/node/9226

General

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Photo by gg
General. Share your best writing -- a story, a poem, a sudden spark of observation or insight or creativity. Or photos. Add sound, too, if you like. Anything goes here.
 
/node/23505

Stuck

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Write as a person trapped in the form of an animal. How did this happen and how do they react? Do they manage to undo the transformation, and if so, how?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tyler Poulin]
 
/node/23506

Luck

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Write the story of someone with extraordinarily good luck or excruciatingly bad luck. What is everyday life like for them? Were they born with this luck, enchanted, or does it come from an object? What experiences and emotions result from it? Show the character in action.
[Photo credit: Alain Pham, Unsplash]
/node/6521

YWP is...

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The Challenge: "YWP is ..." what?  Finish the sentence. Tell us how YWP has affected you; talk about a comment you've gotten or of getting published or of having a civil space to create. Tell us how you felt when you posted your first piece. Tell us what works and what doesn't.  Take seven minutes, and tell us: 
  • something unexpected that happened here, or that you noticed here, at youngwritersproject.org,
  • or, a YWP moment that...
/node/23507

Decide

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The pet store is closing in five minutes and you have to make a choice -- which pet to take home and which to leave behind. What do you do?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen]
 
/node/23508

Cover

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You’ve been commissioned to illustrate the cover of a new edition of your favorite book from your childhood. Submit the illustration to your YWP blog (and tell us the title of the book).
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen]
/node/26139

Post Your Art & Photos!

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YWP is looking for your visual art -- photographs and scanned art -- to be featured in our monthly magazine, The Voice, on the front page of the site, the newspaper series, and the Anthology! Respond to this challenge and post your best photos and art!

 
/node/23509

Lost

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You wake up slowly, your eyes gradually adjusting. Suddenly, you're on your feet, looking frantically in every direction. You don't recognize a thing. Where are you? How did you get here and what happens next?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
/node/23511

Title

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Good titles introduce, describe and catch interest. Deciding on one can be a complex process. Pick one of your pieces that you think has a perfect title -- or rename the piece after giving it some more thought. In a short essay, explain how the title relates to the piece it introduces. Is there a separate story about the title itself?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness, challenge submitted by Hazel Civalier, YWP]
/node/23512

Beautiful

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Begin or end a poem or story with the phrase, “She was beautiful, but in a different sort of way.”
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
/node/23515

Alert

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An official phone alert wakes you up from a deep sleep. It says, "We are under attack. Lock your doors and bar your windows." Hundreds of random numbers are sending, "Let me in." Write a short, fast-paced story to match the urgency of the situation.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Samantha Aikman]
 
/node/23827

#smallstories

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A two-part challenge. 1. Write a story of 500 characters. 2. Copy your best and post them here as a blog response. Details:
  • WRITE a story that is real or made-up or half and half. 
    • Write your 500-character story on TINY WRITES
    • Write a lot of them on a regular basis.
  • THEN, post your best, on an ongoing basis, as a response to this challenge. 
    • AND use the...
/node/23632

Grades

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Some say that grades are a true reflection of learning.  What do you think?
 
/node/23551

Reality

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Write about a character who realizes their perception of reality is completely different from that of most people, including those closest to the character. How does your character react upon discovering this? Why do they see things differently?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
/node/23802

15 Words

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Describe yourself in 15 words. No more, no less... A sentence, phrases, whatever you'd like.

For the avids:
Describe anyone or anything around you. Just remember: only 15.
 
/node/24050

Like?

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Facebook is slumping, hit by accusations that it has been sloppy with users' data and manipulated by foreign adversaries. Do you like Facebook? 
/node/23513

Photo-8 Cat

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You adopt a cat that you think is pretty ordinary … but when you bring it home and start talking to it absentmindedly, it responds to you -- and only you -- with the most expressive facial expressions. Describe your interactions.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness]
/node/10266

Fable

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Write your own fable. Keep it short, but include the essential ingredients (non-human characters, conflict that leads to a moral, etc.)
Essential ingredients
1: Your moral. What message are you trying to tell? What wrong are you trying to right?
2: Your characters. Who are they? What are they?
3: What conflict arises?
4: What setting are you in? (You don't always need to describe it, unless it is relevant to the plot.)

...

/node/23514

Alone

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What happens at your house when no one is home? What’s the first thing the inanimate objects do? Have a party? Hop into the hot tub? Play tricks on the absent humans? Write a whimsical tale.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen]
/node/25968

Wordgame

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[Photo credit: Kevin Huang]
Ask someone to give you a word. Take the word and build a poem around it.
(This challenge idea comes from irishjayne, who used the word "fog.")
/node/23516

Woods

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Imagine a talking forest where the trees’ dialogue reflects their characteristics: sweet-talking maples, cool but prickly spruce? What do the trees say? Write their dialogue.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Shannon Ripp]
/node/23510

Hurricane

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Write about a family experiencing a hurricane. What do they say to each other while they’re huddled in the basement, listening to their house being battered and torn apart?
[Photo by noaa.gov]
 
/node/23517

Twist

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Write a story that leads your readers to believe it’s about one thing, but it turns out to be about something else entirely. Make it wacky and surprising!
[YWP Photo Library]
/node/23519

Pal

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Write about the relationship between a child and an imaginary friend from the perspective of the child or the friend. What’s the personality of this invisible character, and why does the child take such comfort in their company?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Holly Margulius]
/node/26361

Invasive

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This challenge has $$$ prizes! DUE: March 15. More details here.

1. Write a persuasive essay urging people to take action against the invasive insect, emerald ash borer (EAB). Present a fact-based argument. You might include why this matters, how communities and homeowners can respond to EAB, and why a response is needed.
OR
2. In poetry or prose, tell the story of an ash tree that is threatened by EAB. You might stretch back to the ash...
/node/25913

Magic-18

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Photo by Erik Nyhagen 
Tell a story about a magical experience related to this time of year -- winter, solstice, special holidays, snow sports. Real or imagined.
 
/node/23518

Dye

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You’ve always wanted to dye your hair a gorgeous new color, and when you finally get up the nerve to do it, something goes terribly wrong. You didn’t read the fine print on the bottle. Now what?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen]
/node/23520

Replaced

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When you go to wake your child one morning, you immediately sense that the baby in the crib is not yours. While they look the same, you know in your heart your own child has been replaced. Does anyone believe you? How do you rescue your child?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang; challenge submitted by Rowan Potzler]
/node/23521

Prophecies

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Classic stories and myths are full of prophecies. Write about a character who is warned about a future event. Do they listen? What’s the source of the messages? Is the oracle thing legit or is it made up?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano]
 
/node/23525

Frost

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Read the Robert Frost poem, “Design.” In describing the industrious spider and the flower, he says so much more. Choose a simple plant or animal and create a poem in the style of Frost.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]
/node/23911

Because

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Check out this video and more from the anti-bullying campaign, Because of You. "Because of you, people can feel empowered and loved, but also insecure and hurt... Before you say or do something, think about how you might make others feel." Write about your own experience.
/node/24159

Tests

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Some colleges are turning away from SAT and ACT scores when reviewing high...
/node/23541

Home

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Where is your home? Far away in another land? Or here, where you live today? Read this poem "Home" by Balkisa Omar,  a member of the Vermont slam poetry group Muslim Girls Making Change. Write about your own experience of home.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano]
/node/23522

Problem

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“They were almost ready to leave, but now there was a problem.” Using this phrase as inspiration, what happens next?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]
/node/23523

Photo-9 Swings

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What are the dynamics in this group of friends? Do they all get along? Is there tension between some but not others? Imagine their dialogue as they swing. What are they saying to each other?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexandra Contreras-Montesano]
/node/23524

Awakening

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Spring is a time of rebirth and nature kicking in for its big show. Write a poem or story about a plant, animal or creature, real or imagined, coming to life.
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Ada Shookenhuff]
/node/23526

Song

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Listen to a favorite song and either write your interpretation of the lyrics or use them as inspiration for a poem, story or another song. What mental images do the lyrics evoke? Remember to list the song title and credit the artist.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness, challenge submitted by Hazel Civalier, YWP]
/node/23528

Journal

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Write about a character who discovers someone else’s journal and realizes something very strange or alarming about the writer. What is the secret and what does the character do about it?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
/node/23527

Sounds

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Listen to the sound file and write the opening scene for a play, inspired by what the sounds make you feel: suspense, discomfort, anticipation? 
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Sophia Cannizzaro, sound by freesound.org]
/node/23529

Epistolary

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Write a story as a series of letters or diary entries. Popular books that use this method include The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Dear Mr. Henshaw, Letters from Rifka, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
/node/23530

Photo-10 Vacation

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You’ve just won a dream vacation, and you can pick the location and one traveling companion. Where do you go and with whom do you travel? Describe the sensation of being lifted from your everyday life into a paradise of your choosing.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Rebecca Orten]
/node/23531

Senses

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Take a walk in your neighborhood, on a farm, in a city, down a school hallway. Stop for a moment and use as many senses as you can to describe what you see, hear, touch, smell -- and maybe even taste. Write a poem about your discoveries.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
/node/26251

Courage

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VERMONT WRITES DAY!
Describe a time, real or fictional, when you have to summon up your courage. Focus on the actual "moment of truth," when time slows down and you have to commit to breaking through. What happens and how do you feel afterward?
/node/26252

Rule

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VERMONT WRITES DAY!
You have just been put in charge of the world, but you can only make one rule. What is it and what events or experiences led you to it?
/node/26253

Elves

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VERMONT WRITES DAY!
Some people believe that forests are enchanted places, with elves living there. Write a story or poem about the forest elves. Or tell the tale of a person who doesn't believe this, but then something happens to make them less certain.
/node/26254

Jefferson

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VERMONT WRITES DAY!
Thomas Jefferson said, "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." Write about a situation in which you, or a character you create, put a lot of work into something, and then luck seems to follow.
/node/26255

Moneybag

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VERMONT WRITES DAY!
Two strangers happen upon a bag of money while they're waiting for a train. Who are they? What do they do?
/node/26256

4Photos

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VERMONT WRITES DAY!
Choose one of the photos in the slideshow and write a story or poem about it.
/node/26316

Allergies

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Write a poem or short story about someone who is allergic to something really strange. What happens to them when they are exposed to this thing? Is is a food or some kind of object?
Use sensory details to make the story pop.
/node/26250

Spaghetti

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VERMONT WRITES DAY!
You've walked past this sign for years. One day, it seems to be calling you inside -- and the adventure begins. Tell the story.
 
/node/25923

Vanilla

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Write a reflection on someone you know. Describe them in terms of a scent, an object, a place, an emotion, anything that comes to mind. No names -- or insults, please! (This challenge was created in response to Vanilla by Spirit Bird.)
/node/25116

Climate18

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Write to one or all of these Climate Change challenges created by YWP's Hazel Civalier and Sophie Dauerman for their special SoundCheck on Climate Change on Thursday, Nov. 15 at Burlington City Arts, 135 Church St., Burlington, VT, from 6-8 pm!

FIVE CHALLENGES

Oasis
 - Artistically portray a place in nature that you believe we should protect: Is it favorite park or hike where you relax? Does it contain a national monument? A...
/node/24121

Morris

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Can't we do better? Kiah Morris, who represented...
/node/23489

Photo-5 Child

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Addie Card was 12 and working as a spinner in a mill in North Pownal, VT, when photographer Lewis Hine took this photo in 1910. Find out more about America’s child laborers by researching Hine’s photos. Write a poem or story based on this photo or others you find.
[Photo credit: Lewis Hine, Library of Congress]
/node/23490

Synesthesia

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Write about someone who tastes words, sees music and voices and/or hears colors. How do they use their mixed-up senses to their advantage, and what struggles do they face because of them?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
 
/node/23491

Trees

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Write about a world in which trees can talk and/or move on their own. How would trees be treated if they could speak for themselves? What would they say to each other -- and to us?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
 
/node/23492

Fourth

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The fourth wall is the conceptual barrier between any fictional work and readers. Write a piece that breaks the fourth wall with a character who is aware of being fictional, and directly communicates to the reader.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Jessica Belliveau]
/node/23493

Kites

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There is a new sport that’s growing in popularity: people fly kites that joust with each other in the air. Are the kites alive, enchanted, or built with advanced technology? What are the prizes for winning, and the consequences of losing?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Creative Commons]
 
/node/23494

Power

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A higher power decides to grant a superpower to all 7.6 billion people on planet Earth. But there’s a catch — if any two people name the same power, it becomes ineffective. What unique power do you choose, and what do you do with it? 
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Lia Chien]
/node/23495

Snow

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Vermont winters can be brutal and beautiful at the same time. Using descriptive language, write a story or poem that takes place in the dead of winter. Illustrate it with photos or drawings if you like.
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Ada Shookenhuff]
 
/node/23496

Location

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Your character is immersed in an unsettling and unfamiliar setting — a claustrophobic character in a cave, a first-time skier on top of a steep mountain, a city where no one speaks the character's language. Describe the environment and the character's reaction to it in a short scene.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
 
/node/23497

Babysitting

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You’re babysitting two rambunctious children who have finally gone to bed. You’re exhausted and start drifting off to sleep on the couch, when you hear this sound. What is it? What do you do? https://freesound.org/people/tim.kahn/sounds/435490/
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]
 
/node/23498

Photo-6 Satire

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Try your hand at satiric comics such as this one from Burlington YWPer Connor Byam. Tap into your artistic side. Throw in some humor -- and voila!
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Connor Byam]
/node/23500

Here

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Write a story or poem starting with the line, “It had been a long time, but now he was here.”
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Ada Shookenhuff]
 
/node/23484

Photo-4 Friends

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What's the story behind these two friends? 
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Ada Shookenhuff]
/node/23501

Memory

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Psychologists tell us our earliest memories typically form between the ages of 3 and 4. What is your earliest memory, and how old were you? Are the details hazy, or do you see and feel it clearly?
[YWP Photo Library, Photo by Kevin Huang]
 
/node/23485

Cooking

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Delicious meals are universally regarded as a labor of love. Tell the story of a recipe from start to finish: harvesting blackberries to make jam, foraging for mushrooms, roasting marshmallows—and how the experience affects the people who prepare and eat the meal.
[YWP Photo Library, painting by Ada Shookenhuff]
/node/23502

70°

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Imagine if 70° Fahrenheit weather — that pleasant, almost perfect temperature— were a person. How would the characteristics of 70°F weather be represented in a person? What would an interaction with them be like?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
 
/node/23465

Nerves

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The first day at school, camp, a new job can be nerve-wracking. Write about a memorable first day experience of your own or make one up, whether funny, mortifying or sad.
[YWP Photo Library, Educational Technology Clearinghouse - University of South Florida]
/node/23486

Fighting-Words

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Your character is having an argument with someone. They begin hurling insults at each other, but without the use of profanity, slurs or comments about appearance. Maybe they end up laughing at the absurdity. Maybe they part in anger. Tell the story through their dialogue, showing the most creative fighting words they exchange. 
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Antonia Armstrong-Laird]
/node/23503

Photo-4 Circus

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Use this photo, taken at Shelburne Museum, as inspiration to write a story about a circus or carnival with dazzling acts touring the country.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Hazel Civalier]
/node/23467

Photo-1 Sunset

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Your character wanders off to this dock to watch the sunset. Something important has just happened and they need time alone. Tell the story.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Nora Wootten]
/node/23487

Club

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You have been invited to join a club that you’ve only heard wild rumors about. If you decide to join, what do you find out? What is the club really about? Are there bizarre initiation rituals and secret handshakes? Or if you take a pass, how do you come to your decision -- and live with that decision?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness]
/node/23504

Persuasion

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Use your best persuasive skills to convince your teacher or another adult to do something or believe something. What is the conversation in which you urge, coax or demand, and how does it turn out?
[Photo credit: Lewis Hine, Library of Congress] 
/node/23468

Hey!

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Don’t ignore me! Write from the perspective of a character that you wish you would see more often or more accurately in the media, TV and movies.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
/node/23488

Royalty

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Write about someone who is ruler of something very strange or very silly. How did they become the leader? What “laws” do they pass? Who are their subjects and enemies, and how do they cope with this empire?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]
/node/23469

Greeting

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Write a poem or story that ends with a greeting. What is the backstory? Lead the reader along with you up to the point of the greeting, which might be a surprise (“Oh, hello!”), or a test of will (“Hi, my friends made me do this…”) or a coincidence (“Joe?! What are you doing here?”).
[YWP Photo Library, photo by ​Amanda Seavers]
/node/23470

Education

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What improvements would you like to see at your school this year? Longer lunches? Later start time? More play, less work? Write a persuasive letter to your school officials, making a case for positive changes.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]
/node/23471

Afterlife

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Write about people in an unconventional afterlife. Maybe people are grouped for eternity by how often they laugh and they party, maybe they are immediately assigned a job position to help influence life back on Earth, maybe they have to drift around outer space together ... Let your creativity flow! What is life like for the dead?
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Tess LaLonde]
/node/23472

Portrait

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Write a description of yourself or someone you love. Include as many details of appearance, personality, habits and behavior as you can. If you like, use figurative or metaphorical language along with more concrete details.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Alexis Donna]
/node/24218

Elections

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The midterm elections are approaching -- Nov. 6, 2018 -- and whether or not you are old enough to vote, your voice matters. Prompted by today's Daily Read, "Midterms," persuade people to vote. The midterms mark the middle of Republican President Trump's term, and all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are being contested.
/node/23473

Almost

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“The scene in front of her was almost perfect. Almost.” Finish the story.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Rebecca Orten]
/node/23475

Photo-2 Guitar

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The man strumming his guitar says to you, “You’re a different soul, aren’t you?” What sets you apart from the crowd? 
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Holly Margulius; challenge submitted by Rowan Potzler, YWP.]
/node/23476

Photo-3 Thinking

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What is this girl thinking? Write her internal dialogue. Is she looking at you as she thinks? Or is she focused on something or someone else?
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Zoe Maxwell]
/node/23477

Winter/18

[totalcount]
Tell a story about your experience of winter in short, descriptive poetry or prose. Be original. Avoid clichés. The best will be selected for presentation by the Vermont Stage Company at its annual Winter Tales production in Burlington in December.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Lia Chien]
/node/23479

Creature

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You’re a terrifying creature — everyone is afraid of you — but you feel completely misunderstood. How did the world come to perceive you this way? Can you change their perception? Tell the story.
[YWP Photo Library]
/node/23482

Definition

[totalcount]
Pick a word and give it your own personal definition. Perhaps to you, “friendship” means the secrets that are whispered at 3 AM in the dark, “pineapple” brings to mind an infamous childhood prank and "flower" is a sunny afternoon in your grandmother's garden.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Hazel Civalier]
/node/23499

Transition

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Fall is a time of transition in nature. What if it were for humans as well? Using elements of the season as your inspiration, write a poem about someone who undergoes a biological transition every autumn, .
[YWP Photo Library, illustration by Callie Cox]
/node/23483

Anticipation

[totalcount]
Write a story leading up to a major event or holiday and end it before it actually happens. Try to leave your readers wondering by playing around with ambiguity and cliffhangers.
[YWP Photo Library, photo by Abigail Harkness]