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. Read more »
What is this project?
Young Writers Project Inc. is an independent non-profit that aims to engage youths in writing, help them get better at it and publish their work to external audiences. YWP has four parts (for more detail, click here):
- Online. This site, youngwritersproject.org, is a civil online community for teens to share work, submit to our publication partnerships, give and receive feedback and engage in respectful creative risk.
- Publications. YWP publishes best work in 22 newspapers and on Vermont Public Radio, mostly on a weekly basis. It receives from 100-400 submissions a week. For more information, click here.
- YWP Schools Project. YWP provides extensive professional development and mentoring services to teachers, some of which includes a digital platform for teachers to use as digital classrooms. For more information, click here.
- North by North Project: The NxN Project- Center for Creative Expression is a community-based, youth-driven project based at our headquarters at 12 North St., Burlington, VT 05401 with projects, workshops, events at the Center and throughout the city. For more, click here
How can I support this project? Read more »
YWP publishes great work by youth in Vermont and part of New Hampshire every place that it can:
ONLINE: Join this site! Share, comment, revise. One rule: Respect each other. We have 2,500 teen (and almost-teen) users; site receives 1,200 visits a day. College mentors, professional writers also provide feedback. Register (We check all applicants; it may take a day for activation. Sorry.) Under 13? Parental Permission Form (Register, fill out form, send it in. Sorry, gotta have it.) Read more »
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 »
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!)
Here's how: Read more »
Young Writers Project is very appreciative of each of our media partners who show how much they believe in youth voice. Please support them: Buy their newspaper, write them a letter or (in the case of radio) listen to their shows. But tell them you are out here!
If you have been notified that we will be publishing your piece, look for it to appear the week after the notification, or in the next publication after the notification, in the paper nearest to you. Keep in mind, YWP does not control when something gets published. It may be slightly delayed because of lack of space or some other choice the news organization had to make. Be patient!
Rutland Herald, Times Argus and Valley News (Tuesday);
Times Argus' weekly Extra and Rutland Herald's weekly Reader (Thursday);
St. Albans Messenger (Wednesday);
Colchester Sun, Essex Reporter, Stowe Reporter and Waterbury Record (Thursday);
Brattleboro Reformer and the Hometown section of the Burlington Free Press (Saturday);
Charlotte News (every other Thursday);
Addison Independent, Hinesburg Record, Milton Independent, Randolph Herald and Williston Observer (monthly)
Vermont Public Radio (one piece, each week)
Well, it's time for my semi-regular, semi-rant on commenting while, at the same time, I eat a small amount of crow for not doing more commenting myself.
This community is based entirely on feedback -- the more you get the better you feel and the better you can revise and improve your pieces; the more feedback you give, the more you help others and the more clearly you can see flaws and opportunities in your own writing.
So, this is NOT school. So we're not assessing you or making you do anything you don't want to do. This is supposed to be fun. But this is a place where you can actually learn a lot, particularly if your peers -- and our College Mentors -- are really focusing on what they are doing and following a few simple suggestions:
- Don't assess. You don't need to say whether it's good or bad, just tell the author what your experience was as a reader.
- Help the author. Offer ideas as to what engaged you and what you wondered about, as in what parts might have been confusing or tangential or needing development.
- Triggers. If you get the urge, tell the author what their piece triggered in your own imagination OR what they might do with their material to expand it, extend it or take it in new directions.
- Feedback not chat. Please use the messaging system if you want to chat with someone -- NOT to say that you can't have exchanges on a piece -- but try, as best you can, to keep on the topic of the writing and try, as best you can, to follow conventional writing form -- full sentences, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, etc.
- Courtesy of time. You KNOW you love to get feedback. And when that feedback is thoughtful, helpful and insightful it is absolutely inspiring. Can you make your comments inspiring, helpful and thoughtful?
- Comment often. If you post a piece, comment on two others. Become a commenting demon. Help your community grow, gain energy and learn from each other.
THANKS! And does anyone have any reaction to this? As in a comment?
ggRead more »
So here's a question that we'd like to discuss... What kind of "blogging" is appropriate for this site?
Now I will be the first to say that the word "appropriate" has changed in meaning in recent years, with the advent of movie ratings and the invention of adult-driven restrictions on Internet use. I think of the word appropriate in a much different way -- does it belong? does it fit? is it part of a larger point?
So is "blogging" about ones daily life appropriate for this site?
Absolutely, I say. In fact, I know there has been a pattern of some of the older users and more experienced users of this site of going to WordPress or Blogger to create personal blogs to which they invite friends to read and comment upon. I think it's happening for these reasons:
- those programs allow for more personalization and design of individual blogs
- some users have gained identity on this site and seek a more anonymous venue so they can get more response based on their words rather than their identities
- there are more personal things that can be discussed in those places
- the audience can be limited to just friends
- they think it is not "appropriate" to write about daily lives on youngwritersproject.org
(If there are more reasons, please share them) But point by point responses: Read more »
PHILOSOPHY. We believe all writing and communication on this Web site -- including comments, blogs, forums and submissions for outside publication -- should be civil, accurate and respectful of others. All work should be the author's original work unless noted.
COPYRIGHTS. In order to publish student work in as many venues as possible, YWP retains the copyright to all work submitted or written on the Web site. HOWEVER, all authors and artists retain all commercial rights to the work forever and therefore has the right to sell the work whenever and wherever and to anyone and is not obligated to compensate YWP for such republishing. For more, click here.
TO SUBMIT WRITING. You must be a registered user to submit via this site. Click 'Register' in the upper right and complete all info. Your account will NOT be immediately activated; we verify information and will activate within a day. Once signed in click 'WRITE' in the upper left corner, write or paste in story, choose genre and say 'YES' to it being a submission at the bottom and complete additional boxes. SAVE. You are all set. We will let you know by email ONLY if your pice is chosen. Read more »