The Young Writers Project -- Overview
VISION | To build a generation of better writers in Vermont and New Hampshire.
MISSION | To give kids voice by engaging them to write, helping them get better at it and publishing their best work wherever we can. YWP devotes much of our focus on the students who need our help the most -- youths who feel isolated by geography, by disadvantage or by belief that writing is not important and/or that they're no good at writing.
NEED | Seventy five percent of the nation's high school graduates cannot write proficiently, yet the ability to write is key to success in business, community affairs and life. • Schools do not spend enough time with writing. • Students learn to dislike writing.
CORE BELIEFS | Students can learn to write well • The Web can be a safe, civil place for youth to take creative risk • The prospect of being published and having peers as audience motivates students to try harder, learn more and write better • Receiving objective, positive feedback online and in person helps young writers gain confidence and grow • Giving feedback improves critical thinking • Students at risk need special attention • Young people want voice. • Youth can and do learn a great deal from each other.
SERVICES | YWP offers:
- This site, www.youngwritersproject.org, where registered youths post writing, respond to prompts, receive and give respectful feedback, read tips on writing, post audio stories, engage in online workshops and discuss books, news and life;
- YWP Schools Project, a comprehensive digital and professional development service for teachers that includes digital classrooms; extensive, ongoing professional development training for teachers; and a growing library of effective lessons and best practices; click here for more;
- Trained professional writers and college students who serve as mentors by providing workshops and feedback to youths online and in person;
- Online workshops that focus learning by students of varying skills and demographic backgrounds;
- North by North Project, a community center in Burlington with workshops, events and performances that focus on storytelling, community connections and collaboration; and
- Publication of selected student work in 22 newspapers and on Vermont Public Radio; presentation of work on stage with a variety of arts organization partners.,
WHERE PUBLISHED | Students submit work to our Newspaper Series to be considered for outside publication; student judges, with professional guidance, help choose which work gets published
- Rutland Herald (Monday); Times Argus and Valley News (Tuesday); St. Albans Messenger (Wednesday); Addison Independent, Colchester Sun, Essex Reporter, Milton Independent, Stowe Reporter and Waterbury Record (Thursday); Brattleboro Reformer and the Hometown section of the Burlington Free Press (Saturday); Rural Route Today (every other Wednesday) and the Charlotte News (every other Thursday); and monthly in the Barton Chronicle, Caledonian Record, North Avenue News, Randolph Herald and Williston Observer. Also in Times Argus' weekly Extra and Rutland Herald's weekly Reader (Thursday); Hinesburg Record (monthly)
- on this Web site;
- on Vermont Public Radio (and vpr.net) weekly; and
- in the venues of these partners: Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Youth Orchestra, Vermont Stage Company, The Young Tradition Concert, First Night/Burlington and the Vermont Songwriters Association.
BENEFITS | YWP student participants:
- develop and hone writing skills;
- connect with their peers;
- develop creative and critical thinking skills;
- learn writing through emerging digital technologies; and
- learn how their ideas and experiences relate to the world around them.
FEEDBACK | YWP teacher participants say YWP Schools Project helps them teach by providing ideas for students to write to, incentive for the students to write and great writing resources. Students say the project helps them write. For some specific comments, click here.
SOME NUMBERS | Since October 2006, YWP has received more than 30,000 submissions from 320 schools in Vermont and New Hampshire. This Web site averages more than 1,100 visitors a day and 2,500 active registered users who spend an average of 7-8 minutes on the site per visit.
TO REGISTER | Students and teachers can register now if you are from Vermont or the Lebanon, N.H., area. Approval of the new account takes a day or so. (If you are under 13, go ahead and complete the form, but go to this link to obtain a parental permission form which must be sent to us before the account can be approved.)
Once your account has been approved, login and click “WRITE” to create a blog, or feel free to leave a comment on someone else's work.
TO SUBMIT WORK FOR PUBLICATION/PRESENTATION |
Click WRITE, fill in the title and body of the work and give it a genre tag. To be considered for publication in the Newspaper Series click “Yes” just below the “Save” button and fill out the extra information (prompt, author name, school, grade; author name will not be publicly visible on this site but will be published in the respective newspaper if the piece is selected for publication.).Don’t forget to click “Save”!
Students are also encouraged to upload photos, scanned artwork or audio narrations.
However, if you do not have access to a computer, or if you are a teacher with a large number of entries, you can email them to Susan Reid at her email address of sreid_at_youngwritersproject.org. Keep in mind that YWP is a small organization and we will have to type in all of your entries.
STAFF | The Project's editor 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
BOARD | YWP has a strong governing board of directors that includes educational leaders, philanthropists, business leaders, writers and teachers. YWP also has an active advisory board of teachers and students; if you would like to join, contact Geoff Gevalt.
DONATIONS | YWP depends on your donations. YWP is a federal 501(c)3 nonprofit and thus all donations are tax deductible. If you like our work, donate or get a parent to donate. For more, click here.
SPONSORS | The Vermont Business Roundtable and its business and higher education members began a two-year grant to the YWP in August, 2006. YWP receives major support from the Bay and Paul Foundations, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., FairPoint Communications and Vermont Country Store. It receives support from many other companies, foundations and individuals. For more about other Friends and Partners, click here.