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General

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Share your best writing of any category (including images, sound, digital stories).

#livechallenge
 
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Why Write?

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Why write? Why do you write?
To help, some other questions: What happens to your mind when you are writing? What do you write? What happens when you share what you've written? What happens when your writing is published? How does it make you feel?

And take a look at the video to your right to see why some others write.

#livechallenge


 
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Other ideas

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Here are a few other ways you can start stories:
  • YWP Challenges: (OK, shameless promotion) Click CHALLENGES in the header on this site. Each day we have new challenges and you can scroll through until you find one you like. Respond and get some response and/or some fame if your piece is highlighted.
  • Overheard: Every day we overhear things, little snippets of conversation in the halls, at a restaurant, standing in line, walking through a room with...
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Look Ma, no text!

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Before there was writing, there was talking. People sat around a fire and told stories. So to practice, we want you to tell a story using the Audio Recorder function in your blog. That's it. Think of a memorable moment. Think of a family myth. Tell about when you moved. Or you won a game. Or you stood up to someone. Or something silly. Or something that just happened today.
  • Click RESPOND
  • Give your post a title and pick a Category
  • In ADD MEDIA, click Audio Recorder
  • ...
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Nature

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Make a sculpture out of natural things on the ground in the woods or in your backyard— sticks, rocks, leaves, etc. Don’t harm or disturb the habitat. Take a picture and post it. The most creative sculptor will receive YWP’s delicious, environmentally friendly, locally produced chocolate!

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
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Wonder

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I wonder why … Finish the sentence. Use it at the beginning or end of a story. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Sound3-Glass

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Listen to this audio clip of someone walking on broken glass — let it inspire you. Write about what you are hearing. Maybe you use glass as a metaphor in a poem. Write.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp; Sound Credit Walking on Broken Glass]
 
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Invention

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What is one thing you wish had never been invented? How would your life and/or the world be different without this invention?

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
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Squirrel

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Write the inner dialogue of a squirrel trying to find the nuts she buried for the winter.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Storm

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Smile

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...
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Sports

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Describe a memorable moment playing your favorite sport. Use detail to help your readers feel like they’re right there with you.
[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Brandon Beauchemin]
 
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Ask

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Ask someone for a writing prompt. You could ask a parent, a teacher, a friend, a waiter — anyone. Write based on the prompt they gave you, even if you don’t like it at first.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Fad

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Write a rant about the weirdest fad of 2017. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Phone

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Go without your phone for 24 hours. Reflect on your experience.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Window

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Look out your window. Describe what you see. Now include a person or an animal wandering through the scene. How does the landscape shift? What do you see and sense?

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Photo 4 - Married

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These two have been married for many years. They’re having a small disagreement today. What’s the conversation they’re having?

[Photo Credit: Kuhnmi, Creative Commons License]
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Mundane

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Write about something seemingly ordinary — a chair, a wall, a tack — and make it extraordinary.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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what's below

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Write a short poem or story about what you think is below the water. Be as descriptive as you can! Have fun!
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Like

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Starting with the sentence, “I like…” write a list or a run-on sentence of things, people, places you like. Load on the description. Instead of “I like movies,” expand on it -- “I like watching scary movies late at night with a bowl of salty popcorn and my buddy Chump at my side.”

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
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Kid

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If you could be a kid forever, would you be? Why or why not? What would it be like to be in “kid-ville” forever? Describe.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
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Screenplay

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You have just been hired by a big-shot Hollywood producer to write the opening scene of a screenplay of your favorite book. Share it with us. (Remember to include the title of the book.)

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, Erik Short] 
 
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Titles

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Create a poem using only the titles of books near you. Write it in seven minutes!
 
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Found

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Take five lines from books in your house, or five of your favorite quotes, and use them to make a poem. List the books or the origins of your quotes at the bottom of your piece. [Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library]
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Snowman

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Make a snowman and take a photo of it. The most creative snowman-builder will receive YWP chocolate!

[Photo Credit: Cindy Who, Creative Commons License]
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Slam

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What gets you really angry? What makes your blood boil? Write a slam poem about it. Record yourself performing it, and post the audio and the writing. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
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Photo 5 — Collage

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

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Mya Dusablon]
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Ancestor

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Who is one of your most interesting relatives? Famous or infamous? Well-known or unknown? Go digging for a good family story.

[Photo Credit: YWP photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
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Video

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Listen to this composition by Fiona Ella (pick one). Make a video based on this music. Post your video and the song. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Morning

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Start your story with the line, “It was a beautiful morning and nothing was wrong.”

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Loss

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Write about what it’s like to lose a longtime friend. How does it happen? Where do you go from here? Real or imagined. No names, please!

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Love

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Write a love poem without mentioning the word “love.”

[Photo Credit: Sheila on Moonducks, Creative Commons License]
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Valentine

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Write a Valentine's Day poem to a pet. Let the little critter know how much they mean to you. Post a picture of the pet with your poem.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Forest

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Write a poem using a forest as a metaphor for either confusion or indecision. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
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Footprints

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You see a set of mysterious footprints leading from the woods behind your house and down your street. You follow them. What happens?

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Safford]
 
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Puns

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Make a list of words that could be turned into puns (words with several meanings or words that sound similar but have different meanings.) For instance, ‘olive’ becomes ‘all of,’ or ‘I love.’ Have fun with it. Put your best puns together in a poem. 

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp] 

 
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Photo 6 - Recurring

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A character keeps seeing this image in their dreams. Why? Does this place exist somewhere? Does it have special meaning to this character? Does your character have to go and find it? What happens? 
[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Harlie Johnson]

 
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Photo 7 - Crowd

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How do you stand out from the crowd? Write from the perspective of the red-headed pin in this photo. 

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Safford]
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History

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Research historical events that happened on your birthday, or in your birth year. Write from the perspective of someone who experienced the event.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Safford]
 
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Say

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Say what you have always wanted to say to that one person...
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Cows

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Write a dramatic poem, dialogue or humor piece about the conversation between these cows.

[YWP Library; Photo by Grace Safford]
 
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Dog

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You find a lost dog. Write about the journey you take to get it back to its home. What are your thoughts as you get to know the dog?  Does your relationship with the dog change as you travel together? What happens?

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Safford]
 
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Realize

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Finish this phrase, “In that moment, I realized …,”  and start or end a story or poem with it.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Safford]
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Key

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Write from the point of view of a key in a sweaty palm.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp]
 
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Sure

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Begin a story or poem with the phrase, “One thing I know for sure …

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp]
 
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Nothing

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End a story with the line “they had nothing to say to each other…”

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp] 
 
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Sound 4 - Surprise

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You walk downstairs to make breakfast only to discover the animal in this recording standing in the middle of your kitchen. Write about the chaos that ensues...

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Safford; Sound Credit]
 
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Brick

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You’re walking along the side of a brick building when you see a loose brick. You tug at it, and a note flutters to the ground. What does it say?

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp]
 
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Photo 8 - Treetop

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Write from the perspective of a character sitting on top of this tree. What can the character see? Include something — maybe a friend, a pet, or even a responsibility — waiting at the bottom.

[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library; Photo by Kevin Huang] 
 
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Photo1-Wake

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Write a poem or a story based on this image, making the image the first scene.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Desiree Holmes]
 
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Food

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Write an appreciation of your favorite food. An ode to eggplant?

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Kevin Huang]
 
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Rain

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Write a rhyming poem about being stuck in the rain, and a surprising discovery you make.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Kevin Huang] 
 
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Playground

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Take a photo of someone on a playground. Use the architecture to your advantage.
(Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, Livia Ball)

 
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Kindness

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What is the nicest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Safford]
 
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Photo 9 - City

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Write a poem from the perspective of a tiny speck of light in the big city.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
 
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Contrast

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Write the internal dialogue of a character who is constantly flipping between being filled with hope, and being filled with despair.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Safford]
 
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Earth

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The Earth needs your help. Climate change is real. Write an urgent message to your fellow humans that will get their attention. Be specific about how to take immediate action. Write, and you’ll be entered into a drawing for YWP’s environmentally friendly chocolate!

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp]

 
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Train

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Listen to this sound. Now write about a transformative change this sound spurs in a character.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp; Sound Credit Sounds of the Train]
 
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One

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Write a serious conversation between two characters. Just write the dialogue, nothing else. Now, delete everything one person said so that only one side of the conversation remains.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Saford]
 
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Yellow

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Take pictures of things that are the color yellow. Make a slideshow. Write an accompanying poem or commentary on the photos.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Grace Safford]
 
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Writing

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Record the sound of yourself writing. Post the piece you were writing, and your audio clip, to YWP.

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp]
 
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Last

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Write a poem or a story that begins with the line, “This is your last chance.”

[YWP Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp] 
 
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Green Up

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Vermonters! Participate in Green Up Day. Write about the most interesting object you find, the best conversation you have, or the observations you make as you clean up the state.

[YWP Photo Librry; Photo by Grace Safford]
 
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Setting

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Take a photo or photos of a setting that you find inspiring. Post the photo(s) and write a short explanation of why this place touches you.
[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, phone by abouttosnap, YWP Community Leader & Photographer)
 
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Once

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What is the one thing you think everyone should do at least once in their life? Write from your own experience or research.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]

 
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Don't

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Don’t run with scissors. Don’t chew with your mouth open. Don’t talk to strangers. What is another “don’t” tip that you learned -- and maybe you learned it the hard way? Describe.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
 
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Photo3-Diner

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Write a story based on this photo.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Photo 2 — Friends

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Write about the friendship between these two leaves, both fallen, but one wrinkled and crumpled, the other still vibrant and colorful.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Tapan Napal]
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Inspired

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Find a piece of writing you like on YWP. Create a piece of art — a drawing, a photo, a painting, — based on that piece. Include a link to the piece that inspired you. (And send a comment to the author to let them know.)

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
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I Am

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Start or end a piece of writing with the line, “I am who I am.” 
OR, start it with "I am the one who ... "

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
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Fractured

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Write a fractured fairytale, a reimagining of an established fairytale — aka, Peter Pan is a girl, Alice in Wonderland is set in 2017, Little Red Riding Hood is set in New York City, etc.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Sound2-Bells

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Your character is walking, hands in pockets, when they hear this sound, or they are on a bike speeding past a field. Let this sound and setting inspire your story.

[Photo Credit: Perriscope, Creative Commons License] [Sound Credit: RCA, Freesound]


 
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Future Letter

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CHALLENGE: Write a letter to someone in the year 2067. Tell them what's happening here -- in your life, in your community, in the world. Describe to them the technology you use. Or tell them what you hope the world will be 50 years from now. Or just tell a story that you think they would appreciate.

 
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InterWeb Surfs

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A few minutes doing one of our favorite pasttimes -- spinning through some social media channel -- often gleans images or pharases or gifs that can be used to get you started on a story. So these little gems came from scrolling for five minutes on Twitter. And they yield some questions:
Why is that man wearing a red nose? And how did the burning Swastika get there? And what would Alice do with Dennis?
  • And, below, why is he jumping? what's the conversation between two women waiting...
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Sound1-Play

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Listen to this recording of a park. Record your own sounds of a park. Or playground. Or a sporting event. Take photos to accompany your soundtrack. Post your slideshow and audio here.
[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Livia Ball; Sound credit: "Ambience, Children Playing, Distant, A.wav" by InspectorJ, Freesound.org ]


 
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First

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Write about the first time you tried something new – a food, a sport, a language, an idea, a ride at the fair. What did you discover?
[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, Madeline Reed]
 
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Sky

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Write one sentence that describes the sky today. Add a photo!
 
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Winter/17

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Editor's Note: We've extended this a week for all of you who haven't gotten your submissions in!

Tell a story about your experience of winter in short descriptive poetry or prose. Be original. Avoid cliches, (please, no hot chocolate, no sleigh bells). The best will be selected for presentation by the Vermont Stage Company at its annual Winter Tales production at FlynnSpace in Burlington in December.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo...
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Ogdoad

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Find out what this word means and how it was used in ancient Egypt. Create your own poem or story using the word ogdoad.
[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, Grace Safford]
 
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Fortune

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You feeling lucky? Go to http://www.myfortunecookie.co.uk/ and "open your cookie."

Tell us what your fortune says and us it to write a story, a poem, a rant, a lament. Whatever. Just go with what you're given.

Good luck!

 
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Apples

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If you can, visit an apple orchard. Take photos and breathe in the apple air! Post your photos as a slideshow. Write a poem about the experience.
[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, Grace Safford]
 
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Peace

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Where do you see the greatest opportunity to create peace in your community or the world? Write an essay or poem about what you can do to promote peace. This challenge is part of Peace Day, Sept. 21. More info:http://www.peaceoneday.org. Also click here to see what Vergennes Union High School does on Peace Day!
[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Jonathan Palmer]...
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Dare

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Your friend dares you to enter the creepy house at the end of the street. You enter, and inside, you find something that you least expected. Tell the story.
[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Will Barr]
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Fear

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What is a fear you have that is sure to make people say, “That’s weird.” Write an example of how the fear has played out – or could play out – for you.
[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, Christi Tassie]


 
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Haircut

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Rant about the worst haircut you’ve ever gotten. What did you do about it?

(Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang, YWP Photoshop)
 
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My Vermont

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Write a personal, true story about an experience, person or place that defines your Vermont. The best stories will be submitted to Vermont Life magazine and, if accepted, you will receive an offer of payment and be scheduled for publication. Word count: 300-750 words. 
 
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Go

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Today, your usual way to school is unavailable, and you really need to get there! It’s up to you to find an alternative. Write about your experience traveling by foot, bicycle, school bus, city bus, pony, skateboard (anything other than a car). What and who do you see along the way? How is it different from your usual trip? Do you learn something cool or surprising? Real or imagined.
Vermont writers! Bonus: Your stories will be considered for publication to...
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Color

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If you had to give up seeing one color, which color would it be and why?

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Grace Safford]
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Advice

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Share the best advice you've ever received — or figured out yourself — about performing. [Photo Credit: Beverly Gartland]
 
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Power

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You have developed an odd but somewhat useful superpower. Maybe you have the superpower to never get bug bites, or you have the power to predict traffic jams, or the power to clean your room by blinking three times. What would your odd superpower be?

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Evan Friedman]