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


            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.
Mar 28
happydancer's picture

Five Things I Have Learned About Myself

1. I get bored easily. It's funny how when school was going on, I was complaining about not having enough time to do things that I want, and now that I do have the time, I am bored.
2. I always need to know what’s going on. Lately, I have been overwhelmed with everything going on and I want to know what the future is going to be like. But, it's hard for anyone to know exactly what the future holds and living with that uncertainty has been a challenge. I have learned to just be patient about it.
3. I have the ability to do great things. During this time away from school, I have been writing a lot more. Not having to worry as much about school has given me time to pursue my passions and I see myself producing work that I am proud of.
Mar 28

hazel's house update

hi everyone, 
just putting out the official word that i have suspended production on hazel's house due to the coronavirus and we'll most likely start up again in the fall. further updates then. 
Mar 28

Wistful Thinking

I remember 
walking down the hall
getting bumped into
because I'm so small
I used to despise it
and now I miss it
crazy how one's
can change

I find myself
drifting off
imagining I'm back
in my classroom
with my classmates
while my teacher
writes on the board
absorbing knowledge 
getting smart
and now I'm sitting
in my house
by myself

Feeling lonely
without people
surrounding me
I used to always want
to be alone
but now
I want to be
in a big crowd
with a group
of people

Hoping that 
this whole thing
ends soon
but knowing that
I hope in vain
and I will have to suffer
through this pain
but I still wish
I still dream
even though 
it's only
wistful thinking
Mar 27
Noquell_21's picture

Please mom?

Dear mom, 

I know you said that this was a bad idea but just hear me out. Living on Mars costs half as much as it does on Earth! We get to grow our own food to eat, recycle our own oxygen, and have brand new jobs and skills to use! Now if this wasn’t persuasion enough, let me tell you boy does it get better. The brand new jobs are phenomenal! We get to help build housing for those that are planning on making the big move, go exploring in the deep material rich caverns that weave their way through the planet’s crust, and even explore above ground for new life forms and different places to build towns. There’s even better wifi and technology so we could keep in touch with grandma and grandpa when we move. Not to mention we could keep our very own slime ball as a new pet! No one really knows where the slime balls come from but they’re very low maintenance and it would be super easy to have one as a pet.

A Helpless crush

A hopeless crush
One that no one can choose
from one stupid glance to that awful amazing smile
No matter what age 
from 5 or 80 
you can't help falling
for everything good
and denying the bad
we love them for all they do
to there walk, laugh, to even the way they act
They may do anything wrong
you don't care 
you enjoy them no matter what
even if they were to never love you back
You won't let that stop you ever
even if they hurt you in every way possible
even if they never noticed you 
that's just how a hopeless crush goes

Mar 27
Catbatgirl's picture

The Ocean Animals

One glorious day at the ocean I was reminded about all the magnificent animals that lived there. When we got there we sat right next to the baby turtle lane and watched them crawl into the ocean, we saw 5 horseshoe crabs, and even a jellyfish! After that day I admired every single animal that lives in the ocean, land, anywhere!
Mar 26
aparker's picture

The Day I Wanted to go to Mars

Hi, my name is Allyssa and I am 15 years old. One day I was getting ready for school. I was wearing a black sweatshirt with pink sweatpants. I also had on and pink and white shoes. My hair was in a ponytail. I was brushing my hair when my mom yelled for me to get the mail. I got the mail and went back inside. I went through it and saw a letter for me. But, I couldn't open it because I had to go to school. 

After school I opened the letter and it was a letter saying I would have a chance to go to Mars!

I didn't really know what to think because I never thought I would get a letter like this! A letter like this. 

                 The letter read: 

Dear Allyssa,

You have a chance to go to Mars on Saturday, April 6, 2020. You are the lucky winner!

Please email us back.

 From, The Aagency                                                                                         
Mar 25

challenge idea

One Last Day
You have one last day on earth, tomorrow your region is being relocated to a space colony on mars. You may not see your friends again, you have to leave your pets and most of your possessions, what is one thing you would take? How would you spend your last day on earth?
Mar 25

those who protect

they're there. i see them.
late at night, early in morning
the same time nevertheless

looming shadows, softly ghosting
over my bare feet, chilling
goosebumps rising on my skin
where they touch and whisper

i make the trek from one room to the next
holding my blankets close, but it's not enough
they speak in my ear, soft kisses
leaving my mind buzzing

"it's okay."
"you're gonna be alright."
"a few more steps and you'll be safe."

they lounge on the stairs as i pass,
heads tilted back and eyes closed
but still somehow on me,
walking through me as i go

they're not unkind, no
shifting my blankets a little higher on my shoulders
patting my head
fighting away my demons for me.
Mar 23

Challenge Idea - Secrets

If you have me, you want to share me. But if you share me, I will no longer exist - what am I? The answer is a secret. Everyone has their secrets so write about a character who has a secret, or write about a secret you once had.
Mar 23

A bunch of facts about me.

I was born on a Monday.
My mom said it was the worst Monday until I was born and then it was the best Monday.
When my mom was pregnant,
She would walk along the pier on full moons,
And I would wriggle around a lot.
That's why my middle name means child of the moon.
I had my first crush when I was three,
And I've been a hopeless romantic ever sense.
My first best friend that I remember was when I was two,
She wasn't potty trained and I used to make a big deal every time she had an accident.
Now I have three best friends,
One is an amazing writer and talented actress, who listens to my problems even when they probably bore the crap out of her,
And she is there whenever I need her,
Which is a pretty big commitment because I need her a lot.
The other is a super funny, sweet girl, who comes to me with her problems asking for advice,
Who jumps into my arms and makes me carry her, bride style, everywhere.
Mar 23

Fourteen Years

Fourteen years,
Eleven or Twelve different houses,
Three States,
Three Schools,
One Cat,
One Dog,
Billions of books,
Lots of long lost friends,
Nine cousins,
An infinity of stories,
A million songs,
So many steps,
Five feet and three inches,
One heart,
Fourteen years.

Mar 23
Peter Gustafson's picture

"Homeish" in Cuba

YWP #2 Week 31 Home-ish in Cuba

Ava Kreiter ADL 

Age 12

A few weeks ago, I found a home in Havana, Cuba. I was so lucky to go along on a retreat with my Mom, my sister Noa, and my Dad. Noa, my Dad and I stayed in a house called a “casa” in Guanabo, very close to a retreat center named Mhai Yoga. 


My mom is a yoga teacher and she organized her fourth yoga retreat to Cuba at Mhai Yoga, and brought several other people from all over the world. The majority of the people who came were from New York City, but others were from Seattle, Wisconsin, Georgia, and even another was from South Carolina. One of my Mom’s students came all the way across the ocean, from Berlin, Germany!

Mar 21
Shasha's picture


I'm a brave and beautiful princess Who likes to read books and write poems.
Mar 20
happydancer's picture


If I have three wishes to be granted (tomorrow, 25th birthday, and 50th birthday) ... My wish for tomorrow is that the coronavirus would just go away. Like I could blow on a dandelion and all the flying seeds would land on those who are sick and cure them. The seven-year-olds would be full of smiles and playing on the swingsets, scampering like little squirrels into the classroom when the teacher calls for them. The sixteen-year-old girls would be dressed in long, flowy maxi dresses, waiting for their date to prom, and taking pictures together, hands around each other. The twenty-two-year-old college seniors would be holding their diplomas in their hands in the muggy summer air in front of a large, beaming audience of parents and grandparents, graduating from what seemed like a long four years. The forty-year-old businessmen and businesswomen would be having dinner together after a long day of work and discussing their plans for summer vacation.
Mar 20
aparker's picture

If I could Invent Something it would be

If  I could invent something I would invent a hip hop monkey.  I would invent this because it's not a thing and because it is funny. I want to invent this because I think it would be a good decoration . I would also want to do this because I think it would be fun to have something else that dances but doesnt dance to like Christmas music. . I would like to do this because it  would give me something to do because I get bored easily.

How I would do this is, I would first write a list of what materials I would need. Then I would go get them. I have to do this because if I don't then I can't build it! The things I would get would be wood fabric. I would use the fabric to dress the monkey. I would also need scissors and a battery pack. I would also get my dad to help me build it because that way I won’t get hurt doing it. I have to make sure that I am being safe while making this.