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 their writing and digital literacy skills.
The Newspaper Series: Teachers and students, K-12, are encouraged to participate in Young Writers Project by submitting best work done in class or outside of school, and by responding to these weekly prompts. A team of students, volunteers and YWP staff selects the best work to be published in 20 newspapers in Vermont and New Hampshire and on VPR.net each week.
How to post work on youngwritersproject.org: Start an account, log in, click "Write" to create a blog, fill in the title and body of the work and give it a genre tag. For publication in the Newspaper Series, click "newspaper entry" under the question "Newspaper Submission?" and choose the prompt you are writing for. Under the prompts, fill in name, school and grade. Finally, click "Save." Students are also encouraged to create a blog to upload photos and scanned artwork, using the genre, "photo submission." More information on youngwritersproject.org.
Support: YWP is supported by this newspaper and 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.
1. Remember. Write about your earliest memory. As a first step, make up a list of memories and then choose the most vivid. Use all of your senses to tell the story. Alternates: General writing. Share your best writing from the summer -- in any genre; or Photo #1. Write a poem based on this photo. Due Sept. 21.
2. 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 the habit. Due Sept. 28.
3. 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, your action or inaction; or Photo #2. Use this photo to spark your imagination and write in any genre. Due Oct. 5.
4. 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.
5. Flying. You are flying blissfully and effortlessly over the countryside. Tell the story: How are you flying? 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.