powered by your voice

 
Write stories. Leave comments. Win prizes. All summer.
 

 

#SOS17 Challenges

Jul 21

Grumbling

You're sitting in the dentist's waiting room and you hear a grumbling in your stomach. You look down toward your belly button to see ... Finish the story. [Photo Credit: Neil Williamson, Creative Commons] 
 
Jul 17

Moment

Describe that moment when you realized that you are — we all are — just a speck in the universe. Did it hit you all at once like a thunderbolt or was it a gradual dawning? [Photo Credit: Christopher Leow]
 
Jul 18

Dream

What happens when suddenly the things you dream about at night come to life the next morning? [Photo Credit: Yote Farrel]
 
Jul 19

Planet

Create a planet that is exactly like Earth, except there is one major difference (for instance, there is no gravity). What is that one difference? What is it like on the planet? Does it have a name? Who are the characters who live there? [Photo Credit: Nate Ertle]
 
Jul 20

Wings

On your birthday, you wake up to discover a mysterious note next to your bed that says you now have the ability to sprout wings! However, that ability isn't totally under your control. Whenever someone says the word, "fly," your wings come out — whether you want them to or not...  [Photo Credit: Bailey Kimball]
 

Free Workshop

Jul 19

Slam Poetry with Shasparay!


Are you into performance poetry? Want to work with one of the best slam poets in the country? Don't miss this free workshop with Shasparay!

Spectrum's Multicultural Youth Program and Young Writers Project are pleased to invite you to an afternoon with Shasparay, an award-winning slam poet from Forth Worth, Texas, who will provide you a workshop experience you will not forget. Engaging, challenging and extremely talented, Shasparay will help you reach higher!

WHEN: Tuesday, July 25 from 2-4 p.m.
WHERE: 191 North St., Burlington, VT in the conference room. (Ring the buzzer.)
WHAT: Creating powerful performance poetry.
WHAT ELSE: PIZZA!
COST: FREE

For more information contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Daily Reads

Jul 21

Unknown

  Bare feet barely touch the ground as legs spring forward, propelled by arms covered in goosebumps and lungs filled with damp air.  A girl races ahead, pale cheeks flushed a lively hue and light eyes sparkling vivaciously under her dark brows.  The course grass scratches across her legs and her skirts tangle about her knees as the wind howls and tears across the landscape savagely.  She's persued by a boy with dark hair, wild like the landscape, who's face is streaked with the same mud that is caked upon the girl's hands.  He follows dutifully, persistantly, closing the lengths of quivering grassland between them.  Striding forward with strong bounds, reaching for the fleeting girl as he does so, a hint of a smile upon his lips as she twists away with a laugh half lost in the vast emptiness surrounding them.  Her clothing flutters about her like the wings of the larks circling overhead as if she might leap from the rocks they now approach, and fly, stretching her arms outward and taking to the sky, disappearing amongst the abyss of mist closing in around them.  The boy reaches for the earthy tones of fabric that whip behind her, grazing a soft bit of sleeve just below her elbow.  Instead of pulling her back he matches his pace with her own, clambering along beside her as she climbs the crude shards of rock that potrude from the earth in uneven shapes.
Jul 06

July/August issue of The Voice!

Please tell us what you think in the comments section!
Thanks.
ywp
 

#SOS17 About

Summer of Stories 2017



It's Summertime! And time to tell stories!

Our challenge: Write as much as we can as often as we can. Every weekday this summer we'll post a new writing challenge to inspire, entertain and empower you. Take as much or as little time as you want. (It's summertime, after all.)

Give a gander to the weekly list of challenges below; jump around to any challenge you want, stick to the weekly schedule. Share your own ideas and work if nothing grabs you. Make sure to include the #sos17 hashtag in all your work. Also, new this year, WRITING BUDDIES! Click here to find out more!

There is REWARD to this madness: There will be prizes throughout the summer (most posts, most comments, most outrageous, best in category, etc.) and potential publication in YWP's magazine, The Voice!  (And please stop by YWP's Academy this summer and through the year for our fun and challenging online workshops.)

SOME GUIDELINES (no worries, guidelines, not rules):
  • Have FUN.
  • Add #sos17 HASHTAG in the body of all your posts.
  • Write FAST: write for 7 minutes some days, or go long. 
  • REVISE: go back to posts you liked and give them some polish.
  • Add AUDIO: Don't be bashful, record yourself! (Use the Audio Recorder function under ADD MEDIA.)
  • COMMENT: Be encouraging, help others improve their work (nothing too academic here) and say THANKS if you get a comment!
  • INVITE Friends! Go ahead! ​
#sos17
 

WEEKLY THEMES AND CHALLENGES

Click on each week's title to see the five weekly challenges -- but you can do any of these challenges any time, out of order, in order, doesn't matter. Just click on the title of any challenge you like -- and start writing!
 
WEEK 5 - July 17-21: SCIENCE FICTION

Moment: Describe that moment when you realized that you are -- we all are -- just a speck in the universe. Did it hit you all at once like a thunderbolt or was it a gradual dawning?

Dream. What happens when the things you dream about at night come to life the next morning?

Planet. Create a planet that is exactly like Earth, except there is one major difference (for instance, there is no gravity). What is that one difference? What is it like on the planet? Does it have a name? Who are the characters who live there?

Wings. On your birthday, you wake up to discover a mysterious note next to your bed that says you now have the ability to sprout wings! However, that ability isn't totally under your control. Whenever someone says the word, "fly," your wings come out -- whether you want them to or not...

Grumbling. You're sitting in the dentist's waiting room and you hear a grumbling in your stomach. You look down toward your belly button to see ... Finish the story.
WEEK 6 - July 24-28: RANTS/OPINION

Civility. Why have we become so uncivil to each other? Share your observations or theories on why this has happened.

Angry: What really, really pisses you off?

Food. Write a rant about your least favorite food. Don't be afraid to tell that unruly turnip or stinky dill pickle what you think of it.

Unpopular. Write about your unpopular opinion and why your opinion is correct. For example, there are some people in this world who actually think peanut butter and chocolate are a disgusting combination. Huh??

Young. Write about something you wish you had known when you were younger.
WEEK 7 - July 31-Aug. 4: HUMOR

Hilarious. Think of a movie/ TV show/character/story that really strikes you as funny -- and ask yourself why. Create a character that would really make you laugh. Describe the character's appearance, demeanor, speech, actions.

Satire. Satire can be an effective way to draw attention to issues and to campaign for change. The 2017 political landscape has proven to be (gulp) interesting, and fodder for satirical publications like The Onion, and TV shows like Saturday Night Live (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWuc18xISwI). Try your hand at satire -- with a serious issue.

Listen. Open your ears to the world for a day. Write about the funniest conversation you overheard that day.

Tradition. What is your funniest/weirdest family tradition?

Misunderstanding. Write the dialogue for a comical misunderstanding that happens between two people. Did someone mess up your order? Did your GPS send you to the wrong place? Did you buy the wrong thing for your mother at the grocery store?
WEEK 8 - Aug. 7-11: NARRATIVE POETRY

Bake. If you could "bake" a best friend, what would you put in them? (A dash of humor, perhaps?)

Pastoral. Describe a place (a river valley, a mountain path, a beach) where you feel at peace. Why does this place speak to you?

Cliche. What are the most annoying cliches you know? Put them together in a short story or poem.

Knight/Night. One dark night long ago, a lost, bedraggled knight comes upon a tiny cottage at the edge of the wood, and though he's mortified to admit his lack of knightly skills, he feels he has no choice but to knock on the door of the humble cottage. What happens next?

Land: Do a little research on your hometown or your county. What is its history? Write from the perspective of the land -- what memories does it have? How does it express them?
WEEK 9 - Aug. 14-18: PERFORMANCE

Songwriter. Write lyrics to this piece, "At Night," created by YWP's Fiona Ella. (OR, if you are so inclined, create your own music or beat and write to it.)

 

Crowd. A workshop leader that you really admire asks for volunteers to share their poetry. Your hand shoots up (mostly to impress the workshop leader) and you instantly regret it! You are not ready. You hate crowds. What flashes through your mind as you slowly walk to the podium? 

Advice. Share the best advice you've ever received -- or figured out yourself -- about performing.

Screenplay. You have just been hired by a big-shot Hollywood producer to write the opening scene of a screenplay of your favorite novel. Share it with us. 

Vlog. Take one of your pieces from the Summer of Stories and perform it, creating a VLOG. (Need some help? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGLEEZZ15N4)
 
WEEK 10 - Aug. 21-25: EXPERIMENTAL POETRY

Found. Take 10 lines from books in your house, or 10 of your favorite quotes, and use them to make a poem. Make sure you say what books you used in a small blurb at the bottom. 

Do. Write a poem in the format of a numbered "To Do" list. Or write directions on how to make something. Or write a resume that explains your life.

Insane. Go off the wall with the topic of your poem. You could write about how monkeys are actually a metaphor for the meaning of life, or about the complex thoughts of a rock. Be different. 

Form. Mess up the form of one of your past poems. Maybe the font gets really big at times, or maybe it gets really small. Maybe the words bend around the page to form a design...

Repetition. Write only one line. Then, for the rest of your poem, write slight variations on only that one line. 
 
WEEK 1: VISUAL
For some extra fun, go to the 5-Photo Story Workshop on the YWP Academy: https://youngwritersproject.org/node/14932

Backstory. Tell the story behind one of these photos (https://youngwritersproject.org/node/15602). Take it further and go to the YWP Academy Workshop on "The 5-Photo Story."

Room. For five days, take a picture of the same room -- preferrably a room in the house or building where other people come to -- at the same time of day, from the same spot, and at the same angle. It could be your kitchen, your livingroom, a community center, a cafe (get permission), etc. See how the room changes in five days. Make a slideshow.

Face. Find a mirror and a piece of paper. Look at your face in the mirror, and without looking down at your paper, draw your face. Never lift your pencil from the page! You can color it in later if you want. Take a picture on your phone and post it on your blog! (Check out the example by YWP Summer Intern Grace Safford.)

Signs. For a day, take photos of interesting signs, bumperstickers, or slogans that you see. Put them all together in a slideshow (or a collage) and create a coherent poem from the words. 

Color. What's your favorite color? Take five artistic pictures of things that are that color. Note the different shades and tones. Upload the photos to your post. (If you want to go deeper, check out this YWP Academy workshop on "Working with Colors.")
WEEK 2: FICTION

Waves. Alone on the beach, she watched the waves .... Use this as a first or last line.

Milk. The milk has spilled. Now what? Create a wacky series of events that starts with that glass or bucket of milk tipping over -- or it could happen in the middle or at the end. Make it wild but still credible.

Hand. You're home with your mother when the power goes out. Your mom goes into the kitchen to get a flashlight. Suddenly, you feel a hand on your shoulder, and thinking that it's your mom's, you grab hold of it. But then your mother calls your name from the kitchen. ...

Note. Start your story with a character finding a note that totally surprises them. What does the note say? Keep the story going when the note is read and put down. 

Lost. Your character is lost in the woods with only the clothes on their back, a bottle of water, and an animal that won't stop following them. What happens?
WEEK 3: AUDIO

Beach. Listen to the sounds of Clearwater Beach, Fla., by John Sipos (freesound.org) and write a story based on what you hear and feel. (Download this clip and include it with your post so we can play it while reading.)
 
 
Loopy. Listen to the sounds of Mativve (freesound.org). What picture/person/place or situation comes to mind? Describe it. OR imagine yourself or a created character immersed in this soundscape. (Download this clip and include it with your post so we can play it while reading.)​
 
 
Dramatic. Record and post a dramatic reading of a poem or story you're embarrassed about having written, or a piece of work you wrote years ago.

Animal. Go outside. What is the first animal you hear? The call of a bird? The bark of a dog? (Humans are animals, too.) Write from the perspective of that animal. What is (are) the animal(s) talking about? (If you have a smartphone or can borrow one, record the sounds and upload to your post.)

Static. Listen to this clip of radio static by GowlerMusic (freesound.org) and write a piece of fiction with a reference to this sound in it. (Download this clip and include it with your post so we can play it while reading.)​​
 
 
 
WEEK 4: NARRATIVE NONFICTION

Movie. Write about that one moment in your life that felt like a scene right out of a movie.

Memory. Ask a parent, guardian, or sibling about a childhood memory they have never told you before. Share their story.

Embarrassed. What was the most embarrassing moment of your life? How did it change you? Or what did you learn from it? Tell the story.

Object. What are three objects that help explain your personality? Why? (Share photos if you can.)

Life. Explain your entire life — such as the major events and experiences that have shaped who you are and what you love — in just five sentences.

News

Jul 21
Grace Safford's picture

YWP Book Club: Author Talk

On August 16th, the YWP Book Club will be hosting an author talk with Dan Gemeinhart! He is the author of the first novel the club is reading together, Some Kind of Courage. The YWP Book Club will be reading his novel from July 24th - August 16th. On the 16th, the club will have a party here at the YWP office in Burlington, VT, where he will be giving us a Skype call to talk about his book, and writing! 
Jul 17
Grace Safford's picture

YWP Book Club: BOOK CHOICE


The votes are in, and you have chosen to read Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart! The YWP Book Club will be reading this book together from July 24th - August 16th! Get your copy before the 24th so that you can start reading with us. 

Go to the official Book Club page HERE
Jul 07
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Social Media Galore!

Snapchat code
YWP has now joined the world of Snapchat! Add us at ywpvermont or scan the code above for the inside scoop about everything YWP. You can find announcements of special events, fun photo and video prompts, things happening around the office, and more! 

Also, make sure to check out some other YWP accounts including: Instagram (@ywpvermont), Facebook (facebook.com/youngwritersproject), Twitter (@ywpvt), and Youtube (youtube.com/user/ywpvt). 


 
Jul 21
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