Aug 03


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]
Jul 05

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 accept its counterpart. Today, July 5th, will be Responsibility Day at YWP.
Jul 04

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.)
Jun 30

I Am

Start or end a piece of writing with the phrase, "I am the one who ... ", to describe who you are, what you love, what you dream of, etc. 


[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
Jun 30


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]
Jun 30


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

[Photo Credit: Sheila on Moonducks, Creative Commons License]
Jun 30


Find a poem you like on the site. Click SPROUT and write a haiku based on the poem you just read. (A haiku has three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, often capturing an image, feeling or moment.)

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp] 
Jun 01


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]
May 28


May 04


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]
May 04


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

[YWP Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp] 
Apr 13

Photo 9-City

Write a poem from the perspective of a tiny speck of light in the big city. (YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang).
Apr 06


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

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Kevin Huang] 

First Lines

Editor's note: This is a resource for a First Lines XP that is part of the Story Starter Workshop in YWP Academy. Join in if you'd like.

If you take a look at really good short stories or novels, you will see that they invariably have a great opening line. The first line in any story has a number of effects -- sets tone, jumps you into the action, establishes the setting or the conflict -- but all of them lure you in as a reader. Here are some good ones.

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. --  George Orwell, 1984

This is the saddest story I have ever heard. — Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier, 1915

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. —  Paul Auster, City of Glass, 1985
Mar 16


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

[YWP Photo Library; Photo by Shannon Ripp]
Mar 09


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]
Mar 01

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.

Feb 09


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

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
Nov 10

Photo 2 — Friends

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]
Oct 20


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 Library, photo by Grace Safford]