ABOUT YWP’s NEW WEBSITE
Will my content be moved to the new site?
All accounts that have been active in the past three years – and all associated posts on those accounts – were transferred to the new site in August 2023. Log in with your old username and you will be prompted to create a new password. If you have trouble, contact Susan Reid, YWP executive director, firstname.lastname@example.org. Also let us know if you haven’t logged in to your account in the past three years, but you want to resume activity and bring your account onto the new site. To view the archived site, go to archives.youngwritersproject.org.
What are some of the new features on the site?
ACCESSIBILITY: YWP strives to be accessible to any young writer or artist who wants to join us. That’s why we offer all our programs free of charge. And that’s why we wanted to improve the accessibility and usability of our website. This includes:
- Clear and contrast-free typeface, fonts, and colors;
- Alternative text and easier navigation for users who have vision impairment;
- Easier overall site navigation from menu button (three horizontal lines, top left) and quick tabs on homepage.
THE LOGO: The corvid (raven and crow family) symbolizes creativity and playfulness. It’s a nod to YWP’s past logos, but with a new, refreshed look. The YWP corvid sits atop an asterisk, representing creative ideas, as if the mark is a collected treasure.
- Three Daily Reads;
- Prominent Visual Art Gallery;
- Highlighted Challenges, News & Events, a "Spotlight" feature, and the best of our monthly digital magazine, The Voice.
YWP MEMBERS' DASHBOARD: Logged-in users can go directly to a personal dashboard by clicking on the avatar at the top right. The dashboard (or profile landing page) includes quick links to create writing or visual art, as well as links to challenges, and the latest in Tiny Writes and the Book Club. Users can join these interactive forums directly from the dashboard.
CREATE: Click the Create button and different blog forms will pop up for writing or visual art. The Create option is for "freestyle" submissions not linked to specific challenges. You can also link quickly to challenges and contests from the dashboard. All writing and visual art submitted via Create or in response to Challenges will be considered for publication.
CHALLENGES: All challenges can be found on this one central page: Weekly Challenges, Opinion & Commentary, Great Artists, and Great Poets.
FOR TEACHERS: A special section to help teachers use the site and submit writing and art for students younger than 12 and those without YWP accounts. No account is needed.
Why change the website?
Our old site was a true workhorse that served us well since 2015. But we wanted to improve the user experience for everyone with a more streamlined, intuitive, and accessible design. It was also time to update our Drupal content management system before it became obsolete. A Vermont Arts Council digital capacity grant in 2022 allowed us to contract with Tamarack Media Cooperative of Burlington, VT, a specialist in accessible web design, and we have been working with them over the past year to create a user-friendly, youth-centered website that encourages participation and community building.
What happens to the old site?
Our previous site from 2015-23 is archived at archives.youngwritersproject.org. If you have trouble accessing the archives, contact email@example.com and we will do our best to respond in a timely way.
GENERAL QUESTIONS 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.
Who manages the site?
Susan Reid, YWP executive director; Anna Forsythe, publications coordinator; William Anderson, editor/administrator; and our alumni advisors who contribute mentoring and support on the site. YWP also has a nine-member board of directors.
What is YWP's mission?
YWP's mission is to inspire, mentor, publish, and promote young writers and artists.
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!
I still have questions …
We’re happy to answer them! Contact Susan Reid at firstname.lastname@example.org or by private message on the site at Reid@YWP.