The midterm elections are approaching -- Nov. 6, 2018 -- and whether or not you are old enough to vote, your voice matters. Prompted by today's Daily Read, "Midterms," persuade people to vote. The midterms mark the middle of Republican President Trump's term, and all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are being contested.

Phone Call

PHONE CALL. Use this sentence in a story. "Nancy had expected this phone call for years. But now she was stunned and her mother sounded bewildered...." (From Nancy Culpepper by Bobbie Ann Mason)


Listen to Aretha Franklin -- especially her iconic Respect, but anything by Aretha Franklin is amazing. Read about her. Write a tribute to this towering artist who died Thursday.

Unsung Heroes

Do you know someone who -- day in and day out -- brings people together, lifts them up and makes a difference? An unsung hero. Tell the world about an everyday hero, real or fictional. Who are they? What problem are they trying to solve? Who do they help?


Some say that grades are a true reflection of learning.  What do you think?


Fable. Create a fable, a story with animals as characters conveying a moral lesson. How do the characters in the fable come to understand the moral?


Based on Pavement's Heat, today's Daily Read by wondering about rain, write a poem in 15 minutes and include these words: Beetle, California, Fridge, Pineapple, Tsunami, Shirt, Bike, Sermon, Lost balloons, Persephone.

Ingredients for Laughter

We all know or have heard someone with a hilarious and very distinctive laugh ... Imagine laughter as having a recipe. What is a laugh made of? How do you mix the ingredients? What different mixtures make a giggle, a chortle, a guffaw? Who first taught you the ingredients of laugter? What extra spices do you add to make your uproarious laughter?



A two-part challenge. 1. Write a story of 500 characters. 2. Copy your best and post them here as a blog response. Details:
  • WRITE a story that is real or made-up or half and half. 
    • Write your 500-character story on TINY WRITES
    • Write a lot of them on a regular basis.
  • THEN, post your best, on an ongoing basis, as a response to this challenge. 
    • AND use the...


Write a tiny poem that is three lines long. And each line has only three words. Example:
The sun was
brighter than she
had ever seen.


Check out this video and more from the anti-bullying campaign, Because of You. "Because of you, people can feel empowered and loved, but also insecure and hurt... Before you say or do something, think about how you might make others feel." Write about your own experience.



It is important in any playwrighting effort to first understand your characters and what drives them: what are their tendencies, their backstories; what is it that they want/need and what obstacles they face that prevent them from getting what they want. 

This challenge has two direct actions. As with all challenges, please read and comment on several other participants' work -- feel free to use the audio comment feature (but you must put a word or two in the text box...

Santa Fe, Texas: What Now?

After Parkland, you wrote, spoke out and testified. You marched. You walked out of your school. You wrote some more. You presented your words on stage and on radio and on TV. You joined your brothers and sisters -- in spirit, online -- in Parkland and from the streets of Chicago and Philadelphia and New York ... where every day young people die from gunfire. You raised awareness. In some places, you helped change laws.

And now this. Santa Fe, Texas. 10 dead in a high school shooting...


Are you watching how adults are handling the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh? What do you think? Read this New York Times story on other teenagers' reactions. 


Facebook is slumping, hit by accusations that it has been sloppy with users' data and manipulated by foreign adversaries. Do you like Facebook? 


Today, historic hearings will be held related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. How do you plan to get a fair and accurate account of what happened?


Sept. 23-29 is Banned Book Week, an annual awareness campaign about the freedom to read. Check out this essay in the Washington Post. What do you think? 

First Sentences

One of the best writers I worked with as a journalist was Bill O'Connor, then a columnist at the Akron Beacon Journal. Bill wrote about everyday people with unique, funny perspectives and stories. Bills skills were these:
  • He connected with his subjects and so drew from them great detail and open expression.
  • He chose his details well and sparingly
  • He used dialogue well
  • And he had great first sentences.
"Writing is easy," he'd say. "You just write one...



Have you been following the hearings to confirm Brett...

Responsibility Day

We've been warned that “freedom brings responsibility”, yet in America, we have failed, and often still fail, to take responsibility for how the founding and building of our nation affects others. For every victory for freedom, there has also been destruction. Now is the time to change that, and we, the passionate Young Writers of the United States, are the ones to do it. Now that the 4th of July fireworks have boomed, illuminating the sky in celebration of our independence, it is time to...


Can't we do better? Kiah Morris, who represented...


Some colleges are turning away from SAT and ACT scores when reviewing high...


Comic strips are not thought of as literature, but they make inventive use of writing and characterization. Channeling cartoonist Charles Schulz, whose first "Peanuts" cartoon was published on Oct. 2, 1950, try your hand at creating a comic book character that connects with people.


Write about a character who realizes their perception of reality is completely different from that of most people, including those closest to the character. How does your character react upon discovering this? Why do they see things differently?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]


The Amy E. Tarrant Gallery in Burlington is currently showing "Visions of the World," an exhibition of paintings, photographs and other works from recent immigrants to Vermont. The artists come from many lands, such as Iraq, Bhutan and the Republic of Congo, and their work "provides a window into the immigrant imagination and the refugee experience."...


Mentor: Who has influenced and encouraged you most in your life -- in or out of school? Why was this person so powerful for you?



Share your best writing and photos here! Any genre. Anything goes.


What's Next?-- Guns


The Vermont Legislature has passed sweeping changes in gun control. Click here to read about VT Gov. Phil Scott's plan to sign bill.  How do you feel about it?

And how do you feel about the recent demonstration against the restrictions in which hundreds turned out to get free rifle magazines and to protest the passage of the gun control bill? See video above.


YWP is...

The Challenge: "YWP is ..." what?  Finish the sentence. Tell us how YWP has affected you; talk about a comment you've gotten or of getting published or of having a civil space to create. Tell us how you felt when you posted your first piece. Tell us what works and what doesn't.  Take seven minutes, and tell us: 
  • something unexpected that happened here, or that you noticed here, at youngwritersproject.org,
  • or, a YWP moment that...



For the next class, March 19, please bring a photograph or an object that helps you tell a story about an elder in your family or your community. If you don’t have an item or photo, think of a phrase they use(d) or a phrase you would use to describe them as the basis for your story. And try to talk to the elder before you come to class. 

This will be something we work on over several sessions. Our aim is to help you create a story of an elder that combines sound and an...


Got me bent

You got me bent. What's got you annoyed, ticked off, angry? Tell a story. Or go on a rant.

Use specific detail (but don't use names) about something that happened, or an issue that has you riled up, or an injustice in your life. Could be small, could be large.

Feel free to share what you wrote at the MGMC workshop if you wish and start from there.


Super difference


What makes you different than others? What's the most important single difference? Now think about that difference as a power, a super power. How do you use it? Write about a time you could use it. Write a poem.

Share what you wrote in the workshop with MGMC if this the challenge you responded to. 



In this challenge, look at (print out if possible) and fill in the embedded worksheet below by checking the appropriate Social Identities under each question.

Also consider which two Social Identity items are most important in your education.

Then look at the poem below and write a poem in a similar style, using your own most important social identities. 

By Patricia Smith 


Land of Free


America is known as the land of the free, home of the brave. Yet is still a very young nation. Imagine America as a child. What would you tell her or him? How would you describe their behavior? Would you invite America into your home and what for? What games would you play with America? What would you like to see this child learn to and to stop doing? How will you teach America a lesson? 
Write a letter to America as if America was a child. What would you say? 

Truth Traveler

If truth were a traveler 

Write a poem as Truth. You are truth embodied and personified. You are traveling the world. How are you greeted in different countries? In the forest? By the president? By your friends? By teachers in school? By strangers on the street? By the homeless? By police officers? By your parents? What do you see each day when you rise and look in the mirror? Describe your experience as you travel the world as living truth.


I am


I am the one who...

Finish the sentence, repeat it or extend it, turn it into a poem.

Feel free to paste in the poem you started when MGMC led your workshop at Edmunds.


Then things got weird

Write a story that starts fairly normally but then goes off, becomes surreal or supernatural or just really odd. Have fun with it. AND don't think about it too much. Just go.


Schools: Do you feel safe?


Do you feel safe in your school? Why? Or why not? Tell a story. Write a poem. Write an essay. Tell people what it's like when there is a Code Red drill.



“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin” (Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis). Write your own story about a surprising transformation.


On your birthday, you wake up to discover a note next to your bed that says you now have the ability to sprout wings! However, that ability isn't totally under your control. Whenever someone says "fly," your wings appear — whether you want them to or not...  [Photo Credit: Bailey Kimball]


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

InterWeb Surfs

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...

Future Letter

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.





Write about a time when you felt completely invisible, literally or figuratively.


(Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Jessica Beliveau)

Turn around ...

You answer your phone and a voice whispers, "Turn around..." What happens?


(Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Will Barr)


Write the dialogue for a comical misunderstanding that happens between two people. Did someone mess up your order? Did your GPS send you to the wrong place? Did you buy the wrong thing at the grocery store? [Photo Credit: Ryan O'Leary]



Two characters you create make a promise. Maybe a blood oath, maybe something done...



You reach in your pocket for your keychain and there's a key you've never seen...



Your character has been a person of routine, following the same yellow brick path for...



A cat is wandering the way cats do and comes upon a lamp, a perfect place to rub when,...



Your character has been wearing glasses, well, forever. One day, the character...



Every day you do it. You check your phone. You respond to texts. You check social...



You meet a new friend and you two get along extremely well, however you notice that your...



OK, so school's been out for a while, but there is one thing about this last year -- the...

Dear America

To mark July 4, 2018, write a letter, a poem, a song, a rant, a plea to this land. Begin with Dear America ...
(Illustration credit: YWP Photo Library, Sophie D.)



You’re standing in line for ice cream on a blistering hot day and you’re up next...



OMG STOP! A black cat crossed the road ahead! ... Don't step on the...



Random word generator: https://...



Incorporate the line, “I was there when time ran out,” into a poem. ...


Go to a crowded place. Listen. Write down bits of conversation. From this scattering of words and thoughts, create a poem. Think of it as crowd sourcing. Use those bits in a poem. [Photo Credit: Rachel Bombardier]

Left Out


We've all had these moments when it feels like no one understands you or no one agrees...



You come across someone sitting on a staircase outside on a cold, rainy day. This...



Think of someone you know, or someone you've seen. Write about ONE feature of that...



What terrifies you? Tell a story about how you acquired that fear, or a dream you...


Ethiopia and Eritrea have made peace after 20 years of violent border fighting. The sun is shining again. Your character can reach out and make a phone call to someone – anyone – in the other country. Who does your character call? What do they say to each other?



Have you ever experienced complete silence in an area full of people? What led to...


Steal a quote from one of your favorite books and put it into a completely different context.

[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library]



What’s something that happened to you that makes you believe ghosts are real? Did you...


What would prompt you to write? Send us your best, most creative, all original ideas for writing prompts today! Top prompts will be selected for YWP's weekly writing challenges for the 2018-19 school year. Due: Friday, July 20




What was the most treasured object you had when you were younger? Do you still...



 Your character has a remote for life. Maybe they can pause over moments they like or...



A boy finds the courage to talk to a girl on the bus, but she just replies, “...



Your character wishes upon a shooting star but it's actually a satellite, and their...



Your character can read everyone's mind, but upon turning 16, the character must...

Tic Tac


Overnight, your character shrinks to the size of a Tic Tac. What dangers await this...



Write a story inspired by this photo. [Photo Credit:...



Why aren't elephants allowed in that building? Tell the backstory (did an...



Listen to the sounds of this river. Save a copy to your device and upload it with your...
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Read about Christine Hallquist's victory in the midterm elections Tuesday. (Resources: New York Times: Christine Hallquist, a Transgender Woman, Wins Vermont Governor’s Primary, and VTDigger.org:...


What improvements would you like to see at your school this year? Longer lunches? Later start time? More play, less work? Write a persuasive letter to your school officials, making a case for positive changes.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]


The first day at school, camp, a new job can be nerve-wracking. Write about a memorable first day experience of your own or make one up, whether funny, mortifying or sad.
[YWP Photo Library, Educational Technology Clearinghouse - University of South Florida]

Photo-1 Sunset

Your character wanders off to this dock to watch the sunset. Something important has just happened and they need time alone. Tell the story.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Nora Wootten]


Write about people in an unconventional afterlife. Maybe people are grouped for eternity by how often they laugh and they party, maybe they are immediately assigned a job position to help influence life back on Earth, maybe they have to drift around outer space together ... Let your creativity flow! What is life like for the dead?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]


Don’t ignore me! Write from the perspective of a character that you wish you would see more often or more accurately in the media, TV and movies.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]


Write a description of yourself or someone you love. Include as many details of appearance, personality, habits and behavior as you can. If you like, use figurative or metaphorical language along with more concrete details.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexis Donna]


Write a poem or story that ends with a greeting. What is the backstory? Lead the reader along with you up to the point of the greeting, which might be a surprise (“Oh, hello!”), or a test of will (“Hi, my friends made me do this…”) or a coincidence (“Joe?! What are you doing here?”).
[YWP Photo Library, photo by ​Amanda Seavers]


“The scene in front of her was almost perfect. Almost.” Finish the story.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Rebecca Orten]

Photo-2 Guitar

The man strumming his guitar says to you, “You’re a different soul, aren’t you?” What sets you apart from the crowd? 
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Holly Margulius; challenge submitted by Rowan Potzler, YWP.]


Fall is a time of transition in nature. What if it were for humans as well? Using elements of the season as your inspiration, write a poem about someone who undergoes a biological transition every autumn, .
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Callie Cox]

Photo-3 Thinking

What is this girl thinking? Write her internal dialogue. Is she looking at you as she thinks? Or is she focused on something or someone else?
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Zoe Maxwell]


Tell a story about your experience of winter in short, descriptive poetry or prose. Be original. Avoid clichés. The best will be selected for presentation by the Vermont Stage Company at its annual Winter Tales production in Burlington in December.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Lia Chien]


You’re a terrifying creature — everyone is afraid of you — but you feel completely misunderstood. How did the world come to perceive you this way? Can you change their perception? Tell the story.
[YWP Photo Library]


You might not be able to vote in the midterms, but your voice matters. Write a letter, poem, essay or a good, old rant about the state of the nation and what you think must change. Also check out the "Vote for Me" project -- and add your voice!
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]


Pick a word and give it your own personal definition. Perhaps to you, “friendship” means the secrets that are whispered at 3 AM in the dark, “pineapple” brings to mind an infamous childhood prank and "flower" is a sunny afternoon in your grandmother's garden.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Hazel Civalier]


Write a story or poem starting with the line, “It had been a long time, but now he was here.”
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Ada Shookenhuff]


Write a story leading up to a major event or holiday and end it before it actually happens. Try to leave your readers wondering by playing around with ambiguity and cliffhangers.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness]

Photo-4 Friends

What's the story behind these two friends? 
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Ada Shookenhuff]


Write to one or all of these Climate Change challenges created by YWP's Hazel Civalier and Sophie Dauerman for their special SoundCheck on Climate Change on Thursday, Nov. 15 at Burlington City Arts, 135 Church St., Burlington, VT, from 6-8 pm!


 - Artistically portray a place in nature that you believe we should protect: Is it favorite park or hike where you relax? Does it contain a national monument? A...


Your character is having an argument with someone. They begin hurling insults at each other, but without the use of profanity, slurs or comments about appearance. Maybe they end up laughing at the absurdity. Maybe they part in anger. Tell the story through their dialogue, showing the most creative fighting words they exchange. 
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Antonia Armstrong-Laird]


Delicious meals are universally regarded as a labor of love. Tell the story of a recipe from start to finish: harvesting blackberries to make jam, foraging for mushrooms, roasting marshmallows—and how the experience affects the people who prepare and eat the meal.
[YWP Photo Library, painting by Ada Shookenhuff]


You have been invited to join a club that you’ve only heard wild rumors about. If you decide to join, what do you find out? What is the club really about? Are there bizarre initiation rituals and secret handshakes? Or if you take a pass, how do you come to your decision -- and live with that decision?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness]


Write about someone who is ruler of something very strange or very silly. How did they become the leader? What “laws” do they pass? Who are their subjects and enemies, and how do they cope with this empire?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
/node/25241 /node/23489

Photo-5 Child

Addie Card was 12 and working as a spinner in a mill in North Pownal, VT, when photographer Lewis Hine took this photo in 1910. Find out more about America’s child laborers by researching Hine’s photos. Write a poem or story based on this photo or others you find.
[Photo credit: Lewis Hine, Library of Congress]


Write about someone who tastes words, sees music and voices and/or hears colors. How do they use their mixed-up senses to their advantage, and what struggles do they face because of them?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]

The Statue of Liberty

Write a poem or story from the Statue of Liberty's point of view. What is she thinking about? What is her view on immigration? How does she feel about her fame? 



Write about a world in which trees can talk and/or move on their own. How would trees be treated if they could speak for themselves? What would they say to each other -- and to us?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]


The fourth wall is the conceptual barrier between any fictional work and readers. Write a piece that breaks the fourth wall with a character who is aware of being fictional, and directly communicates to the reader.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Jessica Belliveau]


There is a new sport that’s growing in popularity: people fly kites that attack each other in the air. Are the kites alive, enchanted, or built with advanced technology? What are the prizes for winning, and the consequences of losing?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Creative Commons]


A higher power decides to grant a superpower to all 7.6 billion people on planet Earth. But there’s a catch — if any two people name the same power, it becomes ineffective. What unique power do you choose, and what do you do with it? 
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Lia Chien]


Vermont winters can be brutal and beautiful at the same time. Using descriptive language, write a story or poem that takes place in the dead of winter. Illustrate it with photos or drawings if you like.
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Ada Shookenhuff]


Your character is immersed in an unsettling and unfamiliar setting — a claustrophobic character in a cave, a first-time skier on top of a steep mountain, a city where no one speaks the character's language. Describe the environment and the character's reaction to it in a short scene.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]


You’re babysitting two rambunctious children who have finally gone to bed. You’re exhausted and start drifting off to sleep on the couch, when you hear this sound. What is it? What do you do? https://freesound.org/people/tim.kahn/sounds/435490/
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]

Photo-6 Satire

Try your hand at satiric comics such as this one from Burlington YWPer Connor Byam. Tap into your artistic side. Throw in some humor -- and voila!
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Connor Byam]


Imagine if 70° Fahrenheit weather — that pleasant, almost perfect temperature— were a person. How would the characteristics of 70°F weather be represented in a person? What would an interaction with them be like?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]


Psychologists tell us our earliest memories typically form between the ages of 3 and 4. What is your earliest memory, and how old were you? Are the details hazy, or do you see and feel it clearly?
[YWP Photo Library, Photo by Kevin Huang]

Photo-4 Circus

Use this photo, taken at Shelburne Museum, as inspiration to write a story about a circus or carnival with dazzling acts touring the country.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Hazel Civalier]


Use your best persuasive skills to convince your teacher or another adult to do something or believe something. What is the conversation in which you urge, coax or demand, and how does it turn out?
[Photo credit: Lewis Hine, Library of Congress] 


Write as a person trapped in the form of an animal. How did this happen and how do they react? Do they manage to undo the transformation, and if so, how?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen]


Write the story of someone with extraordinarily good luck or excruciatingly bad luck. What is everyday life like for them? Were they born with this luck, enchanted, or does it come from an object? What experiences and emotions result from it? Show the character in action.
[Photo credit: Creative Commons]


The pet store is closing in five minutes and you have to make a choice -- which pet to take home and which to leave behind. What do you do?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen]


You’ve been commissioned to illustrate the cover of a new edition of your favorite book from your childhood. Submit the illustration to your YWP blog (and tell us the title of the book).
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen]


You wake up slowly, your eyes gradually adjusting. Suddenly, you're on your feet, looking frantically in every direction. You don't recognize a thing. Where are you? How did you get here and what happens next?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]


Good titles introduce, describe and catch interest. Deciding on one can be a complex process. Pick one of your pieces that you think has a perfect title -- or rename the piece after giving it some more thought. In a short essay, explain how the title relates to the piece it introduces. Is there a separate story about the title itself?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness, challenge submitted by Hazel Civalier, YWP]


Begin or end a poem or story with the phrase, “She was beautiful, but in a different sort of way.”
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]


An official phone alert wakes you up from a deep sleep. It says, "We are under attack. Lock your doors and bar your windows." Hundreds of random numbers are sending, "Let me in." Write a short, fast-paced story to match the urgency of the situation.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Samantha Aikman]

Photo-8 Cat

You adopt a cat,  that you think is pretty ordinary, from the shelter… but when you bring it home and start talking to it absentmindedly, it responds to you -- and only you -- with the most expressive facial expressions. Describe your interactions with this new friend.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness]


What happens at your house when no one is home? What’s the first thing the inanimate objects do? Hold a party time? Hop into the hot tub? Play tricks on the absent humans? Write a whimsical tale.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen]


Write about a family experiencing a hurricane. What do they say to each other while they’re huddled in the basement, listening to their house being battered and torn apart?
[Photo by noaa.gov]


Imagine a talking forest where the trees’ dialogue reflects their characteristics: sweet-talking maples, cool but prickly spruce? What do the trees say? Write their dialogue.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]


Write about the relationship between a child and an imaginary friend from the perspective of the child or the friend. What’s the personality of this invisible character, and why does the child take such comfort in their company?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Holly Margulius]


Write a story that leads your readers to believe it’s about one thing, but it turns out to be about something else entirely. Make it wacky and surprising!
[YWP Photo Library]


You’ve always wanted to dye your hair a gorgeous new color, and when you finally get up the nerve to do it, something goes terribly wrong. You didn’t read the fine print on the bottle. Now what?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen]


When you go to wake your child one morning, you immediately sense that the baby in the crib is not yours. While they look the same, you know in your heart your own child has been replaced. Does anyone believe you? How do you rescue your child?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang; challenge submitted by Rowan Potzler]


Classic stories and myths are full of prophecies. Write about a character who is warned about a future event. Do they listen? What’s the source of the messages? Is the oracle thing legit or is it made up?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano]


Read the Robert Frost poem, “Design.” In describing the industrious spider and the flower, he says so much more. Choose a simple plant or animal and create a poem in the style of Frost.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]


“They were almost ready to leave, but now there was a problem.” Using this phrase as inspiration, what happens next?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]


Where is your home? Far away in another land? Or here, where you live today? Read this poem "Home" by Balkisa Omar,  a member of the Vermont slam poetry group Muslim Girls Making Change. Write about your own experience of home.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano]

Photo-9 Swings

What are the dynamics in this group of friends? Do they all get along equally well? Is there tension between some but not others? Imagine their dialogue as they swing. What are they saying to each other?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano]


Spring is a time of rebirth and nature kicking in for its big show. Write a poem or story about a plant, animal or creature, real or imagined, coming to life.
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Ada Shookenhuff]


Listen to a favorite song and either write your interpretation of the lyrics or use them as inspiration for a poem, story or another song. What mental images do the lyrics evoke? Remember to list the song title and credit the artist.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness, challenge submitted by Hazel Civalier, YWP]


Write about a character who discovers someone else’s journal and realizes something very strange or alarming about the writer. What is the secret and what does the character do about it?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]


Listen to the sound file and write the opening scene for a play, inspired by what the sounds make you feel: suspense, discomfort, anticipation? 
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Sophia Cannizzaro, sound by freesound.org]


Write a story as a series of letters or diary entries. Popular books that use this method include The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Dear Mr. Henshaw, Letters from Rifka, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]

Photo-10 Vacation

You’ve just won a dream vacation, and you can pick the location and one traveling companion. Where do you go and with whom do you travel? Describe the sensation of being lifted from your everyday life into a paradise of your choosing.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Rebecca Orten]


Take a walk in your neighborhood, on a farm, in a city, down a school hallway. Stop for a moment and use as many senses as you can to describe what you see, hear, touch, smell -- and maybe even taste. Write a poem about your discoveries.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]