Jan 13

Where are you from?

I was either five or six years old when I came up with a simple answer to a question our family often faced which always seemed to require long explanations. We were in Kampala, Uganda, where we lived until I was seven, walking to get ice creams when a woman we didn’t know stopped us to ask where we were from.

My parents knew she wasn’t asking which area of the city we lived in, so they launched into their usual complicated explanation, mentioning that my father was born in Tanzania but grew up in the United Kingdom; that my mother, who was born in the United States, was Irish by family background; that I was born in the Rakai district of Uganda, and my older sister in North Carolina.

It is tempting now to give myself a more interesting motive, but I am pretty sure I was just trying to get us to the ice cream stand faster when I cut the conversation short, jumping in and blurting out, “But actually, we’re from Hong Kong.”
Jun 03
The Soccer Bee 48's picture

Hungry

            I am hungry for knowledge. I alway want to learn. The only downfall is I want knowledge on thing I want to learn about. So if you tell me to learn about some I don’t want to learn about I am going to Half ass it. But when I learn some thing about a thing I like to learn about. Then I will keep digging for more knowledge.
           For example in first through third grade I was obsessed with anacondas which are a kind of snake. I kept learning. I was a computer of knowledge on anacondas. Now I am thirsty for understanding of World War two. From memwoirs to historical fiction I am continuing to read and inform myself on this horrific topic.
             I can’t compare to my hunger for knowledge to anything else.

 
Oct 18
joseph.deffner's picture

A Quiet Winter Day




The snow crunches softly beneath my boots as I trudge up the hill. Small delicate snowflakes land on my fuzzy hat. I tilt my head back to catch them in my mouth. Out of the corner of my eye, a male cardinal dashes from tree to tree, his red feathers bright against the white snow. When I get to the top of the hill, I pause to look around at the snow covered trees, and listen to how peaceful it is. Dropping my sled on the wet snow, I climb on and slide down the hill, going down easily on top of the smooth and icy snow. The cool wind blowing in my face, smiling to myself. Winter makes me feel serene and content.
Jun 28

Lights Out


On June 27, after a heart-warming dinner with the Young Writers Project board (thank you Kathy), after hearing (thank you Susan) the startlingly kind words sent to me from many of you and your predecessors on how much this little project and community has meant, does mean, to you, I shut off the office lights for the last time after 12 years as YWP's executive director.

To you and the 110,000 kids we have touched in that time, thank you for opening your souls; thank you for sharing your ideas and observations, your flights of fancy and moments of bewilderment. Thank you for taking such creative risk.

You have enriched my life. You've opened my eyes to what you see and feel and experience and think and believe. And you have enriched the lives of thousands upon thousands of others -- your readers.
Oct 29

The Knot


May 17, 1954, was a day to celebrate.
Finally the government had come to its senses,
declaring segregation of public schools unconstitutional.
It’s was new era where people of color had a chance at an equal education.
The halls of schools would be that of a picture,
both black and white, 
yin and yang,
each complimenting the other where it is weak.
Together they create a beautiful masterpiece. 
Well… at least that was the dream.
It wasn’t until three years later that the first schools started to comply,
and the halls were more of scenes from a horror movie than a masterpiece.
****
Carlotta Walls at age 16 took her life into her own hands.
Choosing education even when it came with a side dish of danger.
She applied in secret to a school that was wrapped in the illusion of hope.
Equal education, 
No more segregation.
White and Black coexisting in the same area,
Oct 28

Line Break: The YWP Podcast

Hi, I'm Iris! (eyesofIris here on YWP.) Take a pause and listen to Line Break!

Tight Spaces



Sometimes I feel as if the world around me is closing in. As I squeeze through tight spaces I feel...Well, I am not quite sure what I feel. Whatever I do feel, it does not feel safe. 

As I crawl through a gymnastics tube, my mind is swept away into thought. Will I make it through? What if there is something or someone that is bad? Will I be able to crawl the rest of the way through fast enough? What if something catches on fire or there is a storm but I can not get out because it is too tight? 

As I lie in the tube I imagine I am standing in between two mountains and enjoying the beauty and then they start closing in on me. I run. The mountains are getting closer and closer. It looks like I might make it but at the last second I am caught between the two mountains. I’m stuck. I call for help but no one comes. I feel like there are spiders and other creepy bugs crawling on me. I call out but still no one comes.

The Pumpkin Patch

Two days before Halloween my family and I went to pick some pumpkins at the local pumpkin patch. We saw our cousin on our mother’s side there too.

 It was very surprising that he worked there. After that we went to pick our pumpkins.  There were some leaves, trees with barely any leaves on them, The food stand was selling apple cider and caramel apples and just selling apples.

 There were a lot of cars parked in the lot and we were in West Rutland. It was getting a little late outside, so we needed to pick them up quickly.

Braydon, my brother chose the middle size pumpkin, and I chose the big one. It was very nice that we had picked our pumpkins before it grew dark.

 It was surprising that we got to see our family members. We carved our pumpkins into silly faces. I read the instructions to make a witch under the full moon.

In The Woods

I'm in the woods with my Dad who has on heavy pants and a camouflage jacket listening to all the sounds of fall. I hear leaves crunching under my boots. It sounds so nice. Then I look up at all the pretty red, yellow and orange leaves and see the squirrels running up and down the trees. The birds chirp and seem to sing. It's such a beautiful way up here.

    I hear a hoot of a bear in the distance. I wonder if it's close or far. Maybe I can get my first bear today. I keep walking but the hoot gets farther and farther away from us. Dad said quietly, “Deer go down this trail.” On the trail I can see deer poop and traces of where they scratched up trees but no deer.

      Then I feel a twitch under my boot. “It’s an orange salamander.” I pick it up and it curls up in my hands. I set him down under a rock and say “Good luck buddy. I love you” and he scurries away. It almost looked as if he was winking at me.
Oct 24

Human Worth


If we base a person’s right to dignity, their humanity, on their capacity to suffer, prosper, reason, and choose, then a portion of the population is suddenly no longer worthy of rights or status as a human being. A person with compromised mental function has less ability to reason and choose. As do small children. Does this mean they are worth less? 
Another danger is basing human worth on contribution. If a person is the sum of their contribution to society, then again we get a portion of the population that is worthless. 
An elderly man who has limited ability to work, a veteran who has lost her legs, an infant who is totally dependent on his family. Are they able to work like the rest of us? Nope. Are they worthless? Nope. But why?

 

Oct 23
Max L.'s picture

Pessimistic reality

Perhaps this was inevitable, so flawed and warlike are we, though I beg any intelligent species who may find this to heed my words: Do not allow yourselves to be overcome by greed, hate or anger; live in peace as we could not.
 
Oct 22
MaryAliceVeracka's picture

The Pandemic

Mary Veracka

My experience with the pandemic was not horrible. I didn't mind quarantining with online schooling. I got to be around my family more. Even though I couldn't see my friends and couldn't go out places, we made the best out of it. I had my phone so I could always call or text my friends. I got to hang out with my sisters and parents more. Having phones was a blessing during this time because without our phones I never could have talked to my friends.
Oct 21
Ms. Galyean's Class's picture

Apple Orchard

It was a cold day at the apple orchard. The wind was blowing rapidly as the leaves blew off the trees. The leaves were red, orange, and yellow. The sun was beating down on the trees as people picked the ripe apples. The leaves crunched as you walked on them. The ground was covered in apples. There were honeycrisps, gala apples, red delicious, and much much more. The whooshing show of the wind and the feeling of the wind blowing on your face is calming. You can hear birds chirping and squirrels munching on something they found. The smell of the apple cider donuts make the experience so much better as you pick the juicy apples.The apples can make great apple sauce and so much more delicious foods. Just the thought of biting into a warm apple cider donut and sipping on the cool apple cider is always a treat. But the best part of all is that you get to pick apples with your family.
 
Oct 20
Annie Hesser's picture

I should've worn my other coat

The wind blows through my helmet into my ear. The swift push of the broken bar gets heavier every time like someone’s stuffing hand warmers in it. I rotate my skis and poles, hoping not to get them stuck under the chair. The chair lift leaves a ring of snow on my back. The crystals on my eyelashes melt as I push my goggles onto my face. The sky is darker today, it holds an icy blue color, almost gray. Today is cold and the air holds a gray fog that is pushed around by sharp winds. If I were a white hare I could blend in with the air and the snow. I wish I were inside watching a movie. If I were watching a movie I could curl up in blankets and be as far away from these cold winds as I could. The Winter holidays have already passed, but I can still see the faint glimmer of Christmas lights from miles away. The wind burns my face as I speed down the side of the mountain. I linger down the empty trail carving the snow with my skis. The freshly waxed skis create beautiful smooth carves.
Oct 20
Annie Hesser's picture

I should've worn my other coat

The wind blows through my helmet into my ear. The swift push of the broken bar gets heavier every time like someone’s stuffing hand warmers in it. I rotate my skis and poles, hoping not to get them stuck under the chair. The chair lift leaves a ring of snow on my back. The crystals on my eyelashes melt as I push my goggles onto my face. The sky is darker today, it holds an icy blue color, almost gray. Today is cold and the air holds a gray fog that is pushed around by sharp winds. If I were a white hare I could blend in with the air and the snow. I wish I were inside watching a movie. If I were watching a movie I could curl up in blankets and be as far away from these cold winds as I could. The Winter holidays have already passed, but I can still see the faint glimmer of Christmas lights from miles away. The wind burns my face as I speed down the side of the mountain. I linger down the empty trail carving the snow with my skis. The freshly waxed skis create beautiful smooth carves.
Oct 16
okane's picture

Winter In Vermont


Shovel, shovel, shovel all we do is shovel. Winter in Vermont means lots of hard work in the cold, it also means having fun. Winter gets very cold, and everytime it's snowing I know the next day I'm going to have to shovel, shovel in weather that I do not enjoy being in. Being in Vermont during winter may look fun and enjoyable but in reality, it can suck. When taking my dogs for a walk they have to wear coats to keep warm. They also get salt from the road on their paw which hurts them, so when they need a break I have to carry them! It is very annoying. We have chickens, so when we let them out their water is frozen. We have to defrost it! The ground also gets frozen so the door is really hard to open which makes me pull on it until it almost breaks. Winter is stressful. In the mornings before school I have to get up earlier so that the car can run to warm up and defrost the windshield. Winter can be painful and miserable but there are pros. 
Oct 15
Cecilia Luce's picture

Vote!

Our last presidential election was four years ago. I remember clearly what happened on the morning when the winner was announced. I was 10 years old, but I already knew how much was at stake. I had gone to bed confident that our 45th president would be Hillary Clinton; not my top choice, but still better than the other option. I was shocked when she lost the election. 

And I’m still shocked. I genuinely don’t understand why so many people voted for someone as ignorant as our president, and I don’t understand why they continue to support him. He is blatantly racist, xenophobic, sexist, and anti-LGBTQ+. The leader of a country is supposed to spark positive change and fight for everyone’s equality. They are supposed to make the voices heard of people who are often ignored. They are supposed to be aware of marginalized communities, and treat them with respect and dignity.
Oct 15

Birds

                I bit the inside of my cheek as I shivered in the cold, my arms wrapped snugly around my double layered middle. I fiddled with my hands in my pockets and adjusted my hat hoping that they would offer me some kind of comfort from the seemingly everlasting chill that came with the turning of the seasons. My mask provided some sort of protection from the cold, my breath reflecting back on to my own face. I looked around, watched as the birds flew in the sky, migrating to warmer weather as they cried out a departure song, filled with sadness or excited anticipation I would never be able to say. The birds flew high and far away from where I stood lamely on the ground, staring at the now empty sky. Sighing I sat down on the cool and firm ground, feeling a shiver run down my spine as I felt the cold grass tickle my legs.

Velociraptor


1. Diet 

Velociraptors were carnivores that hunted and scavenged for food. Scientists aren't sure if they took down big prey and if they hunted in packs.

 

2. Flightless feathers

Velociraptor's bodies were covered in feathers. Scientists found it closely related to Zhenyuanlong and microraptor(other dinosaurs).
3. Strange

Part of a Velociraptor's stomach had a broken bone belonging to a pterosaur.
Fun fact: The velociraptor was only the size of a turkey.
 
Oct 09
Peter Gustafson's picture

On My Last Day


                                                      On My Last Day