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:

Fair Days

Using a technique I used much as a journalist, I went to the World's Fair and if I saw an interesting looking person I went up to them and asked if I could take their picture.

Without fail, they said yes.

I took one before they were ready, one as they posed and one after they thought I was finished. At the end, I thanked them told them my name was Geoff and they told me their first name. We then wished each other well and moved on.

I guess in the last analysis, it's in how you ask.

Sep 18

The Ox Pull -- 500 c's

A county fair oxen pull. She had a slender build, maybe 16 years old; she led, her father behind to hook the yoke line to the sled. She struggled -- nervousness, then embarrassment -- to get the team to mind. She swatted, yelled, pushed; the oxen grew annoyed. Suddenly: "I KNOW, DAD," she yelled. The 3rd time they pulled the distance. Outside the ring, father, softly: "You have to get them to want to pull." She withdrew before the next round.
Sep 12

The Bear

The man was heedless in so many ways. He'd left home without his phone.

He'd worn only flip-flops & shorts despite the cold drizzle - obstinance reigned. He intended only to drive up over the ridge to Sidney's farm for corn. He was tired, his mind occupied.

The car strained up the mountain road to the top and started to coast down the other side. All woods for miles. Such a crazy thing to drive all this way for corn, he thought, just as the bear ran out into the road in front of him.


GG & SR featured in Seven Days article

Editor's Note: Many thanks to Kymelya Sari of Seven Days for a wonderful article on YWP's leadership transition. Link to article here.

Geoff Gevalt Hands Young Writers Project Reins to Susan Reid

Seven Days staff writer

When Geoffrey Gevalt created the Young Writers Project in 2003 as a monthly feature in the Burlington Free Press, he had two goals: to teach kids to write and to showcase their work. "A lot of teachers weren't teaching writing correctly," said Gevalt, who was then the paper's managing editor.

A goodbye, of sorts

I love this photograph. It was taken by a friend and inspiring spirit, Cecilia Giordano, better known as Ceal, back when she was going to The Big Picture School at South Burlington High School and was our intern. I like it because she took it and because she was someone who always challenged me and challenged YWP and that made us better. I like it, too, because it betrays my inner spirit, that is I would rather lean to whimsy than seriousness, though I confess that I have taken my work -- whether here at YWP or in a prior life as a journalist -- pretty darn seriously. 

Texted Responses to VYP 2018 -- Middle School Cold Readings


Response to Middle School cold readings. We apologize the responses to plays 1 & 2 somehow were not saved. 

#9 thank you for your wonderful play! The humor mixed with the conflict made it really interesting to watch.
#9 I really down to earth, about things that many people have experienced
#9 Do you relate to Ajax?
Play #9 haha the dEmOn was FuNNY!!!!!!!!!
#9 What was your inspiration for a good demon, usually they are a bad thing
#9 The message behind the story is powerful...(even though there is some humor) What is your take on the main point?

#8 I myself have experienced racism, and it made me very emotional. It was so powerful and I love it.
#8 this was the Best play I've ever heard in my life! You are amazing!
#8 that was powerful. When the two ladies spoke at the same time, I had goosebumps
#8 This was so amazing. So powerful and all around a beautiful piece

Texted Responses to VYP 2018 -- High School Cold Readings Round 1

Response to VYP 2018 High School Cold Readings Round 1 

#1: St. Johnsbury Academy (Crave, Hannah Panda); #2: Twinfield Union High School (Not a Spaghetti Western, Liv Boucher); #3: Thetford Academy (A Geeks Problem, Jade Elias); $4: Hannaford Career Center,(Maple Drive, Mitchel Tierney); #5: Spaulding High School (Caveat Empire, Emma Riddle).

5: I really liked how the premise was largely unexplained, forcing us to come up with a world and some explanation of the toy/human relationship
"5 it was very original, never heard anything like it. maybe develop the female human a little more.
5- FOR ACTORS please wait for the other actors to finish the lines
5: Mention the performance for the king earlier; earlier its said that they're just tourists. I love the originality!
5- You did an amazing job working with unique character and dialog. Maybe it would be nice if there was a bit more closure to the story?

Texted Responses to VYP 2018 -- High School Cold Readings Round 2

Responses to the Second Round of High School Plays --  #1: Champlain Valley Union (Snack Cakes, Pete Skpasyk); #2: Rock Point School (Unknown, Josh Santora); #3: Middlebury Union High School, (Call Me After You Leave, Anna McIntosh); #4: Winooski High School (Untitled, Rehmah Alchaderchi); #5: Bellows Free Academy (Momicide, Julia Scott);  #6: Mt Abraham Union (The Game Changer, Patrick Marotulio)
#6 wow, it was great, the way the characters yelling back and forth makes the play flow so well, the way it was written was done perfectly.
#6: fascinating interpretation of young adult relationships.
6. The shift between their anger to accepting the infidelity seemed kind of sudden, but I enjoyed their development as characters.
#6 Good comparison between sports and their relationship. Very creative!!
6- the dialogue was amazing and I loved the back and forth
#6, wow. the team bit was honestly genius
Apr 24

What, Mind?

Mind, please, come back.
I don't know when you left me
or why,
I don't know where we were
when you zipped out of my skull,
but come back. 
Please, come back.
Here's why.
This morning I got up from bed
took a shower and put on 
two different socks
started to put on my wife's boots
(a little tight, that's what gave it away)
and went out the door
withOUT my keys,
without my backpack,
without my lunch,
without getting my morning coffee.
That's just a little thing.
But what about the time last week 
when I got up and went home
only to remember, halfway home,
that I was supposed to meet someone,
20 minutes earlier.
Or a couple of nights ago,
when I woke up in the middle of the night,
cold sweat time,
and wondered whether I had double checked
that story, made sure the reporter
had all the documents to support it