May 21

Summer of Stories 2022


(Full list is attached below for download)
Every week for 12 weeks through the summer, you'll find three new challenges here and on the home page! You can respond to any of the challenges any time, out of order, in order, doesn't matter. Have fun! Share your work! Share comments! Stay in touch with YWP over the summer! The challenges are here to inspire you, but let your imagination wander! You can write, photograph, paint, draw, create anything, anytime about anything. AND DON'T MISS THE CONTEST! Details here!

NEW TO YWP? To respond to a challenge, click on its title and it will pop up. Click "Respond." This will open a new blog form in your account that links directly to the challenge. Fill in Title; select a Category; Write in the Body section; for images, go to Add Media > Add a New File or Vertical Image> Upload. And SAVE. You can also add audio and embed video!
[Illustration by Jarod Adams-Wight, YWP Archive; Audio by John Sipos,]
WEEK 12 (August 21-27)

Post your favorite photos that shout "SUMMER!!"

TripYou have just won a "trip of a lifetime." You can choose where you go, how you get there, and who you travel with (sorry, there's only room for one companion). Tell the story.

I am ... Tell us. Who are you? Who's the real you?

(These weeks have passed, but you can still write to the challenges if they inspire you!)

WEEK 1 (June 5-11)

Watch for interesting signs, bumper stickers, murals, words out in the world – they're all around you! Take photos and share them with YWP!

Fan: You are now in the center of one of favorite fictional tales. What adventures do you and your beloved characters embark on today? 

Only Light. Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." (Strength to Love, 1963). How does Dr. King's message of love and equality relate to America today? Will light drive out darkness?

WEEK 2 (June 12-18)

Natural Design.
Get in close to a flower, leaf, tree trunk, garden vegetable, beach grass. Observe the designs, patterns, and wonders of art in the natural world. Take photos! 

Message. Start your story with a character receiving a message that completely surprises them. Without revealing what the message says, tell the story of the character's reaction to it, maybe include the backstory or some hints about the words and their impact. 

Mentor. Describe someone who has had a positive influence on your life. No names required. Just a powerful description of this person and their impact.

WEEK 3 (June 19-25)

Your character is separated from the group on a hike in the woods. Time passes. Night approaches. A rescuer – in the form of an animal – offers help. Tell the story.

Clouds. Clouds are a wonder of nature, constantly shifting shape as they move through the sky. Go cloud-watching. Take photos and share them on your blog.

Impressions. Has your first impression ever been totally wrong about someone or something? Tell a story about a first impression that was wrong OR how someone had the wrong impression of you. How did it turn out?

WEEK 4 (June 26-July2)

Pet-Pix. Got a cute pet? Share your photos.

Fable: Write your own fable. Keep it short, but include the essential ingredients (non-human characters, conflict that leads to a moral, etc.). Essential ingredients:
1: Your moral. What message are you trying to tell? What wrong are you trying to right?
2: Your characters. Who are they? What are they?
3: What conflict arises?
4: What setting are you in? (You don't always need to describe it, unless it is relevant to the plot)

Day: Real or fictional, describe an absolutely perfect summer day – in words or images or both! 

WEEK 5 (July 3-9)

Six Words.
Write a complete story in just six words.

My Movie. Write about a moment in your life that felt like a scene from a movie. Use as much descriptive language and imagination as you can stuff into one poem or story!

SettingLook at the photo examples in this challenge. Each one evokes a setting. Take your own photo of an inspiring setting – so inspiring that writers will want to write about it! Post your photo(s).

WEEK 6 (July 10-16)

 Describe a place (a mossy path, a river valley, a mountain top, a beach) where you feel at peace. Share a photo if you can.

Proportion: Proportion is the size relationship between different elements and how they work together. Proportion in photography is based on camera placement as well as the placement of the elements within the shot. Sometimes it is helpful to play with the proportion of objects relative to each other by placing them next to each other. Pick one object and play around with its proportional relationships. Take photos showing different proportions of the same or several objects. As you look through your photos, think about how the proportions of the object(s) change, and how we interpret these changes. You may be surprised by how different your subject can look.

Favorite: Who is your favorite poet? And/or favorite author? Favorite painter? Favorite photographer... Tell us why! 

WEEK 7 (July 17-23)

Collage. Create a collage of you or a friend doing an activity involving your hands, such as knitting, drawing, cooking, playing catch, etc.

Ferocity. Write a poem about the ferocity of a thunderstorm. Use onomatopoeia sounds to convey the thunder, lightning, and rain.

Junk.  Do you love an item that others might consider junk? What is it and why do you find meaning in it? 

WEEK 8 (July 24-30)

Black-and-white photos can be dramatic and compelling images. In tones of gray, ranging from white to dark, capture a mood or tell a story through one or more photos

Haiku-22. Sit quietly and observe. Focus on a tiny detail – a color, a texture, a movement. Create a haiku by describing (literally or figuratively) that detail in just 17 syllables.

Change. Write about one thing you would like to change in the world. If you could, how would you do it? 

WEEK 9 (July 31-August 6)

Write about a character who loves and hates someone or something at the same time. Describe the conflict. Can it be resolved?

RunawayWrite a poem or story of any genre using the sentence, "She looked at me with pleading eyes. That's when I ran away." Or create a piece of art/photo that represents this sentence. [Challenge created by DewDrop27, YWP]

ShapesVisualization is how we form mental images. It's how we see images when we read poetry or prose, how we can "see" spatial relationships in stories. In photos or art, these relationships play similarly important roles. Is the space vast and expanding? Is it delicate and personal? Distance or closeness of an object in a photo influences how we interpret or interact with it. However, in photos we also have to think about the shape of those spaces. Does this space have hard lines? Does it fade in a haze? All of these elements communicate something different. For this challenge, look around for basic shapes that are either geometric or organic. Organic shapes are more free-flowing and unpredictable, while geometric shapes are more structural and well-defined. Your photos can also have a combination of geometric and organic shapes. Post them!

WEEK 10 (August 7-13)

Write about something you wish you had known when you were younger.

RepetitionWrite one line of poetry. Spend time on your word choice because ... for the rest of the poem, you're going to bounce off that line, writing slight variations and combinations. Have fun with it!

NegativeIn photography, positive space is your subject, and the negative space is what surrounds it. Take a good look around. Will the negative space enhance or detract from your photo? Experiment and post the results.

WEEK 11 (August 14-20)

Lines and angles can make dynamic images. Intersecting lines can also add depth to your photos. Look around you and explore interesting angles. Post your favorites!

DoWrite a poem in the format of a numbered "To Do" list. Back to school list? Bucket list? Grocery list?

Historical. Pick an era. The 1850s? 1920s? 1960s? Create a character from that time and write a short biography of their life. It could be as short or as long as you like, but try to convey what someone's life might have been like at that time. 
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