Oct 18
joseph.deffner's picture

A Quiet Winter Day

The snow crunches softly beneath my boots as I trudge up the hill. Small delicate snowflakes land on my fuzzy hat. I tilt my head back to catch them in my mouth. Out of the corner of my eye, a male cardinal dashes from tree to tree, his red feathers bright against the white snow. When I get to the top of the hill, I pause to look around at the snow covered trees, and listen to how peaceful it is. Dropping my sled on the wet snow, I climb on and slide down the hill, going down easily on top of the smooth and icy snow. The cool wind blowing in my face, smiling to myself. Winter makes me feel serene and content.

Lights Out

On June 27, after a heart-warming dinner with the Young Writers Project board (thank you Kathy), after hearing (thank you Susan) the startlingly kind words sent to me from many of you and your predecessors on how much this little project and community has meant, does mean, to you, I shut off the office lights for the last time after 12 years as YWP's executive director.

To you and the 110,000 kids we have touched in that time, thank you for opening your souls; thank you for sharing your ideas and observations, your flights of fancy and moments of bewilderment. Thank you for taking such creative risk.

You have enriched my life. You've opened my eyes to what you see and feel and experience and think and believe. And you have enriched the lives of thousands upon thousands of others -- your readers.
Jun 14

character ideas

hey ywp, 
i'm just gonna throw a copy-and-pasted blurb from my google keep here. i hope to write it soon.

Illion - A gifted singer, one who performs the rituals required, unbeknownst to him.
He's blindfolded during the rituals and is only required to sing, to summon Madeora
He's kept without knowledge of what actually happens.
Aligned with Omertà, and doesn't know what Omertà really is.
Speaks softly and hates violence & blood. Physically weak & kept sheltered. 17.

Madeora - the slumbering beast who is awakened only to feed. Should she not be fed, she will wreak destruction upon the earth. A singer is required to awaken her from her sleep to feed - if awoken without a singer, she will be consumed with rage & endeavor to mutilate those that dared awaken her. She will only rest when presented with a suitable sacrifice and lulled to sleep. Eternal.
Jun 14

Pulling Down

[From the Summer of Stories Challenge: Godin: Author Seth Godin says, “Art is a personal act of courage.” What is your own personal act of courage?]

my act of courage?

i don't think myself a courageous person, but i think the most courageous thing i've ever done is convincing myself that i need to get better.
i'm not as good with words as some others here, but please bear with me.

i've always struggled with terrible thoughts. it was hard getting up in the morning sometimes. i couldn't drive myself to do anything.
i always thought myself incapable of love, unable to reach out and form connections. 
that's something i believed would never change.

but one night, one that feels like so long ago, i decided i would change.

i got a weight loss app. i started saying hi to people and starting conversations with people i didn't know.
Jun 14

Deja Vu

preschool smelled like the open ground and grassy knolls. how do i remember? i don't. all i can do is look through my memories and try to recall everything. 
now, when the wind blows in my face and i'm at peace, i close my eyes and i'm four again, happy and smiling.

fifth grade was loud and noisy, and everything smelled like expired pudding cups and salty tears. the lunch monitors were strict; i remember crying several times during lunch. 
i was always a sensitive child, and that's okay, i think. 

eighth grade had the essence of pokemon cards hidden in sleeves to hide from the lunch ladies, hardly cooked chicken nuggets, and hot dogs that still had soap on them. 
it was easier back then.

now, i don't have a lunch period. the cafeteria smells like vape pods and cinnamon sticks, with a touch of axe body spray. the boys could never hold back.
Jun 11

Dear Me

Prompt: "Dear me, Please remember"

Dear me, please remember

You're a mess, a beautiful mess

The world is a stage, your stage

You've loved before, you can love again

You've made mistakes, you can learn from them

You're never alone, never again

You hate yourself, but others love you

Think of them, always, keep them in your heart

You've broken promises, you can keep new ones

You can change to be the person you want to be

"Yet Caesar shall go forth," live by that

You might not win awards, but that's okay

We'll write to you always, all of us.

You can make it through.
Jun 06
hannemie's picture


    When I was young, like 12, I've had mice as pets. They were quite tame and I've had them for 5 years. Well, when the female mouse got old, my parents and I could tell, that she'd die soon. When it happened, my moms best friend was over at our house and she had brought her dog, which I know since he was a puppy.
    However, I was alone in my room and the dog came upstairs. As soon as my mouse started to go crazy, because she knew that she was about to die, I layed down on the floor and started to cry. I couldn't watch her. The dog walked over to me and layed right beside me. He wouldn't leave until I was done crying.
Jun 05
lululemon's picture

Camp Hochelega

It was 2 o'clock exactly and camp registration ended in one hour. I closed the door and heaved the heavy luggage into the back seat. I got into the front seat and checked the time on my phone. It was 2:10 and it took forty-five minutes to get there. I sighed. I hated to be late, especially on my first day. I opened the door and tried to holler to my mom but she would not respond. Right as I closed the door she ran around the curb flip-flops falling off her feet and towel wrapped around her waist. She opened the back door and threw the stuff behind me then go in the front
Jun 04
lmnoyes's picture


Did you know that more now than ever, kids are coming out a transgender and questioning their gender? 3 out of 100 are transgender, this is the perfect time for stores to change their ways!  I think you should stop splitting up your kids clothes by gender. I believe that all stores should have genderless clothes because children don't have a defined shape yet, and “girl” and “boy” aren't the only genders kids identify with.  
The first reason stores should not split up clothing by gender is that children don't have a defined shape yet, young kids don't have the necessary hormones to create anything that would set there bodys apart from the other gender. For example young girls body are not producing estrogen to develop breasts or get wider and rounder hips. If a child were to just walk into a store looking for clothes not a gendered piece, we could start seeing people as people before we see male or female.    
Jun 04

My Family

1. a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household.
2. all the descendants of a common ancestor.

What kind of words do you use to describe your family?
Maybe even a little crazy?
We all have words to describe our families,
As well as the people who are in our family.
While family is most likely referred to by blood or through marriage,
Family members can be counted as those who we love.
My family is caring, loving, happy, and a little crazy.
And I love them all the more for it.
Jun 03

Waldorf School Days

kindergarten had the smells
of food dusted in the air
so pungently that if you stuck your tongue out
you could taste the bread baking.

first grade smelled
like chalk dust and new beginnings
and new crayons
that smeared marks onto crisp sheets of paper

second grade hung with the odors
of twenty opinionated kids
and teachers disapproving glances
at my pencil grip

third grade had an aroma like
the sound your heart makes
with a stringed instrument
and mud puddles
from rainy days at the farm

fourth grade scents
were uncertainty
and change filled the air
like a mist on a summer's morning.

fifth grade had a trace
of a spring flower
Short, sweet
and new 
but slightly bittersweet.

sixth grade's fragrance
was that of a sharp knife
and the discoveries of
new freedoms
and friends.
Jun 03

Apple Blossoms

Apple tree blossoms,
Growing with each spring shower,
Will become sweet fruit.
Jun 03

School and Nostalgic Memories

Have you ever smelled something that stuck to you?
And then, years later, you somehow remember it?
I can remember that my preschool smelled distinctly of pretzels and chocolate milk;
I remember visiting Ottauquechee Elementary School with my mom and my aunt.
I had been eating Snyder pretzels, and brought some in with me.
For some reason, I was really embarrassed about the pretzels,
And tried hiding them in my right hand as I shook the principal's hand
(Which, by the way, my dad met a week ago when he was doing yard work for him).
Needless to say, before I got to the classroom, I ate them quickly.
I remember stepping into the classroom, holding tight to my mother's hand,
And watching my soon-to-be classmates running around and playing.
When I started going there for school, my mother would give me fifty cents every day
To give to my teacher, Ms. Jordan. I would give it to her and ask for chocolate milk.
Jun 03
Hailey.M.Miller.'s picture


Jun 03
The Soccer Bee 48's picture


            I am hungry for knowledge. I alway want to learn. The only downfall is I want knowledge on thing I want to learn about. So if you tell me to learn about some I don’t want to learn about I am going to Half ass it. But when I learn some thing about a thing I like to learn about. Then I will keep digging for more knowledge.
           For example in first through third grade I was obsessed with anacondas which are a kind of snake. I kept learning. I was a computer of knowledge on anacondas. Now I am thirsty for understanding of World War two. From memwoirs to historical fiction I am continuing to read and inform myself on this horrific topic.
             I can’t compare to my hunger for knowledge to anything else.

May 31
sophie.d's picture

Good Thoughts

Hi YWP writers!
I’m Sophie Dauerman (sophie.d on the site). I started the initiative Good Thoughts, which is a project designed to share your inspiring words with the Vermont community. I'm asking for your unique "quotes", which will be lettered onto small squares with art and scattered throughout the community. 
May 23

What Would You Do?

You are at a restaurant and you finished eating and they asked you to pay you gave them your credit card and they told you It was expired and you had nothing else to pay with what would you do? 
May 20

I never meant it to be a school thing

I guess I just thought that I could tell you because you don't know me.
And it's easier to take criticism from people you don't know.
I never meant it to be a school thing,
And that's why I haven't written since March.
I never meant them all to know.
And now I'm hyperventalating because they're reading these.
So I could change my name and make a new account.
But what's done is done.
And you'll never know if I make a new account.
So haha. 

So I'll keep writing here.
May 19


If life were an ocean
you'd be a bouy
Rising above the waves
If life were a beach
You'd be the young turtle
Crawling toward sun from her cave.

If life were a playground
You'd be the young child 
Inviting all to play.
If life were a sunset
You'd be the last light
In the melting sky to stay.

If life were a flower
You'd be the seed
From which beautiful things grow
If life were a forest
You'd be an evergreen
The one thing not hiding from snow.

If life were a pencil
you'd be the eraser
Who takes away the outdated and old
If life were a diamond mine
you would be
The singular piece of gold.

If life were a storm
you'd be the clouds
Who always rumble a warning
If life were a party
You'd be the only one
Awake to greet the morning.

If life were a music score
You'd be the first note
May 19


It's not that I don’t like people
It's just that sometimes its too much.
The yelling, the crying,
The acting,
The clinging on to me.
It makes my heart pound
It crowds my mind
And all I want to do is cry.
Don’t get me wrong
I am a competitive person
I love being with my friends.
I just get stressed holding the world's problems
And trying to be very nice to those who are not nice back.
I feel like if someone is sad
Its always my fault even though deep down I know it is not.
Though I have times where everything is fine and I am relaxed,
And I just wish it would be more like that.

Thank You for reading, it means a lot to me.