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.
Oct 12's picture

Your Falling

 Your Falling

Feel the cold breeze in your hair.
Feel the cold breeze on your face.
Hear its howling screams.
You can feel the presence of a dark spirit washing over the land.
It affects you.  
This is your first autumn.
Your spirit is the howling wind.
Its screams are screams of terror.
Halloween is near.
It crawls out of its grave every year.
You can't stand the smell of all this life dying.
Everything is starting to hide.
Then its happens you fall.
You to succumb to its spell it grabs you it flings you through the air.
You are just a mere seed.  
You are torn away from your home.
You are placed in a new land.
Everything looks different.
Then a squirrel picks you up and buries you near its home.
You think it's all over.
When it's just the beginning of your life.

You thought you would be there forever.
Oct 10

Walking in the woods ...

When you walk a lot in the woods, when you take a lot of photos in the woods, you develop a sixth sense (perhaps it is an unrealized sound, a scent in the wind or something larger, a fourth dimension sensation perhaps) that there is something ahead, an animal, a bird, something out of the ordinary.

Today, as I headed down a steep portion of the trail, my body involuntarily slowed down, grew quiet, deliberate, cautious.

When I came to the bottom, the clearing, there was this:

Oct 10
jessie.p's picture

What makes me, me

What makes me, me?
    I have short light brown hair. I wear pretty normal clothes. My face could easily get lost in a crowd. That begs the question; what makes me, me? My height used to set me apart from the crowd, now I’m average. Maybe my like for depressing things makes me stand out. Or maybe my bad posture? My big nose perhaps? Is it the way I trust too quickly? Maybe I’m set apart from the crowd because I’m too quiet, or too obnoxious. I think it’s due to the fact that I’m too much to handle. I’m either all in or all out. My mood can change from happy to insane in a span of minutes. I haven’t always been this way. It just kind of happened. There is no off switch, I’ve found. Maybe I’m different because I have no off switch… Or maybe because I speculate too much, this being solid proof.
Oct 08
sheeserl's picture

The Middle

My older brother, my rock. The athletic one, the businessman, the strong, and smart one. Tall and skinny, an envy to many, he walks through life with the just the right amount of confidence. In many ways, I have looked up to him for my whole life. He is witty, a people person. A magician with words. He pulls ideas out of his head and spins them like a web. He works his way around a mess with such ease and grace, you’d think that he's a dancer. He lives in the eye of a hurricane. Disaster and chaos twirling around him, but where he goes, a calmness follows. When he leaves, and before he arrives, is when the rain hits, the wind starts beating against your skin, bringing tears to your face with the harshness of the truth when he reveals it to you. He is a closed book, lock thrown away, and not to be searched for. With questions, come no answers when he is involved. I see my mother's hair turning grey, and her eyes growing old as she sits, waits, tries to be a part of his life.
Oct 04


She's watching from a distance.
Watching her fall apart.
Standing on the outside, watching hit after hit.
Watching the flinch she recovered from return.
Watching the light in her eyes go out.
She sees as the confidence fades from her partner.
Unable to do anything but sit and watch.
Hold her hand hopelessly to remind her she's there.
But she still watches.
She sees as old behaviors return.
Comments about death and asking people to hurt her.
And she says nothing. 
She watches hit after hit.
Breaking what had just been fixed.
Destroying what had once been loved.

Oct 02
Kyle A Emerson's picture

An adult

This adult is a hardworker. Hes 5'10" and has been working in the same printing company for over twenty years. Without a college degree he worked his way up the ranks to the highest position he could obtain. He's got mostly white hair but you can tell he has brown hair. He's got the stereotypical dad body and the worst dad jokes you could imagine. He's pretty introverted and his mind is always on work. He lives for work. If he's not at his job he's finding something to do around the house. He used to play many sports as a kid. If he didn't he'd definitely have a stomach on him today. His favorite was soccer. He was one of the best defenders on his team. He was working since he was fourteen and doesn't plan to stop anytime soon.
Sep 28's picture


This is about me.

I have blue eyes with a ring of silver. My hair is dark dirty blonde. I have a pair of legs a pair of arms a pair of ears and a pair of eyes.  My favorite sport is soccer/football not american football. I like to read and write. I also like to draw. I love the woods. Also I have a dog her name is Lexi. She is a white pitbull and she is nine years old. The sport i am doing at the moment is cross country and i regret it. It is fun but i would have rathered played soccer. I also do track and i was one of the best 400 meter runners in the state. My fastest 400 was 58 seconds. I want to be an inspiration to most people and I want to motivate most people. I also play video games and my favorite type of music is pop punk. I am 15 years old and this was about me.
Sep 28
Jen L.'s picture

Weekly Writing Challenge-Week 3

My sister is very quiet at school. At home she talks a lot. She has long, straight, dirty blonde hair. She has steely blue eyes that sometimes turns grey. She has our fathers nose and she has little to no freckles. At home she is not afraid to voice her opinion or yell. She yells a lot in fact. She gets very irritated at my younger brother or at anybody if they don’t do what she asks, (or demands if you ask me). Out in public she never talks unless it’s to her family or one of my best friends. She never yells at public places but she loves to annoy me by following me around and getting in my personal space. She loves to annoy everyone she knows and are close to her. Like Lilly, or my brother or grandfather. She likes to do things by herself but wants someone around her in every room. She likes almost everything I like, though she doesn’t like most vegetables. When she was younger she used to throw loud tantrums over every little thing.
Sep 28
o.fredella's picture

All About Me

She has brown wavy hair that is just below my shoulders. She has blue/green eyes. She is five feet three inches and fourteen years old. She turns fifteen on October eleventh. Her nickname is Livvy or Liv. Her favorite color is light blue. She likes light colors rather than dark ones.

She's kinda shy at first but once she gets to know you she's more outgoing. She can be determined to do things if it's something she's passionate about. She's a nice person towards most people but sometimes not toward the people she doesn't  like. She's also a pretty empathetic person. She also thinks that she's pretty mature for my age. She can be pretty lazy sometimes but when she needs to do something she does it.
Sep 28
Nora.F's picture

There she is

There she goes in the back of the pack. She has blonde hair that falls to just below her shoulders and has a face full of freckles. Her hair is blonde not bleach blonde but blonde with little curls that form around her ears when it gets humid out. Her hair is thick and frizzy. The freckles are all over her face and look like a dot to dot game. She has blue eyes with eyebrows that you can barely see because they are blonde. And her eyelashes are long and thin. Her shoulders are an average size. She walks with a smile and when there isn’t a smile on her face then something is wrong which is rarely.
Sep 28
lana.W's picture

A Mother's Face

I know my mother like the back of my hand. At least I ought to after living with her for 16 years. I can vividly imagine her light green eyes which are somehow piercing and kind at the same time. The bags under them have grown from tiny little pocket books to duffle bags in the span of 10 years. Now that her potato-colored hair is turning silver, her lashes and brows are almost invisible. Her face—with all her pores and wrinkles, and worry lines—has a slight red underetone (It really shows when she's mad, she looks like big angry tomato.) And her thin, wavy coud get stuck in her armpit if she really tried.
Sep 28
jessie.p's picture


He looks up at the ceiling fan and is now in a trance, his big blue eyes watching the blades turn. His arms and legs flail with happiness, soft legs kick my arms, while his chubby little hand is holding my thumb. His small head resting against me, just the slightest dusting of hair on the back of it. He finally looks at me, and the biggest smile appears on his face. 10 seconds later he is pouty, his eyebrows furrowed, and begins to cry.

He likes to grab onto hair, and be held by anyone that is willing to hold him. He likes a cat named Mittens, and he doesn't seem to be too in love with dogs. He has a big brother that makes him laugh daily, and a father and mother who love him more than words.  He's four months old and drools all the time. He hates going in the car, but he like his car seat. He likes being at my house though, so he can stare at the ceiling fan and start the whole story over again...
Sep 27
wallflowers's picture

The Girl With The Black Headphones

There’s this girl. She’s got short dirty-blonde hair and light green eyes. She always seems to have a pair of black headphones around her neck. You’ve probably seen her before. She constantly embarrasses herself. Any time she opens up too much, she apologizes and everything is right back to square one.

She tries to be someone she’s not. She is indeed very shy, but she’s learned to be more social, and she hates it. She liked herself more when she was quiet. She wouldn’t have to worry about making a fool of herself then. 

She seems like she has a good grip on everything in life. But the truth is, she’s barely hanging onto the edge of the cliff anymore. She’s just waiting to make one last mistake and fall. If she falls, she’ll retreat back into her shell, shutting out everyone in her life. When this happens, she mainly just listens to music and won’t talk at all.
Sep 27

Dull Eyes

There was that girl again. She stood there staring at me while I was at her.
The girl was different from the others. She was short but fairly thin.
Maybe it was normal or maybe she was sucking in to fit standers.
She had curves but hid them under baggy clothing to hide her insecurities.
She had small hands that clutched together to keep calm.
Her hair was a dark honey color with sunshine highlights pulled back into a loose braid,
with wavy strands falling out everywhere.
Her face was pale with light brown freckles caressing her small round nose and rosy cheeks.
Her smile was small and forced trying to fool everyone that she was happy.
You could tell she had a million things she wanted to say, but couldn’t.
Her eyes were golden with light green fading in.
But as you look closer you can see they are dull.
You can see the pain in her eyes, you can see hurt and fear.
Sep 27
Cyb3r's picture

Quote Of The Day 9/27/118

"Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader - not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon."

- E. L. Doctorow
Sep 26
cksls's picture


Monica is the coolest person ever. She is so nice and thoughtful. She has very thick brown hair with a little red. She is 5’ 4” and stocky. Her hair is quite frizzy. She has brown eyes. She can look tough and then look really funny. She has a nice smile. This is my sister Monica.  

Sep 26


Help is the person who may work with you, or talk to you in the middle of the night or be the person who picked up your pencil on the floor. To me help is someone or something that has helped you create your story such as if someone were to come up to me and ask me how my day was, I would have my spirits lifted. Help is the thing that established the world
Sep 21
Da Quinstah's picture

My Dad Is A Man

Ever since my parents got separated I haven't been myself. My mom has been an emotional wreck after what my father did. It’s kind of hard to let a thirteen-year marriage just dissolve like they only knew each other for three months. My mom had a reason to separate, my father was caught doing some bad stuff. He was a good guy, at least we thought. We found out what he had done through a phone call at five-thirty in the morning. Mom was the first to the phone, she didn’t tell me what he did, but I could tell by her expression that it was bad. She never told us. Our dad has been pretty sketchy throughout the past couple of weeks, not getting home till nine o'clock when his job let him out at seven, bags under his eyes the size of footballs. He said that he had some meetings for the next couple days, but it seemed like those days turned into weeks pretty quick.