Mar 10
lorenyoung's picture

Emerald Ash Borer

The ash tree is a very important tree in Vermont’s landscape.  Ash have beautiful diamond-shaped bark patterns and they stand out in a forest due to their tall and straight lines. 

To me, ash trees are iconic. They make the Green Mountains green in the spring and summer, and turn to vivid orange hues in the fall. My dad and I find morel mushrooms growing in the nitrogen-rich soil at the base of our ash trees. They are known for having great, full tops, and bring good value in the timber market. Birds love ash trees because they are high enough to keep away predators, and deer rely on ash trees as they eat the buds off the young tops in the winter. 
Oct 13

College Essay Workshop -- Online Version

For those who couldn't make the YWP-VSAC College Essay workshop Oct. 14 (it was pretty awesome -- thanks to the seniors who attended), you can go to our online version. From now until Oct. 31, access resources, help & feedback. 


Jul 27
Yellow Sweater's picture

In Defense of Two Dimensional Narratives

We are complex. We are amalgamations of our circumstances, genetics, and history. Our perspective is sculpted by myriad factors. Yet, despite this, we are constantly simplifying our universe into moralistic binaries: good and bad, right and wrong, honor and dishonor, progress and stagnation, order and anarchy, villain and hero... Our fables reflect this inclination towards dualism. Modern literature often scoffs at these classic tropes, dismissing characters who embody traditional roles as one-dimensional. But, in fact, these characters are two dimensional. They have shape and personality. They represent values and ideas, just not our full humanity. Sometimes being human is just too confusing to be productive. Sometimes life has too many pieces for us to contend with. Sometimes we need to escape our complexity and two dimensional stories allow us to do that. 
Jul 24
Some1's picture

UBI: Unrealistic, Bad, and Idiocratic

In the United States today, there is undoubtedly an economic inequality problem. While 12.3% of the US population lives under the poverty line, the wealthiest 10% owns 70% of all American wealth, and the wealthiest 1% owns 32% (Costa). Enter one proposal to fix this: universal basic income, colloquially abbreviated as UBI and defined as an unconditional recurring payment that is paid to all individuals in cash and can be spent on anything (Bidadanure). Although there have been various experimental UBI projects in the past, such as those in Canada, Finland, and Alaska, presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s pledge to enact a “Freedom Dividend,” an “Americanized” synonym for UBI, is what has brought the issue to national attention (Staff). It’s true that Andrew Yang’s plan for UBI may actually provide adequate financial aid to individuals and families in need today, as well as make them and their supporters feel emotionally better.
Jul 13
lilnoreault's picture

Open Your Eyes

Open Your Eyes!
If You say there is no issue with what Humanity has done
Open. Your. Eyes.
there is a problem 
and just cause YOU
don't see it or think it's not.
People are dying!
We as a society can't let people walk on the streets without being stared at
What the #*%$
I wish we could just be in peace all around planet earth for 
that's not how it works 
Children are the future but they won't listen
Even when we scream we are pushed aside
im tired of being told it can't work one way 
because people won't MAKE it work
there is a different in I can't and I won't 

Open Your Eyes
people who are as different as you are just as beautiful, Powerful, Amazing

Jul 12
essay 1 comment challenge: Huh


My entire writing inspiration came from so many different people and characters. Probably the first that comes to my mind is Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes. I know, weird, but... Bill Watterson talks about a lot of serious and intresting topics that got me thinking about half the stuff I actually am intrested in. The main inspiration was from a haiku that Calvin wrote about Hobbes:

Twitching tufted tail,
A toasted, tawny tummy:
A tired tiger.

I really liked the haiku and was thinking of haikus I could write and... poetry! I started writing because of a comic strip. Yup.
Jul 07

A message to the Out-Goers

How can you? 

I’m tired of asking the world that. I’m tired of watching people I care about make stupid decisions. I’m tired of hoping that things will get better. Most of all, I’m tired of watching my country fail. And we are failing. The work that some people have put in to stay home, stay safe, wear a mask, wipe things down, and be respectful of others has turned out completely irrelevent. We try hard to set an example for you, and yet you disregard us. For all that we’ve done, we do not exist because unfortunetly it hasn’t changed things. I was hopeful at one point, I think, but that was when people weren’t dying by the thousands. Now I’m just angry. 
Jun 29
Some1's picture

The Unwanted

The buzzing of the notification system must’ve notified my Grandpa of the arrival of the day’s mail. At least, that’s what I thought — sometimes I doubted if he could hear anything at all. At the age of 82, though, it really was hard for him to do anything at all. Still, he would slowly shuffle his way out of the apartment, hobble down the three floors of stairs, pick up the day’s mail, and come back up, after some time, to where he was the day before. It had been like this for him for the last two years before our biannual summer visit to Shanghai, China and his apartment. 

I heard the decrepit, straw-wood chair creak as my Grandpa struggled to get up. I saw his knees tremble on the verge of crumpling as he stood up. Despite this, I continued to sit at the apartment’s aged, elmwood table, contemplating a math problem as well as my own problems. 
Jun 27


"Mama said, 'you're a pretty girl
What's in your head, it doesn't matter
Brush your hair, fix your teeth
What you wear, is all that matters.'"

- Beyonce, Pretty Hurts

    In fifth grade, my class wrote down what they most admired about every other person. I was so honored when one of my friends said that I was pretty, but disappointed when another said that I was intelligent. I thought it was much more important to look pretty that to be smart and thoughtful. 
    I realize now how wrong I was, and exactly why I had come to that conclusion. Our society tricks us into thinking that how we look on the outside is all that matters, particularly for womyn*. We come to believe that we should focus on covering up our "imperfections" instead of embracing our natural beauty. We don't realize that we would be much, much happier if we stopped trying to look perfect and start focusing on who we truly are. 
Jun 16

It Just Happens

I’ve never really understood why people treated others differently based on the color of their skin. No one deserves to be hurt or abused because of something they can’t control. It is the same with LGBTQ+; they can’t control how they feel, it just… happens.

    No one can control the feelings they have. They can either let their feelings take control, and feel better on the inside and allow yourself to be a better person not only for others but for yourself. Or you can trap yourself in a place where you think every feeling for someone you have is wrong, and that you have to pretend to please other people.
Jun 04

Book Review: "Six of Crows" by Leigh Bardugo

It’s difficult to read “Six of Crows” without thinking of the movies — bated breath in the darkness, the rush of your heartbeat thudding in your ears, the comical wide eyes as the protagonist shimmies down a vault with a stolen crown of glittering rubies, narrowly missing enemy gunfire.

The same red-carpet feeling of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise is precisely twined into the “Six of Crows” books in a windswept, gripping series of pages that fly by quicker than Ethan Hunt leaping out of a plane. And that’s exactly why Leigh Bardugo’s fantasy trilogy is impossible to put down.

“Six of Crows” is a dramatic high fantasy heist story revolving around the mystical world of Grisha — those born with magical abilities — so real it seems as if it should have its own passport stamp. The book is situated in Ketterdam, a seaport bustling with trade, greasy gangs, and the beginnings of an industrial revolution. 
May 17
Madison C's picture

What I've Learned from Coronavirus

Even the bells at my high school seem to long for normalcy. I thought I imagined the familiar chime when I walked past the other day, and strangely enough, the sounds of a lost year persist. They ring announcing to no one when each class would have ended. They eerily echo through an empty school. Marking the things we’ve lost and the time we will never get back.

For the past two months, it’s felt like I’ve been missing out on my own life…
May 15
essay 0 comments challenge: Stashed

Go On and Be You

Hey there friend,
So you’re in middle school now, and I’m so happy you found my hidden note stashed between the dusty dictionaries. Middle school can be a tough and scary experience, but I have some good advice that will help you get through these challenging years.

I am an Asian student in a large school full of white children. I am fortunate enough to be blessed with a small community of friends. But, being a tiger in a herd of lions has taught me something important: I need to be myself.
May 10
The ELM's picture

Note from the Editor

By Lily Kim Besaw

It has been twenty-one years since the Edmunds Literary Magazine, or ELM, was first born within the walls of our school, and from then on it has gathered countless pieces of writing and art from students every year. Our magazine is a reflection of not only our school and the students that attend it, but the time we live in. This year, our unique circumstances have played an especially prominent role in shaping the ELM and the writing submitted. Our staff has worked remotely to complete the magazine and preserve its tradition. We could not have done so without the collaboration with the Young Writers Project. This special edition of The Voice is our first online edition for The ELM.
May 10
The ELM's picture


By Cassidy Palmer

Tomorrow, I hope they tell me I’m too young. I hope they whisk me away from the darkness that is our world's people. I hope that a change happens, one that further advances our society in terms of our manners and moral fiber. Because between you and me, I am sick of the loud bangs that echo throughout the corridors and sear into the sorrow-filled night of the weeping family, torn apart by the machine operated by man. Somebody who was treated wrong could have been treated right. And I hope the sun as if it were the souls of those gone, rises over the graves of the weak, the scared, the strong, and the heroes, and we finally declare justice on the shadows of the bad. 
May 10
The ELM's picture


By Liam Conboy

During summer when I want to go swimming at North Beach I usually take a longer way by going down Depot Street onto the bike path or going down a road near Burlington High School, but when I need to get there in a hurry I take a shortcut through a forest behind Cambrian Rise. It is quicker but more dangerous.

Sometimes there are people and cults camping and living hidden off the trail. You never know if they are going to chase after you. The trail is not maintained so you have to be careful of roots sticking out of the ground, loose rocks and bloody glass shards that cover the ground.
May 10
The ELM's picture


By Henry Gentchos

Music has the ability to capture you like a fish. As it draws you in it will also push you away. “Wham,” just like that the song has lured you in as if you were a fish and it was a fisherman. Sometimes you don’t know or understand the music but it hits like a rock on a personal level. When the song ends it leaves you with a sense of completion and satisfaction. It gives you that feeling of being in a kitchen when someone is cooking. As you yearn for more music to fill the voids in your body, you end up leaving behind old songs that you have moved on from, like the view of an old house in the rearview mirror as you drive away in your dad’s car. As your quest for songs continues, you end up feeling like a small fish in a big sea of music with millions of species of artists and genres, constantly changing, recreating, or renewing.    
May 10
The ELM's picture

A Strong Woman

By Miranda Stilwell

I revere Demi Lovato. Demi Lovato is a pop song artist, who has released many hit songs. Aside from her fame, she has faced many inner conflicts and struggled with many things, such as drug abuse. She had a very rocky upbringing with an alcoholic father and with her career starting/developing so young. Having to be someone everyone else wants you to be, a role model, perfect, and displaying all the right things was too much for her. Especially when she felt she had to be someone she wasn’t just for society. She struggled with this for many years then ended up leaning to drugs, starting at a very young age. 
May 10
The ELM's picture


By Levon Perras

I have a feeling of reverence for janitors. When I was little, about first grade, I was goofing off in lunch when I spilled milk on the ground. I was nervous; I felt like I was going to blow up with emotions, but then out of nowhere a janitor came up to my area.

Clank!, Splash!, Dip! The mess was cleaned, and with a wink and a smile, the janitor walked away.

My friends and I were confused. Our views of teachers were not positive. After all, they wanted us to walk in lines and raise our hands to speak. It felt like I was in prison.

But here in the cafeteria, it felt like I was special. The janitor showed kindness to a bunch of rowdy kids making a mess, making their job harder.
May 09
The ELM's picture

Musical Path

By Rory Jones

As you walk down the path your steps slowly turn into a beat. The birds’ tweets are like the sound of flutes. The wind is a quiet saxophone whispering in your ear, there’s a soft snap, snap, snap, as the violins pluck their strings when you step on a stick. You move to the side as you hear a bass come running by at its own, very fast beat. But you still walk to your own pace keeping the beat of your own song. You get drowned out by all the trumpets and tubas trying to run the world, but if you listen closely you can hear the continuous thump, thump, thumping, of yourself, walking down the musical path.