YWP receives many exceptional photos from students around the state. One of the most spirited, prolific and wide-ranging photographers we have come across is Kevin Huang, a freshman at Burlington High School. See his photos... Read more »
Send YWP your best poetry or prose -- BY JUNE 3 -- and be one of 10 writers selected to read their work at the AMAZING 2nd Annual Millennial Writers on Stage performance at Burlington Book Festival, Main Street Landing, Burlington, Saturday, September 21, 2013Read more »
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Vermont Young Playwright's project and festival, a collaboration between the Vermont Stage Company and the Flynn Center for Performing Arts. YWP provided a digital space for the student participants and helped out in several workshops; we also did the live stream and live text commenting at the festival and will have medium and high resolution videos of each presented play soon.
In the meantime, feel free to go here and find the video of the play you are interested in:
FYI, 107 people tuned into the live two-day Festival, accounting for nearly 60 hours of total viewership! Also, the recorded videos have so far been viewed by 230 people.
Here’s a short excerpt from a longer piece titled “What Stranger? That’s Me in the Photo.” A reminiscence inspired by this actual photo.
What Stranger? That's Me in the Photo.
By Jack Dabagian
Grade Eleven, Milton High School
I had no idea what lay ahead of me. Only focusing on the present, taking carpe diem way to literally. Every photo of my childhood, every single time my face shows up in one of the million photos in my family's photo albums, they all show similar themes: sad or happy. Never a middle ground for emotions when I grew up. I either had the time of my life or was losing all sense of control.
But regardless of my emotional state, when I was aware of my picture being taken, I always smiled. I only appeared distressed in photos when I wasn't ready for a photo to be taken. Some photos are when my mom mandated me to sit or stand somewhere, either with my sisters, relatives, or myself in all my own glory. Other photos are taken like a tourist on an African safari, and I'm the animal. Read more »
Chat is back. We know that makes some of you happy. And we are happy when you are happy.
Here's what we found out from a week without chat: You did exactly what we thought you would (that's scary). The number of posts you viewed went up 20 percent, the amount of time you spent on the site went up 18 percent. AND you made more comments on each other's work.
So, we ask, if you like chat but chat keeps you from reading other people's work and providing comments to them, can you chat AND continue to provide other community member's support and encouragement? And if you are 'commenting' to each other about their work on chat, doesn't this prevent all of us from seeing those wonderful insights? Can you post your insightful chats, on their posts?
So we are issuing a CHALLENGE and are calling it: 30 Days of Feedback: Share and Comment. Post your own piece and then comment on someone else's work (find someone you do NOT know by clicking READ above.) And, if so moved, Sprout a Story by clicking the link below the post that inspires you and then create a new piece that will be forever linked to the one you read.
Support the community!
Congratulations to the six winners of the YWP Farm Project writing challenge!
Seventy-seven young writers from across Vermont responded to the challenge to write about farms and food and six winners were selected by our judges. The Vermont Community Foundation, sponsor of the challenge, is awarding each writer $50 with a matching $50 donation to a Vermont farm or food nonprofit of the writer's choice.
David Amouretti, Grade 5, Thomas Fleming School, Essex Junction
Callista Bushee, Grade 8, Home School, East Wallingford
Kelsey Eddy, Grade 9, Mill River High School
Saskia Kiely, Grade 7, Vergennes Union High School
Carley Malloy, Grade 7, Thetford Academy
Eva Rocheleau, Grade 8, Williston Central SchoolRead more »
Leaving the Attic
The small Colorado town faded to dust, an old picture filed away in an attic in a cardboard box. A rented Ford Explorer passed by it without a thought, as many others had done before. The Explorer rattled down the dirt road, slipping through a National Park Service checkpoint. The words of the park ranger who stood there would follow it all the way to the top.
“Welcome to Mesa Verde.”
The car followed the invisible tire tracks of hundreds of others who had traveled this land. It wound around the mesa, following the coils of the steep dirt path. Climbing the road like a spiral staircase, its passengers gazed at the tiny town below. Buildings that you could balance on your fingertip, cars that could easily fit inside a thimble, people you needed a microscope to see. The car continued to twist around the tower like a wind-up toy, alone in the peaceful calm of rural Colorado. Read more »
I never understood running,the sport, I mean. What’s the point? It’s not like other sports. Other sports make sense. Sports with goals and rules and points.But I guess that’s what people love about running. There’s no rules, no limits, no restrictions. I guess people like me are just so used to having some guidelines in their life, they don’t understand why anyone would live any other way. Read more »
Groups of girls, whispering lies.
I hate the way they generalize.
She’s the new girl, shy and weak.
I don’t think she even speaks. Read more »
Do you remember me? It was a long time ago, almost to long to count. I was not your first victim, but not your last either. I was a small kid, with a strong body but a weak mind. You singled me out on lunch; I was sitting alone as I am now and preceded to throw ever insult you could think at me, your stupid friends laughing and cheering as you walked away. I remember them still, like a scar that never fully disappeared. Retard, fag, loser, I remember. I still have the marks on face from being slammed into my locker by a bunch of your stupid friends. I still look you up to see what happened after seventh grade when you left. Where you went, who was your next victim. I think I found you living in Louisiana, in a small town, captain of the football team. I still hope you remember me, because out of everything in my life, you changed me the most, whether for better or for worse. You taught me that the world is not all warm and happy and that there is a underside to every stone. So, for better or for worse, I thank you. Life won't have been the same without you.
There is a man in the forest of leather and bone,
who runs like the wind on feet made of stone.
Over the river-woven meadows he flies,
surrounded by beauty and hidden from lies.
His hair is earth-colored, and his eyes such a green
that the trees declare it’s the deepest they’ve seen.
His mind is as innocent as the eyes of a doe—
an animal at heart, his humanity in tow.
He is sure he is one with his birthplace, his source,
unaware that his destiny will alter mid-course.
There is a land hidden from his world of lush greenery,
a curious place with something odd called ‘machinery.’
This inquisitive man, his feet all entangled
soon leaves his bed to seek rumors finagled
from birds chattering on through green lattices,
speaking of fire and unnatural apparatuses.
Thus he sails from his homeland, a baby, of sorts, Read more »
Lit only by the moon
In a shadow of her own
I watched a broken girl
Read a forgotten poem.
She wrote it long ago
Back when she was young
She reads it with a smile
Her tales of summer fun
That smile turns to tears
She screams into the night
"Lost are all those memories
Lost too is the light..."
I wanted then to tell her
The shadows just don't stay Read more »
the forgotten memory was sparked as she froze close and could hear his breathing
a swarm of monarch butterflies filled her small inside called a stomach
hoping for something
and this hope brought her back
back to her memory of the night.
they were standing in a line just like they were told
girl in front of boy, waiting for instruction.
she was nervous
who knew how he felt?
she had no intentions of
millimeter by millimeter
plowing through think mud
until her back was against his front
their bodies Read more »
Another stranger knows me
From head to toe
Ears to nose
And everything in between.
Another monochromatic room and
Another couch that's comfortable enough
To make you feel like you can let your guard down.
Another retelling of a story
That doesn't even feel like it's mine anymore.
Another insurance call
And another set of uncomfortable questions and answers
That we've both heard a million times before.
And after all the times that
I've exposed myself to these strangers
(While staring deep in to
Ivory walls and sandpaper carpets)
I've learned that
The value of survival
Is measured out in Read more »
Splintering bones and the
Rapture of war.
He raises the souls buried in snow.
A saint's prayer and the
Quiet betrayal of his own mind.
He loses himself in the red.
Eyes like scarecrows,
Heavy is the cross on his arm and
He withers in the wake of mortar-fire.
Curses kept close,
Steadying breath and the
Grave of innocence.
He bears a company of skeletons. Read more »
in the corner, by the heater.
place your ocean
let it fill the room, soak the
ceiling, bleed salt.
swim in your ocean.
no beach, don't worry about
sand in between your tired toes.
over there, by the bureau.
place your river.
let it fragment the room.
create a journey with your hands;
trace the ripples, trace
the tangles, feel the Read more »
I've wanted to write a poem about you for some time.
You, amazing, funny, intelligent
outgoing and accepting
( honorary) brother you are.
The only person to ever tell me
"This is a safe place,
as long as you don't tell me you rape kittens and leave their
bodies in rivers".
The person with whom
I wrote probably the oddest
story that will never be finished.
(It involved a giant monster falling in love with a girl Read more »
It wasn't all that long ago when I was holding a razor in my hands, considering. His fingers plucked it away, and at first I was scared; he wasn't exactly what you would call appealing. Then I got to know him. I realized that I had seen him around in various moment of my life. The one time that stands out the most is the accident. Read more »
I think it would be nice
to live with the stars
in the sky
and soar across on those
and watch the world
time by time.
On these nights on the highway,
with the murmur of the guitar strums
persisting in the air,
the stars seem content
in their own place,
seldom tied up;
exists an eerie silence, Read more »
"No more iPhones in the classroom!" shouted Mrs. Hacker. The simple sentence wreaked havoc among the seventh grade students. Joey threw a desk at Sally and launched his pencil in Jed's direction. Joey was known for being extremely malicious and had visited Principle Sperry several times due to his want to harm others. As if Joey's behavior wasn't unusual enough, the class was staring at Mrs. Hacker dejectedly. Sad, dissapointed looks were positioned on the students' faces.
"How could you not let us use our iPhones?" asked Meredith desperately. "I can't live without my iPhone! My life would be ruined!" She sulked in her chair, arms crossed.
"I'm sorry, Meredith, but ever since the release of the iPhone 5 all of you have been failing! The highest grade that any of you have in this class is a D-. Also, I know that you are on your phones during class; I see all of you on Instagram and Twitter all the time! It's unacceptable!" declared Mrs. Hacker solemnly, a look of seriousness swept unusually across her face. Read more »
If you ask anyone around me
I am that girl,
The goody-two-shoes Read more »
My parents and brother would constantly say
That life was a terrible bore
And as you get older your life starts to fade- Read more »
People tell you not to dwell on the Ifs in life
To move on
That change is good.
People are constantly getting pulled out of what they have, Read more »
The honesty of it pains me,
That I’m smarter than you,
I’m happier, funnier,
And healthier too.
You and your politics,
Your philosophical meaning,
Doesn’t mean a thing,
‘til the freedom bells’ ringing.
Outsmart me in court,
Or in musical theory,
But I still know more,
About love and about fury.
You complain about stress,
Taxes and elections,
The living room is flooded,
With the newspaper sections.
I know how to live,
With love, and sorrow,
How to get gifts on Christmas,
And not return them tomorrow.
You silly little adult,
So sure of your ways,
Working through lunch,
And counting your days.
Maybe this is pointless,
This piece I am writing,
About adults and teenagers,
And how to stop all our fighting.
It really is too bad,
That we don’t see eye-to-eye,
To grand collaborations,
We’re forced to say goodbye.
The honesty of it pains me,
That I’m smarter than you,
But I can’t help but believe,
That sometimes it isn’t true.