Lights Out

On June 27, after a heart-warming dinner with the Young Writers Project board (thank you Kathy), after hearing (thank you Susan) the startlingly kind words sent to me from many of you and your predecessors on how much this little project and community has meant, does mean, to you, I shut off the office lights for the last time after 12 years as YWP's executive director.

To you and the 110,000 kids we have touched in that time, thank you for opening your souls; thank you for sharing your ideas and observations, your flights of fancy and moments of bewilderment. Thank you for taking such creative risk.

You have enriched my life. You've opened my eyes to what you see and feel and experience and think and believe. And you have enriched the lives of thousands upon thousands of others -- your readers.
Oct 18
weinberl's picture

Fall Changings

¨It is the first day of October.¨ Stella thinks to herself. This is her first  year and her last (that she will remember in this body), she will be have her ¨turning¨. From what she has heard  first it's your hair that starts to slowly turn orange and then starts to fall off of her head. After that you are stripped of your feelings and go numb inside. Finally it's the color filter that will change your eyes and the world will go grey with color and feelings, then the part know one talks about, you fade. As she stares at her calendar she suddenly has the urge to check if the ¨Turning¨ has already started. She runs to the bathroom and looks in the mirror. Staring at her reflection she parts her hair and massages the roots of her hair that are starting to have orange creep up them ¨It's started.¨ She says, she runs outside and her eyes burn from the crisp air. All along the street she sees other  ones like her that are new to the turning. Then they start running.
Oct 18
lostchild's picture

Do I care about him anymore

            I have never had a good relationship with my dad; I have never even met him. Some may even say that I hate him but really I don’t; I’m just mad. When I was about seven or eight years old I started asking more and more about who my dad was and why I never saw him. I didn’t really think too much into it back then because I was just a little kid. I missed out on things when I was little such as Father Daughter Movie Nights and basically any father daughter thing there was in Elementary school.
Oct 18
dzingouc's picture

Bad snow experience

My experience with snow is very painful. My brother and his friends took me snowboarding. When we got there I saw all these people doing all these cool tricks in the air, we got on top of the hill  my brother took me on this hill I was a little scared I waited for ten minutes after, that my brother pushed me then I was zooming down the hill I was so scared then next thing you know I fall rolling down half way down the hill and my face in snow.
Oct 18
sheeserl's picture

Snowflake Dance

As a young kid, I used to think that the world was mine. It was my oyster. I had to tell myself that I was in power, because at the time, it didn’t feel like the truth. Even now, I don’t feel that way, but sometimes I get a moment or two of feeling like something is mine.
Oct 18
hathawar's picture

Snow Day

When I woke up in the middle of the night, I looked out the window, and saw  the world,covered in a blanket of white powder, as the snow plow went by i saw the mountains of snow on the sidewalk, and the sparkling crystals falling down from the dark winter sky above. It felt magical. I heard a loud noise outside my window and looked up and saw it was light out. I felt great until I saw my alarm clock that said  10:00. I ran down the stairs yelling, ¨I’m late! I'm late!¨ when I got down stairs my mom was laughing, and she said ¨Its a snow day¨. Those are my two favorite words right there: snow and day. Right then I knew it was going to be the best day ever.

Oct 18
cabrera1's picture

One Cold Winter Night

One Cold Winter Night.
        One cold winter night, I was walking home from my gram’s house, I saw a deer, It was sprinting across the road. I tried to capture a picture of the deer before it saw me but it was to late, he turned his head and dashed into the woods, then a car went by, he slowed down to talk to me

“Are you lost little man?”

“No, I’m going home”

“How about I give you a ride”

“My mom said not to get in a car with a stranger”

“She raised you right, but you should have a reflector or some sore of light so you don’t get hit by a car at night”

“I know, I have one on my hat, but it’s at my mom’s I forgot to put it on this one when I left home”

                20 Minutes later
Oct 16

I Don't Think I'm in Danger Anymore

It was so very comforting
seeing people come out
to share what happened
to them.

I didn't feel so alone
after those dozens of people
kept me awake
that night.

Maybe I should regret
what I was planning to do.

On second thought,
I do.

If I screenshotted everything
that people told me,
then my phone
would run out of storage.

everyone, thank you.
Oct 12's picture

Your Falling

 Your Falling

Feel the cold breeze in your hair.
Feel the cold breeze on your face.
Hear its howling screams.
You can feel the presence of a dark spirit washing over the land.
It affects you.  
This is your first autumn.
Your spirit is the howling wind.
Its screams are screams of terror.
Halloween is near.
It crawls out of its grave every year.
You can't stand the smell of all this life dying.
Everything is starting to hide.
Then its happens you fall.
You to succumb to its spell it grabs you it flings you through the air.
You are just a mere seed.  
You are torn away from your home.
You are placed in a new land.
Everything looks different.
Then a squirrel picks you up and buries you near its home.
You think it's all over.
When it's just the beginning of your life.

You thought you would be there forever.
Oct 10

Walking in the woods ...

When you walk a lot in the woods, when you take a lot of photos in the woods, you develop a sixth sense (perhaps it is an unrealized sound, a scent in the wind or something larger, a fourth dimension sensation perhaps) that there is something ahead, an animal, a bird, something out of the ordinary.

Today, as I headed down a steep portion of the trail, my body involuntarily slowed down, grew quiet, deliberate, cautious.

When I came to the bottom, the clearing, there was this:

Oct 10
jessie.p's picture

What makes me, me

What makes me, me?
    I have short light brown hair. I wear pretty normal clothes. My face could easily get lost in a crowd. That begs the question; what makes me, me? My height used to set me apart from the crowd, now I’m average. Maybe my like for depressing things makes me stand out. Or maybe my bad posture? My big nose perhaps? Is it the way I trust too quickly? Maybe I’m set apart from the crowd because I’m too quiet, or too obnoxious. I think it’s due to the fact that I’m too much to handle. I’m either all in or all out. My mood can change from happy to insane in a span of minutes. I haven’t always been this way. It just kind of happened. There is no off switch, I’ve found. Maybe I’m different because I have no off switch… Or maybe because I speculate too much, this being solid proof.
Oct 08
sheeserl's picture

The Middle

My older brother, my rock. The athletic one, the businessman, the strong, and smart one. Tall and skinny, an envy to many, he walks through life with the just the right amount of confidence. In many ways, I have looked up to him for my whole life. He is witty, a people person. A magician with words. He pulls ideas out of his head and spins them like a web. He works his way around a mess with such ease and grace, you’d think that he's a dancer. He lives in the eye of a hurricane. Disaster and chaos twirling around him, but where he goes, a calmness follows. When he leaves, and before he arrives, is when the rain hits, the wind starts beating against your skin, bringing tears to your face with the harshness of the truth when he reveals it to you. He is a closed book, lock thrown away, and not to be searched for. With questions, come no answers when he is involved. I see my mother's hair turning grey, and her eyes growing old as she sits, waits, tries to be a part of his life.
Oct 04


She's watching from a distance.
Watching her fall apart.
Standing on the outside, watching hit after hit.
Watching the flinch she recovered from return.
Watching the light in her eyes go out.
She sees as the confidence fades from her partner.
Unable to do anything but sit and watch.
Hold her hand hopelessly to remind her she's there.
But she still watches.
She sees as old behaviors return.
Comments about death and asking people to hurt her.
And she says nothing. 
She watches hit after hit.
Breaking what had just been fixed.
Destroying what had once been loved.

Oct 02
Kyle A Emerson's picture

An adult

This adult is a hardworker. Hes 5'10" and has been working in the same printing company for over twenty years. Without a college degree he worked his way up the ranks to the highest position he could obtain. He's got mostly white hair but you can tell he has brown hair. He's got the stereotypical dad body and the worst dad jokes you could imagine. He's pretty introverted and his mind is always on work. He lives for work. If he's not at his job he's finding something to do around the house. He used to play many sports as a kid. If he didn't he'd definitely have a stomach on him today. His favorite was soccer. He was one of the best defenders on his team. He was working since he was fourteen and doesn't plan to stop anytime soon.
Sep 28
Alexander wiedrick's picture


My name is Alexander Wiedrick. I have brown hair and green eyes. I'm tall and I'm awkward. Im fourteen and my birthday is March 30th. I have two cats and a dog. I like to run but I'm not very good at it. I like to listen to music and play video games. I tend to doodle on everything. I like to read historical fiction. my favorite color is grey but I also like blue. I live with my mom and my sister in the middle of no where. I tend to stress about school alot. I have a big forehead and I usually cover it up with my hair. I feel like I'm a pretty socially awkward person but not all the time. I think my favorite food right now is Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I'm not very good at math. I feel like I'm a pretty observant person. 
Sep 28's picture


This is about me.

I have blue eyes with a ring of silver. My hair is dark dirty blonde. I have a pair of legs a pair of arms a pair of ears and a pair of eyes.  My favorite sport is soccer/football not american football. I like to read and write. I also like to draw. I love the woods. Also I have a dog her name is Lexi. She is a white pitbull and she is nine years old. The sport i am doing at the moment is cross country and i regret it. It is fun but i would have rathered played soccer. I also do track and i was one of the best 400 meter runners in the state. My fastest 400 was 58 seconds. I want to be an inspiration to most people and I want to motivate most people. I also play video games and my favorite type of music is pop punk. I am 15 years old and this was about me.
Sep 28
Jen L.'s picture

Weekly Writing Challenge-Week 3

My sister is very quiet at school. At home she talks a lot. She has long, straight, dirty blonde hair. She has steely blue eyes that sometimes turns grey. She has our fathers nose and she has little to no freckles. At home she is not afraid to voice her opinion or yell. She yells a lot in fact. She gets very irritated at my younger brother or at anybody if they don’t do what she asks, (or demands if you ask me). Out in public she never talks unless it’s to her family or one of my best friends. She never yells at public places but she loves to annoy me by following me around and getting in my personal space. She loves to annoy everyone she knows and are close to her. Like Lilly, or my brother or grandfather. She likes to do things by herself but wants someone around her in every room. She likes almost everything I like, though she doesn’t like most vegetables. When she was younger she used to throw loud tantrums over every little thing.
Sep 28
o.fredella's picture

All About Me

She has brown wavy hair that is just below my shoulders. She has blue/green eyes. She is five feet three inches and fourteen years old. She turns fifteen on October eleventh. Her nickname is Livvy or Liv. Her favorite color is light blue. She likes light colors rather than dark ones.

She's kinda shy at first but once she gets to know you she's more outgoing. She can be determined to do things if it's something she's passionate about. She's a nice person towards most people but sometimes not toward the people she doesn't  like. She's also a pretty empathetic person. She also thinks that she's pretty mature for my age. She can be pretty lazy sometimes but when she needs to do something she does it.
Sep 28
Nora.F's picture

There she is

There she goes in the back of the pack. She has blonde hair that falls to just below her shoulders and has a face full of freckles. Her hair is blonde not bleach blonde but blonde with little curls that form around her ears when it gets humid out. Her hair is thick and frizzy. The freckles are all over her face and look like a dot to dot game. She has blue eyes with eyebrows that you can barely see because they are blonde. And her eyelashes are long and thin. Her shoulders are an average size. She walks with a smile and when there isn’t a smile on her face then something is wrong which is rarely.