Apr 15

Be your own editor

[NYTimes illustration by George Wylesol]
Inspiration for the writer/editor in you: How to Edit Your Own Writing (By Harry Guinness, New York Times, April 7, 2020) Some tips and highlights from this article:
  • Understand that what you write first is a draft.
  • Avoid common problems, such as jargon, cliches, passive voice and pointless rambling.
  • Give your writing space: "The longer you can leave a draft before editing it, the better."
  • Cut! Don't overwrite.
  • Spend the most time on the beginning. Hook your reader!
  • Pay attention to structure.
  • "Editing your work is at least as important as writing it in the first place."
Feb 10

College Essay -- Tips

(Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by semacdonald, Sheldon, VT)

One of the most frightening things to write is the College Essay. How in the world can I write a compelling essay that will get me into college? A couple of things to keep in mind:
  • This is a part of your overall application. It's not the be-all and end-all; don't put a lot of pressure on yourself.
  • Be real -- don't make stuff up.
  • Within the essay, or perhaps even at the beginning , tell an anecdote, something that shows something about you -- your values, your growth, your humor, your personality.
  • Don't worry about it. Be you.
Hah, you say. Easy for you to say!
Sep 26


Facebook is slumping, hit by accusations that it has been sloppy with users' data and manipulated by foreign adversaries. Do you like Facebook? 
Sep 25


Aug 20


Some say that grades are a true reflection of learning.  What do you think?
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.
Jun 15

State of Union

How do you feel about the way things are going in America right now? What ticks you off? What encourages you?
Vermont High School Students, you have a special incentive: Sen. Bernie Sanders invites you to write a 250-500 word essay focusing on what you believe are the major challenges facing the nation and how to solve them. Go to www.sanders.senate.gov/stateoftheunion to submit your essay. The deadline is Jan. 10, 2018.
May 18

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, mostly students.
Apr 02

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.

What are your thoughts? 

All viewpoints, as always, are welcome and respected.
Mar 21

Did you March?

Tell us your story of March for our Lives. Did you march? Were you in Washington or some other city? Did you purposely stay away?

Share your story. Or emotions. Or photos. Or share a perspective that may differ from the majority.

Why did you participate. Why didn't you participate? What do you think should be done to make our schools, our public places, safer? Do you think gun access should be restricted? Why or why not? What should be done? Speak out!

Mar 01

Speak out: A letter to leaders

High school and middle school students around the U.S. are having their voices heard. Will it be enough? Will you be heard? Can you bring change?

Write a letter to your Senator, Congressman, state legislator, governor. Tell them what you think they should do. Post a copy here. 

ALSO, put the hashtag #writersforchange if you'd like to be part of a YWP community project to send a lot of writing to political leaders being organized by some YWP users. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

Oct 12

The Personal Essay

Photo by Deanna Santo, Danville High School
What is a personal essay? YWP defines it as a piece that focuses on an insight, realization or belief about life that is significant to the writer. We believe that all good personal essays should include narrative, that is a story about a significant event -- this is what draws the reader in -- and can include what is called memoir, that is discussion of a significant relationship between the writer and an object, person or place.