Jan 01

New Workshops!

YWP Community,

We are kicking off the New Year with some new workshops in YWP Academy. Workshops are intended to help you dive deeper, gain some skills and, gulp, have some fun. They are free. Each will be active for at least 6 weeks. You can start anytime; go at your own pace and as your time permits. The more participants we have the merrier so bring in some friends. JOIN up today
(you must log in) to do more with: 
Playwriting -- best plays get performed at Vermont Young Playwrights Festival; 
Storytelling -- make something out of nothing
Hip-Hop -- turn your name into song; 
Photo Story -- tell a story with five photos;  
Sound -- gain chops on narrating your best stuff; 
Commenting -- there is an art to it and, oh, how you can help others!

Sign up today! 

If you want to do any of these (or have us design one for you) for school credit (high school usually) contact me (gg) and contact your school to see what we need to do to help you gain credit. Imagine YWP becoming your homework!

The workshops are led by YWP staff or outside experts who will provide you with feedback, guidance and, at some point, a video conference for the group and individual consultation. There will be a mentor assigned to each workshop as well. And a live chat. 

Feel like you don't have time? You do. Honest. None takes that long (except playwriting); and stretch it out over time.
Dec 15

Hildene Essay Contest

Every year, Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home in Manchester, VT, runs the Lincoln Essay Competition for 8th graders throughout Vermont.  

First place winners receive $1000, second place $750, third place $500, and honorable mentions $250.

The deadline for submissions is Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 2018. This year’s topic:

This year's essay topic:
Describe a current or recent event in which the actions of the participant(s) may be viewed as patriotic by some and as unpatriotic by others.  Discuss the differing points of view.  What is your position and why?

Complete application packets (including guidelines and tips) can be downloaded: http://www.hildene.org/schools.html.

Contact: Stephanie at [email protected]
Dec 05

Nov/Dec 2017 Issue

Nov 15

YWP Academy: Diving deep!

YWP Academy is a new, exciting feature on this site that will help you with your school work, allow you to "mess around" with genres and digital media that interest you and engage you to deeply explore important issues with youths around the country and world.

YWP has begun to pilot the workshops in the Academy with a small group of you. THANKS! The input -- and your experiences with these cool workshops -- has been invaluable. The Workshops being offered are fun, bite-sized exercises with feedback, live interaction with the instructor and a finished piece you can be proud of.
We are continuing to accept applications for this FREE pilot phase!


The pilot is simple: Anyone aged 12-19 is asked to take at least two Workshops and provide us feedback. The application process is easy - just tell us who you are, why you're interested and what you want to learn.
This begins November 7 and runs through December 31.

In exchange, we'll give you FREE year-long access to YWP Academy in 2017 (memberships are valued at $120 each). Questions? Send them to [email protected].
Feb 15

Now this makes you proud to be a writer, no?

UPDATE: YWP is in conversations with this group to invite the young writers and their mentors into our community! More soon.--gg
I came across this video made by a group of young writers in Chicago:

Jul 25


Jul 10

Summer Writing & Photo Contest 2020

[Photo: "A Ripple in Time" by laurenm, YWP]
WOW! YWP writers and photographers, you blew us away! Your submissions to the Summer Writing and Photo Contest were amazing! Our judges will be reviewing every piece of writing and every photograph this week. Prize winners will be notified by email and private message on the site on Friday, Aug. 14. Announcements will be posted on the site; publication will follow in the September issue of The Voice. THANK YOU EVERYONE!
Jun 29


[Workshop and art by Avi Kendrick, YWP]


Welcome to Character Creation!

When creating a character, you are creating a person. This makes something that seems so simple actually very complicated. In this playlist, you will learn how to create a character.

As you go through the XP’s, you are going to be adding elements together to create a character, which you will use in the final project. You can repeat this process to create a second or third character later on if you need it for your final project.
Jun 29


[Photo: Darwin Bell, flickr]

From a New Perspective
Have you ever looked at the world upside down? In your writing, have you ever tried approaching a topic or feeling from a different perspective?

This Playlist is going to get you thinking about how to make your visuals look at the world in new ways. Most of the learning in this Playlist will be discussion based as we talk about how different perspectives can be interpreted.

You'll also brainstorm some ways to approach each perspective or angle to help you with all the activities. You have enough skills in your toolbox to help you make these decisions, even if you don't feel like you do! Trust yourself and have fun!
High Angle
Take the time to look through the photos, and imagine that you're taking the photo.
Jun 29

FOLD: Character


Most writers describe the sensation of surrendering control of their pen to their character. To anyone who has not had this experience, it makes no sense. After all, you are the writer, how can you not control the situation?
If you are asking these questions, you either have not written characters who are developed enough yet, or have forced your characters to bend to your definition of them. The first time a story really gets away from you, you might not realize it until discussing your writing with someone else. They will ask you why your character made x decision, and you will probably respond with something like “well, they wanted to do that.”
Jun 29

Fold: The Fable

What is a Fable?
A fable is a short story (written in either prose or poetry) that expresses a moral. Typically, the main characters in a fable are personified animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature.

A classic fable is Aesop's The Lion and The Mouse, a link to a copy of it can be found here.
How is that different from a fairy tale?
A fairy tale is a children's story about magical and/or imagined creatures/lands. A fairy tale does not necessarily have to have a moral, and is directed toward children.

Fables exist to tell a moral, and are directed to both adults and children. Fairy tales also tend to be longer stories, while fables are short in nature.
What About the Folktale?
Jun 29

Fold: Emphasis (with H and C, Tonal and Tinted)

Emphasis and Color Combinations
In art, emphasis is just the area that draws the most attention to itself and is therefor the focal point. In the last Playlist series, you learned about how placement and lighting put emphasis on your focal point. This Playlist will help you place emphasis on your subject by using certain color schemes.

Colors use is an extremely powerful tool for all visual art forms, and combining colors is important to understand.

Take a look back at your ending activity from the Color Wheel Playlist. Which colors did you place next to each other?

Start observing the colors around you and in your own photos that happen to cross each other's paths. For instance, what colors do you usually see with the color blue? What do you think would happen if you paired it with a different color?
Jun 29

Fold: Hot and Cold

Warm Colors
In the color wheel, there are "two sides," the warm and cool colors.

Warm Colors are the colors ranging from red to yellow-green. Typically when we think of warmer colors, we think of a sunny day.

Take a look at some of the photos you've taken so far. How often do you use warm colors?

Start thinking about what feelings or ideas come to mind when you see these types of photos.

How does the feeling of a photo change if you change the colors from warm to cool? Do warm or cool colors work better for the photo?
Cool Colors
Now it's time to take a look at the other side of the color wheel!
Jun 29

FOLD: Tonal Range

[Photos and challenge by Erin Bundock, YWP]
Tinted and Shaded
Tonal Range
The tonal range is the spectrum from black to white, with all the mid-tones in between. Depending on your lighting or the colors used, your tonal ranges will differ from photo to photo.

In the context of paint, a tint is taking a hue and mixing in white. If we're thinking about this in the context of photos, a tint is where the light is creating highlights on objects. Take a moment to look back at you photo-color-wheel. Where can you see tints?

A shade is basically just the opposite of a tint as it is a hue mixed with black. In your photos, this is where the light appears as shadows on a particular color.

Jun 29

Fold: Wheeled Away

[Photo: Andrew Dallos. Flickr]
The Color Wheel

Color is all around us. It's in our eyes, it's on our cars, it;s on our cereal boxes. Since it encompasses us, we can use it to our advantage. It helps us tell stories or create emotions. So how do we do this?

First we have to take a trip back to the basics. The color wheel is central to the most basic of understandings about color and how you can use it in a wide range of media. Whether you decide to go on to mix paints or snap photos, knowing your stuff when it comes to color is vital.

This is basically just the "truest: form of a color. Think about it as if it's the paint right out of tube. There isn't any black of white mixed into it.
Jun 29

Fold: Cliches

No 'hackneyed phrases' here
This XP is intended to shame you into banishing cliches and mundane language from your writing. To do this, we turn to Fowler, the "supreme arbiter" of the English language.
H.W. Fowler, a British schoolmaster, lexicographer and fastidious wordsmith, published A Dictionary of Modern English Usage in 1926 and thereby became known as "the King of English." Previously, he and his younger brother Frank had edited The Concise Oxford Dictionary and published “The King’s English,” but it was Fowler's Modern English Usage that cemented his reputation.

Fowler's searing (and amusing) put-downs shame us into dropping easy cliches. This stern schoolmaster scolds us to pay serious attention to word usage. And along the way, hopefully, he'll help you discover that there is real joy in finding just the right word.
Jun 29

FOLD: Power of Sound


Often, one of the first things a storyteller does when taking a story from analog to digital is to record a voice-over.

Maybe you want to deliver one of your poems in your own voice, or perhaps your voice-over is the first step in a larger process, like creating a video or news story.

In any case, the first step in this process is getting used to your own voice, and practicing your delivery.
When you listen to a recording of someone's voice, there's usually one of 4 things going on. The person is either reading, reciting, performing, or talking.

Let's take a look at what the differences between these are, by doing some ourselves.

We're going to focus on reading and talking, because those are the ones you can do without any preparation time.
Jun 29

FOLD: Annotations

Annotations are a great tool to draw the attention of a writer to a specific aspect of their writing for praise or improvement.

Annotations are private notes, only seen by the author of the piece, and the teacher. They work by highlighting a specific piece of text, and connecting a comment to it.

In conjunction with regular comments, annotations can provide a very thoughtful response to a writer.
Leaving an annotation is pretty easy.

Once you've found a piece you want to annotate, click the title to open up the piece.

Once there, highlight the area of text you want to comment (click and drag with your mouse). You should see a little box with a pencil icon appear next to your highlight. Click that box.
This brings up your text box. In that box, simply type your annotation, and click save.

The author of the post will be able to see the annotation, but others will not.
Jun 29

Fold: Adding Images and Audio

Not just writing...
At youngwritersproject.org, you can do much more than just write.

One thing you may want to do, is include an image, or images, to supplement or create your story.

There are a few different ways to add an image to your post--each with their own benefits. To get started, open up a post you want to add a picture to, and find the add media link.
A Single, Featured Image
The first way to add a photo, is to feature a single photo at the top of your post.

Within the "add media" section, you'll see the "image" area at the top.

The default option is to upload a single image. So you're almost there. Click the "browse" button to find the image you want to include.
Once you've located the image you need, on your computer, select it, and click upload.

This will pull your image into the blog post, and it will be ready to post.