Sep 06

Dear Ken Cuccinelli

THE CHALLENGE: CPJ-ImmigrantKen Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said in an interview that Emma Lazarus’s words on the Statue of Liberty should read, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” If you could respond directly to Cuccinelli, what would you say?
Sep 05

The Clockwork of High School

Are we all one burning torch?

Is my head just a shell for their money? 
Is the sky a hole? 

Am I another cog in the wheel of time?
Stuck as another piece in the repetitive
puzzled cycle of knowledge,
pressure, and ignorance?

My mind is a kettle
and you are boiling it over. 

Come. Remove your heat from underneath. 
I have started to wail. 
Sep 05
CJP 0 comments challenge: CJP-Home

Small Town, U.S.A

Small town,
Barely a town at all some would say,
Set in the countryside,
Safest place on Earth.

Sounds like a dream come true, right?
Almost like a fairy tale.
I can't really say that I love this town,
But I don't hate it, either.

Heck, just moved here eight years ago,
Not long enough to have a complete opinion about it...
I mean, it's not like I was born and raised here my whole life!

I don't even know many of the townspeople;
Except for a few faces,
And the kids on my bus.
But that's where it stops.

I guess I really don't know much about my community,
Don't really have much of an opinion about it.
All I know is, I feel safe here,
And that's all that matters to me.
Aug 26

new york.

where you belong, usually.
where you go to school, to work if you're lucky.
where you make friends and meet up with them.

i do that.
i meet up with my friends at cafe 49 on main street.
i go to school just minutes from my house if i ride my bike, less if i drive.
i work an even shorter distance away.

i've got friends on my street, ones that will come out of their house to pet my dog.
i know my neighbors well; mrs. jan to my left, mrs. joyce to my right.
i know the roads better and have never gotten lost.
it's easy for me to go miles on my bike without even realizing how far i've went.

it's nice, my hometown. the middle of the county.
40 minutes away from a too-big city
and less from the countryside.
we don't have too much crime and it's quiet.

new york is a nice state, if you're not in the city.
syracuse? nah. nyc? nah x2. buffalo? nah x3.
Aug 21

Burlington, VT

Burlington is a limbo between herds of people scurrying along the streets of downtown, and calm moments watching the sunset at the waterfront; a tight-knit community with an underlying tone of worldwide connection. 

1. Heart on telephone pole on South Union St
2. Flower on tree at Oakledge Park
3. "Friends like these" on the wall at Maglianero Cafe 
4. View of lake and mountains from Champlain College library parking lot
5. Face on train across from A_Dog Skatepark
6. View of clouds from the intersection of North St and North Winooski St
7. Democracy sign in the Courthouse Plaza
8. Back of Barrio Bakery
9. Chittenden Superior Court
10. ECHO
11. Boathouse at waterfront
12. Sunset from waterfront baordwalk 
Aug 17



The following challenges are designed to help get you started with the Community Journalism Project -- and to inspire you. Each week, on the YWP site, and monthly in The Voice, we'll introduce more challenges to the list. To distinguish them from YWP's regular weekly challenges, we have given them a "CJP" designation for the Community Journalism Project. If you have ideas for journalism-related challenges, add them at CJP-Prompts. NOTE: Challenges will be marked by the week they are highlighted on the site, but you can respond to any of these challenges any time through the year!
WEEK 1 - August 26
Aug 17


WRITING ON THE ROOF is YWP's series of free writing workshops in the rooftop conference room of the Karma Bird House (YWP's  home base), 47 Maple Street, Burlington, VT. More info here

VOICES FOR CHANGE is a social justice initiative led by a group of YWP writers, and anyone is welcome to join! This youth-led program builds leadership, collaboration and audiences for you to advocate for positive change through writing and art, spoken word and publication. Writing workshops and open mic events are held throughout the year free at Burlington City Arts, 135 Church St., Burlington. More info here
Aug 16


STUDENTS & TEACHERS: IT'S EASY TO GET INVOLVED! Click here to join the Community Journalism Project

Young Writers Project is a 501(c)3 with a mission to inspire, mentor, publish, and promote young writers and artists, ages 13-19 (younger with parental permission). Young Writers Project is located at 47 Maple Street, Suite 216, Burlington, VT 05401. 

The Community Journalism Project was created by Susan Reid and William Anderson. Logo design by Erin Anderson/Summit Creative Works.

Copyright 2019. Reproduction for commercial purposes prohibited.

Aug 16


During this school year, the Community Journalism Project will offer an array of writing challenges, skills-building exercises, and resources online as well as opportunities for live workshops on storytelling, arts criticism, public speaking, and journalism basics through YWP's Writing on the Roof and Voices for Change series. Watch the site for updates.
Aug 15


Aug 01

Express appreciation

By Bekkah Lambert, Winooski

Because I am graduating this year it finally hit me that I'd have to leave and I had a crisis about it, so I wrote this piece.

I used to be embarrassed to say that I am from Winooski. I would lie, hide, do whatever I could to disguise it and point out every flaw I could to try to distance myself if I were ever found out. 

Now, as we are approaching these last few months of high school, where soon I will actually have to leave, I don’t want to. It has recently dawned on me how much this school and community has had an impact on who I am and who I will become once my tassel goes right to left and I exit these doors once and for all.
Aug 01

Write from personal experience

By Marina Sprague, Chelsea

An issue that matters to me? That's easy. I don't like the closing of small schools (school consolidation). I don't think the state should have the right to close a school, especially one that has  been around for so long, to save money (which it didn't). I don't want to hear all the 'it will give students school choice' or 'students will get better options/educations in bigger schools'. We were doing just fine. Our town is a small community. What makes you think we want a bigger school? We are used to small and we like it. I don't like that the town had the option to close my high school. WHY DON'T YOU ASK THE KIDS THAT ACTUALLY GO THERE? I want everyone to know my story on this. 
Aug 01


• Generally, journalism is non-fiction prose rather than poetry, although you'll always find exceptions to the rule. In fact, you'll see many examples of poetry as hard-hitting commentary on, such as the poem, I Wonder, about gun violence. Feel free to choose whatever genre works best for you in conveying your message.

Written pieces do not need to be long, but they should be more than a few words. The "sweet spot" is probably somewhere between four and 10 paragraphs, if you're writing prose, so that the piece has some structure and moves from its beginning through the middle to the end.

Personal experiences are a great source of inspiration and storytelling. When you link these personal experiences to a larger issue you can create a powerful connection that touches the reader.
Jul 27

Photo essay: Enosburg Falls

Over the years, Enosburg Falls has been like a ball of yarn that just keeps unraveling despite its deceptively small size and surprising me with different colors and textures. Its unique stories, fascinating people and beautiful views knit together to create a quintessential image of a Vermont home-town.

1) View of the falls from the Bridge of Flowers of Light
2) The Enosburg Historical Museum and the Orange Caboose 
3) The Enosburg Opera House
4) A section of Main Street
5) The Enosburg Community Center sign
6) The historic Diesel Electric Plant
7) Enosburg Public Library
8) A beautiful farm just outside of town
Jun 11

Community Journalism Project coming soon

[Credit: Ryan Mercer/Burlington Free Press]
We’re thrilled that Young Writers Project received a $25,000 national grant from USA TODAY NETWORK’s A Community Thrives initiative! We were one of 16 national grantees, selected from more than 1,500 applications to A Community Thrives, part of the Gannett Foundation.This grant will help support a new community journalism project for the 2019-20 school year! More details here.
Dec 10

Writing on the Roof

Photo credit: Karma Bird House

WRITING ON THE ROOF is YWP's series of FREE writing workshops in the rooftop conference room of the Karma Bird House (YWP's  home base). Questions? Contact Susan Reid, on the site at Reid; by email: [email protected]; or (802) 324-9538. Writing on the Roof workshops are free, thanks to our generous donors. Thanks also to the Karma Bird House for sharing the magnificent, inspiring rooftop with YWP!