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Young Writers Project is grateful to, a nonprofit news operation in Vermont, for publishing selected YWP writing, art and photos each week. Please support the young writers and artists by going to and leaving a comment. These pieces are selected for publication by YWP staff, mentors and this site's Community Leaders. If you wish to participate in the selection, contact YWP Executive Director Susan Reid.

Feb 18


I wished upon the first star I saw glinting in the sky.
I tried to make it understand the feelings trapped inside.
I poured out all my heart and soul before I realized:
It was Jupiter. Oh, it was Jupiter.

Will it hold my secrets in its storms?
Keep them close like spinning moons?
Or let them loose like shooting stars,
Burning bright for all to see?

Keep them safe, keep them safe, keep them safe for me,
And hold them oh so lovingly,
Like fragile flowers and tender leaves in this cold, hard world.
Keep them safe, keep them safe, keep them safe for me,
They can’t be heard, they can’t be seen,
These words aren’t meant to be released in this cold, hard world.

I wanted to reclaim the words I’d whispered to the night.
I begged for them with hollow pleas, but that little shining light,
It kept them in its rigid grasp, it held them close and tight,
Feb 11

Frosted Moon

Feb 10

For my dad, when he was eight

Sometimes, especially on days when I wake before the sun, 
I cry and don't know why.
I think most people do occasionally. 

Last week I received a brown envelope
full of old passports. 
I stood at the countertop and opened it with my nail.

I flipped through the top few
and examined my grandfather's picture,
the stamps, the places he'd been, his signature on the line. 

And then, at the bottom of the stack, there was my father. 
I knew without reading the name. 

He had the same half-smile
and open eyes and way he tilted his head. 

And then I was crying
and I think I was happy. 
I remember smiling
and licking a tear from my top lip.

I couldn't stop looking at that tiny worn passport photo. 
I couldn't figure out how all that rain got inside my heart. 

Sometimes, I think when we're really desperate
we see ourselves in people we love. 

Feb 03

Missing: One Brain

Has anybody seen my brain?
I lost it during math
It was so confused it ran away
leaving havoc in its path

I wonder where it is right now
Its probably having fun
Swimming in some ocean blue
or bathing in the sun

I hate it when it flies away
it leaves me feeling blue
Because then when I need to think
I don't know what to do

If you find it then please contact me 
I'm feeling quite distressed
Because I have science next
and I know we'll have a test

Jan 26
Eloise Silver Van Meter's picture

Women and Their Words

Jan 22

The Skull

As we walked through the great doors, wonders beyond description emerged before us. Enormous bears loomed overhead - a wall of matted hair, hooked claws and teeth rearing up to emphasize the vast space of the great Victorian hall. We continued along the first floor, my mother and Mrs. Pudvah occasionally stopping to admire the sheer menagerie of scales, feathers, and fur. A golden eagle perched here, a buffalo in mid-graze nearby, a family of opossums hanging there. Having seen the exhibits before, I kept walking. Senior photos were due by the end of the coming month, and there was a certain space in the museum I wanted my picture taken. Soon we found an odd little nook, its stairwell winding up to the second floor, its curved wooden expanse like that of a ship’s deck. Like a deck, the floor creaked with nearly every step, producing the only noise, save for some side conversations and children playing downstairs.

Jan 17
polite_conversation's picture

Book Bans

Parents shouldn’t be able to ban books from school libraries. In 2018, the American Library Association recorded that there were 347 books that had been requested to be banned in the United States. 32% of people attempting to get those books banned were parents. 

I love reading, there’s nothing better than a good book. Sometimes, the books I read are explicit, but these books having explicit content doesn’t immediately sully their value. It doesn’t cancel out all of the education provided within them. It's wild, the amount of growing and learning we do with the assistance of books. Books help kids grow their view of the whole world. No other content can put you straight into someone else’s life like a book can. The author Robbie J Harris commented on these bans, saying "I think these books look at the topics, the concerns, the worry, the fascination that kids have today... It's the world in which they're living."
Jan 15

Holding her hand

When she is born, you hold her close. You caress her small, soft head as you put her to sleep. You hold her hands as her small, pudgy feet pad across the white carpet. She clings to you fiercely as you urge her onto the bus for her first day of school. Your smile is her only reassurance.

When she gets onto a bike without training wheels for the first time, you give her shoulder a squeeze, then grip the back of her seat. You give her a thumbs up and she’s off. You walk with her, then run, still holding onto the seat. You finally let go. She flies down the street, as if you were still holding on. But then she starts to teeter, and her feet can’t keep up with the pedals. She tips over and falls. She gets hurt. It’s not the only time. All you can do is put Band-Aids on her cuts and wipe away her tears.

It surprises you when you realize that you're the one crying.
Jan 01
LGPug's picture

The Sparrow

Flapping down to human nest
Chirping as lies down to rest
A child shrieks and smiles, aloof
Sparrow hops up onto roof
Child grins and reaches high
Sparrow hovers in the sky
Child waits – looks up with love
Till young sparrow floats down from above
Child laughs – reaches to pet
Sparrow cocks his head to let
Child reaches to touch new friend
Till bigger creature puts to end
Child cries as sparrow flies
But sparrow chirps to say goodbye
Dec 21
poem 1 comment challenge: Tomorrow
joseph.deffner's picture


Tomorrow I hope my mind won’t stray way and find a place to trap my thoughts.

Tomorrow I hope I will have fun–find joy and excitement.

Tomorrow I hope I can find time to relax, to let my soul run wild.

Tomorrow I hope my dog will bring me comfort and will curl up by my side.

Tomorrow I hope I will find time to read, to send myself to the world of books.

Tomorrow I hope to write, to let my hands chose what to say.

Tomorrow I hope to see my friends, to let their voices flow through my mind.

Tomorrow I hope to play basketball, to let my feet carry my in the patterns they find so familiar. 

Tomorrow I hope to draw, to let my hands show my eyes what to see.

Tomorrow I hope to sing, to let my voice travel the world through music.

Tomorrow I hope to be present in the world to be seen and heard.  
Dec 16
poem 2 comments challenge: Tomorrow
ViolaLover9's picture

Me, a poet, and a ballerina

Tomorrow I hope the clocks all stop, 
and as the hands slowly tick-tock their way to a halt,
the rest of the world follows their lead.
And it's like the first snow of the year, 
instead of the 10,000th rain.
Everything just pauses, 
and the earth feels comfortable in its silence,
at home in its magnitude.
I hope everyone freezes except me, a poet, and a ballerina.
For once, my short strides don't keep me straggling behind anyone else 
as I pad through the resting world on slippered feet
side-stepping parents waving to a stationary school bus, 
dodging careening bicyclists mid-signal with outstretched arms. 
I walk until I reach a theatre where a ballerina pirouettes, 
floating under the stage lights as she jumps and lands, 
her pointy shoes scuffing silently on the stage, 
trampolining illuminated dust particles which amble through the air,
awkwardly dancing with her.
Dec 11

lighting the tree

blinking at me
weary from their year long slumber
I look up 
at the dark green 
pine scented 
and smile
from my position on the floor
it looks like I could be in a forest
with a sky made of cream, ceiling paint, clouds
and a small fluorescent sun
the lights blink again
and one burns out 
leaving us behind
never again to see 
presents nestled beneath it's pine branch perch
I unscrew it 
and put it aside
sighing when I see all the others 
that need to retire
from their joy bringing posts
upon our christmas tree
I choose another string of lights 
and am very pleased 
to find all in working order
soon, they will be gently tucked into the greenery 
and nestled next to their ornament compadrés 
among an occasional candy cane
until they are all wrapped around the tree
igniting the fire of christmas 
and feeding it joy


Some more digital art.
Was playing around, trying to draw faces- these are my favorites.
Dec 03

Only words will last

Rules of verse, prose and rhyme
careful measures, line for line.
What will withstand the trial of time
and fires of our sorrow?

Cloth will rip and buildings fall,
yesteryears machines are no use to us all.
But a phrase scribbled hastily on the wall
will still be there tomorrow.

The stories and songs of all that was achieved
of things we discovered — and that we had to leave.
There's no telling what we will be asked to believe,
the future requires a past.

And what will remain when we're finally gone?
Take note of the times you've been right and wrong,
write down your stories, your thoughts and your songs,
for only words will last.
Nov 19


Pick a card, any card.
Cheap tricks are your 
specialty, anyway. 
I'd like a disappearing act-
maybe this time 
I'll know not to 
wait for you to come back. 
Maybe this time I 
won't search for you like a key-
the only lock you have is
somewhere down in 
Hades' land. 
Show me your best poker face-
I'll see the lies
creasing near your nose, 
and maybe this time 
I'll know not to chase after
you on the pavement. 
Pull a rabbit from your hat-
better yet, pull 
an apology from your mouth.
Possibly containing a typo. 
Maybe this time 
I'll see that the worst thing 
I can say is, 
So go on now, 
do your tricks. 
Find whatever you need 
in the applause. Filter
out the boo's. 
Laugh, maybe. Smile to 
yourself. Above all, 
do whatever you do 
that makes you 
forget I was ever more 
Nov 10
activist_love's picture


Number one
Make sure
You are perfect
No quirks
No flaws

Number two
Make sure
You are normal
You're blonde
You're short

Number three
Make sure
You are balanced
Make sure you are skinny
Make sure you have curves

Number four
Make sure
You are popular
Always pretty
Always flawless 

Number five
Make sure
You are confident
No insecurities 
No shallowness 

Oh whoops
Another oop
Looks like I broke all the rules again
Nov 08

I Wish For The Galaxies

I wish to eat the moon
To feel it's smooth, cold-pudding like taste on my tongue.
It would slip around my mouth like a cool cheesecake,
Like milk chocolate.
It would quench my hunger with the easiness and softness of a spoon of oatmeal,
Washed down with a glass of milk.

I wish to drink the stars
To taste them dripping down my throat
Warm and foggy as hot chocolate
On a cold winter's evening.
Each sticky-smooth drop would ease through my body,
Relaxing me,
Soothing me.

I wish to eat the grandest meal ever eaten,
Sitting upon Venus's rings,
Watching the world spin around
And around. 
Watching a shooting star zip through the sky.
I'd catch it in my fingers
And gulp it down
Bright and spicy as a piece of shrimp,
Then close my eyes and float down along the Milky Way, in a bed as smooth as a snowdrift. 

I wish to spread my hands through the galaxies,


was messing around with digital art, when this just apeared from my scribles, and I was like oh, I made thingy.

honest beauty.

Oct 31

Blue Bird

On my trip to the Grand Canyon, I spotted many animals and captured some photos that I became very proud of; this is one of them. On a trail at the cliff's edge, I saw this blue bird hopping and moving quickly from spot to spot. I took at least 20 pictures of this same bird in all different places. Many people were looking at me crazily while I waddled around to catch the perfect shot. Finally, I took this photo and was instantly shocked that I could capture something so beautiful. I am posting this picture to show this small animal's beauty and elegance.