EXPLORE | CREATE | CONNECT
Young Writers Project is a free online community of teen writers and visual artists.
Young Writers Project (YWP) invites all young creators – 13 to 18 years of age, from anywhere – to join the YWP community. Youth who are 12 may join with parental permission. Teachers are also welcome to gather inspiration from our challenges and resources, and to submit student work for publication through the “For Teachers” tab on the site.
YWP's mission is to inspire, mentor, publish, and promote young writers and artists. We are an independent nonprofit that started in 2006 in Burlington, VT, which is still our home base.
QUICK LINKS FAQ, Permission Forms, Newsletter, How the Site Works, and more.
- Sign up for your free YWP account.
- Use your personal email, not a school email, if possible.
- Choose a username, provide accurate information, get approved.
- Start creating your writing and visual art.
- Connect with others directly on the YWP website.
- Respond to inspiring writing and art challenges.
- Get published in YWP’s annual anthology and monthly literary magazine, and with our media partners in Vermont.
- Have fun!
FAQ: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT YWP
Read below or go to: FAQ about YWP
I’m new to YWP. How do I get started?
- If you are between 13 and 18 years of age, sign up for an account by clicking "Sign Up" on the YWP website, youngwritersproject.org. Fill out all the little info boxes with accurate information for YWP administrators (not for public eyes) so we can confirm your identity and be able to contact you about publication, contests, and events.
- Pick a username that you would like to see as your anonymous nom de plume, something other than your real name or someone else’s name (i.e., not Jane Austen or LeBron James.) Select a password that you will remember.
- Once your account is approved, you can start submitting writing and visual art posts to your own blog, respond to YWP’s many challenges, comment on other writers' and artists' work, and chat with them on YWP’s interactive forums, Tiny Writes and the Book Club.
- If you are 12 years of age, you are welcome to join YWP but a parent or guardian must fill out a permission form for your account to be approved.
- Teachers do not require accounts to use the YWP site's many challenges and resources, and to submit work on behalf of students younger than 12 and those who do not have their own YWP accounts. Go to the "For Teachers" tab on the dropdown menu on the homepage for more information.
Where do I find step-by-step instructions for the site?
Go to How the Site Works. If you still have questions, YWP staff are here to help.
How does my work get featured on the site or published?
YWP staff review every post on the site, more than 10,000 each year! We celebrate every writer and artist who bravely shares their creations with the world – original, honest, powerful voices that inspire us every day. We highlight YWP writing and visual art here:
- The Daily Read and Gallery: Three pieces of writing and three pieces of art featured on the homepage of the YWP website every day.
- The Voice: Our monthly digital magazine on the homepage, showcasing the outstanding writing and art posted to YWP every month. Past issues of The Voice from January 2020-July 2023 can be accessed by linking from the site to the YWP archive.
- Anthology: A beautiful, printed book of the best writing and visual art submitted to the site each year.
- Media Partners: In Vermont, we publish weekly on VTDigger.org, and monthly during the school year in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus and Rutland Herald.
Is YWP a safe space?
YWP has thrived since 2006 as a model of online civility because of the respect members of the YWP community show each other and the site itself. YWP is “youth-led,” and our young writers and artists take it upon themselves to ensure the site remains civil and welcoming. Occasionally, very rarely, YWP administrators step in to remind users of our editorial policy.
What is YWP’s Editorial Policy?
Young Writers Project strives to create a safe, respectful, positive space for young writers and artists. We encourage free expression, however, as a matter of policy and common publishing practice, we exercise editorial discretion and reserve the right to remove from the website any material we deem inappropriate. Such material would include but not be limited to:
- Content that encourages intolerance, violence, cruelty, or self-harm;
- Language that is threatening, defamatory, discriminating, bullying, hurtful, uncivil, or unkind;
- Content that is not your original work. No plagiarism or “borrowing” from other writers or artists.
What if users ignore the policy?
As part of joining Young Writers Project, community members agree to the following statement in the signup form: YWP's guiding rule is: Be respectful. Respect keeps YWP an oasis of civility on the internet. This applies to all posts and interactions on the site.
All young people from anywhere are welcome to take part in YWP. We encourage, within the bounds of respect and civility, the active exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Posts that stray from the basic tenet of respect will be removed from the site. The writer's account may be suspended temporarily, or permanently, at YWP's discretion. Above all, we trust members of the YWP community to keep YWP a respectful, positive place.
What is YWP's non-discrimination policy?
Young Writers Project does not unlawfully discriminate in its administrative and program operations or in the provision of services – and will not allow discrimination – on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, political orientation, religion, mental or physical disability or any other status prohibited by applicable law.
Who manages the site?
Susan Reid, YWP executive director, Reid@YWP on the site; Anna Forsythe, publications coordinator, Anna@YWP; William Anderson, editor/administrator, William; and our alumni advisors who contribute mentoring and support on the site. YWP also has a nine-member board of directors.
How do I help to sustain YWP?
Please Donate! YWP relies solely on donations and grants from foundations, businesses, and individuals to support our 501(c)(3) nonprofit – and to provide all programs free of charge so anyone can join us!
HOW THE SITE WORKS
Read on or go to: How the Site Works
Young Writers Project is a free, online community of teen writers and artists, ages 13-18. If you are 12, you are also welcome to join youngwritersproject.org with a signed permission form from a parent or guardian. Teachers wanting to submit work on behalf of younger students or students without YWP accounts are encouraged to find more information on the “For Teachers” tab.
SIGN UP FOR AN ACCOUNT
- On youngwritersproject.org, click the "Sign Up" link on the homepage.
- "Create New Account" will pop up with a streamlined account registration page.
- Choose a username that you like. Don’t use your own name or another person’s name. And choose a password that you can remember.
- Please use your personal email, not a school email, if possible.*Find out more here.
- You'll be prompted to fill in some personal information – which YWP keeps private. Make sure it is accurate and complete so your account can be approved.
- Read the Terms and Conditions: This outlines YWP's publication and privacy policies. Once you've agreed to the terms and conditions, save the form.
- YWP staff will review your information and approve your account if everything is in order. This could take 1-2 business days, so please be patient.
WELCOME TO YOUR DASHBOARD
- Once your account is approved, you can log in and start creating!
Your avatar on the top right of the homepage will take you to your dashboard (or profile landing page) which includes quick links to create writing or visual art. Different blog forms will pop up for writing or visual art. You can also link quickly to challenges and contests from the dashboard. And you’ll see the latest in “Tiny Writes” and the “Book Club” and you can join the conversation directly from your profile page.
POST WRITING OR VISUAL ART
There are two main ways to post your work on youngwritersproject.org:
- Click Create and two choices will appear: Writing or Visual Art. These are stand-alone posts – freestyle, not connected to any challenges on the site. The blog form is simple, asking for title, genre or medium, a space for your writing or an image upload option.
- Or click Respond under any challenge. Using this path automatically associates your post with the specific challenge.
- Both types of posts can be considered for publication in YWP's in-house and partner publications.
- All posts are automatically considered for publication unless you specify "no" at the bottom of the post.
Every year, YWP creates new, inspiring challenges – also known as prompts – to spark your creativity. All challenges can be found in one central “Challenges” page: Weekly Challenges, Contests, Opinion & Commentary, Great Artists, Great Poets, and ArtSpace prompts. You can download a PDF of the Weekly Challenges here.
EXPLORE OUR IMPROVED ACCESSIBILITY
YWP strives to be accessible to any young writer or artist who wants to join us, so we have made improvements to the accessibility and usability of our website. This includes:
- Clear and contrast-free typeface, fonts, and colors;
- Alternative text and easier navigation for users with vision impairment;
- Easier site navigation from menu button (three horizontal lines, top left);
- Your opinion. Are the changes working? Let us know. See contact information at the bottom of the page.
CONNECT WITH YWP COMMUNITY
- When you see a piece of writing or art that you like, let the creator know! Click on the little speech bubble at the bottom of the piece, leave your comment in the comment box and save. Please be encouraging and kind. And be honest – constructive feedback with specific detail can really help a writer or artist. Relating the piece to your own experiences can sometimes start a conversation.
- Private messages are a great way to get in touch with someone on the site – whether it be a mentor, staff member, or other young writer or artist. Private messages are housed completely on the site, so you don't have to reveal any other personal information about yourself. These messages are great for starting a collaboration, asking for feedback or clarification, or finding out how someone learned a skill that you admire. Whenever you see someone's username, you can click on it and you'll be transported to their profile page. On the left side of the page you'll see a link to message them. You can also link to your own messages on the dropdown from your avatar.
- Tiny Writes: An interactive chat forum where you can connect with other YWP writers and artists about your work, your favorite authors, artists, musicians, what's going on in your life, anything you want to share with the YWP community.
- Book Club: If you love books, this is a great place to give and receive book recommendations and reviews.
Young Writers Project is a creative and supportive community of aspiring young writers and artists. It's also a place where you can learn and build your skills through mentoring, feedback, and online workshops. Watch the site for announcements of workshops, events, and opportunities through the year.