Three wishes

BY MADISON HENDERSON Grade 5, Barre City Elementary School I wish for a beautiful Amazon garden that’s a place for people to use plants to heal wounds or sicknesses. I wish for a parent-only cruise ship so all parents can relax, especially my parents. I wish for a zoo full of endangered animals, like tigers or red pandas, so we can have those animals around for years to come. BY YOHAN AVILA Grade 11, Spaulding High School Three wishes is not only about your needs, it is also about your dreams; it is something you really want from the bottom of your heart. Wish 1: I wish for my siblings and I to graduate from college with flying colors. Wish 2: I wish for everyone to live united with their family. Wish 3: I wish the violence and wars to be eliminated from the whole world.

THIS WEEK: Wishes
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompt, Wishes: What are your three wishes in three sentences or less?

Dear Readers
This is the final week of Young Writers Project’s student writing in this space for the 2012-13 school year. Thanks for being with us. We hope you enjoyed it. We’ll be back with more in September, but in the meantime, you can continue to see great writing on youngwritersproject.org and on Vermont Public Radio at vpr.net through the summer. YWP has many to thank for this Newspaper Series, including the editors and publishers of Vermont’s newspapers who value the importance of writing and affirming students’ best efforts. Please support your local newspaper! YWP also salutes the young writers and photographers who consistently amaze and inspire us with their work, and the teachers and parents who encourage them. And young writers, YWP has mentors and readers who are eager to read your summertime submissions on youngwritersproject.org, so don’t stop writing just because the sun is shining!
— GEOFFREY GEVALT, YWP FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, AND SUSAN REID, PUBLICATIONS
COORDINATOR

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to BAY AND PAUL FOUNDATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

BY TEAGAN ATKINS-LESLIE Grade 5, Barre City Elementary School I wish for $1 million so I could help my mom. I would use it to buy my mom a mansion because my mom has little money and I love her. The mansion would be in the country because it is better and safer in the country and it would have a big room just for my mom and rooms for me, my two sisters, and my Meme. BY GREG SILK Grade 5, Barre City Elementary School I wish for three more sentences – whoops, I just used one. I wish to be 14 so I can join the fire department because most of my family works in emergency services like field medic, fire department, police, or S.W.A.T. I wish to be able to help people. BY EMILY HENRY Grade 5, Barre City Elementary School If I could wish for anything in the world, I would wish for $1 billion for research to find medicines to cure many sicknesses because it would save so many people and that’s worth any amount of

BY EMILY MCMAHON Grade 5, Barre City Elementary School If I could wish for anything, anything at all, I would wish to have stretchy powers. I would wish for stretchy powers so I could be in disguise. If you think about it, you could really do anything by transforming – you could grow wings and fly and this is why I really want stretchy powers! BY DAMIEN BARNETT Grade 5, Barre City Elementary School I would wish for $1 trillion so I could buy a pony and 10 monkeys and ride my pony while my monkeys clean my room and do my homework. Then I would donate half to buying houses for people with no homes. I would donate the rest to research on cancer because lots of people die of cancer every year.

© Melissa Stewart/Essex High School

BY VANESSA GREIG Grade 5, Barre City Elementary School

Do I wish for care? Do I wish for company? No, I wish for you.

money. I would wish for $5,000 to use for charity to help the poor get meals to survive so they don’t die of starvation. The last thing I would wish for is world peace in all countries forever so there would be no more wars because so many people die in wars or get badly injured.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Anders and the peas

THIS WEEK: Fairy tale
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompt, Fairy tale: Write a fairy tale that includes the phrase, “one thousand peas.” To read more, go to youngwritersproject.org.

A thousand and one
BY ELEANOR BRAUN Grade 6, Main Street Middle School Long, long ago, in a land far, far away, there lived an old gnarled tree. This tree stood for millions of years, its bark becoming thick with the time of many winters, peeling and growing, swaying and standing. It was an oak, stationed solitary on top of a grassy hill in a clearing in a forest of 1000 elms. This forest was discovered by man in the tree’s 1,274,361,209th year. They chopped all of the elms down, leaving only the oak to wind its roots through the rich soil, surrounded with the ringed stumps of the elms as a constant reminder of what once was. ... It snowed; it was winter. The branches of the oak were soon laden with white, frosty snow. An ancient witch came one frosty winter day, trudging through the heavy snow. She creaked her brittle limbs and slowly ascended the tree. When she reached the top, trembling from the cold, she began to chant in a low, wavering voice, “One thousand peas, one thousand peas. Come! Grow here, in the space of these trees. Grow tall, tall and strong, till ye this world belong. One thousand peas, one thousand peas.” Soon, the snow began to melt away and fresh green sprouts emerged from the moist soil... In only a few short hours, the field and all of the surrounding area were covered with pea plants bursting with peas. The next day, the very king who had ordered all of the elms razed rode down the field, where the king wondered at the warm temperature and the strange plants, pea plants, that covered the field. Despite the mysteriousness of the situation, the peas looked good, and the king was hungry. He called for one of his servants to pick him a handful. His servant faithfully obeyed. The king bit into a pea carefully and exclaimed, “Delicious! Bring me more!” He ordered all of his servants to go pick peas for him... He sat there and ate and ate. He began to grow fatter and fatter. When the very last pea was brought to him, he tipped out of the carriage. When he hit the ground, his body started changing, twisting, expanding, hardening, and splitting. One of his servants fainted, and the others ran away, for he had become 1000 trees, filling the field once more, 1000 elms. The witch had done her job well. The oak, which stood for millions of years, its bark becoming thick with the time of many winters, peeling and growing, swaying and standing, had the company of the very one who had taken his trees away not so long ago.

BY ANDERS SHENHOLM Grade 6, Main Street Middle School

There once was a kingdom called Agon in which King Po ruled justly. He ruled the villages of Kancom and Trela. In Trela there was a farmer named Anders who was famous for the fine, luscious quality of his meats and vegetables. One year, the king had a craving for meat and bred his own private stock of animals. Every day he would order his men to slaughter one pig, one cow, and one lamb. Afterwards he had a huge feast with a reputation that soon spread through the land. The king did not realize that soon all of his personal stock would be gone. The next year there was a famine caused by a spread of veggie-bugs feasting on the fruits and vegetables of the nation. Farmer Anders could only scavenge 1000 of his precious peas. The faeries of Agon did their best to preserve the precious vegetables with magical spells, but soon only the 1000 peas remained. Anders, with his huge supply of sheep, cattle and sows, was willing to make Po a deal. He would trade him 1000 cows, 1000 sows, 1000 sheep, and 1000 peas for the entire kingdom of Agon. The king was so overjoyed to see the fine meats that he handed the kingdom over easily. What the king did not want was the peas. He scoffed, “The peas are as small as a newt’s brain and are of no worth at all.” So Anders kept the peas and planted them in the soil long abandoned by the veggie-bugs. The peas grew to be grand and tall vines which each bore 1000 peas. The famine came again in the form of meatbugs that ate all of the dethroned Po’s animals. For each of the million peas sprouted, Anders planted one more. Soon when the meat was gone, he was the sole possessor of food. People came from all over to appeal to his generosity. He was soon the respected ruler of all the grand lands of Agon. And so he lived happily ever after.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

BIRDSEYE FOUNDATION

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

© Kevin Huang/Burlington High School

MILLENNIAL WRITERS ON STAGE IN BURLINGTON AND BRATTLEBORO!
Send your best poetry or prose to be considered for Millennial Writers on Stage at the Burlington Book Festival on Sept. 21 or the Brattleboro Literary Festival on Oct. 5! Send as a blog on your youngwritersproject.org account (If you don’t have one, it’s easy to sign up); click Newspaper Series and the prompt, Millennial. Or email your submission to sreid@youngwritersproject.org.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT
YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Sway into eternity
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School

THIS WEEK: General writing
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompt for General writing. Read more at youngwritersproject.org, a safe, civil online community of writers.

Short and sweet
BY EVIE CASERTA AND NADIA SCOPPETTONE Grade 6, Main Street Middle School

The candles have all burned out, and the wine has been drunk. Cheeks have been kissed and at last the party has come to an end. Guests totter home, starlight ablaze in their eyes, but they’ve all left their voices behind. The air still vibrates, with the ringing laughter. The ghosts twirl down the hall, champagne in hand and smiles gracing their features. They join the others, those from times even further from present. The guests who just never went home. The footsteps of the living step softly around, fearing the unseeable inside. For they know what the guests do not – all songs must end, and all lights will go out. Someday the memories will fade, and the rooms will just be rooms. As the final resounding notes fade into oblivion. Sadly, every party must end. But for now, let them dance. Swaying to the music, through the years, and into eternity.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

TEARS Silent tears Dripping down my face Washing away my worries –Evie RAIN Large, splattering drops Soaking into soggy ground Clouding up a sunny day –Nadia FOX The clever, sly fox Slinking around the forest A sharp eye watching –Evie STARS Twinkling, shiny stars Gleaming in the night A shower of diamonds –Nadia MIRRORS Honest exposure Showing your true self Revealing your fears –Evie MORNING GLORY Budding flower Glistening blue New life –Nadia

Many-colored days
BY CODY MARA Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School

An ocean secret
BY MADISON HENDERSON Grade 5, Barre City Elementary School

I have a bond nobody can break With the waves that give me freedom day and night With the sea and its creatures who play all day long With the fish whose scales glitter in the sun, like mine With the seaweed as long as my hair Even though I long to live on land, I never can Days can pass but you’ll still come I have a bond with you, too My one, true human friend

©Isabella Byrne/Sharon Academy

MILLENNIAL WRITERS ON STAGE
PRESENTED BY YOUNG WRITERS PROJECT AND VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO
Send your best poetry or prose for performance at the Burlington Book Festival on Sept. 21, 2013. Submit as a blog on your youngwritersproject.org account (If you don’t have one, it’s easy to sign up); click Newspaper Series and the prompt, Millennial. Or email your submission to sreid@youngwritersproject.org.

On golden yellow days I am heavenly, like clouds flying in the sky. On strawberry red days I am in love, like puppy dogs rolling around on the floor. On timber wolf gray days I am a discombobulated, turtle slow moving in the grass. On charcoal black days I am in agony, like smoke moving low in the house.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

You regret
BY MOLLY POTTER Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School Saying yes when you mean no Saying black when you mean white Saying like when you don’t It’s all the same They come back to haunt you You get yes You get black You get something you don’t want And you regret At the time it seems like no problem It makes sense in your head And you think it makes sense in theirs But the sense it comes down to It’s a lie A white lie

THIS WEEK: White lie & Scared
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts. The best writing is selected for publication here and in 21 other newspapers and on vpr.net. This week, we publish work in response to the prompts, White lie: Write about a white lie that grows; and Scared: What really scares you? More at youngwritersproject.org.

YWP PERFORMANCE NIGHT
THURSDAY, MAY 30 NORTH BY NORTH CENTER 12 NORTH STREET, BURLINGTON Performance poet Lizzy Fox
will lead a writing and performance workshop, Rhythm of Change, 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Stick around for open mic and pizza, 7 p.m. 8:30 p.m. More details at youngwritersproject.org or call (802) 324-9538.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Unknown
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School

FREE AND OPEN TO ALL AGES

Special thanks this week to

CHAMPLAIN INVESTMENT PARTNERS

The maw of the great, dark, unknown was gaping menacingly before me. The air around it seemed to boil and I stood paralyzed on the threshold. The others, who’d stood by my side like ancient pillars had faded away. Swallowed by the monster or reduced to rubble by internal forces. I stood to face the beast alone. Without even memories or versed wisdom to aid me. The past had no applicable wisdom to offer. The past would never again have wisdom to offer until the monster was faced.... Shadows fell aside as I approached. The beast roared again and I was gone.

MILLENNIAL WRITERS ON STAGE

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

PRESENTED BY YWP AND VPR
Send your best poetry or prose for performance at the Burlington Book Festival on Sept. 21, 2013. Submit as a blog on your youngwritersproject. org account (If you don’t have one, it’s easy to sign up); click Newspaper Series and the prompt, Millennial. Or email your submission to sreid@ youngwritersproject.org.

Begin to end
BY EMMA FILKOWSKI Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School I know it was wrong. I shouldn’t have said it. I knew not to do it Because I knew what would happen. I knew it would grow and grow and grow. It was wrong, but I did it anyway. It started at the beginning, but hasn’t even begun to end. I met you, we talked, and that was it. But then, it just came over me, A lie I never would have thought to tell. But I did and I know it was wrong. You were stunned. You looked at me like, like I was an animal. I am sorry. I regret everything. But we both know that neither of us can forget anything.

YWP ON VPR
YWP HAS A FEATURED WRITER EACH WEEK ON VPR.NET. CHECK IT OUT!

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

© Josh Kenyon/Essex High School

Dusty Creek Farm
BY KELSEY EDDY Grade 9, Mill River High School I turned the doorknob and walked into the milk house. The milk container was cold, as expected, and the family had not started without me. I walked through the milk house and went into the barn. I walked down the aisle, looking for my grandpa. “Hey Sprout, you here to help out or talk to the old lady?” he asked. We both laughed. My grandpa had a great sense of humor, and always called me Sprout. “Go clean off the calves,” he said, all business-like... I always loved cows, even though they were huge compared to me, and much stronger, but most of them were nice... Cows weren’t like dogs, but they had their own ways into my heart... Milking a cow is complicated because there are many dangers. If the cow is used to another person, she will sometimes refuse to allow others to clean her. “Blonde” was the one who did that. She only wanted my grandpa to milk her, and we didn’t argue. Some of our cows we have to sing to, so they will calm down; some you just have to yell at and tell them you’re the boss. My grandpa was the toughest man around the farm. Unlike me, who can be scared of cows at times, my grandpa was tough and fearless, even though he had his limits. He was the best grandpa I could ask for. My grandma was right with him; she loved the farm, and her grandkids, and always pushed herself, no matter what... Farming was my life, all the hard times that we had to work through, from hay season where my dad and I raced to beat thunderstorms in the hay wagon, to fixing broken water tubes that water all the cows, to going in knee-deep water during Hurricane Irene to save the cows from drowning in the field, to the death of calves, that always silenced the barnyard. There were also good times that I will never forget, like watching my little sisters feed the calves, playing and brushing the calves, seeing a baby calf being born, grandpa teaching me how to drive the tractor, staying up all night talking about all the fun we have, and all the little things that I hold so dear... But now, as I look around at our cows, hear the sound of the farm, remember all the good and bad, I can’t help but cry, because all this, that I grew up to know and love, is being sold this summer.
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.org/node/ 79906

THIS WEEK: Farm Project winners
ongratulations to the six winners of the Farm Project writing challenge! Three of the writers are featured on this page today. The Vermont Community Foundation, sponsor of the challenge, will award the writers $50 with an additional $50 donation to a local food or farm nonprofit of the winners’ choice. Seventy-seven writers participated in the challenge, showing that farming and local food matter to young Vermont ers. To read all the winning submissions, go to youngwritersproject.org.

C

Shatter
BY CALLISTA BUSHEE Grade 8, Home School, East Wallingford On the second Friday in January, a calf was born at Seward Farm in East Wallingford, just 10 minutes from my home. She wasn’t out of the ordinary; in fact, she was anything but different.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

VERMONT COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Callista Bushee and Shatter at Seward Farm, East Wallingford

Carley Malloy, here with Lola, is the 9th generation on her family’s farm in North Thetford.

Summer on the farm
BY CARLEY MALLOY Grade 7, Thetford Academy I’ve decided that a family farm is a lot like a barbed wire fence; running smooth for a little while, and then running into a twist or barb that slows things down. My last year and a half has been spent working on my grandparents’ farm. Each day has been a new adventure, and I often

catch myself looking back and saying, “remember the day…” I like summer on the farm the most; the weather has warmed so the barn can be left open and I can hear the jingling of chains as the cows turn their heads to look when I come in. Summer on the farm means haying, fencing, cleaning up the winter’s mess, and letting the cows outside to stretch their long legs...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.org/node/ 80476

The heifer, the first female calf in several months of bulls, had a thickheaded temper to her, like her mother, and boasted her rudeness from day one. But that Monday, one of the two days I spend volunteering at Seward’s each week, she caught my eye. We usually only name registered or special calves, and she was neither. A bit smaller than most, her size was the only unusual trait about her, with regular markings and, of course, her tough disposition. However, the calf’s strong will was much like my own, and she grew on me. With permission from Art and Dave Seward, the two wonderful guys who own and operate the farm, I named her Shatter for her white markings, which in some places looked like shattered glass. With time, Shatter became more eventempered, and her affection for me grew. After I’d trained her to give me her hooves upon request and a few other useful tricks, I began working with her on a halter, walking her any chance I got. Bit by bit, Shatter worked her way into my heart, funny little nose first. Working at Seward’s is by far the highlight of my week, not only because of Shatter but because no matter how grim things look, Art and Dave always find a way to laugh. One way or another, they cheer you up, and they have showed me that even in the toughest situations, you can always find a way to smile.

The day the ink dried

THIS WEEK: Promise & General
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompts, Promise: Write about a promise you made but couldn’t keep; and General writing. Read more great writing at youngwritersproject.org.

THE FARM PROJECT
WRITING CHALLENGE

BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School

The crinkled paper, yellowed with age, shook slightly in the hand of its holder. He was staring intently at the ink marks upon the page and with a free hand covering his mouth in a mixture of horror and piercing regret. “I’ll be with you until the very end,” his eyes quickly read, “until the sun refuses to shine – until air no longer satisfies our lungs, I’ll be there. I promise.” The tears that had been stinging his eyes welled up over their banks, and the next sentence was hidden from view. He knew it nonetheless; it was he who had written it, after all. “I love you, my dear, and I’ll see you soon.” Soon. The letter had been written four years ago, and yet that “soon” had never become any more tangible than the day the ink dried. The man sucked air deeply into his lungs and blinked furiously. He had intended to return home – of course he had. He had intended to see her again, those bouncing curls, that freckled face... Something just got in the way. Life, he supposed. Days had turned into weeks, and the letter had gathered dust. “I’ll send it tomorrow,” he’d often thought. Tomorrow had finally come, and it was far too late. The man folded up the letter reverently and thrust it back into frozen amber past. She’d died a week ago. That’s what had finally brought him home. Home to a town so lacking in substance that you waded through piles of memories waist high and lived in a hundred different times at once. Out the window he caught sight of a black shape moving west, toward the cemetery. The man stood up stiffly and took his hat from the chair behind him. He wasn’t going to the funeral. All the words he’d meant to say four years ago had dried up, and the thought of conjuring up some new, meaningless, half contrived words for the benefit of her family was, simply put, too painful. The ink had dried long ago, and there was no way to remove the damage.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Watch this newspaper and youngwritersproject.org for the six winners to be announced next week!
Sponsored by The Vermont Community Foundation’s Food and Farm Initiative

Special thanks this week to

FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS

The promise broken
BY KYLE COBURN Grade 11, Chelsea Public School The promises, so many, so broken Things I can’t bear hear spoken Every success, triumph, and victory They all might as well have been trickery I have won nothing in the end These stinging truths I cannot bend I have crushed my own dreams Torn out all of the seams Our love once twirled I could have promised you the world Yet I promised my heart I was the one who failed his part My love is the promise broken So much pain left in words unspoken

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

© Margaret Slate/Peoples Academy

What am I meant to be?
BY EMERY BRUSH Grade 8, Main Street Middle School Oh when I was 5 years old, I wish someone had told me That money wasn’t gold, and the world wasn’t free, But now that I’m older I can finally see What’s wrong with the world and what’s wrong with me... So stand up now and look at me, What am I meant to be? Oh when I was 10, I went to send A letter to my mom just around the bend, But I spent the money on a ballpoint pen, Oh now I know that was the end. Oh now that I’m older I can finally see What’s wrong with the world, and what’s wrong with me. So stand up now, and look at me, What am I meant to be?

NEXT PROMPT
Vacation. Recall a specific moment on a favorite vacation and describe it. Or imagine your perfect vacation. Alternate: General writing. Due May 17

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT
YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Just imagine
BY KATIE FERGUSON Grade 7, Crossett Brook Middle School

THIS WEEK: Climate change
This week, Young Writers Project publishes some of the winning entries in the YWP Climate Change Writing Challenge. Seven writers were honored and given $50 awards by Vermontivate (the community sustainability game) at an Earth Day celebration on April 20. Go to youngwritersproject.org/vermontivate to read all the winning submissions.

THE FARM PROJECT
WRITING CHALLENGE

Just imagine the world in all of its stages. It’s been so different throughout the ages. Imagine the good and imagine the bad. Does this make you sad, happy, mad? First imagine the forests and fields and life that were here before we caused such strife. Imagine the beauty of an untainted world, a place where pollution is only a word. There, animals roam and nature is free. That world is as perfect as it will ever be. There, life is good, not easy, but good. How would you bring this world back if you could? Just imagine the world in all of its stages. It’s been so different throughout the ages. Imagine the good and imagine the bad. Does this make you sad, happy, mad? Then imagine what the world will become if we keep polluting, if we are so dumb. It’ll become a bare wasteland if we don’t take a stand, And we humans need all of this land. Our world would be drab and full of decay, with extinct animals and tides rising every day. It would even be hard to get clean air. I fervently hope that I never live there. Just imagine the world in all of its stages. It’s been so different throughout the ages. Imagine the good and imagine the bad. Does this make you sad, happy, mad? Which world do you want? You know, you can choose which world you get and which one you lose. You can get a clean planet by lending a hand to the world that is trying to take a stand. Reduce, reuse, and recycle are the three first things. Do these to help the planet grow wings to fly away from smog, trouble and strife and into a better way of life.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Watch youngwritersproject.org for the six winners to be announced soon!
Sponsored by The Vermont Community Foundation’s Food and Farm Initiative

Special thanks this week to

VERMONTIVATE

PLAY VERMONTIVATE!

The Green Campaign
BY ROBIN CHADWELL Grade 9, Sharon Academy

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

NEXT PROMPT
Music. Choose a piece of music and write a story that flows from it. Tell us what music you were listening to. Alternate: Three wishes. What would you wish for? Tell us in three sentences. Due May 10

The idea was not neat and organized, but it was what the world needed at the time. Gather by the thousands in the biggest cities around the world, and demand that every human being devote him or herself to what was then an impossible cause – saving the © Nate Ertle/Essex High School Earth from global warming. Green shirts, pants, dresses, hats, and scarves filled street vendors across the globe, giving the fashion industries around the world no choice but to embrace the Green Campaign. But that was merely the beginning. Famous musicians, actors, and athletes inspired their nations to rise to the challenge, and take the Green responsibility upon them. Instead of playing video games and watching television, it became the new normal to see children outdoors, playing tag underneath water sprinklers that soaked gardens with health and beauty. It was a wonderful thing, knowing that we all wanted the same thing… a long and vigorous life on a healthy planet. A new era was born through the love and happiness that resided in our hearts. I felt very lucky indeed, to know that I was not alone in my belief that humanity could be wonderful. It was an awakening to our potential, and the power we have to change the world. I am quite certain, even with Alzheimer’s knocking on my door, that I will never forget the year that everything changed for the better. It was the year 2030 – two decades ago – when the Green Campaign began, and even though it has come to an end, green continues to be the world’s favorite color.

The community sustainability game that ends with a huge Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Party!
Find out more at vermontivate.com

Is it going to be us?
BY TAYLOR GARNER Grade 10, Mount Mansfield High School Is it going to be us? That watches our planet die away? To watch our oceans poisoned, our valleys burned, and my soul left to deteriorate? Is it going to be us? That watches our mountains cut down, our atmosphere, toxic, and the rains turned black? Is it going to be us? That have to tell our grandkids that our governments didn’t help their planet when it needed it the most? That that’s the reason they wear gas masks to school, and need to be inside during the acid rain storms? That we murdered the planet? Is it going to be us?

Six-word stories
BY JOE FRANCO Grade 6, Calais Elementary School The boy smiled, I smiled back. We eat; we’re the eating club. I slide into second base, yippee. I land on my face, ouch. I am jealous of my toad. I wish I could fly high. I see people laughing and crying. I eat wonderful food all night. This is a really joyous occasion. We sing merry songs all night. We all howl to the moon. He’s proud, he tied his shoe. Pizza is good for your heart. BY HONOUR LINDSEY GREENE Grade 10, Chelsea Public School Life is just a flip-flopped puzzle. Live great, love laughter, become merry. Mary’s little lamb hates pioneering paths. Writing is a swirl of imagination. Flying through the skies with you. Money makes greed; greed makes hate. Undecided’s OK. It means you’re thinking. Time ticks on, but feelings freeze. Shoes are funny. They just are. Sticks and stones usually hurt less. Makeup covers up true natural beauty. For friends, quality outnumbers any quantity.

THIS WEEK: Six words
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompt, Six words: Write as many six-word stories as you can. To read more, go to youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

BY OLIVIA BATES Grade 6, Calais Elementary School Daydreaming is the time you’re free. A ghost haunts you at night. Scared. All alone, in the night. A cold breeze blows my hair. Ocean waves crash against the sand.

BAY AND PAUL FOUNDATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

NEXT PROMPTS
Technology. Your cell phone is broken and you can’t get a new one. It’s your first day without it. What happens? Alternate: Photo 11. Write a story about the photo below. Due April 26.

BY JUSTIN A. MURRAY Grade 6, Calais Elementary School It was the mistake of my life. I couldn’t help her. I’m sorry. Bob ate a big, yummy pie. The stars danced in the sky. I’m so hungry I’ll eat plastic. No, I was not just dancing. Darkness swept over all of us. Go! There’s no chance for me. The burgers were wonderful! Thank you. I don’t know why, no, nope.

BY LILY MATTOGNO Grade 6, Calais Elementary School BY ANNA COOK Grade 11, Oxbow High School Homework piles up, watch TV anyway. Shiver. Shake. Wait for rescue team. The ball arcs...hold breath...goal! Buildings burn, people watch in terror. Wore heels; fell in big puddle. Don’t look now: teacher behind you.

© Andrea Marie Neville/Chelsea Public School

Everyone starts to stare at me. I run away from my cat. Why are clowns so very scary? Keep calm and throw the cheese. I am obsessed with Doctor Who. They all need to scream again! Everyone needs a time to smile.

Rain falls lightly. Look for rainbow. Rope swinging over river. Drop now! Spring fever; say goodbye to snow. Dropped my keys in the gutter. Danced around living room. (No life.) That cloud looks like an octopus. Got paint all over new jeans. Wait, we had homework due today? Laughed till I cried. Good times.

Long ago. Write a journal/diary entry of someone from a different time period, past or future. Alternate: Being right. Describe a time when you were sure that you were right, but someone else refused to see your view. Due May 3.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Line of segregation (Rosa Parks)
BY AVEN WILLIAMS Grade 8, U-32 Middle School The invisible line watches all Holding me with hard eyes until it confirms I am on the correct side I keep walking until I am behind it Only then does it drop its gaze The line, the white line with no emotion for a weary black woman returning from a hard day It keeps track of its victims Keeping them in order White and black Good and bad Clean and dirty The line does its job I close my eyes and watch it melt away Wishing it would melt away My eyes shoot open at the sound of a voice A deep gruff voice A white voice White, fake purity blinds me The line fixes its cold eyes on me Looking me over Then it swiftly obeys its master Contorting itself so that it also corners off the seat I currently occupy Then it smiles A ruthful smile and laughs a high-pitched wicked laugh A white laugh It knows that it will win It always wins I stare it down, eyes full of confidence Fire licks at the coals When the line settles, it returns my gaze with a soul-seeking stare Fire Wicked white fire It burns me from inside out I hold on Sweat beginning to dance on my forehead The line shifts its gaze before I do Strong arms pull me up Pinching, prying me from my seat of honor They haul me down the aisle with my head held high Behind me I can hear it The line squeals with laughter and leaps dancing in the sweet air of victory The line has done its job The line has won The line always wins

THIS WEEK: Rhyming & General
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompts for Rhyming poetry and General writing. To read more, go to youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at 802-324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, business and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

City lights
BY RACHEL E. FICKES Grade 7, The Riverside School Hometown: Peacham City lights blaze behind chain link fence, Car headlights glowing white. The stars drowned out in a saddened sense, The darkness lost in light. The people who go with themselves in mind, Each challenging the rest. They seen to think they’re one of a kind, That they, themselves, are best. I look and see these city dwellers, And how they come and go. The listeners, the gossip tellers, Their followers in tow. A pool of light gathers on the walk, A street lamp flickers on. A few moths see, and come in flock, the light they dwell upon. City lights blaze behind chain link fence, Car headlights glowing white. The stars drowned out in a saddened sense, The darkness lost in light.

Special thanks this week to

GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

© Kevin Huang/Burlington High School

The drum beats
BY PHOEBE PACHECO Grade 8, Harwood Union Middle School
(I want to remember the people in the back of the room who often long to be remembered. I was one of those people. I am one of those people. I will not forget.)

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

The drum beats Softly Barely sounding above the whispers That encompass the room The drum beats Lightly People unknowingly matching Their footsteps to the rhythm The drum beats Quietly Breaching the consciousness Of those who choose to listen The drum beats Gently

They begin to turn their heads Searching for the source The drum beats Mildly Almost all begin to notice Except the few, lost in their own existence The drum beats Powerfully Causing all to hear Wondering expressions begin to form The drum beats Loudly Stopping all conversation Becoming the conversation The drum beats Deafeningly And ceases The rhythm playing no longer The drum beats Softly As it always has before No one even noticing it’s there The drum beats

NEXT PROMPT
Scared. What really scares you? Why? Tell a story about when you confronted it. Alternate: White lie. Write about a little white lie that grows and turns into a bigger lie until you can’t keep up. Due April 19

Runaway rooster
BY SOPHIA SCOPPETTONE Grade 12, Montpelier High School (Inspired by Paul Gauguin’s Yellow Haystacks) The haystacks are yellow, The dirt is red. The straw pile’s suspicious so she pokes in her head. Her sister looks too, surveying the land. She’s so nervous, she’s shaking; it’s blurring her hand. Where on Earth could he be? they say to each other. What will Dad say – Oh god, think of mother. “Silly girls,” I want to say. “Don’t you know? Roosters don’t hide in haystacks – how on Earth would he crow? Look behind you, that’s right, just stop, turn around. You will see your pet rooster right there on the ground.” But alas, they don’t listen; they think they know best. So the rooster will wander away from its nest.

THIS WEEK: General writing
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompt for General writing. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

THE FARM PROJECT
WRITING CHALLENGE

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

WIN $50 FOR YOU AND $50 FOR A FOOD OR FARM
NONPROFIT OF YOUR CHOICE

WRITING PROMPTS
AND CONTEST DETAILS AT

youngwritersproject.org/farm13

DUE FRIDAY, APRIL 12
Sponsored by the Vermont Community Foundation’s Food and Farm Initiative

Special thanks this week to

MAIN STREET LANDING

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Let’s talk
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School Sometimes it’s the meaningless conversations that are remembered the most. The trivial chatter that provides something to ponder when silence would lead to distressing thoughts. I’d rather talk about nothing than not talk at all. There’s always the chance that the common sentences will morph into something complex into something utterly simple – into the answer to a question you hadn’t known you’d asked. So let’s talk, and give our minds time to follow the waltz our words will form. Finding things we didn’t know were lost.

Red hat, black boots
BY AVA KENDRICK Grade 8, Harwood Union Middle School The sun shone bright high in the sky. The grass waved at the little boy. Red hat bobbing, black boots dancing, and yet, his heart was sobbing. There was no sun and no blue sky. There was only dead grass in his shattered heart. Why would the sun shine when his daddy won’t be coming home? Red hat tilted, black boots still. Blond hair glinting, blue shirt ruffled. One drop fell. One singular drop. A clear drop. A tear drop.

NEXT PROMPT
Dislike. Write about something that disgusts you, no matter how wrong, distasteful or awkward it is. Alternate: Fairy tale. Write a fairy tale that includes the phrase, “one thousand peas.” Due April 12

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

© Alia Jenkins/South Burlington High School

Silent
BY PHOEBE PACHECO Grade 8, Harwood Union Middle School They say when we’re young That we’re afraid of everything But can do anything. And yet, as we grow older They tell us Not everything is right And we shouldn’t be afraid of anything. But I am, I am afraid, Afraid to be afraid, To think the wrong thoughts, To speak the wrong words, Afraid to do anything For fear of losing everything. Silent. Why do we feel this way? What has made us so terrified, Made us lose our will to speak? They need not change their laws, Telling us we can speak our minds, For we don’t. We only speak what we think they want to hear. Stripped away Is freedom of speech, Not by lawmakers, Not by government, But by our peers, Our enemies, Our friends. And so we sit, Our lips tightly sealed, Too afraid to say a word, Fearing the day We might say the wrong thing, Fearing the day We are no longer Silent.

THIS WEEK: General writing
Each week Young Writers Project receives hundreds of submissions from students written in response to prompts or as general work. A team of students helps select work for publication in this and 21 other newspapers. This week, we publish writing in response to the prompt for General writing. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

THE FARM PROJECT
WRITING CHALLENGE

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

WIN $50 FOR YOU AND $50 FOR A FOOD OR FARM
NONPROFIT OF YOUR CHOICE

WRITING PROMPTS
AND CONTEST DETAILS AT:

youngwritersproject.org/farm13

DUE FRIDAY, APRIL 12
Sponsored by the Vermont Community Foundation’s Food and Farm Initiative

Special thanks this week to

THE TURRELL FUND

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

NEXT PROMPTS
Mystery. Something very strange just happened, and you don’t know how or why. Write a story. Be succinct. Alternate: Photo 10. Write about this photo. Due April 5

For 7 billion
BY LYDIA RAYMOND Grade 7, Crossett Brook Middle School Do it for me, do it for you Do it for the caterpillar in its cocoon Do it for the birds that fly high in the sky Do it for the people who just walk on by Do it for the squirrels hibernating in their tree Do it for the hard-working, honey collecting bumblebee Do it for the earth that has been too forgiving of the human race Do it for the gazelle running at a fast pace Do it for the giraffes munching on leaves Do it for the swans feeling spring’s breeze Do it for all of the world Every boy and every girl Do it for you, plus 7 billion people, too Saving the world is what we must do
© Ashley Warren/Essex High School

A rainstorm
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School I’ve something to say but no words to say it with. No combination of letters, commas or dashes can capture the unfinished image echoing around my mind. There’s a raging storm, a quiet snowfall – a stifling lack of sound.

Ravaged ground simply covered over, and an aching desire for rain. There’s always something calming about a rainstorm. Washing away the dirt, the days. Bringing the world back to equilibrium. A quietness mixed with the noise of the world; raw and real. The world could use some rain these days. To melt away the lies, and cleanse all that’s broken underneath.

Photo 10 © Katy Trahan/ Essex High School

Dislike. Write about something that disgusts you, no matter how wrong, distasteful, or awkward it is. Alternate: Fairy tale. Write a fairy tale that includes the phrase, “one thousand peas.” Due April 12

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT
YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Faces
BY WALKER BEAN Grade 8, Main Street Middle School I feel the cool water droplets run down my arms a I paddle across the misty lake. Every time I pull on the paddle my arm burns for I have been doing this for hours and still have a fair way to go. The mist parts in front of me Photo 9 © Carl Mydans to reveal an island (Library of Congress) as I knew it would for I have paddled this route many times before. The island has tall 20-foot cliffs rising directly out of the water and casting shadows on anything near. As I look, great trees rise out of the island as if growing in front of my eyes. I see an old and beaten house standing forlornly on the cliffs with a dog howling longingly out of the top window. But I barely see any of this because a great foreboding has fallen across me and I fear for my life as I paddle past for all that I am worth. When I am a safe distance away, I look back and see something that I do not expect. Faces, proud regal faces staring at me unblinking. I turn away from the faces and paddle home. It has been 27 years since that horrifying day but I remember as if it were just a few weeks ago.

THIS WEEK: Photo 9 & General
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week, we publish work in response to the prompts, Photo 9; and General writing. To read more, go to youngwritersproject.org.

THE FARM PROJECT
WRITING CHALLENGE

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at 802-324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

AND $50 FOR A FOOD OR FARM
NONPROFIT OF YOUR CHOICE

WIN $50 FOR YOU

Special thanks this week to VERMONT BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

1. FARM: Share a story about a farm or farmer that you know. Write about an experience you’ve had on a farm, or, if you live on a farm, the daily joys and challenges your family faces. Tell a specific story or anecdote to bring it alive and to show why farming is important in Vermont. 2. FOOD: There’s so much great food that’s grown or made in Vermont. Your family may have a farm, garden or buy food that comes from the area. Share some of the wonderful and challenging things about getting, growing, cooking or eating local food. Tell about a specific experience you’ve had or hope to have with local food. SUBMIT: Write on your YWP account, click prompt “Farm13,” or email sreid@youngwritersproject.org.

PROMPTS:

DUE FRIDAY, APRIL 12 Contest details at youngwritersproject.org/farm13
Sponsored by the Vermont Community Foundation’s Food and Farm Initiative

Magical place
BY DARIAN PARTLOW Grade 4, Barre Town Elementary School At the other side of the rainbow, there is a magical land of fairies and leprechauns and a very small band. With trolls and unicorns and monsters. A magical place where you can go, too. With walls of silver, fountains of gold, a little old bridge that is the home of a troll in this fairy tale place where there are fuzzy trees, pathways of candy and lightning bugs. A magical princess of the forest, of course; this place is a home to all creatures indeed. The most important thing in this magical land is love and friendship that never ends. This could be the best place to see. Just use your imagination and dream, and you will seek this magical, wonderful place, just a step or two away from you. Take my hand. We can take a little peek at what you may see on the other side of the rainbow!

The drifting wish
BY KATHRYN PILLIOD Grade 8, Harwood Union Middle School I’ve wished a thousand wishes, blown out a thousand birthday candles, and imagined that the small trail of white smoke that floated lazily up was leading my wish into the sky, to some fantastical wish granter, up there somewhere, who grants every wish for us all. I’m not alone, I suppose. Everyone has wished so many wishes, and wondered where they go. Wishes for trivial things, like the pony or the doll house. Then older wishes for friends, a boyfriend, a home. We wish for love, and we wish for perfection...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.org/node/79238

© Eve Pomazi/Brattleboro Area Middle School

NEXT PROMPT
Promise. Write about a promise you made but couldn’t keep. Alternate: Strength. Write about a time when you had to be strong, physically or mentally or both. Due March 29

Sunless
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School The warm sunlight touched upon my eyelids, but only in the dreaming darkness beneath them. Were I to open my eyes, there would be only inky darkness to greet me. No glowing leaves, no swirling ribbons of silver dancing upon streams. There would be no shades of darkness, no visible borders to put our thoughts between. How could we separate the different parts of ourselves, when there no longer existed a black and white, a light and dark? People began to wander, and trip and wait. Wait for some enlightening, some illumination. Without light, the darkness came to lack meaning. The struggles of the light made little sense in a world full of the blind. One by one they came to dwell upon their memories. The gentle breezes of summers long gone by, and the lulling sting of a sunburn.... All safely stored away from the darkness that had swallowed them.

THIS WEEK: Eternal & Package
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompts, Eternal night: The sun doesn’t rise one day or the next day. What happens?; and Package: A package arrives for you. What’s inside? Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

THE FARM PROJECT
WRITING CHALLENGE

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

WIN $50 WITH A MATCHING $50 FOR A FOOD OR FARM NONPROFIT OF YOUR CHOICE
1. FARM: Share a story about a farm or farmer that you know. Write about an experience you’ve had on a farm, or, if you live on a farm, the daily joys and challenges your family faces. Tell a specific story or anecdote to bring it alive and to show why farming is important in Vermont. 2. FOOD: There’s so much great food that’s grown or made in Vermont. Your family may have a farm, garden or buy food that comes from the area. Share some of the wonderful and challenging things about getting, growing, cooking or eating local food. Tell about a specific experience you’ve had or hope to have with local food.

PROMPTS:

Special thanks this week to PHYSICIAN’S COMPUTER COMPANY

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

HOW TO SUBMIT: Use your YWP

account, keyword Farm13, or email your entry to sreid@youngwritersproject.org.

Inside the box
BY MOLLY POTTER Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School Inside the box, calm as the trees swaying with the rhythm of the wind, fluffy as the white powder snow, active as a deer running through the meadow, shy as a butterfly flying high in the sky, bright as the sun, on a warm summer’s day, cheerful as a bird singing a love song, and social as a puppy running in the grass. It may sound complicated, but open it up, really in the box, is just me.
© Audrey Dawson/Westford Middle School

DUE FRIDAY, APRIL 12
Contest details at youngwritersproject.org Sponsored by The Vermont Community Foundation’s Food and Farm Initiative

Dragon ate the sun
BY EMMA RIDDLE Grade 5, Barre City Elementary Trees. Tunnels. Graffiti. That was pretty much the only thing Max saw on this train... Max was only 4, but he was interested in lots of things, especially China. “I’m bored,” Max groaned. Then his 11-year-old sister, Ellinor, put her 3Ds down and said: “Wanna hear a story?” “About China?” “Uh huh.. OK, here goes. It was some time in the 1200s, I don’t really know

when exactly, and this tale probably isn’t real, but there was a girl and a boy, about my age in China. The girl was Ming Ming and the boy was named Yang. Ming Ming had long, shiny black hair and was on the honor roll. She had always lived in the city she was in, but Yang had just moved there. He had red hair and like most of the residents, believed in “gods” but Ming Ming tried to convince him otherwise. “One day Yang’s family was at Ming Ming’s house overnight. The two were best friends, so they had fun, except when they woke up. The sun didn’t rise...”
Read the full story at youngwritersproject.org/ node/78785

Six words. Create as many six-word stories as you can. Alternates: News story. Write an opinion piece based on a current news story. Take a side and make a persuasive argument – in a maximum of three paragraphs; or General writing in any genre and any style. Due March 22

NEXT PROMPT

Calling me home
BY LEAH KALISKI Grade 7, Thetford Academy The pavement is wet beneath my feet Last night’s rain has made it so Mother’s scarf behind me I’ll never let it go Sun shines on in front of me The moon is in the back They’ll be expecting me home now Better be heading back Woods on either side Black in the fading light Sun’ll set in minutes Photo 8 © Kayla Rideout/Essex High School Sun’ll set tonight The blue sky is fading Now into the night Clouds’ll gather here Rain’ll come tonight Mama in the distance Calling me home Sees her scarf behind me Bringing the night home

THIS WEEK: Photo 8 & General
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week, we publish work in response to the prompts, Photo 8 and General writing. Read more great writing at youngwritersproject.org.

CLIMATE CHANGE
WRITING CHALLENGE
Write about one of the biggest issues of our time. Prizes and recognition on Earth Day! See contest details and writing prompts at
youngwritersproject.org

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at 802-324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Presented by Young Writers Project and Vermontivate – the sustainability game for Vermont communities

Moment of wonder
BY YOHAN AVILA Grade 11, Spaulding High School. Hello everyone, my name is Yohan Avila. I am very pleased to write on this Web site (on Vermont Writes Day) for the first time to share a little of my joy. I’m from Honduras. I had to wait many years to stay with my mother again. That was very sad and hard, too. Anyway, the first time I got on a plane was to come to the United States of America in January, 2012. As a person with hopes of more opportunities, I felt very happy about it because I can have many opportunities. The first few hours, everything was like magic because I was succeeding with many of my big dreams. Every single day I’m learning new and good things and meeting new friends. Vermont always will be like my home, especially Northfield, a very nice town with lovely people. I’m a Spanish-speaking person and I’m very proud of my country and culture. I love Vermont because people are very nice, respectful and friendly. I hope everyone has a nice day. Thanks!

Special thanks this week to FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Ghost stories
BY NAING AUNG Grade 11, Spaulding High School When I was 10, I lived in the jungle with my cousin John. He took care of me when my uncle went to work. My uncle didn’t come back home until midnight. We had to do everything by ourselves. On the left side of our house, we had a huge tree and many birds were sleeping on it every night. John and I enjoyed our time together. John was a great storyteller. He would tell me ghost stories before I went to sleep. When I was a child, I was really naughty. I always did what I wanted, when I wanted. Sometimes, I wouldn’t go to bed until midnight. This is why John would tell me ghost stories to put me to sleep. However, I heard these stories every night and I didn’t want to listen. I would sit up in my bed and look at the full moon. The moon would smile at me and sometimes the moon would cry at me. One night, John told me a different story about a little fatherless boy. It was really interesting and I didn’t want to fall asleep...
To read the complete story, go to youngwritersproject.org/node/77634

© Katlyn Schmigel/Essex High School

Farming
BY MELODY EMMONS Grade 6, Berlin Elementary School I remember my uncle’s farm and it was all work and no fun for almost the whole day, but at the end of the day, it was a fun time for us all. We all had to get up early in the morning to have the work done in that day.

The first thing we did was to go to the farm and wake up all the animals. The cows had to be milked, eggs had to be collected, the animals fed, and we had to try to give Big Red, the pig, a bath. Big Red is not very nice. In fact, he is not nice at all. He is not fat, but he is a strong pig and the only male pig on the farm. The thing that was the most trouble of all was the garden. We also fixed the fence for the animals by the swamp that used to have ducks...

NEXT PROMPT
Outrageous. Write a story that begins, This is the funniest story I’ve ever heard… Alternate: Thirty-five. You wake up and you are suddenly 35 years old. What is your life like now? Due March 15

Pleasant lies

THIS WEEK: I believe & Reflection
Each week, Young Writers Project receives submissions from students all over Vermont. We select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week, we publish responses to the prompts, I believe: Finish the thought; and more Reflection: What is something you wish you had been told when you were 5? Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

CLIMATE CHANGE
WRITING CHALLENGE
Write about one of the biggest issues of our time. Prizes and recognition! Respond to these writing prompts: 1. The year is 2050. Looking back, the climate crisis was solved in the most unexpected ways. You were there for a crucial moment. What happened? Or 2. Do you believe the world can solve the climate crisis? Tell us why.
Contest details at youngwritersproject.org

BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School

As children, we lived in a world of pleasant lies where stories grew feet and walked away, with wide-eyed babes following behind, dreams trailing from their sleeves. Endings weren’t a sad thing and love wasn’t complicated. We were taught that life was painless. Growing older, we discover cracks in the lovely guise, the petrifying chasms that hide in the shadows. We discover that life is far dirtier and complicated than our parents and bedtime stories had led us to believe. Dreams fade to reality, and with the final notes of the childish melody, a sadness settles gently upon the landscape. Not all endings, after all, are happy.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at 802-324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401. Special thanks this week to

Presented by Young Writers Project and Vermontivate – the sustainability game for Vermont communities

JANE B. COOK CHARITABLE TRUSTS

I wish I had known Always be there
BY KRYSTIN HOLT Grade 8, Twinfield Union School There are many things I wish I had been told when I was 5, many things I wish I knew. One thing that really stands out to me is I wish I had been told that friends will come and go; some may hurt you and you might hurt them. I wish I had known that I might not always have the same best friend...I wish I had known that the girls I once called my sisters would not always be there... I wish I had known that some girls gossip and spread things that are mean and hurtful. I also wish I had known that you should never assume things without the full story, and when something is indirectly said about you, to let it go in one ear and out the other. If I had known these things when I was 5, I would have been prepared for the ups and downs of friendship. BY ELLEN EMERS Grade 10, Hazen Union High School I believe you will always be there for us. Although you might no longer be here in body, You will always be here in mind. Although we might never hear your voice again, Your ideas and your spirit will remain with us. Although we will never forget the pain of the past, We will learn to accept the healing of the future. No matter where we go or what we do, We will always have you in our hearts and minds, Knowing that you are everywhere we walk: In the whispering summer breeze, In the sparkling winter snow, In the eyes of a soaring Great Blue Heron, In the rippling, gentle waters of the ocean, And in the beautiful music that will never stop playing. No matter how much regret we feel, We will not dwell on it, but instead live for today because we now know that today could be our last. And when we do feel regret, when we do feel sadness, We will turn to one another and remember only the good, Only the happiness and safety, Only the wonderful times that we never want to forget.

Fruit Roll-Ups
BY ELAN MAYO Grade 8, Main Street Middle School Sherry was my neighbor. She was two years above me, my sister’s grade. She lived across the street in that white house. Well, white was an exaggeration of the chipped, yellow-gray paint. The shades were always down, that huge RV parked outside, the yard filled with scraggly weeds and an overflow of dandelions. She’d come across the street in her Hannah Montana tank tops, neon gauchos, and DC sneakers, her sweaty fists clenched around three Fruit Roll-Ups, one for me and two for her. Sherry had one streak of green hair and one purple. We’d sit under the tree and silently pick apart the paper and candy. Mom would stand in the window and watch. Mom would never let me go to Sherry’s house. When she would leave, my sister would come running out into the yard. “Mummy says she’s a bad person. Mummy says she has mean parents,” Katharine would scream and run back inside. After a while I started to retreat from Sherry and when she’d come skipping over, beaming and humming, I’d say I had to go and scurry inside. Eventually she’d stop coming over and when I was lonely I’d play with Katharine. I wish my mom had told me that there are all kinds of people. They moved away December of third grade, no one knew where. Sherry was just a 7-year-old with lots of spirit, Fruit Roll-Ups, and a great need to share. I wish my mom had told me that.

Slam dunk
BY MACHLAN PETTERSEN Grade 7, Main Street Middle School I wish that when I was 5 years old I had been told many things, Maybe how to eat healthy So I wouldn’t be the slowest runner in my class Or how to win a fight So I wouldn’t get beat up Or how to throw a football So I wouldn’t play kickball each day. What a dumb game. But no, I learned how to count to 10 And how to read books And how to spell dog. What I wanted most of all, though, Was that someone Told me how to do a slam dunk. If I could jam upon the rim, Other people would look at me and say, Wow, he’s so cool. And I would play basketball, Not kickball. What a dumb game.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

© Lindsey Stuntz/Woodstock Union High School

Getting my license
BY SEFIK IBRAHIMOVIC Grade 10, Spaulding High School The moment I’ll never forget is when I got my license. On Jan. 18, 2013, I woke up and got ready to go to the DMV. I got there around 8:35 a.m. I was waiting at the door and then the lady told me to come on in. She gave me some papers to fill out and then said, “Let’s go.” I got in the car, crazy nervous, then she told me to turn the car on and to check the e-brake. After that, she told me to leave the parking lot and to go right. After a couple rights and lefts, she told me to pull into the DMV parking lot. I stopped the car and she told me that she took off seven points. “So I passed, right?” I said. She said yes. At that point, I was the happiest person in the world. She told me go inside and get my picture taken. After I walked out and got my license, my dad said, “Congratulations.” That’s the moment I’ll never forget.

THIS WEEK: Vermont Writes Day
Hundreds of students, teachers and school administra tors participated in Young Writers Project’s annual Vermont Writes Day – taking just 7 minutes on Feb. 7 to write! This week, we publish writing in response to Vermont Writes Day prompts, Moment and Robots. Read more at vermontwritesday.org and at youngwritersproject.org.

WRITING CONTEST
Vermont students in 7th and 8th grades: Write a short essay about an amazing school meal experience and win prizes! One winner from each of Vermont’s 14 counties. Find out more at hungerfreevt.org or email contest@ hungerfreevt.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at 802-324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Kayak sledding
BY NATHANIEL LAUNER Grade 12, Hazen Union High School A couple strokes of the dual paddle and the kayak gradually moved forward. Soon it was moving quickly, with me stranded inside, helpless to whatever it may do as it crested the top of the snowy hill and started racing down. It was a moment that I will never forget. Kayak sledding. My neighbors and I had heard of it but never considered trying it until last weekend. The thought had seemed absurd; carrying a 200-pound boat all the way up the steepest hill in walking distance and then cruising down with no control. Yet it is one of the funniest ways to spend a cold winter day. As I flew down the hill I found that the heavy boat was much quicker and more agile, almost as it is in water, but with one huge disadvantage. There was no steering. Instead, all you could do was hang onto the sides and hope for the best. Mid-hill, the kayak was verging on what seemed to me like near bobsled speeds and then it went out of control.

Special thanks this week to

AMY E. TARRANT FOUNDATION

Diabetes
BY ISLEY SERVICE Grade 6, Warren School One memorable moment I will never, ever forget is when I had my first shot as a diabetic. On St. Patrtick’s Day, we headed an hour away to Fletcher Allen Hospital where I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. This wasn’t a big surprise to me because my dad, uncle and grandfather all have diabetes. My parents knew the day would come eventually, and that day was March 17, 2007. They told me some pretty scary things that day, but the scariest of them all was when they told me I would have to take shots for the rest of my life. All my life my dad had diabetes and I saw him take shots every day. I had never even considered me having to do that for the rest of my life! That night in my hotel room I took my very first shot. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. It probably took me a whole hour to work up the nerve to actually stick a needle into my body. You can imagine how scary it was for a 7-year-old! When I finished crying, my mom spoke in an I-know-you-don’t-want-todo-this-but-you-have-to-and-I’m-sorry tone. Then she jabbed it into me so fast I started sobbing all over again. That was the start of a new era of my diabetes. That was the start of taking shots for the rest of my life.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

When robots came
BY AUDREY BARNETT Grade 10, Hazen Union High School

© Alia Jenkins/South Burlington High School

Lesson. You are sitting in a park and an old man sits down beside you. At first you are annoyed, but he teaches you something you had no idea you could do. Alternate: Rhyming poetry. Follow any strict rhyming scheme. Due March 8

NEXT PROMPT

Think of the darkest, most horrifying thing in the world. That’s right, I was doing a math test. I grabbed my weapons of choice, a calculator and a big eraser. Just as I took those steps to begin, my heart started pumping faster. I was so nervous I dropped my pencil and missed the first 23 seconds from when the teacher said in that booming voice, “Begin!” I flew up and nearly fell out of my chair, hoping to catch up on those precious missed seconds. Thunder shook the building and the norm of that terrifying time of test taking began. But that all changed when the robots came...

Running from the whistle
BY KAY BUSHMAN Grade 11, U-32 High School I still hear the train passing sometimes And I know that there is a metaphor in there somewhere. I knew it once, when I was drunk with discontent and hung over on the promise of happiness. I still feel it in my feet – The possibility of being someone new But I don’t let it get to my head anymore. To the brakeman in the last car I say this: Leave before you are running from the whistle.

Photo 7, Reflection & I like...
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompts, Photo 7; Reflection: What is something you wish you had been told; & I like...

Tick, tick, tick
BY KATE PIERPONT Grade 9, Chelsea Public School I thought I looked good. I sniffed my shirt to make sure. Got a whiff of Old Spice. My clothes were clean. Teeth brushed. Wallet with cash. Good to go. So I waited. It was 2:50. She was supposed to call me at 3. I wandered around my empty Photo 7 © Brady Bessette/ house, Essex High School contemplating if, when, I picked her up, do I go to the door? Do I get out and hug her? Do I open the passenger door and just smile? 2:57. So I waited. I was so nervous. I drummed my fingers in rapid succession on the counter. I cracked open a Dr. Pepper. I held myself back from calling her. She said she would call me when she was ready. It’s 3:05. How long does it take for a girl to get ready? So I waited. At 3:30, with a grievous sigh, I threw myself down and stared at my mother’s old clock. I stared. And stared. Until I became one with the clock. Tick, tick, tick. I grabbed a book absent-mindedly. 3:55. 4:00. 4:10. I would not stop waiting. I just gazed down at the book, and thought about her. Her dark brown hair, musical laughter, long, elegant eyelashes. Thinking about her made me hope, it’d remind her to call me. I picked up the phone, dialed her number and flicked my gaze to that blasted clock. 5:30. She answered. Her voice was breathless and light. “Oh! Hey!” She piped in an unusually airy tone. I heard laughter in the back. “I’m busy. Lemme call you back.” I hung up the receiver. So I waited. With precise slowness I waited until it got dark. And I still waited. My eyes locked to the clock. Hours went by. She never called me back. The hurt didn’t register. So I waited.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at 802-324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

I like
BY DAVID MOODY Grade 4, Homeschool, Cabot I like the chickadees that come to our feeder. They always look at you as if they are wondering why you are watching them, and then they take a seed and go. I like sledding on our sledding hill because if the snow is crusty enough you can go all the way to the road. I like making gourd birdhouses out of the gourds I grew last summer... I like playing soccer; my favorite position is middle offense. I like mountain biking at Craftsbury and Kingdom Trails. My favorite trail is Kimmers, a steep downhill trail with big jumps and tall berms. I like taking broken appliances apart and making new things with the pieces... I like bird banding – it’s fun to hold the birds.

Special thanks this week to
OF

UNITED WAY CHITTENDEN COUNTY

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Rain and hail
BY KATE MCKAY Grade 5, Homeschool, Calais I like the breeze on a hot, sunny day. I like the feeling of a cool day in May. I like the rain, I like the hail, And taking long hikes up new trails... I like to hang out with my friends, Our video chats never end. I like our play dates and our sleep-overs, And when we find four-leaf clovers... I like to dance around the house, Doing leaps as quiet as a mouse. I like to spin, I like to twirl Because, of course, I am a girl...
You can read the complete poem at youngwritersproject.org/node/77178

© Jenna Rice/The Sharon Academy

Snow
BY TONY ROWELL Grade 6, Calais Elementary School Snow is a beautiful thing. Nothing is as beautiful. Oh! How beautiful! Wow, so beautiful!

NEXT PROMPT
Egg. You go outside one day and find a big, purple egg in your backyard. You keep the egg for a few days and then it hatches. What happens? Alternates: General writing; or Photo 9. What’s the story in the photo above? Due March 1

!

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Drugstore oasis
BY SOPHIA SCOPPETTONE Grade 12, Montpelier High School

THIS WEEK: Dialogue day & General
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompts, Dialogue day: Tell a story using only dialogue; and General writing. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

Painting in forever
BY CARLY MARTIN Grade 12, Montpelier High School “Mom, what are you doing?” “I’m painting.” “On the walls, Mom? Why are you painting on the walls?” “I thought they were too white; it feels like a prison, don’t you think?” “No, not really. Please stop.” “Don’t touch me.” “Ah, you got paint all over me. What are you doing?” “Oh, stop crying. You’re so weak, just like your father. Danny, what did I tell you about that wall? I don’t want it painted.” “Mom, who are you talking to?” “What, are you blind? Danny! He’s standing right there. God, didn’t I teach you manners? Stop being so rude!” “There is no Danny. Did you forget again?” “I didn’t forget anything. Just leave me alone.” “Mom, please, would you just stop? Just take the pills like the doctor told you.” “What did I tell you about crying?” “Fine.” “Finally, some peace and quiet, right Danny? What, Danny? You don’t like the blue? I thought it was a marvelous color. Reminds me of the sky, don’t you think? Yes, you’re right, a sun would be a perfect addition. Splendid!” — “911. What is your emergency?” “Could you please send someone? My mother has lost it again.” “...Can you describe for me what is happening? Do you feel like you’re in danger?” “No, no, I’m not in danger; she’s just painting all the walls in the house and talking to him again.” “Who is she talking to?” “My brother, but he’s been dead for almost two years...” — “... Dad, I just did what you told me to do.” “I know... it’s going to be OK.” “But they’re not going to send her away again, are they?” “No, we are sending her away, not them. It’s in everyone’s best interest.” “Wait, what? What are you talking about? Why aren’t you listening to me? Dad, stop! Don’t do this.”
To read the complete version of this story, go to youngwritersproject.org/node/74768

I believe that even the least exciting things can seem amazing if you are bored enough. I realized this after going on a two-month drive across the country with my family. This trip definitely had some highs and lows. One of the lows was driving through South Dakota. I was in a very bad mood. We had been camping for the past week, and I hated camping. I was sick of sleeping on the hard ground, driving three miles to take a shower and getting lost in the camp ground. My sister Anna was in a bad mood because we had been driving for the past month and she dislikes long car rides. My other sister Nadia was in a bad mood because Anna was distracting herself by singing every Taylor Swift song ever written and Nadia hates Taylor Swift. My dad was in a bad mood because, while the road we were on went past lots of lovely dirt, there are only so many times you can pull over the car to take pictures of it, so he no longer had an excuse to get out of the car. My mom was in a bad mood because everyone else was in a bad mood. Then, out of nowhere, we saw it. A billboard. Something other than dirt. “Quick, take a picture!” my mom said. We got closer, and were able to make out the writing on the dusty and torn sign. “Only 100 Miles To Wall Drug Store.” “You have to be kidding me,” my dad groaned. “The only thing within 100 miles is a drug store?” But sure enough, for the next 100 miles, we now got to see dirt and billboards, all advertising Wall Drug Store. 95 Miles to Wall Drug Store... 50 Miles to Wall Drug Store... 25 Miles to Wall Drug Store... 3 Miles To Wall Drug Store... 1 Mile to Wall Drug Store... Then finally, we saw it. Wall Drug Store. It was on the side of the road, looking like an old country store, but much bigger. We went up the wooden steps and through the front door. We then realized that this was not any ordinary drug store. This was, officially, the world’s biggest drug store. It said so on a sign next to a stuffed chicken with a rabbit head and antlers. Wall Drug Store had a lovely collection of stuffed animal parts stuck together. It also had its own clothing line, shoe store, high school (the graduating class that year was 18), and even a church. We ate lunch in the Wall Drug restaurant, but it wasn’t very filling. My dad declared the food “ridiculously overpriced,” and refused to buy more than

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at 802-324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

BAY AND PAUL FOUNDATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

© Coyote Farrell/Richmond Middle School

(continued)

two sandwiches for the five of us to split. He supplemented by buying us all candy which was declared “cheapest candy in the world,” a decision which he regretted later when he was stuck in the car with three very sugar-high kids. We ran around and amused ourselves by taking pictures with ancient mannequins and going in the various shops, enabling us to get much needed space from each other. I bought several postcards for

my friends, all saying, “I went to Wall Drug Store,” while my sisters tried on all the cowboy hats in the hat shop. My dad poked around the china shop. My mom went to the church to pray that we would make it home without killing each other. And that is how, something as ordinary as a drug store managed to entertain my family for three hours and became the highlight of my entire day.

Snow
BY ISAIAH QUITTNER Grade 8, Twinfield Union School Snow covers Vermont like a blanket, putting the earth underneath to sleep after a long summer’s reign. Snow falls down in beautiful minute flakes before joining the clusters that so many have joined before. Snow gets caked into my wrist and it’s unbearably cold, sending chills up my arm. Snow is perceived as dismal and unadorned to some, but with the right eye, you can see the splendor in it. Snow gathers, making it impossible to run in the cold bleached powder. Snow cancels my school day, leaving me with a feeling of relief. Snow gets stomped, sculpted, plowed and everything else. Snow is a cushion for the tired, and the hushing wind a lullaby for the ear. Snow, as great as it is, melts and leaves like everything else.

THIS WEEK: Photo 6
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompt to write about the photo, right, of Mad River Glen or about winter in general. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

Vermont Writes Day
February 7, 2013
Join YWP and Vermont schools for a statewide day of writing! Set aside just 7 minutes on Feb. 7 to write.
Find out more at vermont writesday.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. Learn more at ywpschools.net.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to ORTON FAMILY FOUNDATION

Photo 6: Tower 22, Looking East. Mad River Glen © Jet Lowe, 2006 (Library of Congress)

Mad River Glen
BY JOE FRANCO Grade 6, Calais Elementary School Yes, Mad River! We are going to Mad River on a snow day. It is January 13; I have no idea why they called it a snow day but I am fine with it. Thank you, Lord!... We are at Mad River Glen. I love skiing! The feel of the wind in your face, the view from the chairlift, the excitement of going down the mountain fast, moguls, cliffs, jumps, it is all good... Read the rest of this story at youngwritersproject.org/node/75531.

The stopping lift
BY SUNNY INGRALDI Grade 8, Main Street Middle School The wind whooshed by my face and I felt its sting. I glanced to the ground and froze. We were much higher up than I thought we would be. “Umm, Cheyenne, I’m scared,” I said to my best friend who was sitting next to me. She laughed and jumped in her seat. The whole chairlift wobbled and I let out a yelp. I had never been on the lift before and I was afraid of heights. “Cheyenne! Stop it!” I yelled. I had my eyes clenched shut and my face was starting to burn. “God, Sunny, it’s fine. This thing is perfectly safe!” Cheyenne said. Right as she said it, the whole lift stopped. “This is normal, right?” I asked and looked at Cheyenne. Her face had gone pale and she was freaking out. “I’ve never been on one of these and had it stop. Someone probably is having trouble getting off,” she said. I could tell she didn’t really believe it though. “It’ll be going again soon.” I glanced around and noticed that if we fell, we would probably never be seen again. That may have been a little over-dramatized, but I couldn’t tell. Cheyenne and I both let out a yelp as the lift jerked back to life. We were OK and nothing bad had happened to us. After we finished our skiing, I made Cheyenne go back up with me to go again, and this time, I wasn’t scared.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Single chair
BY TREVOR PATTERSON Grade 6, Calais Elementary School In this picture, I see the single chair at Mad River Glen. There is fluffy powder everywhere you look. To the left is Paradise and below the chairlift is Chute and straight ahead is Upper Antelope. Out of those three trails, I like Paradise the best, because it is in the woods and there are cliffs. When you are on Paradise you can merge off to the side onto an unmarked trail called “Falldice.” It is a trail between Fall line and Paradise. When you go down Upper Antelope a ways you will see a small marked trail called 20th Hole. It is not actually inside the ski boundary but a lot of people go on it because there is a lot of snow after a snowfall. It is a long, tight woods trail and a place to find powder! According to Ski magazine, Mad River Glen is the hardest terrain on the East Coast of the U.S... Read the ending of this essay at youngwritersproject.org/node/75592.

© Jenna Rice/The Sharon Academy

NEXT PROMPTS
Package. The UPS truck arrives with a huge box addressed to you. What’s inside? Who’s it from? Alternate: General writing. Due Feb. 15 Eternal night. You wake up one morning and the sun doesn’t rise. It doesn’t rise the next day either. What do you do? Alternate: Silver lining. When bad things happen, how do you recover? Due Feb. 22

Fun Fitness Friday
BY JACK FANNON Grade 6, Calais Elementary School ...I love skiing. Every Friday our school does something called Fun Fitness Friday. You can go either Nordic skiing, skating or alpine skiing. We ski at Mad River; it is so quiet you can only hear your skis sliding. We look forward to it all week. Read the rest of this story at youngwritersproject.org/node/75529

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Walls alike
BY MICHAELA STERLING Grade 9, Rochester High School One day while sitting alone in my room I heard a voice come out of the blue Confused and baffled, I sat in awe And listened to what was being spoken “I’m just like you,” the voice first said “With my walls built up around me” Curious, I asked, “Now how is that” And his explanation went a little like this “My walls stand guard around me And they protect me from any danger Although they keep out the bad They keep out the good as well” “That’s nothing like me,” I defensively said As I denied the hard, harsh truth Thinking to myself, I put two and two together And sadly came to this conclusion I harden my feelings and use them as walls And yes, I use them for protection I hide myself in a sea of thoughts Denying all requests for me to come out Because my mind is my safe place I never took the time to notice How much I miss out on happiness And laughing with a group of friends

THIS WEEK: Object & Ideal being
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompts, Object: An inanimate object comes alive and tells you how it really feels; and Ideal being: What makes someone an ideal person?

Vermont Writes Day
February 7, 2013

Students, teachers, writers!
Across VT and NH, people are setting aside just 7 minutes on Feb. 7 to write! Find out more at vermont writesday.org.

Mine alone to hold
BY KYLE COBURN Grade 11, Chelsea Public School Dulled to brightest shine Darkened to full radiance Chilled to nurturing warmth Saddened to true happiness Scraped to sanguine smoothness Broken to stoic solidity Flawed to utter perfection Scarred to purest beauty Being with this person Leaves wonders to be told But only I shall truly know For she is mine alone to hold

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

YWP NEWS
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, business and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

THE TURRELL FUND

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Shallow perfection
BY JENNA RICE Grade 10, The Sharon Academy You were ideal. That is, from a shallow point of view. With your beautiful brown eyes, and straight hair, falling past your shoulders. Two years my senior, you were beautiful and popular. You had it all, varsity soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, and that perfect 4.0 GPA. You had money, and a wonderful boyfriend attached to your arm. But perfection is a dream, a shallow illusion. You know, I cried every night because of your bullying. I played on your basketball team for just three months, one season. It was my favorite sport, now because of your criticism I fear it. Every day, I thought about quitting the team, every day I went home and cried because you drained my energy to fuel yourself. You were far from perfect.

You, ideal
BY NICOLE PIERPONT Grade 12, Chelsea Public School You were ideal. You cared like no one else I knew. You loved like no one else can. Judgment only came with a reason, And reason always had a purpose. You were perfectly imperfect. Because no matter how many times You laughed at your own corny jokes, You were just trying to make someone smile. Your hugs were understanding. With your warm embrace, You could comfort my worst nightmares. Your smile was mesmerizing, Every crease that surrounded it was proof Of years of laughter that you shared with so many. You were so forgiving. For how many can say that they have loved All six of their kids? Despite the fact that we all had a different set of parents? Three of them, biologically yours. The other three of us, adopted. You took us in...
Read the ending of this poem at http://youngwritersproject.org/node/74154

Set flour to the wind © Emily Aldrich/Grade 7, Mount Abraham Union Middle School

Bubbles
BY CALEB QUITTNER Grade 9, Twinfield Union School I sit in my room alone on a boring weekend afternoon. I scan my surroundings for something that might distract me for a while. A tube of bubble-blowing soap sits alone in the corner of my room. I haven’t touched it for months. I used to love bubbles. The memories of my bubble-loving days come to me. I always used to try and make shapes

out of them when I was little, like they did on Sponge Bob. A moment later I have the soap container in my hand and I am twisting off the cap. I give a slight chuckle when I find myself moving the ring that the bubbles come from in an attempt to make an oblong bubble. I know it isn’t possible. My finger moves towards a bubble that is a little bigger than a fist. With my finger no more than two inches away from the bubble, I hear a scream, “Nooooooo!”...
Read the ending of this story at http:// youngwritersproject.org/node/75134

NEXT PROMPT
Three letters. Choose three letters. You can write a poem or a short story, but all words must either start or end with these letters. Alternate: Bottle. You’re walking along the beach and a bottle with a message inside washes up on the shore. What is the message? What do do you do? Due Feb. 1.

The Prince of Night

THIS WEEK: General & Photo 5
Each week, Young Writers Project receives hundreds of submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers. This week, we publish work in response to the prompts, General writing and Photo 5. You can read more at youngwritersproject.org.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

BY CHERISH AMANDA GREENE Grade 12, Chelsea Public School

The Prince of Night and Woodland Air with heart so heavy, yet face so fair, once came to me when I was young, just after set of twilight sun. He sang to me the sweetest songs of birds and stars and goings-on in the wood so far below, where only fools dared e’er to go. He bid me come, his smile so bright it shamed the moon, it felt so right. And from my window I was led where earth meets sky. And on a bed of silver grass laid we there, in the night and woodland air. “This is my home,” he said to me. “Can’t you feel in every tree the freedom of this unknown place, the majesty of untouched grace?” I smiled at him, all rosy cheeked, and watched a fawn, so quiet and meek, come bounding by. It made me smile. “This all will die in a little while.” I turned to him, confused and scared, and to my listening ears he bared the secret worries he had grown as he watched from celestial throne. “The earth does cry,” he said to me. “It’s in the quakes, the air we breathe. From water rushing in from sea, to every stump and fallen tree. This world we have is not our own.” And with that, he took me home. He led me to my own soft bed, then kissed the top of my bowed head and wiped the tears that stung my eyes. “My dear, nothing may have to die. Tell your friends the things you know. Share with them what you’ve been shown. With all your help, perhaps some day I’ll come again. To you, I say, the future is within your hands. Take this news to distant lands. Only you can save my home. Remember, you are not alone.” He disappeared and left me there with tear-stained eyes and heart of care. So went the night he met me there, the Prince of Night and Woodland Air.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at 802-324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/ support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to A.D. HENDERSON FOUNDATION

© Jenna Rice/ The Sharon Academy

Falling up
BY JENNA RICE Grade 10, The Sharon Academy

Mason was a skier

Vermont Writes Day
February 7, 2013

Students, teachers, writers!
Across VT and NH, people are setting aside just 7 minutes on Feb. 7 to write! Find out more at vermont writesday.org.

Who would have thought the world could be BY ELAN MAYO anything but ordinary? Grade 8, Main Street Middle School Well, certainly not….me! But here I find Mason was a skier. Yeah, sure, there’s basketball. Soccer, he was good. Really good. But skiing. myself falling Something about the wind, the dryness of the air, the closeness of the sky above. up, More intimate. Yes, intimate, that was the word he struggled to find. gravity gone and Granddad had taught him. Mason wasn’t afraid really, he’d just I’m like, “Waslook up at the old man’s face and the warmth of that solid sup? weathered look would let him freely slide down the Dude, I’m falling mountain. After the accident Mason stopped. up!” Dad tried to take him but he’d never loved I’ll explain: it. Only until freshman year did this morning, I he start again. Ski team. tripped and fell. Now they wouldn’t I took a tumble let him back on. and gave a yell. Said he was But then I was unstable. like,“This is Pain swell! Photo 5 © Anna Mechler/Essex HS shouldn’t Dude, I’m have let him. falling up!” Permitted to go out Off the ground and in the sky, once in awhile, Mason I guess that now I can fly, guessed it was the holiday spirit. and all the people passing by Probably thought he longed for the mistletoe, are like, “Dude, she’s falling up.” the ginger snap cookies, the aroma of the freshly cut trees. I see my dog below on the ground, The snow in the city was dirty, dark with grime. Slush and ice move frantically barking and running around. beneath. Mason breathes the fumes, coughs, sits down. The air is not I’m sure I did him astound like up on the mountain, cold and stiff. New York is flowing and sickly warm. because he’s like, “Dude, she’s falling The sweet smell of warm pretzels, Starbucks lattes, overflowing trash cans. The up.” park is still, except. There’s a bird, red. Once he would’ve known the name. Guess the My head punched a hole in the ceiling, cancer makes you forget it all. He wanders a little, hard to move with the tank and tubes it was not a good feeling; trailing after. The sky is sharp grey. Snow falls gently. All is still, except. A red bird. Landing and the pain left me squealing. on a still old man. His eyes gaze north, towards the mountains, towards the winter tale he once lived. But then I was like, “Hey, this is okay, This poem is being reprinted in the writer’s intended shape poetry style. because, dude, I just fell up!”

Falling up

THIS WEEK: Light/Dark
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 20 other newspapers. This week, we publish work in response to the prompt, Light/Dark: Write about contrasts.To read more, go to youngwritersproject.org, a safe, civil online community of writers.

Rich versus poor
BY CARMELLITTA LE Grade 6, Barre City Elementary School The poor and the rich life, two separate things. One glamorous, the other suffering. Two lives so different from each other. The rich life, so wonderful yet so lonely. The poor life, so miserable yet so happy. One with so much money like a dream come true. The other penniless, but still striving to live. Why are these lives so different? It’s like the moon versus the sun, so different from each other, like happy against sad, like water against fire. Two lives so separate from each other. The rich versus the poor.

BY CARLY MARTIN Grade 12, Montpelier High School

“Can you see that?” his voice echoes across the cave to me. “I can’t see anything; it’s dark.” His deep laugh is the only reply. I’m struggling to suppress the urge to totally freak out. I’m stumbling through the dark, and my only thought is the ceiling is going to fall in on me. “Brian, come on; can we just leave? Please?” But I know my pleading is worthless. His mind is set on some goal that I haven’t even dreamed of yet. “Don’t worry so much,” he calls back to me. Maybe it’s back, I’m not quite sure because the words reverberate all around me and direction is completely lost. “I don’t know where you are; I don’t even know which direction I’m going in,” I mumble, but it comes out more like a roar because the cavern picks up the words and throws them around. “That’s kind of the point,” he calls from somewhere. I hinge on the essence of his voice. I reach out somewhere in front of me with the insane hope that I can grab it and never let go. I’ve never loved a sound so much, the sound of not being alone. “I hate your points,” I say, and just as I take another step, I slip. I fall face first in a crumbling explosion and clumsily smash my head on the smelly, wet rock floor. I roll over, soaking in the stench and realize that I will probably die in this ridiculous cave. Pain washes over my body, and as much as I don’t want to die, moving doesn’t feel like an option. “Did you fall again?” For a second, I think he’s standing right over me, but the echoes are so deceiving. “What do you think?” I grumble back, inspired by my new infuriation to stand up and survive just so I can give Brian a solid fistful of my mind.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.
“Would you hurry up? I’m going to be married with seven children by the time you get here,” Brian calls, and suddenly a stiff arm is gripping my shoulder. “Thank God I have hearing like a bat; you nearly ran me over. Come here; stand right there.” Somehow he knows exactly where to put me. “You ready?” “Ready for what?” I reply, but before another agitated remark can pass through my lips, my breath is taken from me. The light at first is blinding, and I have to squint to really understand what I’m seeing. Crystals dangle from the ceiling and spiral downward perfectly to the floor. They spread out like water splashing across the cavern floor. The cheap light of the flashlight is dancing in spirals about the cave.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

KEY BANK
“I know sometimes this is hard,” he whispers; he’s sitting on the cavern floor, staring at the light. “But this, this is what I wait for, all the darkness for beautiful moments like these.” I can’t really think of anything to say back, maybe because I’m still a bit blinded or I’m totally shocked by his real-life metaphor. “I know you have to wonder why I would suffer so much.” He smiles, staring off at the light. “Don’t worry, Brian, I’m never going to wonder again.” My little brother, who isn’t so little anymore, stands up and wraps me in his bear-like hug. I know now that he will always be better than me because I would never get to see the world with the colors he does.

NEXT PROMPT
Invisible. Imagine that you are invisible for a day and could be anywhere at any time in history, witnessing without participating. What do you see? Alternates: General writing; or Photo 7. Write a poem based on the photo above. Due Jan. 18

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

© Liu Brenna/Essex High School

Broken wings
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School Outgrowing your favorite shoes, lucky sweater or well-worn jeans. Hair traversing blonde, red and raven. All signs of growing up; but not the symptoms. Storing the mementos of childhood away on a shelf, the world seems to shrink. Age speeding up to meet you with its grizzly embrace. The shine of innocence, and the wonder of youth all start to dim. Reflections around you shift, and change. The pedestals upon which all your heroes stood start to crumble. All those childish gods lose their wings. You discover what everyone else has known for years. Our world is one lacking in heroes. Lacking in reason or rhyme. And once something has been seen, it’s impossible to forget.

THIS WEEK: Family & General
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 20 other newspapers. This week, we publish work in response to the prompts, Family: Write about a moment or experience with a family member that changed you; or General writing. More at youngwritersproject.org.

Isn’t that something?
BY KATE PIERPONT Grade 9, Chelsea Public School When waves crash on the side of a Slowly rocking boat, isn’t that something? When your mother looks into your Eyes, and you know you couldn’t Ask for a better person…Isn’t that something? I smile at you. You just roll your Eyes at me, but I really know You can’t help but laugh when you Turn away. Aren’t we something? When the sun spikes off the slick Surface of the snow, and the horses’ Hooves pound and crack each layer, Leaving their large paths behind, Their manes whipping in the wind, Their necks twisting in the rays Of sun. Ain’t that something? When you look into a mirror and you see What you are meant to be, and then Somebody joins you, but you can’t See what they were meant to be…. Isn’t that something? Life is like a brass lock, and we are the key. Unlocking all the secrets, like One big puzzle, that no one but us understands. Aren’t we something? A proud, confident smile. Chin held high. Just the beginning of a Woman. Intelligence lies in those eyes. Aren’t I something? Pretty blue eyes. An understanding Glance. A life well-lived, But more to live. A woman already made, Teaching the others how to Follow her footsteps in the sand. A love held onto forever. Aren’t you something? Aren’t I something? Ain’t we something? Yes. We are.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

VERMONT COUNTRY STORE

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

The flood

BY CHERYL PARKS Grade 7, Crossett Brook Middle School

The flood. I was devastated. Everything was gone forever. Everything had a thick dust that was unmovable. My porch was in my neighbor’s front lawn. My bike was under the shed. If it wasn’t for my family, I would be a wreck. They took my mind off the flood by playing board games, soccer and going to the movies. They gave me a shoulder to cry on. They helped me buy things for my room. The flood.

YWP’S DECEMBER SLAM
YWP, 12 North Street, Burlington Friday, Dec. 21, 7-8:30 p.m. See you there!

© Jenna Rice/The Sharon Academy

NEXT PROMPT
Kindness. You have performed an act of kindness. What is it? How does it make you feel? What happens? Alternates: Unsafe. Describe a place or circumstance where you felt unsafe; or General writing. Due Dec. 21.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT
YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Congratulations to Jenna Rice, a sophomore at The Sharon Academy, whose photo was chosen as Photo of the Week. Jenna says, “I took this photo when I went on an exchange trip to Saint-Gaudens, France. I stayed with a family, and one day I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the lighting in the window was. The sun was shining directly behind it so anything I put in the window to photograph became a silhouette. I had quite a bit of fun playing around with this. I eventually decided that I wanted to be in one of the photos, so I put the camera on a tripod and used a self-timer. So the girl in the photo is me.”

Simple touches
BY CARLY MARTIN Grade 12, Montpelier High School

THIS WEEK: Photo 4
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 20 other newspapers. This week, we publish responses to the prompt, Photo 4 (right) by Jack Delano in Dummerston, VT in 1941. Read more great writing at youngwritersproject.org.

“Can I see your hands?” “My hands?” My voice crumbles in my throat. How could I say no? I reach out hesitantly, placing my hands palms up. His delicate fingers wrap around them tightly at first, as though he doesn’t want to let go. I can see in his eyes the wonder. I want to ask a thousand questions, but my mouth and my brain have decided to protest one another. He lets go so that he can rub his palm over mine. He traces the small callous at the base of my fingers. I don’t know how long we stand there with him drawing circles around my palm. “Have you ever been to war?” his hands don’t stop moving over mine as the words pass through the silence between us. I sense the simple curiosity has some deeper meaning, but my words escape me. “No,” I reply, concentrating on keeping my hands from shaking under his keen eyes. “Do you think he’ll come back?” The words are muttered and I think I must have misheard him. As much as I could pretend the words escaped along the gust of southern wind, there was no mistaking the look in his eyes. “Yes, he’ll come back.” We both step back as though we both know it’s a lie. The space between us doesn’t seem to be enough so I stumble back another step, pushing my hands deep into my pockets. “Do you want the picture, sir?” he asks politely, hooking his thumbs through his belt loops. “Yes, just stand there like I told you.” I step back to my tripod and line up the shot. “That’s good,” I tell him and he stands there staring accusingly at me. He knows I lied, I think as I snap the shot. “Here,” I say desperately, pulling a dollar from my wallet. He takes the paper and rubs it between his two hands. As I pack up my things he stands there, unmoving with the dollar clasped between his two hands almost as though he’s about to pray. For the first time in a long time, I realize how worthless money is. It wouldn’t bring home the boy’s father, it couldn’t end a war, and it wouldn’t heal him when the war broke him. I look down at the hands he had touched. They were old wrinkled things to me, but to that little boy, they had the power to heal. I reach out to him, palms up, and he lets the dollar fall. We stand there, him memorizing each wrinkle on my tired hands until I no longer have a concept of time. “He had hands like these, hands that could build things. Hands to heal the world.”

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Photo Prompt 4 © Jack Delano, Dummerston, VT, 1941 (Library of Congress)

Farm boy’s lament
BY GRACE WOODRUFF Grade 7, Crossett Brook Middle School When I wake up, my stomach tingles with hunger. My back is sore from sleeping on a pallet, and my eyes start to droop with exhaustion. Despite my problems, I arise from my straw bed, grab my shovel, and head out to the farm. For hours in the hot sun I Dig and plant, Dig and plant, until the cruel sun hides behind the mountains. My body shakes with cold, I don’t know if I can take it any longer, This life is getting old.

Special thanks this week to CHAMPLAIN INVESTMENT PARTNERS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

A day on the farm
BY LIAM HILFERTY Grade 7, Crossett Brook Middle School I have just finished milking the cow and am bringing the milk to the house. I give the milk to Ma and she starts to churn it into butter. I start to head towards the wood shed. It is early November so I need to get wood. The cold grips me with its icy hand. I am running low on wood so I must gather and split some more soon. Pa is out hunting and will be back in an hour. Hopefully he can bring back a buck. If he doesn’t we won’t have anything for supper. Dwelling on this thought, I start to trudge back through the snow with the wood, towards the house.

© Eve Pomazi/Brattleboro Area Middle School

NEXT PROMPTS
Kindness. You have performed an act of kindness. What is it? How does it make you feel? What happens? Alternates: Unsafe. Describe a place or circumstance where you felt unsafe; or General writing. Due Dec. 21.

Puns. Have fun with a play on words (i.e. cereal number, sell phone, etc.). Try to fit in as many puns as you can. Alternates: Essential. What’s one thing you absolutely could not live without? Why? or I believe...Start a piece with these words, I believe. Due Jan. 11.

Mason was a skier
BY ELAN MAYO Grade 8, Main Street Middle School Mason was a skier. Yeah, sure, there was basketball. Soccer, he was good, really good. But skiing. Something about the wind, the dryness of the air, the closeness of the sky above. More intimate. Yes, intimate that was the word he struggled to find. Granddad had taught him. Mason wasn’t afraid really, he’d just look up at the old man’s face and the warmth of that solid, weathered look would let him freely slide down the mountain. After the accident Mason stopped. Dad tried to take him, but he’d never loved it. Only until freshman year did he start again. Ski team. Now they wouldn’t let him back on. Said he was unstable. Pain shouldn’t have let him. Permitted to go out once in awhile, Mason guessed it was the holiday spirit Probably thought he longed for the mistletoe, the ginger snap cookies, the aroma of the freshly cut trees. The snow in the city was dirty, dark with grime. Slush and ice moved beneath. Mason breathed the fumes, coughed, sat down. The air was not like up on the mountain, cold and stiff. New York was flowing and sickly warm, the sweet smell of warm pretzels, Starbucks lattes, overflowing trash cans. The park was still, except there was a bird, red. Once he would’ve known the name. Guess the cancer makes you forget it all. He wandered a little, hard to move with the tank and tubes trailing after. The sky was sharp grey. Snow fell gently. All was still, except a red bird landing on a still old man. His eyes gazed north, towards the mountains, towards the winter tale he once lived.

THIS WEEK: Winter Tales
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 20 other newspapers. This week, we publish work in response to the prompt, Winter Tales: Tell a narrative about winter in poetry or prose. To read more, go to youngwritersproject.org.

VERMONT STAGE COMPANY
PRESENTS

WINTER TALES
Dec. 5-9 FlynnSpace, Burlington
Don’t miss this special holiday tradition, which includes a selection of writing from YWP’s Winter Tales prompt!

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, business and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Evergreens
BY EMMA COSGROVE Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School I see the snow falling as gentle and white as soft pillows with down feathers. I hear no chirping birds in daytime or crickets at night. I smell the warm and hearty foods of the cold weather season and the scent of evergreens. The days are cold and the nights even colder, but the warm drinks, like hot chocolate and tea, and the foods, like Christmas cookies and stews, accompany that cold, cold weather. The days are no longer long as they were a few months ago. The sky begins to turn a dark, grey tint to remind us that there will be another long cold winter night awaiting.

Special thanks this week to

Birdseye Foundation

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Season’s change
BY ALIZA SILVERSTEIN Grade 11, Homeschool, Hyde Park She walked upon her daily tread through leaves so crumpled, color fled, that, as is oft’ the case, I find, it seemed another went behind. She walked along with double shades: the crunching and the sunless maids, and listened to the earth as sleep preceded where the snow would creep. Her crunching shadow paused its step (to watch the mountain range reflect the sky, as turquoise as the sea), and, mirrored stillness, so did she.

Winter’s nature
BY MATTHEW SKELLY Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School A cold blizzard breeze, a soft blanket of snow, a hard sheet of ice, an ended river flow. The wolf cries mourningly, the hare hops unknowingly. The bobcat is about to pounce; the rabbit shall be trounced. A pine bough weighed with snow, glistens in the sunlight. A peeling, bare white birch, is dead by skin but alive at heart. The skies grow grey with clouds; the crescent moon pierces them. The night, black as a raven, is streaked with blue-green aurora.

Winter’s song
BY REBECCA VANDEN BERGH Grade 7, Main Street Middle School Walking through the deep snow is like wading through molasses. It takes so much effort, and by the time you are tired, you are too far to turn back. But then, you get to the spot where all you can see is the glistening snow crystals shining like exploding stars in the night sky. Winter has taken over the Earth and the sky fades to dark much earlier than you want. You bundle up for the long winter ahead that won’t let up until the first bird sings its song to the sun.

© Erin Bundock, Grade 9, Champlain Valley Union High School

NEXT PROMPT
Reflection. What is something you wish you’d been told when you were five years old? Al© Jet Lowe (Library of Congress) ternate: Photo 6. Write about this photo of the single chair at Mad River Glen. Due Dec. 14

The leaves have lost their lustre now, the summer birds have ceased their row, the time for change of hands has come: the fall towards rest, the winter from. She saw another woman go, along a path of newling snow, so crunching-dry that oft’ I find, it seems another walks behind. They pause a moment when they meet and dip their heads but once to greet, then Fall moves on, and Winter stays, as stilling ice begins to glaze.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

This prison
BY REBECCA VANDEN BERGH GRADE 7, Main Street Middle School I stand at the window, watching the red tail lights disappear. I never expected this to happen, that I would end up here in this prison. My jailer pulls on my arm, excited that I am here. I don’t know why. Going to jail is hardly something to be excited about. Glancing around my cell after my guard finally pulls me in, I think maybe this won’t be so bad. After all, I am just going to be here for the weekend. Plus, my mom is right: I do need to get to know my Grandma.

THIS WEEK: Alone & Listen
Each week Young Writers Project receives hun dreds of submissions from students written in response to prompts or as general work. A team of students helps select work for publication in this and 20 other newspapers. This week, we publish writing in response to the prompts,Alone: I stood at the window, watching the red tail lights disap pear... Finish the story;and Listen: Pick a moment and listen. More at youngwritersproject.org.

Broken glass
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School I stood at the window, watching the red tail lights disappear. The silence in the empty house rose to a crescendo and I found myself irrevocably alone. Fragments of the night swirled dizzyingly around my head. There was no taking back what had been said. The fragile bridge of glass that had held us to each other was broken, smashed into a thousand painful shards, and with my own hand. Gravity from the darkness started to pull at me from either side. Pulled me down and made me face what I’d done. Sitting on the ground among the shards of our past, I found it hard not to weep. Not for you, nor me. But for another sacrificed future, another fragile happiness, finally giving way under the apathetic weight of reality.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, business and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Something calling your imagination
BY MOLLY POTTER Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School Listen, you may hear what you never have before, someone from up above saying hello, or something calling your imagination, someone needing your immediate help, or something wanting your attention. You may hear something you will never forget, something you can use for the rest of your life, or something you could tell someone to get through the day. Listen, hold still. Do you hear that?

Special thanks this week to

VERMONT COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Dreaming of space
BY ALEX SMART Grade 4, Union Elementary School I stood at the window, watching the red tail lights disappear. Then I was suddenly lying on the shed. “What’s going on?” I thought as cold air filled my body, making my blood turn to ice. Then I saw something that I’ve always dreamed of: Space, planets, stars and black holes whizzed past my window. I was falling! Falling through the Earth, through the solar system, until I was breathing again. Then I got the feeling you get when you can’t find your mom in a supermarket: Lost! Something opened the door and everything went black. And I was back in my shed.

NEXT PROMPT
Object. An inanimate object comes alive and tells you how it really feels. Alternate: Excuse. Create the wildest excuse you can think of for why you didn’t do something, why you were so late, why you can’t go. It must stretch the imagination yet still remain credible. Due Dec. 7
© Jamie Ferguson/Milton High School

Congratulations to Jamie Ferguson, a junior at Milton High School, whose photo of a salamander was chosen as YWP’s Photo of the Week. Photographers and artists, send YWP your photos and scanned artwork for publication. Find out more at youngwritersproject.org.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

YOUNG WRITERS PROJECT IS ON VPR.NET EACH WEEK!

My smile hides
BY SARAH RUSSO Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School I push open the window and sit on the ledge. The cold wind is whipping my face and my legs. I love the night because with what I can see, not a single being is awake, besides me. I lean out the window and at the coldness I gasp. I think to myself, “I wish night would last.” Away my thoughts wisp, at the moonlight’s soft kiss and the hushed sounds of night fill me with delight. The sun is asleep, like I maybe should be. But I don’t even blink, I don’t even think. When finally, I open my eyes I see the night owls fly to my smile that’s hidden, high in the sky.

THIS WEEK: Photo 3 & General
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 20 other newspapers. This week, we publish work in response to the prompts, Photo 3; and General writing in any genre. To read more, go to youngwritersproject.org.

Lost in thought
BY KATE PIERPONT Grade 9, Chelsea Public School Sometimes I lie awake At night, and wonder what it Would be like to fall in love. To trip right into that one Person that you fantasize About when you’re all alone. What would it be like to have Their arms around you? To hold onto their hand when the Waves in the ocean try to pull You down, seeing their Hair blow in the salty wind And see the truth in their Eyes. But what if they lied? What if they left? What if you fell in love but Nobody caught you? You would stumble in a Life of loneliness. Don’t think like that. Live life to the fullest. Be yourself, because life is too Short to be anyone else. Wake up, your time is running out. Go find the person who will Catch you. The person who will miss you When you’re only a room away. The one who is your secret-keeper. Look into their eyes and know that You are theirs. Find them. Lose them. Make a mistake. Find them again. Fall in love. Don’t get lost in thought about What you don’t have. Run and find it. And when you find what you are looking for, Don’t let go.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, business and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

MAIN STREET LANDING

PHOTO PROMPT 3

October song
BY ALIZA SILVERSTEIN Grade 11, Homeschool, Hyde Park Winter teases with frosty nights, gardens shrink in October blights. This month of them all is cruel to take the leaves and warm air, too. And yet when sunlight pinks a cloud, or morning mist calm lakes enshroud, this month of all is sweet, it seems, a time for peace – a time for dreams. And if you feel the wind’s cold bite, then face the sun, still warm and bright. And if at dusk the color fades, then watch the sky, alive with shades. This month of them all is dear; this month, most, is calm and clear, as empty trees bring forth to light the scenes two seasons hid from sight, and find, each morning, that the grass has, fairy-touched, turned into glass. For all these things and more I stay to watch the geese go on their way, as sunlight limns each thing in golds, cast as if from precious molds.
© Karlo Fresl/Essex High School, 2011

Favorite season
BY ELI RIVERS Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School When winter comes, The ribbon candy comes out; the cold crisp air bites at my face. It will be great, no doubt. The outdoors is my base. I give my friends a shout to go and sled race. I go out in the snow and mess about. I will make a fort in my special place. There is plenty to do, so no need to pout. If you are bored, that’s a disgrace. When winter comes, I am happy.

In a place
BY MADELINE STRASSER Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School In a huge desert, a small pond. In a place without food, a mysterious garden. In a place full of darkness, a small light. In a place full of crime, a good deed is done. In a place full of hate, one small bit of love. It only takes one tiny piece of the puzzle to change everything.

NEXT PROMPTS
If only... Write about a situation in which you wish you had done things differently. Alternates: Dialogue day. Tell a story using only dialogue; or General writing in any genre. Due Nov. 30 Object. An inanimate object comes alive and tells you how it really feels. Alternate: Excuse. Create the wildest excuse you can think of for why you didn’t do something, why you were so late, why you can’t go. It must stretch the imagination yet still remain credible. Due Dec. 7

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

A far away reflection

THIS WEEK: Flying
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 20 other newspapers. This week, we publish work in response to the prompt, Flying: You are flying blissfully and effortlessly over the countryside. What do you see and feel? Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

A Vermont view
BY AMBER STROCK Grade 11, Oxbow High School My body was elevated far beyond the ground. Though I would normally have felt terrified, I felt a sense of serenity. Gliding through the air was a feeling beyond any I had ever known. My body felt weightless. To make everything so much more blissful, the Vermont view was breathtaking. When I began my journey, my body swept over Lake Champlain. The sun shone directly behind me, and I watched as my shadow danced across the surface of the dark blue, clear lake water, following my every move. A second later, I was soaring above Burlington, passing Church Street and the crowded streets full of tourists, locals and college students. Within minutes, I was above Montpelier. I gaped in amazement as the capitol dome sparkled in the sunlight, throwing rays of light in every direction. After passing over the beautiful cities of Vermont, I wanted to see what I loved most. When I arrived, I found myself in awe. On a beautiful sunny day, Vermont’s landscape was beautiful. The leaves were that perfect peak color. From above, I was able to catch that ephemeral moment when the colors were at their absolute best, just before they begin to fade and fall into the dreary dullness of winter. From above, I was able to fully appreciate the beauty that had always been right in front of me. I fell into splashes of orange and red, letting myself drift into absolute bliss. At that moment, I realized I was in perfection high above the most beautiful place.

BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School

The greater the distance, the stronger the pull. Or so the idiom goes. From far away things look simple, uncomplicated by the tangle of everyday life, Untainted with its gentle sorrows. If we could live just above the treetops, or just above the clouds, how simple our lives could be, Depending on only the whimsy of the wind. From our perch somewhere between the end of the world and the start of the universe, we would see all the beauty that life has blurred: The earthly set of stars that await, only needing a candle and night to spark, Small twinkling lights of various colors and strengths, reflecting the night sky above them, A city coming alive with an infinite amount of possibilities, an infinite amount of untold stories, Silent and deafening at the same instant. There’s something beautiful about life at a safe distance, Far enough away to slowly untangle the broken hearts and cracking dreams. And finally enough time to find where they belong, Piece by piece until all that remains is a twinkling veil of midnight blue and all the possibilities the night sky can hold.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to
VERMONT BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

New world up above
BY MOLLY POTTER Grade 8, Crossett Brook Middle School Alone, wild, free, Flying high above everyone in this world, I can feel the cold air brushing my neck and hear nothing but myself taking deep breaths. Up here I am free from the people I love, from the people I don’t get along with, and from the life I live; I am just myself. I am as wild as a bird flying South for the winter, or an owl flying from tree to tree in the dark of the night, or an eagle with its large wing span looking for prey. I am alone, nobody talking to me, nobody annoying me or giving me words of encouragement. Up here I am alone, wild, free.

NEXT PROMPT
Ideal being. What do you think makes someone the “ideal” person? What is the most important characteristic that a person must have? Al- © Anna Mechler/Essex High School ternates: Change. Write to the president of a company, real or fictional, about a product that you think must be changed; or Photo 5. Write about the photo above. Due Nov. 23

© Danielle Kracum, Rutland High School

Congratulations to Danielle Kracum, a senior at Rutland High School, whose photo was chosen as YWP’s Photo of the Week. Photographers and artists, send YWP your photos and scanned artwork for publication. Find out more at youngwritersproject.org!

In the graveyard
BY MAE BROWNING Grade 4, Union Elementary School I was running home. I needed to get ready for my adventure. I grabbed a phone and grabbed a bat. “This is going to be a long day,” I said, while running out the door. One minute later, I was in the graveyard, heart beating as fast as a lightning bolt. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Somebody was coming. I dove behind a grave stone. After about five minutes, I peeked over the grave. She had a gun in her hand and was turning towards me, so I ducked even lower. A couple seconds later, I peeked again. “This can’t be true. I must be dreaming,” I said to myself. I rubbed my eyes but she was still there when I opened my eyes. I knew I had to do something, so I grabbed the bat and charged...

THIS WEEK: Haunted & General
ach week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts. The best writing is selected for publication here and in 20 other newspapers and on VPR.net. This week, we publish work in response to the prompts, Haunted. You enter an abandoned house and things turn scary; and General writing. Read more great student writing at youngwritersproject.org.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

E

La Maison Rose

© Kevin Huang/Burlington High School

Congratulations to Kevin Huang of Burlington High School, whose photo was chosen as YWP’s Photo of the Week. Photographers and artists, send YWP your photos and scanned artwork for publication. Go to youngwritersproject. org and upload your work as a blog.

NEXT PROMPT
Light/Darkness. Use the idea of extreme contrast in any way you’d like, such as day vs. night, good vs. evil. Create a story or poem that centers on extreme contrast. Alternate: Superpower. You are granted superpowers: What superpower would you pick and why? Imagine an anecdote of you using that superpower. Due Nov. 16

Haunted fields
BY JACOB HATCH Grade 10, Chelsea Public School They say these fields are haunted, That many battles have been fought here. The blood of innocent citizens Has been shed here, Fought for slavery, Fought for freedom, And all that’s left Is the howling of the night, The disasters caused, The inventions made. People say The Civil War was the deadliest, Most disastrous, Pain-inflicting war, The loss of over 620,000 innocent people. People say If you listen closely, You will hear The dead soldiers Whispering your name, Screaming in agony, Begging for help. People say At night, You can hear the sounds of The horses scrambling, The wild gunfire, The destruction being caused. No wonder they say these fields are haunted.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
© Sarah Wells, U-32 High School

BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School With pale walls of dusty rose, growing dustier by the day, the little building, on top of the little hill, refuses to lose the battle. Its emerald shutters still reign valiantly over the street, A street whose wear is written upon its face. A memento of the modern age sits only too near, Speckled in the rebellion of its time. But it’s not the loud youth that captures the attention of those passing by. From small children, grasping their red balloons against the wind, to old men,

baguette under arm, these watchers of history see the ever lasting. La Maison Rose, as it was back when it was the loud youth. Dazzling the ‘20s with vibrant color, much more vibrant than that from the dusty times before it. La Maison Rose, accompanying the velvet croon of saxophones and accordions. Bathing itself in rich tobacco smoke. La Maison Rose, letting its paint fade with dignity. La Maison Rose... refusing to be forgotten.

YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject. org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to
PHYSICIAN’S COMPUTER COMPANY

Relative silence
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School

THIS WEEK: Observer & Photo prompt 2
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts. The best writing is selected for publication here and in 20 other newspapers and on VPR.net. This week, we publish responses to the prompts, Photo 2; and Observer: You witness something frightening or wrong. What is your response? Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

WRITERS
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE
PUBLISHED IN THIS NEWSPAPER?

All I could hear was the quickening beat of my heart, and the shouting. The little girl was staring up at her mother with watery eyes and cheeks flecked red with anxiety. Her mother, who looked as if she’d already been quenching her thirst that morning, was throwing insults and curses into the little girl’s face and shaking her fists in the air. The little girl could only sniffle in reply. Every inch of my body was screaming to stand; screaming to help. Despite my rising anger, I found that I couldn’t even look in their direction. Littered throughout the room I saw other observers acting just the same. They were staring into space but listening intently. The expressions on their faces ranged from mild annoyance to true empathetic pain. Another shout broke the relative silence and I closed my eyes. Biting my lip, I tried to muster up the courage to interfere. I waited for the anger to spread and ignite some sort of action, but I only felt myself shrinking further away. A sharp inhale of breath foreshadowed a sob, as the little girl lost her fragile composure and started to cry. An icy chill dripped down my back and I flinched at the noise. “Now,” I thought, “I’ll do it now.” I counted to five. And then I counted to five again. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the mother looking at the crowd. It seemed to be slowly dawning on her why everyone else was so quiet. “We’re leaving,” she said, grabbing her blubbering daughter roughly by the arm and heading toward the exit. The little girl looked behind her with searching, hurt eyes. Shame set in and I once again found that I couldn’t meet her gaze.

Do you need a spark to get started? We have dozens of prompts at youngwritersproject.org. Check them out and send YWP your writing as a Newspaper Submission!

PHOTO PROMPT 2

NEXT PROMPTS
Winter Tales. Tell a narrative about winter in short, descriptive poetry or prose. The best will be selected for presentation by the Vermont Stage Company at its annual Winter Tales production at FlynnSpace in Burlington (Dec. 5-9, 2012). Alternate: Favorite place. What is the special place where you really like to be, where you feel most alive? Imagine yourself there and tell a story about it. Due Nov. 2 Family. Write about a moment or experience with a family member that changed you. Alternate: Photo 4. This boy has something to say. What is it? Due Nov. 9

© Becca LeBlanc/Essex High School, 2011

Escape
BY LAUREN JANE HALAQUIST Grade 9, Chelsea Public School I drive in my 1977 Ford. I chug along the open road. The land is so flat here, so vast. I’ve been driving, 17 hours so far, only stopping to quench the thirst of this ancient and dilapidated vehicle. As I move on down the road, I have flashbacks. The fighting and how it never stopped. The feelings and how they seem to leave the dark corners, and depths of my soul. And the constant feeling of being trapped. As the memories bubble up, my eyes water. Small tears escape from my eyes. They remind me of pearls. A beautiful thing created from just the opposite. I wouldn’t say I like crying, but it helps me. It reminds me that I’m still here. Once the storm inside my head settles, I again focus on the landscape. Open sky, a dark periwinkle in color. The soft tan shade of the grasslands, it’s so warm, so inviting.

THANKS FROM YWP

YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject. org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401. Special thanks this week to

FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS

The road, in front, behind and underneath me. A pathway in the turmoil that is my life. Soon, I approach a sign, the first one in at least two hours. It’s a speed limit sign, and it reads 75. I ponder for a moment, then apply more pressure to the gas. I gain speed. Soon I am whizzing by the grass, the mountains, and the world at 95 miles per hour. I feel unstoppable. But soon, I begin to slow down. And all is as it was, a steady 50. The periwinkle sky dims to black. The stars wake up, and start to sparkle. I pull over into a field. I hop out to stretch my stiff muscles. I move to the back of my truck and open the tailgate. I grab my sleeping bag, and unroll it in the bed of the truck, and snuggle in. As I lay down, I stare up and gaze into the stars. There were never stars like this at home. I think it’s the hills and mountains. They don’t allow anything in, and allow no emotions or issues to escape. But here, wherever I am at this moment in time, is the opposite. The infinite prairie allows me to breathe, and to be free.

© Jack Delano, Dummerston, VT, 1941 (Library of Congress)

ABOUT THE PROJECT

YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net.

The road to Islamabad
BY NINA MERRIAM Grade 12, Montpelier High School Build me a road to Islamabad so I may simply just breathe the air, cool and sweet, the desert wind kicking up dust in the distance, choking like a soul lost to grief. But the road meanders over seas and under mountains through forgotten lands to the people who remember more than just a passing summer. Build me a road only we can see, you with your sunglasses and I with a camera and a distracted smile, naively strolling into the next day, ignoring boundaries, memory never failing to reveal the reality. But if you build my road to The City of Islam, will you too be swept away by the coarse desert wind?

THIS WEEK: Elevator, Habits & General writing
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of readers, we select the best for publi cation here and in 20 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompts,Elevator: You’re stuck in an elevator with a stranger. What happens?Habits. What’s the worst habit you’re willing to admit to?and General writing. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

On the elevator with Timmy
BY KAYLEE MARTIN Grade 8, Central Vermont Catholic School I swear, I’d been in there for six hours. Timmy kept saying it had only been five minutes, but I didn’t believe him. I was supposed to be at my dance recital, but instead, I was stuck in this elevator with a stranger named Timmy. I didn’t want to talk to him, but he never stopped talking. “What’s your name?” he asked me in an annoying voice. “Vicki,” I mumbled. “Where do you live?” “Why do you need to know?” “No reason. Hey, do you like flowers?” “Um...yes.” “Then let the flowers in your soul grow with my organic juice.” He took out his juice box and started laughing. He was getting on my last nerve. “Hey, do you....” He started talking, but I cut him off. “Listen...um...who are you?” I asked. “Timmy.” “Listen, Timmy. You are driving me insane. Just stop talking to me or making annoying noises.” He started making annoying noises and wasn’t listening. I yelled, “Just stop! You are the most annoying person I’ve ever met.!” He was silent. He looked away sadly, just looking at the wall. I had to say I was sorry. “Listen,” I spoke softly, “I’m sorry.” Just then, the elevator doors opened and we both shuffled out, happy to be getting away from each other.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent non profit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and The Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at 802-324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the gen erosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation toYWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to JANE B. COOK CHARITABLE TRUSTS

Annoying habit

CELEBRATION OF WRITING IN MONTPELIER OCT. 27
Every year, Young Writers Project publishes an anthology of the year’s best student writing and photos. On Oct. 27, we will toast the publication of Anthology 4 with a day of celebration and writing workshops in partnership with the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.

BY KYLE COBURN Grade 11, Chelsea Public School

There is one annoying thing That is a habit of mine Whenever I write a poem There must always be some rhyme

This habit isn’t exactly bad But more of an inconvenience For to write a verse without a rhyme Gives me quite a grievance

It matters not the strictness of rhyme As long as it exists Irritating as sometimes this habit can be I know it will always persist

PHOTO OF THE WEEK
© Levi Beavin/Main Street Middle School

NEXT PROMPTS
Winter Tales. Tell a narrative about winter in short, descriptive poetry or prose. The best will be selected for presentation by the Vermont Stage Company at its annual Winter Tales production at FlynnSpace in Burlington (Dec. 5-9, 2012). Alternate: Favorite place. What is the special place where you really like to be, where you feel most alive? Imagine yourself there and tell a story about it. Due Nov. 2

So instead of trying to break this habit I actually gave it a home I now embrace this habit quite strongly Giving my poetry a style its own

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Congratulations to Levi Beavin, an eighth grade student at Main Street Middle School in Montpelier, whose photo was chosen as YWP’s Photo of the Week. Photographers and artists, send YWP your photos and scanned artwork for publication. Go to youngwritersproject.org, create a blog, upload your work, choose “Photo Submission” as the genre, click “Yes” for the Newspaper Series, and include a high resolution version of your work as a file attachment.

Special guests this year include entertainer Rusty DeWees, author Katherine Paterson and the student writers and photographers who are featured in the anthology! To register for workshops and to find out more, go to youngwritersproject.org.

That goodbye

BY KAY BUSHMAN Grade 11, U-32 High School

THIS WEEK: Remember & General writing
ach week, Young Writers Project receives several hun dred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire. With the help of a team of students, we select the best for publication here and in 20 other newspapers. This week we publish work in response to the prompts, Remember: Write about your earliest memory; and General writing.

Darkness without light
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School

It was the hazy almost-drunkenness The rush of blood to the head The city noise below us The way the fluorescent light hit trunklike legs with peculiar simplicity It was the lie of it all The new, disorienting perspective The alcohol-induced bravery The humor in all that pain.

E

PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Photographers and artists, send YWP your photos and scanned artwork for publication. Go to youngwritersproject.org, create a blog, upload your work, choose “Photo Submission” as the genre, click “Yes” for the Newspaper Series, and include a high resolution version of your work as a file attachment.

It was the outreached hand The unexpected martyr-like sadness The reflection in those familiar eyes The inability to interpret any emotion.

It was that room – Those close quarters, that cot bed The thin walls – whispered words An incapacitated brain couldn’t interpret.

One has to wonder what would become of Darkness if there were no Light? If Evil finally won, what victory would it really be? Not a single ‘hero’ to rise out of the ashes, not a street lamp, candle, nor skyward glow to pierce the everpresent night. In a world where no one knows Light... would those people even know Darkness Or would both cease to exist without the other? Because even the strongest of shining lights casts a shadow.

Maybe it was the late hour – The drinkers in the street The feeling of giving up without a fight The oppression of a summer breeze.

YWP NEWS
FRIDAY NIGHT SLAM
Join your fellow poets on Friday, Oct. 19, 7-8:30 p.m., and slam your best work at Young Writers Project headquarters, 12 North St., Burlington. Arrive by 6:45 p.m. if you want to slam. Free and open to all ages.

© Lydia Smith/Grade 9, Homeschool, Charlotte

It was the waiting The patience of it all The expectancy, the anticipation The crushed feeling, the sinking feeling.

Trip to Vietnam
BY CARMELLITTA LE Grade 6, Barre City Middle School When I was 3 years old, I went to a wonderful place called Vietnam. From the airplane, I looked out and saw the beautiful scenery. There were so many beaches that it looked like the sand could make an entire desert. The trees were as high as the sky and there were birds of all colors. Then we landed, plop. I hid behind my dad and started to cry because there were so many strangers, but luckily my dad’s sister worked at the airport, so after she came, I got a little better. We talked for a bit and then she took my brother and me to a cafe. When we got there, I could smell the wonderful food in the air and my stomach was rumbling. I couldn’t wait anymore so my dad ordered a Vietnamese dish for me called Pho. After my dad’s sister finished work, there was two motorcycles. My dad rode on one and she and my brother and I rode on one. I got to ride in the front. It was really fun. When we got to the house, my mouth dropped because it was so big and there were awesome dragons in the front of the house and a giant fountain (giant for a 3-year-old).When we went in, my dad’s mom was already cooking for us. The food was wonderful! Then all of a sudden

It was the way everything solid was suddenly slipping away The desperate grappling to regain ground The helplessness of being replaced.

It was the defeat in the aftermath It was the way Both sides had some sinking impression of a diverging path

It was the silence in it all.

NEXT PROMPTS
Winter Tales. Tell a narrative about winter in short, descriptive poetry or prose. The best will be selected for presentation by the Vermont Stage Company at its annual Winter Tales production at FlynnSpace in Burlington (Dec. 5-9, 2012). Alternate: Favorite place. What is the special place where you really like to be, where you feel most alive? Imagine yourself there and tell a story about it. Due Nov. 2

there were two giant dogs barking at me. I was so scared. After we got the dog thing under control, we went around the house exploring. I found the barn that had a terrible smell and I went to the front where the flowers looked like they were dancing. Then I saw that the trees’ leaves looked like little smiley faces. Everything was so wonderful. Then my dad’s mom was going to the store, so I went with her. I had never seen so many stores in one place in my life. There were stores that sold fruit, some sold vegetables, and most sold silk clothes. She bought me two pairs and I was really happy because they had cute designs on them. The next day we went to her friend’s house and her friend’s dog had just had puppies. She gave me a puppy and I was so happy! The next day, my 21-year-old cousin brought me to the pool and I went into the deep end and there were little shooting things that squirted water up. Afterwards, he bought me ice cream, and at night he took my brother and me to the fair. Then we went to Saigon for a few days. While we were there, I missed my dog a lot. When we got home my dad’s mom looked sad and I asked her why. She told me that my dog died. I was heartbroken and I cried and cried until I couldn’t cry any more. I was so sad that she bought me two baby Chihuahuas. Soon my adventure ended and I went back home.

CELEBRATION OF WRITING
Every year, YWP publishes an anthology of the year’s best student writing and photos. On Oct. 27, we will toast the publication of Anthology 4 with a day of celebration and writing workshops in partnership with the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject.org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

Special thanks this week to AMY E. TARRANT FOUNDATION

Try
BY SARAH WELLS Grade 12, U-32 High School I never realized how alone I’d been until I found you suddenly by my side. I flinch at each touch, doubting its existence. How can this be real? I’ve always been the odd number, the person lingering in the back, the child humming to herself. It’s who I am. Who I was. But now... Every tender word you say, I twist. I turn it into a snide comment, a sarcastic remark. Which is easier than accepting the truth, that those perfectly chosen words might be true. It’s much more difficult to let go of this cliff that I’m gripping with all my might, and let myself fall, no plan, no parachute. Just you. I’ll trust in those eyes, that firm grasp. I’ll believe you won’t let me down. I’ll let that humming little girl sing her song, and the girl in the back of the room dance. As long as you’re by my side, I’ll try.

THIS WEEK: Photo prompt 1 & General writing
ach week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts. The best writing is selected for publication here and in 20 other newspapers and on VPR.net. This week, we publish work in response to the prompts, Photo 1 and General writing. Find out more at youngwritersproject.org.

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YWP CELEBRATION OF YOUNG WRITERS COMES TO MONTPELIER, OCT. 27
Join Young Writers Project and the Vermont College of Fine Arts in a Celebration of Writing! This is a day-long event with speakers, workshops and a presentation of YWP’s annual Anthology of best writing with some of the young writers reading their work. Find out more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences. YWP runs youngwritersproject. org and the Schools Project, a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop their writing and digital literacy skills. To learn more, go to ywpschools.net or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

THANKS FROM YWP
YWP is supported by the generosity of foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. If you would like to contribute, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401. Special thanks this week to
UNITED WAY OF CHITTENDEN COUNTY

MORE YWP EVENTS
BRATTLEBORO LITERARY FESTIVAL
YWP presents Millennials on Stage (the Brattleboro edition) at the festival. Don’t miss the next generation of great writers on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 1:15 p.m. in the HookerDunham Theater, 139 Main Street, Brattleboro.

PHOTO PROMPT 1

Story of a shadowed heart
BY KYLE COBURN Grade 11, Chelsea Public School

YWP POETRY SLAM
Join your fellow poets on Friday, Oct. 19, 7-8:30 p.m. and slam your best work at Young Writers Project headquarters, 12 North St., Burlington! Arrive by 6:45 p.m. to get on the list!

Green
BY DANIEL COPPING Grade 4, Barre Town Middle and Elementary School My favorite color is green. I live in Vermont, The greenest state in the United States. The mountains are so green. They are greener than a tree. There’s lots of other colors Like blue, purple, and red. But my favorite color is green! It’s a very pretty color. It is so awesome. It’s better than cake and ice cream.

The waves were calm The sand was warm From that day on She’d be forever forlorn She met him there She lost her breath How she would fare Would feel like death She wished to be his To stay by his side For as long as she lived Until the day that she died So her dream was born When their eyes first locked Her heart was then sworn And they hadn’t even talked Her hope began to die After several years passed To keep her dream alive She’d go where they met last

© Caitria Sands/Essex High School

NEXT PROMPTS
Alone. Write a piece that begins with the following line: I stood at the window, watching the red tail lights disappear... Alternate: Listen. Pick a moment – in the hall at school, in the general store, anywhere – and listen. Choose the most interesting conversation you hear and base a story on it. Due Oct. 26

She’d visit the beach daily Simply sitting in the sand Dreaming to her content Of holding his hand The visits became vital She stayed day after day Herself, her arms cradled She had lost her way So she sits and waits A shadow over her heart Praying for a day When he’ll play his part

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT
YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

London in fog
By Sarah Wells Grade 12, U-32 High School Heavy mist muffles the sun’s setting rays. All throughout the winding streets and the lush green parks, London sleeps. Fog swirls across the Thames, as it slowly laps upon its banks. Under this darkness, this mysterious and beautiful fog-drenched darkness, a different London comes alive. A London where ghosts of days gone by emerge from the rolling fog to tour their majestic city once more. One can hear a distinctive clopping over bridges, the distant whistle of a bomb... The thrum of a steam boat and the tolling of the clock tower. The clock’s amber glow colors the abundant fog, illuminating the bustles and pocket watches of those ghostly men and women of long, long ago. Thus is the night of the ancient and stoic London Town. Known best by those who lived through it all; the river, the tower, and the fog.

THIS WEEK: General writing
ach week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to prompts. The best writing is selected for publication here and in 20 other newspapers and on VPR.net. This week, we publish work in response to the prompt, General writing. For more, go to youngwritersproject.org.

Tides pushing
By Margaret Slate Grade 11, Peoples Academy Time marches on The inevitable future Only seconds away Tides changing Bringing floods Barricades put up But only in our hearts We don’t want to change But if we don’t bend Then surely we shall break And be overwhelmed by the tides Trying to preserve Our hearts And our homes From invaders And spies Who seek to infiltrate But it’s only us Seeking a scapegoat From the tides we let in It’s up to ourselves To save ourselves From ourselves Change isn’t bad But only if we let the tides flow Push back And we will fall Let them through And we shall be strong With them Together We can shape our future But only if we learn To bend a little

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YWP ANTHOLOGY CELEBRATION MONTPELIER, OCT. 27
Every year, YWP publishes an anthology of the year’s best student writing and photos. On Oct. 27, we will toast the publication of Anthology 4 with a day of celebration and writing workshops in partnership with the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. Included this year are writer Mia Eaton of U-32 High School and photographer Coyote Farrell, below. More details at youngwritersproject.org.

The way he looked at us
BY MIA EATON Grade 11, U-32 High School (2011-12) He was like the feeling you get when you inhale a winter day. Crisp eyes green, veined. Cold. Teenage morning-feet shuffled across linoleum and metal chairs scraped. He looked at us. So deeply. Glowed in the light of the projector. And zippers unzipped. Crisp eyes. Tinted with ivory, and sand. He looked at us. So deeply. His figure rose, into the creamy light from the wheeled seat. Long strides Rows of desks. His slender fingers scrawled in chalk Mr. Smith for the class. He looked at us. So deeply.

NEXT PROMPTS

Haunted. You and your friends are exploring an old, abandoned house when things suddenly turn scary. What happens? Alternates: Candidate. Write a short, catchy political ad for yourself. Whether you’re running for President of the United States or local office, convince voters to vote for you!; or General writing in any genre. Due Oct. 12

ABOUT THE PROJECT
YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiencesthrough the Newspaper Series (andyoungwritersproject.org) and the Schools Project (ywpschools.net).

Flying. You are flying blissfully and effortlessly over the countryside. What do you see and feel? Alternates: Fan. Write a fan letter to someone. It can be a celebrity, a loved one, an 18th century poet – anyone; or Photo 3. What happened here? Or what is about to happen? Due Oct. 19

THANKS FOR SUPPORT
© Coyote Farrell/Richmond Middle School, 2011

Photographers and artists! Send Young Writers Project your work for publication! Go to youngwritersproject.org, create a blog and upload your photos and scanned artwork. Use keywords, Weekly Photo.

YWP is supported by this news paper, foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. To help us help young writers, please go toyoungwritersproject.org/support,or mail a donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to Bay and Paul Foundations

Photo 3 © Karlo Fresl/Essex High School 2011

Unfounded claims
BY NATHAN BUDGOR Grade 12, Northfield High School. 2012

THIS WEEK: General writing
Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts and we select the best for publication here and in 20 other newspapers and on VPR.net. This week, we publish work in response to the prompt, General writing. Read more at youngwritersproject.org, a safe, civil online community of young writers.

YWP NEWS
BRATTLEBORO LITERARY FESTIVAL
Young Writers Project is excited to be part of this three-day literary extravaganza, Oct. 12-14! Writers from K to 12 are encouraged to send us best work to be selected for presentation at the festival on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. Use keyword, BLF. More at youngwritersproject. org.

Isn’t it disturbing how our judgments of someone can prevent us from being a part of a person’s life? Sure, she might have a big nose, or he might be an extremely eccentric or odd person, but does that really mean anything in the grand scheme of things? It is rather shallow to limit yourself based on appearances and rumors. Maybe these traits we so detest and reject make that person unique, and worth our while. Instead of sitting there silently scanning them with our eyes, we could get up and initiate a conversation. Initial contact is the hardest thing to do, in my opinion, and it is all a simple set of interactions that leads down the path of friendship. But to deny a person without giving them at least a few chances, and trying to understand them is the most cruel thing we could ever to do to someone. We miss so much in life by doing so, and our whole future could be changed by it. I know mine was.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

YWP ANTHOLOGY CELEBRATION OCT. 27
Every year, Young Writers Project publishes an anthology of the year’s best student writing and photos. On Saturday, Oct. 27, we will toast the publication of Anthology 4 with a day of celebration and writing workshops in partnership with the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. For more details, go to youngwritersproject.org.

Public speaking
BY FRANKIE GWARA Grade 12, Northfield High School, 2012
© Kevin Huang, Burlington High School

ABOUT THE PROJECT
Calling all artists and photographers! Send us your photos and scanned artwork for publication. Go to youngwritersproject.org, create a blog, upload your work, choose “Images” as the genre, click “Yes” for the Newspaper Series, fill out the information boxes and “Save!” The best work will be published in this and 20 other newspapers in Vermont and New Hampshire!

Public speaking, just saying those words brings a flood of emotions that deserves a sigh. Where do I start? Public speaking, well, I would rather just get it over with. I dislike having to present, but when it comes to reading aloud, I normally don’t get so flustered about it. First, I am self-conscious of my own work, second of all, presenting is much different than just reading aloud. You see, when I present, I fumble over my words and screw up the sentences. It is very obvious that I am flustered and I try to keep a calm attitude, but knowing me, because I am me, I screw up. My heart starts to race, my brain is in frantic overload...I just don’t know what to say or how to act. I get flustered and I fumble my words a lot. When I read publicly, the only things I have to worry about are being loud enough and mispronouncing words... Public speaking for me is like a twoway street. I cannot present, but I can read to an audience as long as it is not something of mine that I am reading. In either case, I do get nervous and my heart starts to pound. Sometimes I get a little ahead of myself, but I try to go on. Public speaking isn’t a walk in the park for me.

NEXT PROMPTS
Elevator. You’re stuck in an elevator with a stranger. Create a short story, shaped primarily with dialogue, about your interaction with this person who is either annoying, funny or terrified. Alternate: Habit. What’s the worst habit you’re willing to admit to? Write about the great lengths you go to, to break this habit. Due Sept. 28 Awesome. Write a mini-story (maximum three paragraphs) without adjectives. Find the perfect noun for everything in the story. Alternates: Observer. You witness something frightening or wrong. Don’t describe the scene; focus on your own response; or Photo 2. Write about this photo. Due Oct. 5 Go to youngwritersproject.org today and start writing for publication in this and 20 other newspapers and VPR.net!
Photo 2 © Becca LeBlanc/Essex High School 2011

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences through the Newspaper Series (and youngwritersproject. org) and the Schools Project (ywpschools.net), a comprehensive online classroom and training program that works with teachers to help students develop writing and digital literacy skills.

THANKS FOR SUPPORT
YWP is supported by this newspaper, foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing. To help us help young writers, please go to youngwritersproject.org/support, or mail a donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to A.D. Henderson Foundation

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