scott
Visiting hours will be held on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Sanderson-Ducharme Funeral Home, 117 South Main St., Middlebury. Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, at 6 p.m. at Mount Abraham Middle/High School at 220 Airport Dr., Bristol. And a "Remembering Olivia Mae Scott" gathering at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at Mt. Abe.
If you have something to say about bullying and harassment, join the conversation, Oct. 22 at Burlington High School.
Click Read More, to view a video of a song created and sung by a classmate, Alyssa Genova. And the WCAX report on her death, including comments from her parents.Read more »