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Sleeping in

BY ELLA STAATS
Grade 10, Burlington High School
I woke up to a quiet house, no missed
calls and no one around. It was odd, actually; usually my parents were downstairs
making breakfast or listening to the radio.
Today, though, I supposed they must have
gone to work early. Usually they would
have left a note, but today they must have
forgotten. Oh well. No big deal. Id make
myself something to eat.
The kitchen was oddly bare of provisions. There was only one cereal box in the
cabinet; it was stale and half empty. Hadnt
my mom brought it from the grocery store
just yesterday?
When I tried to turn on the stove to
make eggs, it wouldnt light. In fact, when I
flicked the light switch in the kitchen, nothing happened. Had the bulb burned out during the night? Why hadnt my parents fixed
it when they got up? Well, I could change
it. Except ... there were no lightbulbs under
the sink. There was nothing under the
sink, not the usual cleaning supplies and
sponges, just dust.
Okay. This was weird. I stood up and
turned on the faucet to wash the dust off
my hands. Nothing happened. I twisted the
knobs further. Still no water. What the ...?
All right, this was enough. I unlocked
my cell phone and tried to dial my dad, but
the call was canceled by a robotic voice
telling me my plan had run out. It was only
the third of the month; I had just paid my
bill last week!
Scared now, I ran out of the house in
my pajamas, my slippers slapping on the
sidewalk. I found a pay phone, shoved
some change in the slot, and punched in the
numbers for my dads cell phone.
Ring, ring, ring...Cmon, Dad, pick up!
Hello?
Dad! Its me, Jessie.
Jessie! Youre awake!
Yeah, look, somethings wrong at
the house. The lights and the stove arent
working, and someone stole everything
from under the sink, and my cell phone
plan somehow got canceled!
He chuckled. Look, son, youve been
asleep for a while.
Yeah, I woke up a little late, I know,
but seriously...
Oh, no. Youve been sleeping for two
months.
I sputtered. Two months?! Thats not
even possible!
Believe me, thats what your mother
and I thought. But you went to sleep on
June 1st, and then you just didnt wake up.
We knew you were tired from finals, so
we didnt wake you. We actually moved
while you were gone. The buyers are pretty
impatient to move in; Im glad you finally
woke up.
What ... how ... I stuttered. I missed
two whole months of my life?! Why didnt
you wake me up?
Youre a teenager. You need your
sleep. He was being way too calm about
this.
Not two months of it!
Son, calm down. Get a fresh set of
clothes, pack up your things and catch
a cab to 32 Maple Drive. Its the yellow
house with the roses in the front yard.
Oh my god, I muttered.
See you soon.
I slammed the phone down and
squeezed my eyes shut. I rubbed my
temples, shook my head, and then turned
and walked back to the house.

THIS WEEK: General

YWP NEWS & EVENTS

Young Writers Project receives hundreds of submissions from students across the state, and each week
including this summer the best work is published in
this newspaper, in The Voice, our digital magazine, on
vpr.net, vtdigger.org and cowbird.com. This week, we
present responses to the prompt for General writing.
Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

YWP is an independent nonprofit


that engages students to write and
use digital media to express themselves with clarity and power, helps
them improve their skills and gain
confidence, and connects them with
authentic audiences. Check out
youngwritersproject.org to learn
more or contact executive director Geoffrey Gevalt at ggevalt@
youngwritersproject.org; or (802)
324-9537.

YWP is supported by the generosity of 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, 47 Maple St., Suite 106,
Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

CHAMPLAIN INVESTMENT
PARTNERS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Kevin Huang, Burlington High School

TOWN FOREST
WRITING CHALLENGE
TAKE A WALK IN THE WOODS OF
VERMONT AND WRITE FOR PRIZES!
Vermont has more than 300 town forests and this year marks the centennial of
the legislation that started them all.
The Vermont Town Forest Centennial
Celebration, in partnership with Young
Writers Project, invites young writers to
explore these forests and write!
PRIZES: 1st: $100; 2nd: $75; 3rd: $50.
All winners will also receive a 2016 season
pass to Vermont State Parks and will have
their work published.
HOW TO SUBMIT: Submissions may be
in any format: poetry, prose, essay, letter,
and should be no more than 750 words.
For more information, go to youngwritersproject.org/forest15.

TEEN PHOTOGRAPHERS
Send us your best photos for
publication in this newspaper and The
Voice!
Email them to Susan at YWP:
sreid@youngwritersproject.org.
Isabella DeFeo, Colchester Middle School

Love reminds me
of the sky
BY AVERY MCLEAN
Grade 10, Lake Champlain Waldorf School
When thunder fills up the sky each night,
I think of you when the lightning strikes.
The brightness reminds me of your eyes.
When the sweet scent of rain fills the air,
I feel my fingers in your hair.
They become fists at the memory.
When the clouds crack open and swallow
me whole
like the thunder, you echo through my soul.
Love reminds me of the sky.

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

The outcast
BY HANNAH FREEDNER
Grade 10, Homeschool, Vergennes
He trained his eyes to catch each copper
glint in
the gutter, wedged
between the cobble stones, the things
forgotten and
left behind. He watched red
balloons, dropped from childrens sloppy
hands, plummet
to the clouds in which they cursed for each
wretched raindrop. They made wishes on
shooting stars
and birthday candles, on moments when
photographs
were snapped and smiles were taut, while
he made wishes on copper pennies, red
balloons, and
every wild raindrop.

CHECK OUT YWPS DIGITAL MAGAZINE

THE VOICE
GET YOUR FREE SUBSCRIPTION AT
youngwritersproject.org

Homo sapiens: a
beginners guide
BY ELLA STAATS
Grade 10, Burlington High School
Congratulations. You were born into
this world as a human being. You may
share 98 percent of your DNA with a chimpanzee, but its that other 2 percent that led
you here, to this manual. So without further
ado, here are a few simple steps for beginning your life as part of the Homo sapiens
species.
1. Be like everyone else. Resist the urge to
develop your own identity or let your real
personality shine through. No one wants
to see that. If everyone acts the same and
speaks the same and wears the same thing,
well function better as a society. Everyone will agree! Because everyone will be
exactly the same! Another way to word this
first step might be: squelch all originality.
2. Absorb yourself in technology. The fun
happens online. Thats where you hear
about whos-dating-who and who-worewhat and which celebrity threw shade at
their famous counterpart. Also the Kardashians. Always the Kardashians.

THIS WEEK: Manual & General


Young Writers Project receives hundreds of submissions from students across the state, and each week
including this summer the best work is published
in this newspaper, in The Voice, our digital magazine,
on vpr.net, vtdigger.org and cowbird.com. This week,
we present responses to the prompts, Manual: Write a
guide on how to be a human; and General writing.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write


and use digital media to express
themselves with clarity and power,
helps them improve their skills and
gain confidence, and connects them
with authentic audiences. Check out
youngwritersproject.org to learn
more, or contact executive director Geoffrey Gevalt at ggevalt@
youngwritersproject.org or (802)
324-9537.

YWP is supported by the generosity of 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, 47 Maple St., Suite 106,
Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

AMY E. TARRANT
FOUNDATION

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

3. Money is the answer. Got an essay due


next week that you just dont feel like
writing? Slip a wad of cash to your friend
and theyll do it for you. Want to get to the
front of the line at Disneyland? A couple of
discreetly exchanged Jacksons will do the
trick. Is there a tree in your way that youre
just too lazy to step around? Throw some
bills at it. Works every time.
4. The polar bears were born to die. So
were the elephants and the tigers and the
whales. Especially the whales. Remember, global warming was made up by
government leaders at a special top-secret
conference called How Can We Mess
With Environmentalists? The environment
doesnt need to be saved. You need your air
conditioning.
So there you have it. Just a few tips
for how to survive on this planet without
making a total fool of yourself. If you want
to make sure you dont become a social
outcast who dies alone, please consult our
other titles: Faking It: How to Act Like
You Care and Popularity: Lifes Only
True Goal ($12.99 as an e-book, not available in print because who uses real books
anymore?). Good luck out there!

Jack Whitney, Essex High School

TOWN FOREST
WRITING CHALLENGE
TAKE A WALK IN THE WOODS OF
VERMONT AND WRITE ABOUT IT!
Vermont has more than 300 town forests and this year marks the centennial of
the legislation that started them all.
The Vermont Town Forest Centennial
Celebration, in partnership with Young
Writers Project, invites young writers to
explore these forests and write!
PRIZES: 1st: $100; 2nd: $75; 3rd: $50.
All winners will also receive a 2016 season
pass to Vermont State Parks and will have
their work published.
HOW TO SUBMIT: Submissions may be
in any format: poetry, prose, essay, letter,
and should be no more than 750 words.
For more information, go to youngwritersproject.org/forest15.

SUMMER OF STORIES 2015!


Join YWP online this summer for great
daily writing challenges like this one:
Ticks Me Off...: What really bugs you?
List a few things that come to mind--from
pet peeves to social justice issues
There are prizes along the way! And
a fun community of writers who want to
share their writing with you and to read
your work! More details: youngwritersproject.org/SoS2015.

The singing tree


BY AUDREY DAWSON
Grade 11, Essex High School
Positioned to the side,
a simple piece of the leafy collage
protects the road
and all who travel it,
this road,
riddled with soupy caldrons,
dotted with slimy amber swirls.
This tree sings to them all
from within,
a gaping mouth calling out,
a mewling voice,
a voice of famished song
from within,
within the singing tree.

YWP NEWS & EVENTS

GET YOUR FREE


SUBSCRIPTION TO
YWPS DIGITAL
MAGAZINE!
Dylan Sayamouangkhua, Burlington High School

READ MORE GREAT WRITING AT YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG & THE VOICE

youngwritersproject.org

Harry Potter
BY SOPHIE DAUERMAN
Grade 7, Shelburne Community School
I first laid eyes on this beauty during
third grade as I began the best series in the
world. I was sucked in. In my mind, I was
living at Hogwarts.
My first crush was Harry Potter. Well, I
am not sure if it was exactly the character,
but all the characters, and the world so
beautifully painted.
While reading, it was as if someone
had put a full body bind curse on me that
only allowed me to turn a page.
My mind was glued to the story with a
permanent sticking charm.
If you dont love Harry Potter, I think
theres something Siriusly Ron with you.
The characters are so real; the adventures leave you awestruck.
There was no place Id rather be than
at Hogwarts.
Unfortunately, I didnt get a Hogwarts
letter on my birthday. I was just a tiny bit
disappointed It wouldve been nice if
Hagrid couldve come and knocked down
my door exclaiming, Youre a witch,
Sophie.
But I compensated by reading the
series again for the gazillionth time, once
again hanging on to Hermiones every
word.
The old books have now been devoured uncountable times by my older
sister and me, who is also in love with this
beauty.
The books are a piece of history with
signs of wear marking their pages.
Page 227 of the sixth book has evidence of one of my many nosebleeds; page
104 of the second has a stain from when I
popped an unfortunate earthworm-flavored
Every Flavour Bean into my mouth; and
the fourth, well, lets just say the book
needed some Spello-tape to resurrect it.
But despite the fact that my sister and I
can recite scenes by memory (Ive never
liked these curtains. I set them on fire in
my fourth year...), I can still find something new every time I dive into these rich
adventures.
Even today, I find myself lost in the
vivid world hidden behind the old, damp
pages.
My first love will never be forgotten, and, like Snapes love for Lily, it will
never, ever fade.

THIS WEEK: Summer of Stories

YWP NEWS & EVENTS

Young Writers Project receives hundreds of submissions from students across the state, and each week
including this summer the best work is published in
this newspaper, in The Voice, our digital magazine, on
vpr.net, vtdigger.org and cowbird.com. This week, we
present responses to our Summer of Stories prompt,
First crush: Write about it. Real or fictional.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

YWP is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write


and use digital media to express
themselves with clarity and power,
helps them improve their skills and
gain confidence, and connects them
with authentic audiences. Check out
youngwritersproject.org to learn
more, or contact executive director Geoffrey Gevalt at ggevalt@
youngwritersproject.org or (802)
324-9537.

YWP is supported by the generosity of 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, 47 Maple St., Suite 106,
Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

VERMONT BUSINESS
ROUNDTABLE

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Kevin Huang, Burlington High School

TOWN FOREST
WRITING CHALLENGE
TAKE A WALK IN THE WOODS OF
VERMONT AND WRITE ABOUT IT!
Vermont has more than 300 town forests and this year marks the centennial of
the legislation that started them all.
The Vermont Town Forest Centennial
Celebration, in partnership with Young
Writers Project, invites young writers to
explore these forests and write!
PRIZES: 1st: $100; 2nd: $75; 3rd: $50.
All winners will also receive a 2016 season
pass to Vermont State Parks and will have
their work published.
HOW TO SUBMIT: Submissions may be
in any format: poetry, prose, essay, letter,
and should be no more than 750 words.
For more information, go to youngwritersproject.org/forest15.

Grace Lu, Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School

SUMMER OF STORIES 2015!

The shotgun seat


BY KAYLA MCARTOR
Grade 10, Bellows Free Academy St.
Albans
I dont really care where you are
As long as it isnt too far
For me to fly
Or run or drive
To the shotgun seat of your car.

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

First sweetheart
BY ALEXANDRA CONTRERAS-MONTESANO
Grade 9, Burlington High School
Oh, how I loved the way his hair sparkled
in the low light during nap time.
And the way he played with me; it was really sublime.
Sometimes he would whisper for me to
meet him behind the play-structure,
and he would tell me tales about dragons
and Pokemon.
His dirt brown eyes reminded me of the
worms we would collect,
and the soil castles that we wrecked.
He was a little bit smaller than me,
but size doesnt matter; on that we agree.
I had many play dates with him that ended
with us screaming.
But my mom told me that it was a trait that
was not very redeeming.
I think I love him, really I do.
So I got down on one knee and proposed
that we get murryd, just us two.

(At least thats what I think youre supposed to say.)


He hugged me real tight and I didnt like
that because he was covered in paint,
but we were getting murryd so I made no
complaint.
The next day during recess we exchanged
our vows.
We made Play-Doh rings,
and our best man was my favorite worm
(until the teachers took him away because
he had germs.)
After we were husband and wife,
he took me to his little shed and told me
this was our new life.
I didnt like it very much so I stomped on
his foot.
Me and Evan arent murryd anymore;
he takes my things and makes me cry.
My parents told me that sometimes things
go awry.
I told them we tried being in love but it
didnt work out;
they just laughed and said it was a start.
I guess hes just my preschool sweetheart.

Looking for a fun, creative project this


summer? Join YWP online for eight weeks
of daily writing challenges like this one:
Flashbulb: Pick a flashbulb memory (one
that persists vividly in your mind, due to
the memory being highly emotional or consequential) and write about it as if you are
reliving it now. More details: youngwritersproject.org/SoS2015.

GET YOUR FREE


SUBSCRIPTION TO
YWPS DIGITAL
MAGAZINE!
youngwritersproject.org

To kill a changed man


BY PAIGE THIBAULT
Grade 8, Charlotte Central School
Well, Im sure youre expecting me to
say something rather significant right about
now something filled with sorrow or fury
or perhaps the dull wit youve known me
for. However, let me tell you that what I
have to say is not going to change anything,
as that is not the nature of something as
seemingly capricious as this. So do not get
excited, spiteful or empathetically tearful.
I will merely tell you of the tenuous
stretch between the life and death of a man,
the hope and despair of someone that got
lost along the way of something quite easy
to follow.
Yet I will not be brief or ambiguous. I
will tell the truth and will tell it with utter
tranquility. You see, I have simply grown
rather disappointed, I suppose, in the
world and in myself. The dream that once
fueled me has left; the excitement that once
charged my bones has died.
My image of seeing the world as a
changed place has been distorted by the
papers at my doorstep, the flashing images
on screens, and the constant shriek of warning involving those nasty headaches I get
in the spring. The chain of doubts that challenged my value of existence have grown
large and have won me over miraculously
enough after being fed with confidence to
the point of bloat. I once hoped they would
drown, but instead, they started to float.
Of course, none of this is your fault.
You did not do anything to harm me, as
you know. However, my last thought of
you is that it is what you simply did not
do that led the flickering inside of me to
form a stutter and the odd glare cast over
my life to become an omnipresent shadow.
Because as you stood by and patted me on
the shoulder and listened to my clanging
chords of confession, I was not being saved
from the tumultuous river sweeping me
along its path. What you failed to realize
is that the river likes nothing more than an
audience, and that is what you gave it, quite
generously indeed.
But it is not your fault I ended up freezing. It is not your fault that I couldnt tell
there was a drop-off point at the end of the
stream. And I surely do not wish that someone had told me that there was; I merely
wanted someone to save me from it.
You see, I was already wishing for a
change without having recognition of it.
Little did I know at the time, this is what
made the river turn at its devastatingly strategic rate: fast enough to keep me choking
but slow enough for me to just barely get
enough air to breathe.
Oh Im sorry you must not understand. Let me rephrase. I wish that someone
had told me that it is better to be drowning
than it is to think you are breathing, only
then to be thrown off the ledge at the end
of the accumulating current. To be simpler,
I wish someone had told me that dying is
better than living without the knowledge
of change without the knowledge of the
cliff. But who would tell me this? It is an
immorally abstract thought to tell someone like me. I live in the country of the
gifted; no one would ever dare to think
about something like that here. Too dark
when you live with a screen broadcasting
a tainted version of the Sun through your
window. Too odd and ... out of place. So
since we were all so deftly fortunate not
to have to worry about being burned, no
one ever even imagined that life really was
torture to those who had the mind to see the
real Sun in the sky.

THIS WEEK: General writing


Young Writers Project receives hundreds of submissions from students across the state, and each week
including this summer the best work is published in
this newspaper, in The Voice, our digital magazine, on
vpr.net, vtdigger.org and cowbird.com. This week, we
present responses to the prompt for General writing.
More at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

YWP is an independent nonprofit


that engages students to write and
use digital media to express themselves with clarity and power, helps
them improve their skills and gain
confidence, and connects them with
authentic audiences. Check out
youngwritersproject.org to learn
more, or contact executive director Geoffrey Gevalt at ggevalt@
youngwritersproject.org or (802)
324-9537.

YWP is supported by the generosity of 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, 47 Maple St., Suite 106,
Burlington, VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

Dad
BY LYDIA MOREMAN
Grade 12, Champlain Valley Union High
School
Dad:
a parent, a counselor, a role model
who does all and gives all,
underappreciated, taken for granted
but a vital part to keep us functioning,
the ever stable presence of safety
who never raises his voice,
bestowing advice upon those who will
listen,
patient and generous to a fault
with a constant smile on his face
and a story or joke to tell,
who supports me in my endeavors
and taught me to forgive
a blessing from God,
the perfect imperfect father
who completes our family,
who I couldnt live without.

PHYSICIANS COMPUTER CO.

The wind
BY OLIVER HALBERG
Grade 7, Endeavour Middle School

Kevin Huang, Burlington High School

I was surrounded by survivors who


lived without thinking without knowing
of everything and anything that pains the
human soul at the point of suffering and defeat. Why? Because there was no point of
defeat for them. The images of awareness
in my head and the omnipresent technicalities of never forgetting the nightmares:
these were not human things to experience.
So since my mouth and mind were human,
I could never say anything or do anything
to save myself.
Henceforth began the pitiful process
of calling to have someone else save me
from the drop-off point I knew was there.
Someone in the audience, maybe? Save
me, save me, I said. But the ears were not
there to listen. I was angry then. You stand
to watch, but you never really see. And you
never did see what the man drowning in the
river was trying to tell you. You never even
cared enough to find out.
Maybe I wish someone had told me
about these too: the words that are never

heard. The messages that are sent but are


never received. The letters that get sealed
but are never opened. I wish someone had
told me that it is better for words to go unspoken than for them to have silence echo
after them for all of eternity.
Yet enough of this wishful thinking.
The change that I had hoped to inflict on
the world has never come to be. The dream
that I once held dear has simply fizzled out
under my fingertips. The beautiful things
I hoped to do will remain undone the
future left for another. But in this last moment, through my last mark on your minds,
I only wish that someone maybe you
will listen to me now. Because instead of
changing the world, the world has chosen
to change me, and so in turn, I let it.
And my only thought now in this final
movement of tipping over the edge of life
is that I wish someone had told me that
unrecognized change is the only true thing
that can kill a man.

A patch of dust
undisturbed in the moonlight
lying on the ground
somewhere
sometime,
anywhere you think.
The wind comes softly at first,
gathering strength, shaking the trees
slowly;
their branches sway and shake.
Leaves would fall and be carried off if it
wasnt winter.
The branches are bare, rattling like percussion instruments,
backing the soft rustle of the swirling wind.
It reaches the patch of dust,
particles lift off like a rocket from a launchpad.
They are exuberant in their newly found
freedom,
dipping and swirling like snowflakes in a
blizzard.
A shape seems to form inside the column of
swirling dust.
Then something seems to shift, and it
vanishes.
The wind changes direction.
It moves on.
The branches stop moving.
The dust floats to the ground, as undisturbed as before,
a moment in time, lost and forgotten
until the wind comes again.
And when it does, the dust will fly again.
The natural music will resume.
Time will repeat again.

SUMMER OF STORIES!
Writers! Looking for a fun, creative
project this summer? Join YWP online
for eight weeks of daily writing challenges! Write today!
Go to youngwritersproject.org.

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Its funny
BY KATIE MATTHEWS
Grade 12, Colchester High School
Its funny how memories work.
Its funny how memories become lost
under the surface until the slightest hint of
recognition brings it all back ... like a song,
or a smell or a taste.
The memories that happen in the now, the
ones that dont seem to matter, those are
the ones that haunt you. The moments that
almost pass by, those are the ones remembered.
Its funny...
Its funny how the universe works.
Its funny how much power we give up
to circumstance and fate... Our lives are
controlled by so many things, its insane to
still call it our lives.
If its meant to be. Nothing is ever truly
meant to be; things dont just happen.
There is no such thing as fate and circumstance. Life is how we make it ... yet when
we do make it, we are so afraid of being at
fault for the mess, we blame it all on the
stars.
Its funny...
Its funny how people work.
Its funny how easily peoples wants
change. Its funny how easily people can
leave.
Its funny how flimsy and fair-weathered a
person can be ... its funny how easily they
change.
But they arent really changing. Its funny
how when a person decides they dont care
anymore, their true colors show.
But its not funny ... not really.
Its not funny how memories work. Its
not funny how our thoughts work. Its not
funny how people work.
Its not funny how a happy memory can
turn into a nightmare that wont stop haunting.
Its not funny how the universe works.
Its not funny that humans are so afraid of
causing something and making decisions
that they leave it up to fate.
Its not funny how people work. Its not
funny how unreliable the human race has
become. Its not.

THIS WEEK: Lists & General


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompts, Lists: Make
lists of things you like and dislike; and General writing. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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, 47
Maple St., Suite 106, Burlington,
VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

JANES TRUST

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

(Dis)likes
BY OLIVIA PINTAIR
Grade 9, Emma Willard School
Hometown: Williston
THINGS I LIKE:
1) Ive fallen in love with the way rain
sounds on a tin roof as if it were angry.
It hurtles from the air, single and separate,
but never reaches solid ground as a whole.
It splits and breaks and shines in the sunlight.
Rain is like you, sometimes.
2) I like the mints on the floor of your car,
spilled and scattered without a box,
leaving dust and clouds of white to settle
on the leather,
bringing me comfort to know that youre
still imperfect.
3) Words have always found me, forced me
to love them.
Theyve shown me to cast shadows, silhouettes; bring life, let it go.
Theyve taught me to drown the truth and
then teach it to breathe under water,
taught me to make things bright.
THINGS I DONT LIKE:
1) I dont like how I cannot feel the ways in
which you are hurting,
in ways that I will never have to hurt.
And I wish I knew how to give you my
bliss.
Im sorry I know joy while you seem unable.
Im sorry you werent given the precious
life I was.
2) I dont like that I apologize for happiness.
3) It was long before I learned to love my
being,
before I held her like she was cherished.
I dont like that Im still learning,
but sometimes hate
is a predator of hope.

YWP NEWS

Secrets
BY ABIGAIL HARKNESS
Grade 7, Shelburne Community School
I love freshly picked berries
but I hate pits of cherries.
I love waking up early before the birds
and the perfect combination of words.
I dont like chapped lips
or long car trips,
but I like secrets and laughs I can have with
my friends,
and snow days that never end.
I like the smell of different lotions,
but not when people chew with their
mouths open.
I dont like overly sweet things
or loud noises like dings,
but I like splatters of paint on a canvas
and a good book with lots of chances.
I dont like nails on a chalkboard
or conversations that are awkward.
I dont like a messy or unorganized room
or rude comments when people assume.
I love delicious home-cooked meals,
and my family, I love head over heels.

Nate Ertle, Essex High School

READ THE JUNE ISSUE


OF YWPS DIGITAL MAGAZINE

READ MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

& THE VOICE

THE VOICE
Go to youngwritersproject.org
to get your FREE subscription!

In the mirror
BY EMILY FOSTER
Grade 7, Endeavour Middle School
I didnt know what was happening at
the time. I had simply been sitting at our
long farm table, absentmindedly eating my
Cocoa Puffs (made even more flavorful
by the milk), distantly pushing the puffs
around in my bowl with my spoon.
I finished breakfast and went to the
bathroom, putting my hair up in a messy
ponytail.
I looked in the mirror. It looked strange.
I looked strange.
Suddenly my reflection smiled at me. I
backed up. It wasnt a good smile, not one
that made you smile too. It was a smile of
smugness, of superiority, of knowing something others didnt.
I gasped in shock as my reflection
stepped out. She was me. I was her, from
the hazel eyes to the frayed jeans, except
that her eyes were strange and catlike with
slits for pupils. And her/my mouth was still
in that same sneer.
Suddenly she grabbed a fistful of my
hair. I shrieked as she pulled harder.
She shoved me back into the tub and
began to fill it up. Oh, my gosh, shes going to kill me; she wants to drown me, I
thought, panicking.
She shoved my face into the water. I
struggled against her, grabbing her arm and
pulling her in. She screamed my scream
and I backed away.
I looked for something to fight her
with. There was nothing, except the mirror.
I started towards it, but she blocked me,
hissing, as if she was guarding it. Why
wasnt she using the mirror as a weapon? I
wondered.
A thought struck me. If she was from
the mirror ... maybe breaking it would kill
her.
In a burst of strength, I shoved her
against the mirror, breaking it. It fell off the
wall, shards raining down onto the black
and white tiled floor.
She screamed. Her eyes went black. I
stepped away, shocked. Her body began to
smoke and she soon was gone. Then there
was black.
I woke up, a throbbing pain in my skull.
I sat up, clutching my forehead, and then
stood up. It must have been a dream, I
thought.
Then I noticed something: a broken
mirror, shards on the floor.
And my reflection just wasnt there.

The storm
BY NATALEIGH NOBLE
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
I didnt know what was happening at the
time.
I didnt know something so small and insignificant would make such a big impact.
I didnt think about the big picture at the
time.
I didnt think about important details,
only trifle matters.
I didnt realize the chain reaction at the
time.
I didnt realize what the future would hold
until it was too late.
I didnt know. I didnt think. I didnt realize. I couldnt have foreseen the storm that
was to come.
Still ... I should have.

THIS WEEK: Happening

YWP NEWS

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt, Happening:
Begin a piece with the phrase,I didnt know what was
happening at the time...

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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, 47
Maple Street, Suite 106, Burlington,
VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

THE BAY AND PAUL


FOUNDATIONS

COMING JUNE 1!
WATCH FOR THE JUNE ISSUE
OF YWPS DIGITAL MAGAZINE

THE VOICE

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Go to youngwritersproject.org
to get your FREE subscription!

Love is dead
BY ALEXANDRA CONTRERAS-MONTESANO
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
I didnt know what was happening at the
time.
But when he came back, I knew his crime.
His weeds are growing inside my head.
And my thoughts are being misled.
I take back the things I said.
Then he smiles and he says
he wont leave me ever again.
But I know when the night is spread,
hell be gone before the sun has bled.
So I dance with him until hes fled.
And his wake whispers the words,
Love is dead.

Kristina Pretty, Essex High School

Noahs museum
BY ISIDORA BAILLY-HALL
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
I didnt know what was happening at
the time.
At first, the easy shaking of dust from
wing tips and paws was drowned out by the
low murmur of the other patrons, quietly,
respectfully going about their business with
the soft pitter-patter of their footsteps on
the hardwood floors.
It was barely a whisper, but we, the
humans, were enough to mask the entire
awakening of Noahs Ark, using only our
footsteps and the whispers of our respiration.
Cheep! Tweet! Rrrrr! Suddenly, the
quiet equilibrium was broken, as the old
and woefully threadbare stuffings began to
awake.
The slightest flutter of a wing tip here,
a miniscule shake of the head there, as the
animals began to rediscover their bodies,
and test these new waters of motion after

nearly 100 years of solitude.


They rose around me, those not imprisoned by glass cases and mahogany bookshelves, shaking off the layers of dust and
enjoying this newfound freedom.
Those encumbered by such troublesome
objects scratched fearfully at the glass, attempting to free themselves.
Then, in an instant, the glass buckled,
and a spider web worthy of display here
erupted, chips flying, as the creatures broke
through.
It was like those moments in superhero
movies where the good guys are striding
triumphantly forward as a dramatic scene
of a burning city festers behind them with
dramatic music playing in the background.
It was like evolution was happening in
front of me, Noahs Ark assembled inside a
century-old museum.
This was quite possibly the scariest
thing I had ever seen, and I couldnt even
begin to describe how happy I was.

I didnt know
BY LUKE ARENAS
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
I didnt know what was happening at the
time
why she was acting that way,
why he was acting that way,
why there were even fighting to begin with.
I just wanted it to stop.
But it wouldnt,
and I wondered if it ever would.
They said everything was fine,
that everything was OK.
But they just wouldnt stop.
Then he moved out
and she cried.
I cried.
It felt horrible.
But like most problems, we got over it.
And she met someone new.
I just hope they dont fight.

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

THIS WEEK: Stardust

The mission
BY ELLA STAATS
Grade 9, Burlington High School
I glance at the thermometer on my
armband: 112 degrees. The heat on Casima
is nearly unbearable on human skin and
this is just winter.
Its too dangerous to set foot upon the
planet during the summer months. The first
aircraft to arrive here made that mistake,
and they died of sunstroke almost immediately. But that was over 100 years ago; we
know better now.
I trudge along the road, sweating under
the straps of my backpack. The Shelter
isnt too far, my armband tells me. I should
be there within the hour.
Still, Im not sure I can last that long.
I only have one canteen of water left, and
its going fast, trying to keep up with the
perspiration seeping out of my skin.
I squint down the road. The jagged red
peaks of the Selika Cliffs are visible in the
distance, contrasting the lavender sky.
Closer, though, I spot what appears
to be a rickety roadside stand, composed
of splintering boards and an old piece of
canvas that functions as a roof.
Maybe theyre selling something.
Maybe its water. I grit my teeth and force
myself to quicken my pace.
As I draw closer, I make out a wiry
figure leaning over the front of the stand. A
Casimian; a female, by the looks of it.
Upon first glance, Casimians appear
identical to humans. Then you notice the
little things that set them apart, like the
way their eyes are void of pupils, and how
they have small flaps of skin on the sides
of their necks which serve as gills that let
them live in water, as those in the colonies
beneath the Visian Sea choose to do.
Hello, I greet her in Casimian. Ive
been practicing my language skills, but I
know my accent is still thick, and I often
lose the words at the tip of my tongue.
Hey. She nods. She doesnt look
much older than me, but I know she has
probably been alive at least five times longer than I have.
I glance at the hand-painted sign tacked
to the stand. Youre selling Stardust?
She reaches under the counter and pulls
out a small wooden box, which she holds
up for inspection. Fourteen quorans a box.
Sixty for five.
I wish I had just opened by asking
if she had water. Now I feel obliged to
inquire further about her goods. Um, what
does it do?
The usual stuff. Healing, beauty, resurrections.
My stomach drops.
Did you say resurrections? As in
bringing people back from the dead?
She shrugs. The gills on her neck flutter
slightly.
Yeah. Takes about 10 boxes for one
Casimian, but Id say for a human youd
only need one or two. If thats what you
have in mind.
All thoughts of water have drained out
of my head. My hand moves swiftly to my
pocket, fingering my currency pouch.
I have 40 quorans left. Two boxes of
Stardust. One empty hole in my heart filled
again. Isnt this why I decided to travel to
Casima in the first place?
Two summers ago. Black rain. The
last Invasion. The last time I would ever
see her. Two boxes of Stardust and I could
change it all. But what was it that Noah
told me? What was it he said, as I knelt at
her grave and wept, when I asked him what
(continued next column>)

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt, Stardust:
You explore intergalactic space and meet a voyager
selling stardust. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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, 47
Maple St., Suite 106, Burlington,
VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

MGN FAMILY FOUNDATION

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Kevin Huang, Burlington High School

Id ever done to deserve this?


He told me everyone had a mission.
He told me hers had been fulfilled. That I
shouldnt cry, because I should know she
had done what the Universe had told her
to do. She was ready. Maybe it wasnt fair,
the way it happened, but it happened all the
same. What good would it be to bring her
back, if her mission in life had already been
completed?
I withdraw my fingers from my pocket,
coming up empty-handed. I shake my head
at the girl. No thanks. Do you have any
water?

Stardust vendor
BY ZANI LEWIS
Grade 6, Homeschool, Burlington
Wow! I exclaimed. There are a lot of
vendors here.
Yes, replied my tour guide, who happened to be a flying unicorn.
We were passing by a cart when I heard
something: Stardust, stardust! Get your

white, hot stardust. Peanuts, shrunken


heads! All sold here for low prices!
I ran over to the vendor who was shouting Stardust!
Hey, kid! You lookin for stardust? You
can get a pouch for two gems.
I dug out two gems and handed them to
him.
Okay, kid, heres the directions.
You put one sprinkle of the stardust in
a cup of unicorn milk. Stir it around, then
drink it while making a wish.
Only do this before going to bed.
When you wake up, your wish will come
true. Oh, and if you dream about your wish,
it will be even more powerful. You must
wait a month between wishes. No less.
Okay?
He handed me the pouch.
Thank you, sir!
No problem, kid. Have a nice day.
Hurry, the bus will be at the intergalactic station soon. We dont want to miss it,
the flying unicorn said.

Meeting HugWuffle
BY CHARLOTTE DAKIN
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School
Three, two, one ... blast off! I hear my
boss yell.
I clench my seatbelt tightly and lean
back into my seat. I scream a little too. Just
before I burst into orbit I press a bunch of
buttons and then I flick on auto pilot. The
rocket transitions from a bumpy ride to a
smooth and calm journey. I glance out my
window and see a variety of colors purple, blue, black, white and a little pink, all
blended together. They look like the northern lights but prettier. I sit there in awe and
stare into space, literally. Suddenly, I hear
a voice.
Wh-what? I question, whipping my
head in all directions.
Are you there yet? my boss asks.
No, not yet. Almost, though, I answer
quickly.
Okay, she replies.
I give my head a little shake and direct
the rocket toward Saturn and I see a silhouette of a person, or should I say creature?
Immediately, questions race in my mind. Is
it a real live alien? Will it hurt me, if it is?
Is it ET?
I giggle at my silly questions and head
over to Saturn. I land and glance at the
alien. It has a strange appearance. It has
purple eyes that you cant stop staring at,
green antennas, a white bunny tail, penguin
feet, monkey hands, a pig nose, elf ears,
and is about 2 to 3 feet high. I stare at it in
confusion.
Excuse me, maam, the alien says
politely.
Yes? I stutter.
Do you want some stardust? it questions.
I dont know. What is your name? I
ask.
HugWuffle.
I laugh and stare at the stardust.
Is it edible? I say.
Yes! it says in excitement.
I stare at the brightly colored dust.
Free sample? asks HugWuffle.
Sure, I say with a smile.
I inch over to the stand and try some
of the dust. It immediately makes everything rainbow colors and smiley faces are
everywhere.
Woah, I say, stumbling over stuff
thats not really there.
HugWuffle laughs hysterically. Pink
tears fall from its eyes.
I work for NASA. I need a picture
with you, I demand.
How about I come home with you? It
always has been a dream of mine to go to
Earth, HugWuffle says.
That would be amazing! I exclaim.
HugWuffle and I gather its stuff and
board the ship. We exit space and land on
Earth.
Amanda, George, I would like you
to meet my friend HugWuffle, I tell my
children.
They stand there confused until HugWuffle comes out ...
Read this story at youngwritersproject.org/
node/110017.

READ MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

&
THE VOICE

Person training
BY ELLA FISHMAN
Grade 7, Endeavour Middle School
Well, hello there! You are a new person.
Welcome to person training. Its almost the
centennial anniversary of people training,
and by the time we celebrate, you will be a
cultured, well-trained human. But you need
training for that ... so here we go!
First, youre going to have to learn how
to use your arms and legs. This is easier
than it looks, kind of like riding a bike (you
will learn about that later.) Once you learn,
you never forget. No triathlons, nothing
like that. Just a few steps.
After youve mastered that, youre going to learn how to speak. You dont have
to be bilingual (thatll come later, too.) Just
get the basics down. Nothing hard; its not
going to take you a century to do this. All
you need is patience. Dont give up.
Now that you know how to walk and
talk, you are going to start meeting people.
You will make friends. Its important to
remember that everyone is unique in their
own way; not everyone is exactly like you.
Once you know people, you can start
making phone calls. You can call one person or you can do a three-way call (and you
should note that a group of three is called
a triad; you can add that to your list of new
words.)
When youre on a phone call, you could
make plans with a person at, say, a restaurant in town. You need to get there. So next
youre going to learn how to drive.
Driving is also like riding a bike. Once
you learn, you will always know. But, it
takes time, patience, and cautiousness to
really learn how to do it correctly. Its a
binocular skill, and though you are bipedal,
you need only one foot for both the gas and
the brake pedals.
If you go the wrong way, make a Uturn. A U-turn is basically a semicircle. Just
make sure to do it in a safe place, and dont
hit anything.
When you get to your lunch with a
friend, you engage in conversation. On
some topics, you will unify; and on others,
you will disagree. This is OK. Like we said
before, everyone is unique and is not going
to be just like you.
Well, those are the basics to being a
human. There are other things, but thats all
we have time for today.

THIS WEEK: Manual


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt, Manual:
Write instructions on how to be a human being. Read
more great writing at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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, 47
Maple St., Suite 106, Burlington,
VT 05401.

BY EMMA DOWNEY
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Being a human is hard. Im just going
to put that out there.
People expect everyone to be perfect
when thats physically impossible; nobody
is perfect.
Living as a human being is grueling,
complicated and inequitable, but also
enjoyable and amazing. Its full of surprises
and adventure.
Enjoy the little things and make the
most of it. Life doesnt just come around
easily. You need to work for things as a
human.
Life as a human being is a privilege and
you should try to enjoy it because life is
short.

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Special thanks this week to

THE BAY AND PAUL


FOUNDATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

READ THE MAY ISSUE


OF YWPS DIGITAL MAGAZINE

THE VOICE
Go to youngwritersproject.org
to get your FREE subscription!

Still learning
BY ZANI LEWIS
Grade 6, Homeschool, Burlington

Jo Munson, Essex High School

Being human
Nobody is perfect

YWP NEWS

BY EMILY FOSTER
Grade 7, Endeavour Middle School
Step 1: Act casual. This is very important.
Humans try to find themselves superior to
everything, so practice eye rolling in the
mirror.
Step 2: Read tabloids and believe them, but
pretend that you dont believe them and
that you dont read them.
Step 3: Act like talking to yourself is crazy,
but do it anyway.

Step 7: Although I know it might be hard,


pretend unicorns dont exist (even though
they totally do; except they only live on
Venus, which you already know, being the
wise alien that you are.)
Step 8: Act like adults were born a century
ago.
Step 9: Act like you hate math even if you
dont. Dont ask why you do.
Step 10: Get into a sport like running. This
shall be fairly easy, as you have amazing
bipedal abilities. Say youre training for a
triathlon.

Step 4: Forget things. Humans are very


forgetful.

Step 11: Use Facebook. Make friends


with those you do not know. Even though
this is clearly against all rules regarding
Internet safety.

Step 5: Every once in awhile, wear mismatched socks. When questioned, throw
hands in air, saying, Everyone does it!

Step 12: Try to fit in but say youre unique.

Step 6: Use big words occasionally, words


like: bicentennial, centennial, triplicate and
centipede!

Step 13: Unify with a group of friends.


Step 14: Get excited over everything and
anything. Whether its binoculars or Christmas, get excited!

Hi Mom. Hi Dad, I say.


Hi sweetie, says Mom.
Youre finally awake, Champ. Congrats, Dad smiles. Did you forget to
read your How to Be a Human and Make
Everyone Like You directions?
Oh, Ill get that, I say as I run back up
the stairs to my bedroom.
This morning Im tired and the alien
blood running through my veins doesnt
help. Im from a different planet in a different galaxy.
We moved to Earth when I was 11, last
year. I dont go to school yet because Im
still learning how to be human. However,
I can do calculus in my head because I
sucked the intelligence from a college guy.
That was about eight months ago ...
I grab my How to Be a Human directions and open it to the Morning List:
1. Get out of bed
2. Yawn
3. Stretch
4. Go to the bathroom
5. Brush your teeth
6. Rinse your toothbrush off
7. Go back to your room
8. Take off your pajamas (See the Night
List.)
9. Put clothes on (See How to Dress Like
a Human.)
10. Go to the kitchen
11. Take out cereal and milk (See How to
Eat Like a Human.)
12. Take out a bowl
13. Pour cereal in the bowl
14. Pour milk in the same bowl and spill
some on the counter/table and say Oops!
15. Dont bother cleaning the milk up
16. Put the milk and cereal away
17. Bring your bowl to the table
18. Be sloppy and eat your cereal
19. Dont bother cleaning your mess up
20. Say hi to your parents

The scent of tea

BY ZOE CUDNEY
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

I dont want to, I protested as she


shoved me toward the door.
It was an ugly door, covered in
scratches and dents that someone had tried
to cover up with tapestries and chains of
beads.
Too bad, she said simply as she
caught my arm before I could run away.
It will be cool; trust me.
I wasnt so sure. I had never been one
for fortune tellers or predicting the future.
It was all just a bunch of lies and tricks
to get your money, but this time I didnt
really have a choice. The woman was dying and the only thing she wanted was to
predict someones future mistakes.
I opened the door slowly and walked
into the room. The oor was covered in an
assortment of rugs. The room smelled of
incense and window cleaner.
The walls were lined with a dangerous
combination of old volumes and lit candles.
In the back corner stood an elaborate bed.
Tall spires jutted from each corner supporting a roof and glittering gold fabric.
The bedspread was embroidered in a
rainbow of colors depicting a scene of a
parade. Elephants wearing tall hats carried
well-dressed men in matching miniature
hats. Tall trees lled with birds, and monkeys lined the street.
One elephant was topped with a band
in regal uniforms. Women wearing colorful
silk saris and carrying bunches of exotic
owers and fruits atop their heads lined the
street. Children darted around them, playing games and gawking at the magnicent
creatures.
The woman in the bed was small and
frail. Her papery skin was stretched tightly
over her bones. She frowned when she saw
me as if she was expecting someone else.
She pointed at the table next to her where a
large white ball sat.
Pick it up, she said. Nervously, I
picked up the ball. It was cold and heavy
in my hands. Suddenly I was falling. My
stomach felt as though it had been left behind. I was spinning through blackness, the
ball slowly growing warmer in my hands.
It was beginning to glow, illuminating the
space around me. A picture began to appear
and my fall slowed. At rst it was blurry
and discolored like an old photograph
and then it came into focus. I recognized
a younger version of myself, skipping
through my grandparents blueberry patch.
My pigtails bounced in time with my
feet and they landed on the soft grass. The
image faded and another one began to appear. I looked slightly older in this one. I
was running through the grass behind my
friends house. My hair fanned out behind
me. Fireworks exploded in the night sky
over the bay, making the water sparkle with
rainbow light. A sparkler protruding from
my hand spit ames behind me.
The image faded again and this time it
looked as though I was in college. I was
laughing, my head tilted back, a pair of
reading glasses in my hand. A pile of papers surrounded me like the edge of a nest.
The image disappeared again.
Now I was carrying a gurgling baby on
my hip as I watered a ower bed. Slowly
the images blurred past me. I was opening
presents with three kids at Christmas, holding another baby up toward the sky.
As the pictures changed, my hair
became grayer and I gained more wrinkles,
but I also looked happier with each one.
(continued >)

THIS WEEK: Photo 8

YWP NEWS & EVENTS

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt to write about
Photo 8. Read more at youngwritersproject.org, a safe,
civil, online community of writers.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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, 47
Maple St., Suite 106, Burlington,
VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

JANES TRUST

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

READ THE MAY ISSUE


OF THE VOICE!
SEE LOCAL WRITERS FEATURED
EVERY MONTH IN
YWPS DIGITAL MAGAZINE!
Go to youngwritersproject.org
to get your FREE subscription

DONT MISS
YWPS FINAL POETRY SLAM
OF THE YEAR!
YWP HEADQUARTERS
47 MAPLE ST.
BURLINGTON
THURSDAY, MAY 14 AT 6 P.M.
FREE PIZZA | FREE POETRY

The glowing ball


BY SOPHIE DAUERMAN
Grade 7, Shelburne Community School

Emma Parizo, Essex High School

The last thing I saw came


into focus more slowly. Two
white lawn chairs sitting on a
hill facing the ocean. I could
hear seagull cries and the
scent of tea tickled my nose.
A warm summer breeze
blew, making the grass shift
and sway. Two people came
and sat in the chairs; each
held a mug in their hands. I
couldnt see their faces, but I
knew that they were smiling
because happiness seemed to
radiate off of them in waves.

Then it all went black.


I opened my eyes to see
the carpet. I was lying on
the ground in the fortune
tellers apartment. I pulled
myself to my feet and
looked down at her. She
was asleep, her chest rising
and falling with her breaths,
a smile splayed across her
face. As I walked out of the
room I could still smell the
tea.
Photo 8. Melissa Morris, Essex High School

My hands shake,
uncertain,
afraid of the unknown.
Eerie blue light reects upon my face,
ominous,
emitting a warm pulse.
The ball trembles slightly,
deciding
my fate.
The white clouds begin the move,
telling
my future.
Images begin to form,
cloudy,
shifting as dark shapes begin to emerge.
The warmness disappears.
Cold settles over me.
My stomach is unsettled,
nervous,
afraid of what the ball will tell me.
My clammy hands begin the slide,
slipping.
CRASH!
Its gone, and my future goes ...
unknown
forever.

Meant for more


BY CHLOE GRANT
Grade 11, South Burlington High School
Her mother used to tell her when she
was young that she was meant for different
times and different places, where one pink
drink could change her mind and whatever
she dreamed in her compact mind could
come true.
Her mother would say she was meant
for grown-up men, not immature teenage
boys who joked about her glasses on the
empty bus. She was meant for a job in the
city to touch kind souls and break little
boys souls.
She was meant to tune broken pianos
lying on the street and drink wine in the
bathtub that watched over the city of a
thousand dances and a million insanities.
She was meant for greater things.
She was meant for city lights and
drunken nights with the guitar boys who
sang her to sleep through hazy-dazed
dreams.
She was meant for small apartments at
the top of large buildings, lled with modern designs and little touches of home that
intertwine in blankets that she would use
when she was missing someone.
She was meant for the salt in the ocean
that made her eyes burn happily and books
that told the right fairy tales.
She was meant for rainy days. She was
meant for dirt under her ngernails and
colored cheeks stained from the cold.
She was meant for glorious springs,
wonderful summers, frigid winters and
warm autumns.
She was meant for red lipstick and skinny cocktail dresses that hugged her waist
and gave men a reason to call her honey.
She was meant for greater things than
high school dances and football games
where she never felt exactly right.
She was meant for hats with ribbons
and sushi nights paired with beautiful
friends who made her feel like something.
She was meant for elds lled with
owers to blow away seeds and make
wishes that would never come true.
She was meant for beautiful sunsets and
sunrises, for she was always to be looking at the world through a looking glass
colored with rose and wonder.
She was meant for road trips where
boys and girls stuck their dirty feet out of
crooked windows and she would scream
colorful lyrics to her favorite songs out to
the ominous black world.
She was meant for the smell of re
burning and counting stars in the night sky
as she watched her favorite blond-boywriter friend smile in the orange-colored
light.
She was meant for happiness and hearts
to break; she was meant for dreams and
guitars to play; she was meant for love
and wine-suffocated temptations where
white blouses ripped themselves off of pale
bodies. She was meant for a world that she
didnt have yet.
Her mother told her she was meant for
her future, for times ahead.
She was meant for growling tides and
dreamy boys; she was meant for love and
life.
She was meant for everything her
mother dreamed of being, and everything
she would never be. And thats exactly how
she dreamed of her life to be.

THIS WEEK: Safe & Life


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication.
This week, we present responses to the prompts, Safe:
Where do you feel safe? and Life: What would your life
be like if a certain major event had gone differently?

YWP EVENTS
DONT MISS
THE FINAL SLAM OF THE YEAR!

YWP HEADQUARTERS
47 MAPLE ST.
BURLINGTON

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

THURSDAY, MAY 14 AT 6 P.M.

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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, 47
Maple St., Suite 106, Burlington,
VT 05401.

FREE PIZZA | FREE POETRY

Special thanks this week to

NATIONAL LIFE GROUP

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Bri Lancaster, Essex High School

Nighttime place

Rustle of pages

BY MADELINE EVANS
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

BY LAUREN HALBERG
Grade 5, Renaissance School

Comforted,
enveloped in warmth,
and snuggled tight.
A place where I can spend each night.
A place to draw,
to read,
to write.
A place to relax
when I dont feel alright.
A place to laugh,
to smile,
to sing.
A place to enjoy the simplest things.
A place to see plastic glowing stars.
A place to imagine people
and places,
near and far.
A place to hold dreams,
warm and dear.
A place to have fun
with family and friends.
A place to hold pillows,
stufes,
and then,
wait until light breaks the horizon again.

I felt most safe and comfortable in my


closet in our old house in Richmond.
I would make a pile of stuffed animals
in my closet, where only I could t with all
of them, and sit on top of the pile with my
favorite stuffed animal, Meow.
I would have a good book, and I would
feel safe and happy.
It would be completely quiet, except for
the rustle of the pages as I turned them, and
the soft sound of my breathing.
I saw only the words and turning pages
of the book, and the movie of my book in
my head. I felt the stuffed animals soft fur,
and the pages of the book.

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

&
THE VOICE

Baseball or art
BY KAYLEY HAYS
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

I am going to catch this ball. I know I


can. I can feel it. My arm is up high in the
air, the ball heading straight down toward
my hand, getting bigger in my vision.
I squeeze my eyes shut. There are
seconds left, both of our teams having 16
points. Suddenly, I feel the ball touch my
palm; I give it a squeeze. It is now in my
grip.
My team triumphantly cheers me on,
the other team looking glum, throwing their
blue and red hats on the ground. I pick up a
hat and look at it. It is a nice color of blue
up close. It is like a royal blue with bright
red writing.
You dropped something.
The kid who had purposely threw his
hat looks back at me and laughs. I hand
back the hat and walk in the other direction
toward my team.
High ves are everywhere; pats on the
back are hard; my cheeks hurt from smiling
too big and long. I am proud.
I know it isnt because Im good at
baseball that I win the game and catch the
ball. Its because I had courage. I didnt
have fear. I was excited. I knew that I could
do it, and I had hope and pride in my hand
and palm as I caught the ball with no sweat.
Baseball is my hobby.
My breath is heavy. My feet feel like
they are chained to a 600-ton block of
marble. My hairline is covered in sweat.
I pant once more before running for the
ball. I run as fast as I can in the balls direction. My vision is getting blurry from all
the sweat. Am I going to be able to catch
this? Will I be able to win the nal 12.3
seconds of the game?
We are tied against the other team by
16. Will I give or receive that nal point of
17?
The ball is now closer to me. The ball
must be 10 inches from my face. My arm
goes up to catch it, stretching my shoulder
as far as I possibly can. With my sweaty
palms, the ball slides out of my hand and
trundles away in the grass. I try again with
my other hand and fall down, still trying to
catch the ball.
The other team cheers. I throw my hat
on the ground and jump up.
If only I had drunk more water before
the game? No. Maybe if I was actually
good at baseball, I would have caught it.
But no, Im not good at baseball.
Im only good at drawing circles and
coloring in the lines on paper.
I was too panicky.
Baseball isnt my hobby.

Tunnel vision
BY ERIN BUNDOCK
Grade 11, Champlain Valley Union
I found a tunnel with golden moonbeams and unplanned decisions, and from
the bricked ceilings there hung captured
memories reecting against the glass of the
shattered Coke bottle chandeliers.
As I walked, my dreams that painted
the walls began to peel and curl away from
my palms and the rough insides of the tunnel. Glowing Mason jars illuminated the
tattoos scrawling over my skin before fading, like ink dancers in water. Though they
disappeared, I felt them still; they were
waiting for someone elses light to discover
them again.
In the distance, a shufe of feet echoed
into my heart, dragging me forward
through the darkening hall. The smell of
cinnamon and ocean fell into my mind
as the tunnel narrowed, the coarse walls
scraping my ngertips as I ran them across
the seams of the bricks. And I stumbled
over my thoughts and the stinging of my
tattoos, tripping over shards of broken
bottles, pushing the walls away, only to
nd the oor.
And then I found a hand, a smile, and
small creases next to young eyes. I found
the strange familiar shufe; comfort in a
foreign giggle I had always heard, even if it
had only been dream-painted on the walls.
I found a gait in a skip of heart beats I had
never felt. I found a light to my tattoos; the
smell of sunscreen dancing in the heat of
that sun.
Its in those irises that you ask yourself,
They mean the world to you, dont they?
A whole planet could fall away, but
theyre all youd see.
It was before those irises that Id never
believed blind spots so large could be
caused by two small hearts.

THIS WEEK: Tunnel & Idea


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication.
This week, we present responses to the prompts, Tunnel: You nd a tunnel. Where does it lead? & Idea:
Write about a seemingly bad idea that turns out great.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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, 47
Maple St., Suite 106, Burlington,
VT 05401.

Special thanks this week to

PHYSICIANS COMPUTER CO.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Trap door
BY LOY PRUSSACK
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Its a warm, foggy day and Im walking in the crowded New York City streets
listening to the bustle of people as they
walk by.
I stumble forward, bumping into the
man in front of me. He turns toward me, a
stern look on his face.
I mumble an apology and he spins
around and quickly walks away.
I look back to see what caused my
clumsy stumble, and notice that the cracks
in the sidewalk form a sort of square.
I lean down and gently slide my hand
over the cracks. I notice that the area inside
the square seems to be ever-so-slightly
higher than the rest of the sidewalk.
Digging my nails into parallel cracks, I
yank the concrete upwards. I fall back onto
my butt and see that the sidewalk hasnt
budged.
Im about to give up when I notice an
inconspicuous crack that looks wider than
the rest. I put my ngers into the sidewalk
crack and pull. The square in the sidewalk
slowly rises before me, opening like a trap
door.
I cant help it; I lower myself through
the doorway. My feet quickly nd the
ground, and I drop down, leaving the busy
streets behind. I look up to see the door
closing above me, slowly lowering itself at
rst, then slamming shut. ...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.
org/node/110438.

A.J. Combs, Essex High School

Only in books
BY SUMMER GRACE
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Falling. Falling. Falling. I hit the
ground hard. I see nothing. For a moment I think Ive gone blind. I havent. I
see a light in the distance. I must have hit
my head hard; I hear a loud, high-pitched
ringing. I crawl down the jagged path.
The ringing gets louder and louder until I
realize that the noise is not in my head, but
coming from the source of light that seems

miles away. I am too exhausted to move. I


lie on the cold, hard ground and fall asleep.
When I wake, I see two eyes staring at me.
I feel like screaming, but think better of it.
There is no help for miles. I sit up. My eyes
blur and my head spins. When my eyes
nally focus I see a beautiful girl wearing a
gown of water, shimmering beautiful water.
Forcing myself to stand, I feel a breeze.
I look up. A troll towers over me. I feel his
every breath. I walk to the light. The tunnel
opens into a bright, vast eld. Everywhere I
turn, a creature appears, creatures I thought
existed only in books. Welcome, the
water girl says, to Anestasia.

Bizarre triathlon
BY OLIVER HALBERG
Grade 7, Endeavour Middle School
Once upon a time, there was a computer
programmer named Fred.
Fred had a collection of live centipedes
and another collection that consisted of
plastic unicorn statues. He was bilingual
and worked for a programming company
called PurpleGreen Programming.
One day, he entered a triathlon. In order
to get in, however, he had to ll out various
unique forms with lots of semicolons that
had to be signed by a triad of people he
barely knew, be stamped with a stamp of
approval by someone who only stamped
things semi-annually, and then be lled out
again in triplicate.
Once all of that was completed, it was
revealed that the forms were the rst event
in the triathlon. Fred, who had come in
third place in the forms event, wondered
what he had signed up for.
The second event was a birdwatching
event with binoculars. Fred did very well in
that, and came in second behind a professional birdwatcher. The score sheet for the
birds spotted had the usual daytime birds in
the area, but it also had:
Barn Owl (If you can spot one of these,
its probably asleep) 10 points
Dodo (These are extinct, so you will
need proof and a event ofcial to conrm
the sighting) 100 points
Your Feet (These are not birds! Do not
try to convince an ofcial by throwing your
shoes off the cliff! You will not get them
back!) 0 points
After these weird contests, Fred felt he
could handle anything. He was wrong. The
next contest was a randomly picked individual event, where the contestants were
put into individual rooms to attempt to follow the instructions they would be given.
Freds instructions were very strange.
He was supposed to unify the Union and
Confederate forces. They turned out to be
relatively poor actors who obviously hadnt
studied their lines, as they were holding
scripts. He had to get them to agree on
something before they would move away
from a door. Once they moved away, he
could walk through.
His attempts werent working, however.
Come on guys, this happened over
a century ago! Now, can you just let me
through the door? didnt work.
Neither did, You guys should study
your lines more! I can tell you didnt practice.
Finally, he was ready to give up, but he
had one more idea.
Are you guys bipedal? he asked.
Yes! said the Union forces leader, who
was the only one of the actors who paid
attention to anything Fred said.
You Union people started this war in
the rst ... oh, yeah, were bipedal, said
the Confederate forces leader, chewing on
his obviously fake mustache.
Fred did a victory dance.
Why are you dancing? asked the
Union forces leader.
I got you to agree on something!
yelled Fred.
The actors sighed and reluctantly
moved away from the door, forming a
semicircle as they watched him go to it.
The door was locked with an electronic box
that he had to program to open the door,
but that was easy for Fred.
When he got out, he was awarded the
rst prize medal. ...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.
org/node/111597.

The time between


skiing and crocuses
BY ISIDORA BAILLY-HALL
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
For most people, Vermont is that pretty
picture sitting on your mantelpiece, the
chartreuse-colored elds, leading up to
British-racing-green mountains, with the
clear blue skies overhead providing the perfect background for that round barn on top
of a bluff. The picture practically screams,
Everything is perfect here!
Truth is, if youre living in Vermont,
spring is a time when you want to run for
the hills, but wait! Eeeek! The hills are
worse than the valleys!
Somehow, on March 1, mud seeps into
every crack in the sidewalk and gutter by
the road. It can be found hiding under last
years dead grass or mixing with a pile of
old leaves and month-old, partially frozen
dog poop, left to be found when the snow
nally melts.
Mud, mud, and more abysmal mud is
really what Vermont is in the spring. When
you think that the end might be near, more
mud seeps in, and you cant help but wonder where it all comes from.
Eventually you just have to resign yourself to remembering that we are the nations
drainage dump. I think we get enough mud
for the whole Northeast!
Truth is, in Vermont we dont call this
time of year spring, because we do have a
real spring, but to bridge the gap between
skiing and crocuses, we add mud season.
Its a tting name for the time when
mud denes every aspect of our life. The
city, the mountains, the elds, everywhere
is covered in mud, mud and even more
mud.
Cakey brown dust is constantly being
scraped from ngernails, rinsed from hair,
and lathered vigorously off of arms and
legs, only for the mud to come back in full
force less than an hour later.
When naive out-of-staters claim that it
seems a bit muddy today, partway through
June (one of our nicer warm months), we
just roll our eyes and remind them, Dont
treat your soil like dirt because for all the
complaining, we love it. Mud is part of our
heritage. Its just as much a part of us as
maple syrup and cows.

Mountains, lake

BY CAMRYN MUZZY
Grade 5, Renaissance School

Vermont is hiking up a mountain, smelling the trees and feeling the joy of nally
getting to the top so you can sit down and
eat lunch.
Vermont is doing the Penguin Plunge:
watching people cut a hole in the ice because its so cold; getting the tingly feeling
of numbness as you rush into the water;
then sprinting back to the tent where there
are heaters; going with my family to get hot
chocolate to warm up.
Vermont is skating on a pond until you
feel like your toes are going to fall off, and
sailing across Lake Champlain in my boat
Tied the Knot with my family, feeling the
warm, summer air against my face as we
glide across the calm waters. Vermont is
reading a book at the top of a tree, smelling
the fresh leaves and grass, running through
a sprinkler with my friend, feeling the cold
water against my skin, and making forts in
the woods behind my house. Vermont is my
home.

THIS WEEK: Vermont


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt to write about
your Vermont. Read more at youngwritersproject.org,
a safe, civil, online community of writers.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


THE BAY AND PAUL
FOUNDATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Just because
BY EMMA BARKER
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Vermont is
the susurration
of the orange plastic sled
slipping over snow,
barreling down the hill
in the backyard,
ipping sideways,
and you coming up
with a new, white beard
you never knew you could grow.
Vermont is
watching the national
ice swimming competitions
just outside your home
and shivering for the competitors
who somehow, inexplicably, love it.
Vermont is
running through the sprinkler,
turning blue beneath the frigid water,
lying on the hot sidewalk,
steeped in sun,
leaving a human-shaped wet patch,
sitting up and brushing off tiny pebbles
clinging to your water-logged skin.
Vermont is
bragging to your family in Georgia
about the 5 feet of snow
and the negative-20-degree cold.
Vermont is
sitting outside in the heat,
Mom slipping out the door
with a tray
of sticky, sweet, raspberry Popsicles
to eat and dribble mostly down your shirt.
Vermont is
a giant pile of soggy leaves
concealing patches of sticks
under the bare tree
in the front yard
and jumping into it anyway
and laughing
just because thats Vermont.

In the midst
Bri Lancaster, Essex High School

My Vermont
From Grade 5 Class at Cambridge Elementary School
To me, Vermont is a long dirt road with
a silo and chipped red barn every couple
of miles and uncountable cows. There are
mountains surrounding that road. In the
distance, innite forest starts at the end of
the eld.
Vermont is waiting at the bottom of my
driveway for the bus in the cold before the
sun even begins to come up...
ELIZA GOLDSWORTHY
Vermont, to me, is maple syrup. I go
sugaring almost every day after school.
I get there when its still light and leave
when its dark.
We always cook hot dogs in the boiler
and eat them for dinner, then go home to
get our wet clothes off and get into our
warm, dry beds. We sugar until the peepers
stop peeping and the sap stops running.
Then we go home and start a countdown
until next year when we have to put a
pipeline over a big river and hill because
we cant reach it.
But before we leave, we have to ride
the snowmobile one last time.
KARLIN FOLEY

Have you ever been to Vermont? It


is the prettiest place I think there is. In
Vermont there are a lot of people who make
maple syrup; a lot of people farm; and we
get a lot of snow I mean a lot.
CARLY HITCHCOCK
People always think Vermont is farmland, but its not just that. In Vermont we
have great schools where we can learn
what we want to do with our lives. Some
people take it really seriously and end up
as engineers. Some people end up in the
Olympics. Vermont has crazy big mountains that I can snowboard down. In my
town, there is a place called Smugglers
Notch where you can do anything, like
swimming or go on water slides. Vermont
is a very nice place.
PHOEBE LOOMIS
Vermont is a collage of colors. In winter, the snow is a uorescent white and the
blue sky makes the snow even more white.
In spring, the ground is muddy and its
cold with a hint of warmth. In summer, the
sun is a bright yellow that pours all over
the green grass, and the trees leaves are
a deep green accented by a beige or white
trunk with black ecks. Dont even get me
started on fall. Fall is a magical time for
me, its so vibrant.
CHARLOTTE DAKIN

BY GREGORY DAVID LEVINE


Grade 11, South Burlington High School
In the midst of winter,
a leaf hangs by a twig
while others fall;
the leaf hangs on,
failing to break free of the arbors tight
grasp,
and nally breaks free in the midst of summer,
shriveled and crusty,
as its brethren,
budded and blossomed,
soak the summer sun into their souls.
An owl ies by in the midst of day,
a supposedly nocturnal creature,
and mistakes the shriveled leaf for a small
shrew as it tumbles in the breeze,
reminiscent of the rough hopping of a
rodent.
Upon bringing the leaf back to its den,
the owl sees through the shriveled crust
into the worn, leafy veins,
and drops the leaf beneath its majestic tree,
and in the midst of winter,
it blossoms,
only to soak up cold, grey skies and bitter,
frosty wind,
with yet no sun,
as the leafs brethren so solemnly slumber
beneath the blanket of snow that has enveloped the wood.

Shadows
BY ELLA STAATS
Grade 9, Burlington High School
It happened again, Mimi.
I stood in the doorway to my grandmothers room, staring across to where
she sat in her oversized armchair by the
window, where she seemed to spend more
and more of her time as she aged.
Her eyes ickered over to me. Though
sunk deep into their sockets and framed by
deep wrinkles, her icy gray irises could still
speak for themselves. As a little girl, a mere
glance from her could ll me with great
pride or sudden fear. Today it was something different. Shame.
When she spoke, her words were sharp
and clipped. You cannot let this keep happening, Magnolia. There are dangers that
come with your powers.
I bowed my head, and a thick lock of
white-blond hair untucked itself from behind my ear, oating down to brush against
my collarbone. I know. Im sorry.
She sighed, lifting a bony hand to
beckon me further into the room. I obeyed,
stepping across the threshold and gently
closing the door behind me, so as not to
alert the rest of the family.
What happened this time?
I was at the convenience store, I
began, my ngers straying to my pocket to
clutch the candy bar I had purchased not
half an hour before. The one on the corner
of Garden Street by the bakery.
Yes, yes, I know the one you mean,
she said impatiently, gesturing for me to
hurry up.
Well, I thought Id buy some candy.
The cashier scanned it for me and then
handed it across the counter, and I reached
to take it ... but I brushed her shadow as I
did.
A lump rose in my throat, as I remembered the shriek of the teenage girl as she
dropped the candy and leapt backwards.
She screamed. She blamed it on a
muscle spasm, afterward. I dont think she
realized.
Mimi exhaled slowly, closing her eyes
for a moment to reveal the spotted brown
skin of her eyelids. And youre sure she
saw nothing? She didnt see the shadow
stretch?
I shook my head. Im sure she didnt.
Mimi opened her eyes again, to stare
deep into mine. There are people, you
know, who would do anything to get their
hands on you. Anything. And you cant let
them. You cant let your power get out of
hand.
Im trying, I pleaded. I am. But
sometimes I cant help it. Its starting to
affect my life.
Well, of course it is! she exclaimed,
slapping the arm of her chair. These
ancient powers, they take control of you.
They determine what you can and cannot
do. But you must keep them in check for
the good of the people.
The good of the people, I repeated.
No one can know. Mimi grasped my
hand. There are people who can help you,
people who helped your grandfather. But
its risky business. One misstep and you
could fall into the wrong hands.
I could feel tears welling up in my eyes.
I dont care. I cant live with this. I want
to understand whats happening. I want to
know others like me.
You can, Mimi said rmly. And you
will, if that is what you want.
It is, I whispered. I promise.
She nodded, and pushed herself up
from her seat. Then it is decided. Let us
begin.

THIS WEEK: Secret & Supersilly


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. This week, we present responses to
the prompts, Secret: Write about a secret people must
never know; Supersilly: Describe a seemingly useless
superpower that is hilarious. Read more at youngwritersproject.org and YWPs digital magazine, The Voice.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

MGN FAMILY FOUNDATION

YWP NEWS & EVENTS


CLIMATE
CHANGE
WRITING
CHALLENGE
WRITE AND WIN CASH!
1st place: $100
2nd place: $75 | 3rd place: $50
PROMPTS AND MORE DETAILS:
youngwritersproject.org/climate15
DEADLINE APPROACHES! APRIL 10
Presented by Vermontivate!, Vermont Energy
Education Program & Young Writers Project

THE VOICE
READ THE APRIL ISSUE!
Go to youngwritersproject.org
to get your FREE subscription
of YWPs monthly digital magazine!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Dancing on the spot


BY ZANI LEWIS
Grade 6, Homeschool, Burlington

Mya Burghardt, Essex High School

On the edge
BY ZOE CUDNEY
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Why did you invite me up here anyway? I asked as I sat down on the metal
edge of the roof.
My stomach was a swirling mass of
butteries, and I was already starting to feel
dizzy as my fear of heights kicked in.
The sloping roof of the barn looked like
a menacing cliff waiting for me to take one
wrong step and fall to my destruction.
It didnt help that the night was pitch
black, the moon covered in a swirling
mass of clouds. The rooster weather vane
creaked as it spun in the wind.
She didnt answer. Instead, she turned
away from me and began to walk along the
top of the roof. Her long red hair billowed
out behind her in a cloud as she spun to
face me, now balanced on the very edge of
the roof.
I have to show you something, she
said, her voice wavering as she spoke.

But, you have to promise not to tell


anyone.
She looked genuinely scared so I nodded slowly. She took a deep breath and fell
backwards off the roof. I screamed and ran
to the edge, not thinking about what would
happen if I fell off.
I was prepared to see her body lying
broken and battered on the ground, but
there was nothing there.
A laugh echoed across the eld and I
looked up. I almost fell over in surprise
when I saw her.
She was ying.
Giant gray wings had sprouted from her
back. Feathers uttered in the wind as her
wings pumped back and forth.
She laughed again, and then quickly
ew over to catch me as I fainted.

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

&
THE VOICE

The burglar was right in front of me.


Halt! I shouted, my Spandex tights
squeaking. Stop or I will release the fury
of my power on you!
Wow, the burglar said in a none-toowow way, while exing his six pack.
What you gonna do, ballerina?
I will make you face the fury of The
Happy Song.
You need some help, mentally? he
asked.
No, you do! I blurted.
Okay, Mr. Burglar exclaimed. Why
do I need help?
Uh, um.
I tried to come up with a reason.
Youre really sad.
He shook his head, smiling.
No, because ...
I switched on my radio.
Im happy. Come along if you feel like
a room without a roof, I sang along.
Suddenly a stop sign started dancing,
tripping Mr. Burglar.
A mailbox fell down break-dancing on
the burglar.
I switched off the radio, smiling at the
man under the stop sign and mailbox.
As the police came to take the burglar
away, I skipped off, still humming the tune.
And thats my power: I can make inanimate objects dance to my singing.

Top of the world

THIS WEEK: Vermont Writes Day

BY ISABEL VIVANCO
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

In its sixth year, Vermont Writes Day sparked the


imagination of thousands of writers across the state on
March 12. With Young Writers Projects seven prompts
to guide them, students, teachers and principals stopped
what they were doing for just seven minutes and wrote!
This week, we present a sample of the writing YWP
received. Read more in the April issue of The Voice!

I toss and turn in bed, uselessly attempting to fall asleep. I glance at the clock.
Midnight. Already? I groan inwardly and
try not to think about tomorrow, a day that
will pass in a miserable haze of exhaustion.
Deciding that a drink of water and a trip
to the bathroom will cure my unsleepingness, I get up, creep toward the hall and
see the door across from my room. The
door across from my room ... Hmmm.
There isnt one. Or there shouldnt be one!
I nearly scream and run down the hall to
my parents in a panic so together we can
examine the door in safety.
But as I try to run, my feet move only
toward the door. I stop just before I crash.
I look around nervously, but my curiosity
gets the better of me and I turn the knob.
The door creaks softly as it opens. No
one stirs. I step in but dont close the door
because that wouldnt be a very smart thing
to do. An average spiral staircase stands in
front of me. I put my foot on the rst step,
testing its weight and anticipating a crash
that doesnt come.
With this positive sign, I cautiously
make my way up the stairs; my hand grazes
over the smooth, sleek wood that makes
up the banister; my feet strike down on the
unblemished stairs. I make my way up and
up and up and up and up and up and up.
The thought of turning around crosses
my mind once or twice, but I know I have
to keep going so I can eventually reach
my goal. (Whatever that is). Finally, when
I feel like I might just drop from fatigue,
my feet hit level ground. And suddenly,
the oor is transparent and I get a dizzying
look of my town below me, a dark mass
of buildings, houses and church steeples;
a small speck on an expanse of elds and
elds of wheat and grass. I see the sun
gradually rising, casting a pinkish glow
over places I recognize so well.
I am so far up, I can even see partially
into the next town over, another dot on the
stretch of farmland. I walk and gaze down
at the Earth in wonder and amazement
and I realize Im on top of the world.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

YWP NEWS
THE VOICE
READ THE APRIL ISSUE!
Go to youngwritersproject.org
to get your FREE subscription
of YWPs monthly digital magazine!

Special thanks this week to


JANES TRUST

CLIMATE CHANGE
WRITING CHALLENGE

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

WRITE AND WIN!


First place: $100
Second place: $75 | Third place: $50
PROMPTS AND MORE DETAILS:
youngwritersproject.org/climate15
DEADLINE: APRIL 10
Presented by Vermontivate!,
Vermont Energy Education Program
& Young Writers Project

Gavyn Letzelter on Vermont Writes Day by Sophia Cannizzaro, Homeschool, West Glover

Follow the blue light Wonderland


BY SOFIA RICHLAND
Grade 5, Rick Marcotte Central School

BY SAMMIE BLACKMORE
Grade 6, Charlotte Central School

It all started when I saw the time


machine, the silver box with the blue light
shining. I had walked in without permission, and had no idea what was going to
happen.
Now Im stuck in the year 2065, where
Im supposed to be 71! I just hope I dont
run into myself.
I start walking around, hoping to nd
somebody I know or recognize. Then I see
it: The same house, street and neighborhood that I live in. I watch someone leave
the house. The person looks awfully familiar. Then I realize why. The person who has
just walked out of my house is me.
Boy, do I look old! I have wrinkles on
my cheeks and forehead. But, theres one
good thing I stayed skinny.
I hop in something that seems like the
coolest invention of the time, a oating car
that goes speeding down the street.
When my old self drives out of the
driveway, or should I say, oats out of the
driveway, I jump behind some bushes so I
wont see myself. Phew! Close call!

And no one will come out alive, Mr.


Harper, with his piercing green eyes and
head covered in slicked-back, crow-black
hair, had whispered as he turned to look at
me.
I said it over and over in my head as
I tossed and turned in my bed. The house
was eerily quiet. The type of quiet that
makes your soul writhe in fear. The type
of silence that screams into your ears and
pains you because it is so loud. A slight
hover sound broke the silence.
Mom? I called out hopefully.
No answer. Just the dead silence that
has always surrounded us since we moved
here.
Mom? I called again, and slid my
legs out from under the covers.
I crept out of the room and reached for
the lights. The lights had never been very
bright, cheap uorescent light bulbs, but
when they turned on, they ickered and lit
the hallway dimly.
Mom? Are you there?

Still no answer.
At the end of the long hallway, I turned
the corner and started heading for my
moms room. We were living by ourselves
in this house since my father went missing
after our old house burned down.
There was no corner though. No Moms
room. Just an old staircase that I had never
seen before.
Mom? I wailed helplessly, and became disoriented.
Was she gone? Had she been kidnapped? Was I lost in my own house?
Then I tripped and slipped down the
stairs, where there was no light. I closed
my eyes and shrieked.
After landing on what seemed like
grass, I opened my eyes. I was somewhere,
a beautiful place with colorful birds ying
through the air, swooping and squawking.
Plums and oranges and pineapples seemed
to be growing everywhere.
Hello. Who are you? a man said
calmly.
It was my father. He was standing in
front of me, looking clean and well-shaven.
Welcome to Wonderland.

Seven minutes
BY AKUCH DAU
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Its Vermont Writes Day. My teacher
has been telling us about it. I think its a
good idea because everyone just stops and
writes. I wish I could write for seven minutes a day every day. I could write more
than seven minutes a day ...

Think about it
BY ZACH FORCIER
Grade 8, Albert D. Lawton Middle School
Think about what youre doing today.
If its not something you would do on your
last day of life, do something else.

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

& THE VOICE

THIS WEEK: Photo 7

Louisa
BY HALLE NEWMAN
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
The sky was an ominous grey, and rain
sprinkled down from the thick clouds onto
the eld. The grass oscillated and rustled in
the heavy wind as the three men heaved a
giant cage to the middle of the eld, right
next to a brightly colored tent, which was
also billowing in the wind. The men wiped
the sweat from their foreheads and collapsed on the damp grass, exhausted.
Inside the giant cage was an elephant
that the trio had hauled halfway across the
eld, a very long way to haul an extra-large
elephant.
The yellow paint on the cage was beginning to peel, but the words Louisa, the
Extra-Large Elephant! could still be made
out above the cages metal bars.
The elephant, Louisa, sat inside, staring
somberly out at the gloomy day. She was
extra large; she had to lay down in the ninefoot-tall cage because she was too big to
stand up. She had long, white tusks and a
majestic, grey trunk that protruded between
the metal bars, her trunk lying in a dirty
puddle on the ground.
Just then a man wearing a purple suit
and a top hat emerged from the colorful
tent, raised his arms above his head, and
shouted to the tired men in a booming
voice, Our main attraction has arrived!
Bring her in, boys, only two hours till
showtime! Louisa, the Extra-Large Elephant will be raking in all the big bucks
today!
At the words, extra-large elephant,
Louisa trumpeted. The thunderous, piercing
sound echoed through the eld, and the
three men abruptly jumped out of the grass.
The trumpet sounded almost like a protest,
or a cry for help, rather than the victory
sound that trumpeting was known to stand
for.
Bad Louisa! one of the men growled.
He scowled, stepped towards the cage, and
promptly smacked the innocent elephant on
the ear.
Bad, bad elephant! Keep quiet, you
worthless, extra-large cretin!
The rain began to fall harder, slapping
against the cage with loud thumps for each
oversized droplet. Louisa cowered in her
tiny cage as the three men picked up the
ropes from the front of it and dragged her
across the wet grass into the circus tent.
The man in the purple suit, also known
as the ringmaster, grinned and gazed up at
the sky. Under the protection of the tents
awning, he watched the rain plummet from
the grey, swollen clouds onto the muddy
land below.
He was picturing the throngs of customers he hoped would come in two hours and
how they would ll up the whole muddy
eld just to see his very own extra-large
elephant.
He could practically feel the money
between his hands, those lovely green
papers being passed to him for his keeping.
His grin widened, showing off his crooked,
yellow teeth.
Whatever would I do without Louisa,
the Extra-Large Elephant? the ringmaster
chortled greedily.
Still smirking, he clasped his hands
together, and strode back into the tent, the
heavy wind rustling behind him.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt to write about
Photo 7 (right). Read more at youngwritersproject.org,
a safe, civil, online community of writers.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

THE BAY AND PAUL


FOUNDATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Photo 7. Poster by Courier Litho Co., c 1899,


Library of Congress

See the brass band


BY LULU GUY
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Come to the Elephant Brass Band!
Excitement buzzing, people pacing.
Come to the Elephant Brass Band!
My heart is racing, posters ying.
Come to the Elephant Brass Band!
The sun is shining, people smiling.
Come to the Elephant Brass Band!

The Ringlings
BY VIOLETTE MARTIN
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School

Dylan Sayamouangkhua, Burlington High School

Elephants
BY ELLA STAATS
Grade 9, Burlington High School
Hurry up, Addie! Pippa grabbed the
cuff of my sleeve and dragged me down the
street, her shiny black Mary Janes clicking
on the sidewalk. Her two identical braids
specially crafted just for the occasion
bounced rhythmically against her back,
their ne, blond hair glistening in the May
sunlight.
Aw, I dont even want to go, I mumbled, scufng my toe against the pavement.
Pippa slowed her pace to match her
steps with mine. You promised, she
pouted. You cant back out of a promise.
I know, I know.
Pippa began bouncing on her toes the
moment the theatre came into sight. The
sign was displayed prominently in the ticket-booth, the wrinkled, painted elephants
tooting on their various brass instruments.
I wonder how they play, Pippa said.
I mean, with such large hands and all.
Youd think theyd have a tough time of it.
Im sure they do, I humoured her.
Now lets get this over with.
Pippa marched up to the ticket-booth
and slapped a dime onto the counter.

Id like to see the musical elephants,


please. She reached out for my arm and
yanked me forward. And my friend, too.
I could tell Pippa was proud to be going
to the theatre all by herself. She liked acting grown up.
I guess, in hindsight, we should have
known that elephants do not have the skills
necessary to play brass instruments. Still,
it was quite a letdown, to Pippa, at least,
when the performance ended and not one
elephant had emerged on stage. Pippa
stomped out of the theatre and stormed
down the street. Ten cents to see that!
she scoffed. A couple of old curmudgeons
playing some dumb tubas. Not elephants,
but twice as wrinkled! That whole show
was a scam! A complete and utter scam!
I worked long and hard for that 10
cents. I swept Mr. Crockers grocery store
for a whole week!
I patted her on the back. Next time,
well go to the zoo.
She gave me a small smile. The zoo?
And well see not just elephants, but
monkeys and zebras. Maybe even a lion.
Id like to see a lion, she said.
Me too. I elbowed her gently. Guess
theres more sweeping in store for us, eh?
Guess there is.
She whistled the whole way home.

Everyone has heard of the circus, the


acrobats, the clowns and all the animals doing their tricks, but not many have heard of
the great circus mishap. It began when ve
brothers started a circus ... they were in an
act where the ringmaster would turn them
into elephants, but really, they would just
put on elephant costumes.
I shall now turn the ve owners of the
circus into elephants!
The crowd went wild as a sheet hung
down around the ve brothers, Alf, Al,
Charles, Otto and John. As they quickly put
on their costumes they felt a weird sensation; they were turning into elephants and
not even realizing it. They did as they were
supposed to and got their tubas and started
to play. They played with the rest of the
band and surprisingly sounded pretty good,
for elephants. Then they went out of the
arena and went to take off their costumes,
but they could not. No matter what they
tried they could not get them off.
After that, they were never seen as the
Ringling Brothers again. They were the
tuba-playing elephants.

NEXT PROMPTS
Unjust. Write about an injustice youve
witnessed or experienced. What should be
done about it? Alternates: Lists: Write two
lists your top 10 likes and top 10 dislikes;
or General writing in any genre. Due
April 3
Climate. Take action to combat Climate
Change! Respond to three prompts, using
words, sound, images -- or all three. The
challenge sponsor, Vermontivate, will
award three cash prizes and honor winners at a celebration in Montpelier in May!
See above, and go to youngwritersproject.
org/climate15 for full details of the three
prompts along with resources and tips. Due
April 10

THIS WEEK: Change

Too scared
BY AMELIA MASON
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
I was 7 years old when it happened. I
was taking my pipsqueak of a dog, Cha
Cha the Chihuahua, out for a walk on
my street. It was a brisk autumn day and
I was only planning to take Cha Cha up
and down my street because his little legs
would get tired, being a puppy.
I remember praising him when he
would go to the bathroom, saying Good
boy, Cha Cha! You are such a good boy!
I remember petting his silky smooth head
and shushing him when he would growl
at birds. The sun was out and a few of my
neighbors were raking their lawns.
My favorite neighbor, Mrs. Johnson,
the old woman who was always kind to me
and gave me milk and cookies, was sitting
on her porch in her rocker. She was admiring the beautiful day with its auburn and
crimson leaves that crunched under your
feet. She said, Ruth! Come in for a bit,
will you?
I eagerly picked up Cha Cha and raced
up the steps of her house. Mrs. Johnson
smiled and whispered, Only for a short
while, because you must nish walking
that Cha Cha ... Child, have some milk and
cookies.
I did, and then we talked about the
subjects we loved, such as dogs. We shared
a love for dogs. We also shared a love for
books and hot chocolate. But mostly dogs.
We could talk and talk and talk about dogs:
big dogs, small dogs, any kind of dogs. We
were planning to volunteer at the animal
shelter the next week.
After about 20 minutes, I realized that
my parents must be wondering where I
was, so I thanked Mrs. Johnson, gave her
a tight hug, and skipped down her porch,
holding Cha Chas leash, and headed home.
I looked left, right, and left again, just
like my mother had taught me to make sure
there were no cars. Then I walked across
the street.
The next part happened so fast, I can
barely remember it now. I have a memory
of a huge, bulky bulldog called Bruiser,
(who was usually kept inside) racing at me
with erce eyes while barking and frothing
at the mouth.
I, being a 7-year-old who was obsessed
with dogs, reached out my hand to pet
the dog. Thats when everything changed.
He bit my hand, leaving huge, bleeding
marks and I screamed in pain. I let go of
Cha Chas leash and said, Run, Cha Cha!
Run! I could hear Mrs. Johnson shrieking
for help.
The dog yanked me to the ground,
biting me and ripping through my clothes.
Neighbors rushed outside at the sound of
my screams as the dog attacked me mercilessly. I was helpless.
Finally some people pried the dog off
of me as I was in a daze, sobbing, and in
awful pain.
I havent touched a dog since that day.
I got rid of Cha Cha in fear that he might
hurt me like Bruiser had. I am terried of
dogs and run away whenever I see one,
even a small one.
I do miss the days when I didnt start
shaking at the sight of a simple pug, and I
miss Cha Cha.
Looking down at my scarred hands
right now, I close my eyes and sigh. I want
to love dogs again, but Im just too scared.
I cant help it. Im just too scared.

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt, Change:
Include this sentence: ... and thats when everything
changed. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

VERMONT BUSINESS
ROUNDTABLE

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

YWP EVENTS
CLIMATE
CHANGE
WRITING
CHALLENGE
WRITE AND WIN!
First place: $100
Second place: $75, Third place: $50
PROMPTS AND MORE DETAILS:
youngwritersproject.org/climate15
DEADLINE: APRIL 10
Presented by Vermontivate!, Vermont Energy
Education Program & Young Writers Project

Different view
BY JACOB FRENCH
Grade 9, Rice Memorial High School
It was a cold rainy day, the rain pounding the roof, the water trickling down the
gutters. I wondered what would it be like to
be the rain, dripping down the drain, slamming the roof.
Thats when everything changed. I
had a different view of life. You have to
imagine what it would be like to not be
you. We take everything for granted, ignoring the struggles, not having to risk your
life every day and not knowing if you are
going to eat. The rain reminds you that not
everyone lives like you and has an education. Thats when everything changed.

Timmys day off


BY JACOB DION
Grade 9, Rice Memorial High School

Molly Noel, Essex High School

Starting school
BY KARLIN FOLEY
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School
I remember those days when you would sit around in your pajamas all day and you
didnt care. You would watch your older siblings walk out the door to catch the bus and sit
by the heater by the window and watch them freeze and you would look down and see that
you were warm and in your pajamas.
Then you would make a mess with all of your toys and you were so little that your
mother would come and pick them up for you, make you snacks and lunch until the bus
came back and so did your brothers and your sisters and they would crash your party. Also
your mom would give you anything you wanted and whatever you wanted to do because
you were the cutest and the smallest of all.
But then you were old enough to go to school and thats when everything changed.
Instead of you watching your older brothers and sisters get up out of their beds and
make all the noise, you would have to join them. But that is not all. You also had to stand
out at the bus stop in the freezing cold and jump up and down when you saw the bus
pull around the sharp corner of your road. When you got on, you would hear your name
being called by your friend to come and sit with them, and you would sit down and they
wouldnt stop talking.
When you got to school you had to learn and when you had a break from learning
you were trapped in the smaller playground and you would stand by the gate and stare at
the older kids as they played on the big playground. Then at lunchtime you would eat the
schools lunch instead of sitting at your kitchen counter with your moms perfect food
right in front of you.
Then when it was time to go home to do the things that you would do when you didnt
have school, the teacher would give you homework. And when you got home to go to the
toy bin, your mom would tell you to do your homework and you would think back to the
days before everything changed.

Timmy woke from his deep sleep to


hear his mom yelling at him to get up. It
was Monday morning and Timmy was
hoping for a snow day. He had waited all
winter to have a day off like this. If he were
to have a snow day he would be ecstatic;
he had three tests that he had not studied
for. Looking outside, his excitement was
instantly demolished. The sun was shining
and there was no snow. It had all melted
away. Timmy glumly got ready and walked
to school alone, thinking about what he
would be doing right then if he had a day
off. Timmy wished that he would not have
to go to school and could just stay home.
And thats when everything changed.
When Timmy got to school everybody
was looking at him funny. He went over to
talk to his friends before class started. All
of them just stared at him. He asked them
what was wrong. They all laughed like he
was saying a joke. Timmy had no clue what
was going on. His best friend Jamal asked,
Why are you at school today?
Before he had time to answer, his teacher Mrs. Peacock walked in. She looked at
him like he had committed a crime.
Timmy, what are you doing in school
today? she asked.
Timmy was truly worried about what
was going on. He told everyone that he was
at school just like any other day. Mrs. Peacock said, Well, shouldnt you be home
after what happened?
He asked her what happened and she
explained that he had been suspended
for lighting the principals ofce on re.
Timmy was in shock at hearing this. But he
just walked out of the classroom, not sure
whether to be worried or happy.

When it moves
BY PAIGE HAUKE
Grade 12, Rice Memorial High School
Suppose the ground were alive.
Suppose it stretched out its grassy skin,
wiggling its rocky toes
and shaking off the excess dirt
to rise in the morning and salute the sun.
Maybe it would be blind,
too grown-over with roots and mulched
sediment
or too smothered by the pavements and
foundations
to open its eyes more than a crack,
making the world a useless blur.
The birds would be its messengers then,
dipping their beaks into the sky
and then coming down to peck at seeds,
whispering the secrets of the world into
dusty pores
so that it might know the beauty it has
cultured.
Suppose it laughed in spouts of water,
Old Faithful singing its praises
while the volcanoes rested
with no reason to hold a grudge,
because all would be at peace
breathing in and out with the steady pull of
the tides.
But if it rose in the morning to salute the
sun
what would be there to keep it from falling?
For if our only connection to this earth
is the ground we walk on,
what is left for the ground to walk on?
And when at last it needs to move,
stretching out its grassy skin,
wiggling its rocky toes
and shaking off the excess dirt,
will we have the courage to give up our
feet and lie down
so that the ground may take its turn?

THIS WEEK: Philosopher & Child

YWP NEWS & EVENTS

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompts, Philosopher: Take a eeting thought and wax philosophic; and
Child. Write from a childs perspective.

THE VOICE

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

Go to youngwritersproject.org
to get your FREE subscription
of YWPs monthly digital magazine!

CLIMATE CHANGE
WRITING CHALLENGE

PHYSICIANS COMPUTER CO.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK


WRITE AND WIN!
First place: $100
Second place: $75, Third place: $50
PROMPTS AND MORE DETAILS:
youngwritersproject.org/climate15
DEADLINE: APRIL 10
Presented by Vermontivate!, Vermont Energy
Education Program & Young Writers Project

Just magic

Verication

BY JULIA SHANNON-GRILLO
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

What if there were multiple universes?


Say there were 100 of them. If you had
cancer, and there was a 1 percent chance of
you living, then you would live.
In each universe one of the things that
couldve happened, would happen. If there
was a 1 percent chance of something happening, with 100 universes, in one of the
universes, it would happen.
What about deja vu? What if we had
multiple lives? Every time we died, we
would be reborn as a different person with
no memory of a past life.
There are frequently times in our lives
when something seems familiar but we
dont know why. It could be because we
had experienced that same thing in our
previous life, and memories can never be
completely erased.
What if were all in a dream? What if
there is one single person who secretly controls the world? What if we dont control
our own actions?
There are so many things in life that
well just never know. Its probably best
that we dont know them or else it might
mess up our universes system.
Some things that happen just cant be
explained. Although scientists may come
up with theories, proof and evidence,
maybe none of its true.
Maybe some things are just magic.

READ THE MARCH ISSUE!

BY MANNY DODSON
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Eric Wakim, Essex High School

Raspberries
BY CLARE MAXWELL
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Come on, hurry up, slow pokes! my
parents yell at the overall crowd of close
and distant relatives. Gather up your stuff;
lets go; lets go!
I run inside and up to my room. I sigh
and smile at the peace and silence. I walk
around collecting everything that I want to
bring to the picnic, as if I have all the time
in the world. Sun hat, utensil set, and my
china tea cup from my grandma.
Leisurely, I walk down the stairs to
catch up with the hubbub. The truck starts
to slowly turn on. I run and yell to wait up,
so the truck slows down.
No more room, Mouse. Hop in the
back, says Cousin Ann.
I dangle stick-thin legs over the back
edge of the truck as it takes off down the
road. Bump, bump, the truck whizzes along
the dirt road. BUMP! The truck runs over
what looks like a large tortoise sticking out
of the road. I y off the back, holding my
little pink backpack and bunny.
Bunny, watch out, I warn as we plum-

met toward the ground.


The grass is soft, though, catching our
fall. Looking into the swarm of dust, I see
the truck bump away along the path.
So long, loud-mouths! I yell.
I didnt care for the commotion,
anyway. Brushing off the dust and grass,
raspberries summon my nose pink,
plump, and delicious on my tongue. One,
two, three I pick a bunch to store for my
soon-to-be adventure.
Thorns nip at my dress as I walk
through the bushes. I nd an open plain of
grass and sit down. I lay out my blanket,
utensil set, and my china tea cup. The sun
casts a shadow over my head, showing me
in my sun hat.
I lie on my back, Best picnic ever,
and open my mouth to eat up the sunshine.

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

&
THE VOICE

What is life, really? What if life isnt


real? I mean, what if were wrong about
what it means to be alive?
We only judge whether things are alive
or not using science and instruments and
intuition that we humans have developed.
So whats to say were right? Whos to
verify that our existence matters more than
that of a rock, that were living more than
the water that we drink? And the term, life,
and its meaning were simply created by the
human brain? What we call life might be as
meaningless as anything, but we wouldnt
know. The things that we believe can only
be compared with the beliefs of other
humans, who claim to be alive as well. So
lets assume that were wrong. ...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.
org/node/107683.

NEXT PROMPTS
Vermont. Vermont is maple syrup, Ben
& Jerrys, Green Mountains, skiing/snowboarding, farms, right? Now, describe your
Vermont. Alternates: Life. Write a crazy
story about what would happen to the rest of
your life if a certain major event had gone
differently the more earth-shattering, the
better; or Message. You send a message in
a bottle. What do you write? Who do you
want to nd it? Due March 27

Just run
BY HALLE NEWMAN
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Dont think, just run. The wind shoots
daggers of icy air at my back, pushing me
along the frozen pond as I run. A dusting
of snow covers the ice, making it slightly
harder to slip, but not impossible. Slipping is not an option. Not today. I grip the
sack Mama gave me, and push the vivid
thoughts out of my head that have haunted
me ever since she got into The Business.
I knew she owed people money, but judging by the weight of the sack, it must have
been a lot. I pull the sack into my chest,
and run faster.
Dont think, just run. Mamas raspy
voice plays over and over in my head,
giving me the strange orders. I try to follow her instructions, as I always have, and
focus on running, running, running. I can
see the tip of the lighthouse now, the place
where Im supposed to leave the sack.
Since she didnt mention plans to meet
me anywhere in particular, I suppose Ill
wait with the sack for her. Maybe she said
something about where to meet her and
I wasnt paying attention? Mama hates it
when I dont pay attention. Sometimes she
hits me with the broom when I dont listen
to her. I guess all Mamas have to be harsh
sometimes. Its probably for the best.
I sprint faster and faster, trying not to
think about the scary men in the driveway.
Trying not to think about how Mama had
emptied all the money from the kitchen
drawer into the sack. Trying not to think
about anything but running. Run, run, run
to the lighthouse, Alice. Go, go, go! I chant
in my head. I cheer myself on, remembering that tomorrow I will be 9, and 9-yearolds have to be able to run fast. If I do not
run fast enough, will I be able to turn 9?
I run even faster, the image of the 9-yearolds in the junior track meet racing through
my head. Finally, I arrive at the lighthouse.
Out of breath, I sit on the snow-covered
ice, breathing in the frigid winter air. I hope
Mama comes soon. Its very cold out, and
I dont even have mittens on. I shiver, and
tuck my hands into my jacket pockets. I
think about my birthday tomorrow, and
how much I want a pony. Mama said no
when I asked her all ve times, and I ended
up getting hit with the broom and sent to
my room for the rest of the night. Maybe
shell change her mind by tomorrow, and
Ill nd a pony at my doorstep!
I snuggle deeper into my jacket, shaking from the freezing-cold air. I wonder
where Mama is. I hope she isnt late
because shes sick. Sometimes she gets
very sick and lies in bed for days at a time.
Its okay, because she takes lots of pills and
drinks clear stuff out of a big bottle and
other silly things that make her feel better.
Even after she gets better, she takes the
medicine so she doesnt get sick again. She
has to pay people for the medicine, but I
think she forgot to this time, and thats why
the scary men are at our house. Shell just
pay them back, and it will be ne. Theyve
come to our house for money before, and
my mother gave it to them.
A thought suddenly strikes me. All our
money was locked up in the kitchen drawer. If I have it, whos going to pay the scary
men with the sharp knives? I clutch the
sack, and stare across the icy pond. What
would Mama do? The wind whistles in my
ear, sounding like a distant scream. My
heart beats a mile a minute, and my brain
pounds against my skull. I swallow. Mama
always liked to keep the truth from me; did
she know Id nd out? Maybe thats why
she said not to think. Just run.

THIS WEEK: Photo 6

YWP EVENTS

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt, Photo 6:
Write about this photo of frozen Lake Champlain. Read
more great writing at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

JANES TRUST

PHOTO OF THE WEEK / PHOTO 6

VERMONT WRITES DAY


IS THURSDAY, MARCH 12!
Stop everything to write for just seven
minutes! Get your school involved!
Find out more at youngwritersproject.
org/VTWrites15.

The water stands still


BY SOPHIE DAUERMAN
Grade 7, Shelburne Community School
The water stands still,
its glass coat shining bright.
The fresh snow blows across it,
creating a storm of white.
The encompassing cold surrounding
bites at my cheeks and my nose.
I pull my hat down over my ears,
bundling up as the cold wind blows.
Fluffy white gifts from heaven
oat down in front of my face,
drifting carefree through the bitter cold air
until they nd their place.
My eyes wander around in awe,
taking in the sight at hand.
Its beauty at its fullest height.
Winter is truly grand ...
Read the complete poem at youngwritersproject.
org/node/108605.

Photo 6. Kevin Huang, Burlington High School

SOME PEOPLE SEE NOTHING BUT AN UNFORGIVING WINTER DAY, BUT


I SEE THE WAY THE WIND SCULPTS THE SNOW INTO PERFECT DUNES.

The lighthouse
BY ELLA STAATS
Grade 9, Burlington High School
I trudge on through the snow. The wind hisses as it swirls around me, tugging on the
sleeves of my jacket, trying to nd a patch of bare skin to burn. The breakwater is no
protection, the rocks piled precariously, leading the way toward the old lighthouse. That
lighthouse is my destination; with its aky white paint and burned-out bulb, it may seem
like a ghost camp to some, but to me its a place of refuge.
The snow beneath my feet blankets a layer of ice, crystals fused to create a solid pathway from the shore. I can only hope I wont nd the one weak link, the one misstep that
could send me tumbling into the frigid waters below.
The lighthouse draws closer. I hop up onto the rocks and nimbly leap from stone to
stone, until I reach the old wooden door. The hinges are rusted, but a good yank makes
them yield, and I turn the knob and step inside. I nd my way through a dimly lit passage
to the staircase. It spirals upward, leading up to the busted light, and then out onto the
rickety deck.
I clutch the railing and stare out over the lake, where the Adirondacks rise in the distance. Their peaks are misty, shrouded by clouds, but still visible.
The beauty always surprises me. Some people see nothing but an unforgiving winter
day, but I see the way the wind sculpts the snow into perfect dunes. The way the islands
are blanketed by a jaunty cap of white. How the sky is ivory for miles around, at and
dimensionless, leaving the world isolated.
There is no blueprint for nature, and yet somehow it all ts together just right.

Breakwater
BY ISABELLA SOUZA
Grade 6, Browns River Middle School
Snow crystals glow in the early morning light as if to say, Follow us. The wind
buffets me, and as I stumble, ice crackling
under my feet, miniature crevasses run
across the sheets of snow that cover the
breakwater where Im walking.
Soon I will be at the edge of the lake
where the foot of the lighthouse touches
the frozen waters of Lake Champlain. The
closer I get to the end of my walk, I think
about a common truth that we all have to
face. The truth of how all things have to
end, whether you like it or not...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.
org/node/108678.

NEXT PROMPTS
Decision. Think of a time you had to
make a difcult decision and create a
ctional character who makes the opposite
choice from the decision you made (or
would make) in this situation. What would
turn out differently? Alternates: Idea. Write
about a seemingly bad idea that turns out
great; or Manual. Write instructions on how
to be a human being. Due March 13

This is just to say


BY PAIGE HAUKE
Grade 12, Rice Memorial High School
Inspired by William Carlos Williams
I have pulled
your tail
for the twelfth time
this week
and can imagine
it probably hurt
because it caused you
to yowl
Forgive me
your tail is so uffy
and your reaction
so amusing

Left or right?
BY CASEY ALLEN
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Inspired by Dr. Seuss
Thinking up, thinking down,
Looking around the turnaround.
Is this left or is this right?
Backward? Forward? Day? Or night?
Maybe looking straight is backwards too.
I must use imagination to see this through.
This is a window or maybe a mirror;
Some things in life are just so unclear!
Looking through the wrong side of the
telescope, is the way
I want to live where nonsense thrives!
And if one wish I had, only one wish for
me,
It would be to live in my dreams.

THIS WEEK: Author


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt, Author:
Write in the style of your favorite writer. Read more at
youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

AMY E. TARRANT
FOUNDATION

Pam walked the long road of neverendingness. The road spiraled in black and
white checkers, with big and small houses
along the edge, and the sky was a velvet
purple. I wonder when this will end, Pam
murmured under her breath.
There were people, well, I wonder if
you can call them people, but they walked
in groups of three. They talked about what
it would be like to be a mouse ower. They
looked like dodo birds with a hint of cat.
What funny-looking creatures. I hope that
I will never look like them, Pam thought.
Lovely young lady, do come over
here and listen to our poems; we have been
working all day on them, said the strangest looking toad. Beg my pardon I forgot
to introduce myself, I am Todd and this is
Bodd.
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.
org/node/105839.

BY KLARA MARTONE
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Inspired by Agatha Christie
December 7th, 1941

BY ISIDORA BAILLY-HALL
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe

Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.


org/node/105217.

BY OPHELIA KEEFE
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Inspired by Lewis Carroll

The shelter

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Delusional world

When the days grew old much too


quickly and the weather mirrored my
sorrow at the passing of the summer-tide,
my dilemmas began to form. The ghosts
of winds were rippling through the trees,
and the leaves were gently coerced from
their branches to fall upon the toes of their
mother.
Upon the sundown as I would prepare
myself for bed, an eerie feeling would fall
over me, as if I knew of what was to come,
of the dreadful screams that would terrorize
my nine hours of peace, making my life a
war-zone, ruining my hard-sought reputation, and alienating my friends. When my
hallucinations went too far, they thought to
help; their assistance, though thoughtful,
was not as helpful as they thought.
I am no lunatic! They know nothing
of me! No knowledge, no insight of how
innocent I am! Lunatics, they are the chaos,
that shakes up the earth; I am the calm that
moves like the waves upon the sandy shore.
I am just a poor downtrodden gentleman,
locked away in a lunatics world, where I
do not belong, left to ponder how sane I
could be, how I came to be a lunatic in their
eyes. They were my friends! And now they
are my foes. They accused me of lunacy!
They said I was strange, delusional. They
are delusional! Not I! They belong here!
Locked behind bars! Kept from the light
of day! Kept from the truth! Kept from the
life! It is they who belong on this island!

Never-ending road

Haley Thon, Essex High School

My curious room
BY ALEXANDRA CONTRERAS-MONTESANO
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Inspired by Lemony Snicket
Wicked people never have time for reading. Its one of the reasons for their wickedness.
It was a curious set of stairs. Oddly
curved, they wound themselves around a
pole. One trip could send you tumbling
down. But in some ways there was a certain elegance in them, as if a royal king or
queen would step lightly upon them to announce themselves in a regal way. But if a
king or queen slipped, would the disastrous
results be worth a curious set of stairs set in
the middle of a room?
What was even more puzzling was the
minimalist contents of the things surrounding the stairs. A sea glass vase sat on a
black trophy stool. If it was a trophy would
it not be gold? What if someone were to
trip down the curious stairs and break the
precious vase? Was the display of an obviously important object an invitation to steal

it? The huge glass windows certainly made


it so people could peer inside.
Oddly enough, a petite chair sat next
to the staircase. It was so very small and a
bright orange. Was this chair going to break
as one simply sat on it?
From the looks of this house, the person
was very rich, and if you have a lot of
money, then you have a lot of Nutella, and
who can resist that?
So I could assume that the man who
owned this house was of a very wide girth.
So why have a small chair that would
break? Was it simply for display? And what
of this room? As a whole it was quite small
in regard to the mansion it sat in.
It was quite curious how people ogled
this room, and not the hugeness of the
house. As small and useless as this room
was, did people see something of themselves in it? If this was what modernism
was, then I very well didnt know how a
person could live while being modern.
I felt very bad for the large man who
lived in a large house with a small, curious
room.

Mama and I stand alone in the barren


kitchen, quickly collecting all the scraps of
food we can nd in the now more than ever
seemingly white and blank kitchen.
The bombings have been going on for
days, planes diving to the ground. Luckily,
Papa had had a feeling they were coming for months. So we had time to build a
shelter that we now share with our oblivious next-door neighbors. They told their
children that there were two massive robots
ghting, instead of telling them we were
getting bombed day in and day out.
We scurry back to the shelter now like
rats running from the broom. Papa is shouting as loud as he can but still we can hardly
hear him over the bombs and the whirring
planes. Right as we are about to enter, a
bomb strikes the ground only a couple
hundred feet to my right, causing me to
fall. Papa and my eldest brother Nicholas
haul us inside...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.
org/node/105491.

VERMONT WRITES DAY


IS THURSDAY, MARCH 12!
Its the day we stop everything to write
for just seven minutes!
Find out more at youngwritersproject.
org/VTWrites15.

Wonderland

BY ZOE CUDNEY
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

It was early morning, so early that even


the busy streets of New York were quiet.
The grass was covered in dew, each drop
clinging to the blades of grass like a child
to her mother. A single bird call penetrated
the blanket of silence and then quieted
again. An early morning fog gave the
branches of the trees overhead a gloomy
feeling. I passed the Alice in Wonderland
statue.
I cant go back to yesterday because I
was a different person then.
At rst I thought I was imagining
things. But memories began creeping back
into my head, memories of curling up next
to a re beneath an old knitted blanket
while my grandmother sipped chamomile
tea and read Alice in Wonderland aloud.
Something sparked in my mind and I
turned to the statue. Did you just talk?
If everyone minded their own business, the world would go around a lot faster than it does, the Alice statue remarked.
You cant be talking, I said. Thats
impossible.
Why, sometimes Ive believed as
many as six impossible things before
breakfast, the statue replied.
I must be going mad, I mumbled.
Were all mad here, the Hatter proclaimed, jumping to his feet.
You would have to be half mad to
dream me up, the Cheshire Cat said with
a grin.
This was absurd. A statue couldnt be
talking. It was beginning to scare me.
It is better to be feared than loved,
the mouse said as if it could read my
thoughts. Now, for more tea.
I couldnt take it any longer. I turned
and ran. The fog blocked my vision and
I stumbled on a stone. I smashed into the
ground, scraping my palms. I lay there with
my face pressed into the wet grass for a
minute. Then I shoved myself up off the
ground and began to walk away briskly.
Later, I went back to the statue to nd it
in its usual position.
Curiouser and curiouser, I thought.

THIS WEEK: Statue


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication.
This week, we present responses to the prompt, Statue:
Youre walking in a park and a statue starts to talk to
you. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

THE BAY AND PAUL


FOUNDATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Ethan Allen

Addie Scanlon, Essex High School

BY SABRINA GOSLIN
Grade 5, Browns River School

Hans tells a story

Izzy, why dont you go take a walk in


the park? asked my mom.
I groaned inside but reluctantly pulled
on my coat and hat. Please take Susy with
you too! my mom added.
This time I groaned out loud ... Susy!
Come here, girl! I called. After a few moments she stumbled into the room. Susy has
been alive for 70 dog years!
I covered my face with my hood
because it was freezing and also I didnt
want to be seen. I was in a rush because I
still had homework to do. ... Suddenly Susy
started growling!
Susy, calm down! Whats wrong? I
looked around, seeing nothing out of place.
I rolled my eyes and tugged at Susys leash.
Come, lets go! I tugged harder, but Susy
wouldnt budge...
Then I saw what was spooking Susy.
The giant statue of Ethan Allen was climbing off his pedestal! I took a step back and
blinked. When I opened my eyes Ethan
Allen was walking toward me. ...

BY OLIVIA FRANCISCO
Grade 6, Williston Central School

Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.


org/node/108560.

I was walking in Central Park past all


the statues. It was late at night; no one was
around. I was looking at Hans Christian
Andersen when he actually reached down
and petted the duck statue! The duck came
alive too and started to jump all around.
Hello, he said. Do you know who I
am?
I couldnt believe it. A statue was talking! Well, of course I do! I was about to
go on, but then Balto came alive.
I will have to cancel tonights meeting, Balto, said Hans. I have unexpected
company. He pointed to me.
Oh, Im sorry, I can leave, I said,
sorry to interrupt any statue meetings. I
dont want to intrude....
Oh no! Stay, stay. I never get any human company that I can talk to, said Hans.
Balto, will you take my duck and go sit by
the fountain?
Balto barked and ran off with the duck
statue on his back.

They make a great team, those two,


said Hans, laughing.
I made a fake laugh just to be nice. I
didnt want to hurt any statue feelings.
What do you want to talk about?
Me? I asked.
Do you want me to tell you a story?
Hans asked.
Oh, could you tell me the story of the
princess and the pea, please?
Well, since you have such good manners, follow me ...

Laika
BY LIAM JOLLY
Grade 5, Champlain Elementary
As I went past the statue of Laika, the
rst dog in space, I heard an odd voice say,
Always be strong.
My jaw dropped. Laika was talking!
I know that sometimes humans cannot
be smart or brave, but you are both. You
have a big heart and a good spirit. You can
do anything. Remember that.
Wow, I thought. Suddenly a kid yelled,
Hey! Stop talking to a statue, weirdo!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!


Vermont Writes Day is Thursday,
March 12! Its the day we stop everything to write for just seven minutes!
Find out more at youngwritersproject.org/VTWrites15.

Notre Dame
BY CATIE MACAULEY
Grade 6, Endeavour Middle School

I wandered the cracked cobblestone


streets of Paris, France. I could make out
the silhouette of the hulking Eiffel Tower
in the distance. Through the quaint city I
strode, past boulangeries with smells of
warm, fresh bread wafting toward me, past
old churches that people like me had seen
for centuries. Small cafs were around
every corner where Parisians sat for hours
simply watching the world go by. Yes,
this was the real Paris, not a beret in sight,
smartly dressed women and men walking
by, talking a mile a minute in rapid French,
and tourists ordering overpriced cheeseburgers from a dirty shop off the side of the
road. I loved every aspect of it.
I was headed toward one of my favorite
places: Notre Dame Cathedral. Over 500
years old, its 12-foot-tall, stained-glass
windows and its famous gargoyles made it
a hotspot for visitors from China to Canada.
But I was one of the few locals who went
there often. I always found something new
to marvel at about the ancient church. As I
walked into the peaceful and quiet church,
I took a deep breath and felt at home. The
sunlight came through the tall windows,
shining like a spotlight on my favorite part
of the huge and airy building, partway
hidden in one of the many side chapels,
the Joan of Arc statue. A tall stone statue,
its detail was amazing. I should know; I
have spent hours admiring it. Joan of Arc
was a remarkable person, brave and strong.
I made my way to the side chapel that I
could navigate in my sleep. Sitting on one
of the benches, I leaned against the wall
and closed my eyes.
Hello, young girl, a soft voice called.
My eyes snapped open. Who said
that?
Over here, child.
I swiveled around to where the voice
was coming from, near the Joan of Arc
statue holding the sword.
Are ... are you a worker here? Im very
sorry if I disturbed anything.
No, I am not a worker. A warrior, yes,
but no employee. The voice was getting
angry.
In a ash, I realized. The voice was
coming from the statue! No, it must be
some kind of clever trick ...

Reection

THIS WEEK: 15, 10, 5 & Love


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompts, 15, 10, 5:
Write the dialogue of three characters, speaking 15,10
& ve words; & Love: Write a sweet, sappy love poem.

BY KATIE EMERSON
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Why do you keep looking? I keep saying youll always look awful in that outt.
I look to the left of my reection, only
to see Anne standing there behind me,
tainting my reection with her annoyance.
I turn around and inform her that it is my
right to look if I want and that she has no
business telling me what to do.
I stick my tongue out at her, making her
eyes widen and her tongue appear shortly
after. We both yell for our mom, each trying to tell rst on the other, and we shove
each other out of the way in a silly and
childish attempt to get to her rst. Im yelling, me rst, and shes shouting, out of my
way, and were both laughing so much that
its hard to remember who said what and
why we were even angry in the rst place,
if we even were.
Girls, be nice. Dont make me separate
you guys, okay? comes my moms voice,
trying without success to contain her own
laughter.
Yeah, be nice to me, I say.
I receive a kick in the shins in response,
and chase Anne down the stairs, her squealing the whole time. I corner her in the
living room, where she runs to the couch,
and Im on top of her, tickling her as she
slaps my hands away. Anne begs for mercy,
for me to get off of her, so I do, only to be
rewarded by the war cry of her jumping on
top of me and pinning me to the ground.
We lie there until we both catch our
breath. And when we regain the needed
energy, we resume the ght that has long
lost its meaning. I run back to the mirror,
my sister chasing me. She calls something
about how I look the same as I did when I
checked before, but I ignore her. Its no use
paying attention. Maybe thats why I like
looking. Because I look the same each and
every time.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

NATIONAL LIFE GROUP

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!


Vermont Writes Day is Thursday,
March 12! Its the day we stop
everything to write for just seven
minutes! Find out more at youngwritersproject.org/VTWrites15.

Frozen peas & corn


BY AMELIA MASON
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

If I was a cloud
BY NELLY DAHOUROU
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
If I was a cloud, I would rain some
days, and then just go away.
If I was a cloud, Id explore the sky
daily.
If I was a cloud ...

Springtime release
BY ISA BLOCH
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Okay everyone, hold your butteries
in your hands. Now open your hands and
release them!
Margot, the leader of the annual springtime release, was anxious but happy.
Beauty watched from far, far above, in
awe of the beautifully colored butteries.
Have I created this? The colors of the
creatures, gorgeous.
Little did she know, Joy was also
watching from above, as everyones faces
lit up below.
This is what she loved. The happiness
in the world. She shouted to the birds,
for they were the only ones who listened,
Happiness, happiness is here now!
The long winter was over and the butteries were ready to y outside.

YWP EVENTS

Emma Parizo, Essex High School

True love
BY MARI ROSENBLUTH
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
I remember the rst time I laid eyes on
you. I turned on my heel, my head whipped
around. I saw you there.
You were the most beautiful thing I
have ever seen. Instantly I knew I loved

you. You looked amazing, I could have just


eaten you up. You were so hot and spicy.
Your smile was cheesy but lovely.
My love for you has never lessened.
Although the dark times when you sported
anchovies were hard for me, we got
through it. You stick by me through thick
and thin.
So, my dear Pizza, I love you with all
my heart. I hope you will always love me
as much as I love you.

The instant I saw her, I knew. She was


all I needed. I was crossing through the frozen foods section in the local Price Chopper, looking for frozen peas.
Then she turned down the aisle. It was
like one of those slow-motion moments in
movies. Her hair was this gorgeous auburn
color, falling in tresses at about the length
of her elbows, bouncing in perfect wavy
form. Deep, sparkly, turquoise eyes gazed
at me. She was wearing brown boots and a
coat that tied around the waist with skinny
jeans. She began to look for frozen corn. I
could not tear my eyes away. Stop staring,
stop staring, I kept thinking.
I ripped myself away, and focused on
nding the perfect bag of peas.
I kept glancing back at the beautiful
woman. Then she began to walk down the
aisle, coming closer to me, holding a bag
of Green Giant frozen corn. I selected
a random bag of peas and started to turn
myself around.
Right as she walked past me, she
slipped on a receipt that was lying on the
ground, and began to fall. Following my instincts, I reached out to grab her before she
hit the ground. I caught her, and she was
light as a feather. She stared into my eyes,
and smiled. Then she slowly stood up,
holding my hand, hers as silky as velvet,
the whole time looking into my eyes with a
coy expression.
I think we were meant to be together.
Her, with the frozen corn, and me, with the
frozen peas. A perfect match.
Hello, I said.
Hello, she replied, and beamed.
And then I knew. I would never be
lonely again. I had found the love of my
life, and she had found hers. We had found
each other. Thank God for the frozen foods
section in the local Price Chopper.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

At the pond

BY ISAAC JENEMANN
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

I sit there on the pond,


the dinghy on the water,
the grasses and the fronds,
and the occasional river otter.
The trees around me sway,
with the wind coming from the north.
The seasons are a changin.
Winters starting to run its course.
I, myself a sherman,
from the house up on the hill,
I sit there with my rod cast
like a statue calm and still.
Then I see it start to happen,
a bubble in the pond,
a being from the murky depths,
breaking the waters calm.
Then the stillness breaks,
and to the surface comes its snout.
The sparkling sh does y.
Its a silvery lake trout.
But I am not alone
on this lake this cold fall day.
A hawk watches from a tree.
It has just found its prey.
It swoops down upon the pond,
so close its feathers graze my cheek.
It snatches up its little sh
in its sharp and hooked brown beak.
Then it ies into the sun,
away from my humble abode.
It disappears around a bend
and down the mountain road.
I sit there on the pond,
the dinghy on the water,
the grasses and the fronds,
and the occasional river otter.

THIS WEEK: Seconds & Online


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompts, Seconds:
Describe something that can happen in seconds; and
Online: You fall into the Web page youre browsing.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


MAIN STREET LANDING

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

BY FERN SULLIVAN
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

Help! The water closes over my head like


a heavy blanket,
pushing me down ... thick, dark molasses.
Its no use trying to ght it.
My limbs go limp.
I let myself fall,
sink away from the world.
All I can hear is the mufed sound of
frightened voices on the dock.
My heart begins to slow down.
Looking up, I see the faces of my friends
blurred by the water, slowly shrinking.
I gag as I try to inhale water.
I cant breathe.
I close my eyes ...
Suddenly theres a loud thump,
and something hits my head; its round,
with a hole in the middle.
I can feel a hand pulling my arms
through the loop.
With a quick jerk
the loop begins to rise up
toward the water.
I can see the surface getting closer
and closer.
I can almost feel the warm air
of that ordinary summer day.

Decoded
BY EMILY FOSTER
Grade 7, Endeavour Middle School

Lightning strike
BY ARNAUD DAHOUROU
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
I had not checked the weather that day,
and taking my chances I went on a hike
with my dog. It was still sunny when we
got to the mountain, but I could see the
clouds coming in from the south.
We started hiking anyway. Locky, my
dog, seemed very anxious that day; he kept
bouncing up and down and pulling back on
the leash. I pulled forward and faster.
As we climbed up the hill, Locky
started barking. I had no idea what was
bothering him so much. He kept looking up
at the clouds which I hadnt noticed over
our heads now.
Deciding whether or not to start walking back down, we turned a corner facing
the top of a mountain. Just as I looked up,
it struck. Time slowed down. Just a couple
meters from us up on a tree, lightning so
powerful had hit; my hair stood up and
chills ran down my back. I was stunned and
blinded as if I had received a ash grenade
right in my face.
Right after the ash, the sound arrived
louder than anything I had ever heard.
Locky ran away at that point. I guess
the stun had made me let go of his leash.
After those brief seconds it started pouring
icy cold rain.
I walked down and eventually found
Locky, got back into my Jeep and drove
home, still shaken up from what had happened.
I dont think anything has ever scared
me as much as what I encountered that day.

In a ash

Mya Burghardt, Essex High School

13.86 seconds

Danger

BY ZOE CUDNEY
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

BY NYA JONES
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

I line my spike up with the white stripe.


The cheering from the crowd seems to sink
into my skin, giving me energy. I relish in it
and then push it all out. It is just the perfect
red lane and me.
I lean down toward the ground, listening intently for the gun. The quick burst
of air sends me shooting down the track.
My feet barely touch the ground as I nd a
smooth rhythm. I can feel my competitors
but I cant see or hear them. They approach
like a looming wall of defeat, drawing
closer and closer with each step.
My breathing comes in quick gasps, and
my lungs struggle to nd air. The nish line
is a few meters away. It is like a otation
device thrown into the tossing sea to save
me, and suddenly I can breathe, and I am
ying again. The wind whips my pony tail
as my feet lift off the track. I cross the nish line and I welcome the cheering again.
Later, I check the sheets of paper that will
determine my fate. I nd my name and
written next to it, a time: 13.86 seconds.

Im standing there, panting, hyperventilating, trying to catch my breath from


running from him. But now, hes cornered
me, the barrel of his gun pointed in my
direction. A single movement would be all
it takes to set it off.
I turn to run, only to nd a stone wall,
20 feet high. Im cornered. I make it look
as if I am going to run, but instead, I roll
into his feet and knock him over. I get up
and run, run far away from there, far away
from him, still lying in that alleyway with
his broken nose, scraped-up knees and
twisted ankle.

NEXT PROMPTS
Stardust. Youre exploring intergalactic space and come across a voyager
selling stardust. Write your conversation.
Alternate: Regret. Is there something you
wish you had done, but now its too late?
What is it and how do you deal with it?
Due Feb. 13

I sit in my room, that is shaded from the


sun by the curtains, playing Sims 3 on my
iPhone. Its basically a game where a bunch
of little people supposedly live inside your
computer, and you get to adopt them and
buy stuff for them. You control the game,
kind of. Also, sometimes they send you
emails that pop up on your screen, and
every single one is as follows: Hi! Thanks
for adopting me. Bye! or, Thanks for the
new coffee table! Love it!
My friends taunt me for being such an
app addict, but what they dont know is
that whenever they do, I just play the game
longer, wishing to free myself from the
burden of their insults.
As said before, the faux emails are
computer-generated, so I was pretty surprised to get an actual email. It was long
and descriptive.
Melinda, I am the small person in
your phone, the email said. You buy me
things, and thats nice. You give me everything I desire except one: my freedom.
Freedom to walk out into the real world, to
walk with senses and feeling of the world.
But no, you still deny me the one thing
I wish for, and you keep me trapped in this
connement you call Sims 3.
I am tired of being yet another cube
on your screen, which you ip through at
a nauseating pace, because Ive seen your
apps come and go. You buy them, play with
them, and delete them. I am not a fool; I
can see what is coming. So I put my coded
foot down on this one. Im, in short, sick
of it. Literally. You just ipped through the
apps again! In case you didnt notice, I just
got sick in the bathroom. So, Melinda, you
will let me free, or suffer a painful price.
Your choice.
I stared wordlessly at my game, and the
person in it seemed to stare back. I exited
out, and started to delete it when my adopted person reached through and clutched
my wrist. I warned you, he whispered
before dragging me in...
(Read the full story on youngwritersproject.org/node/106289.)

Unfortunate groom
BY ZORA STEWART
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
He had it all planned out,
what hed say, what hed do.
It wouldve been perfect, if he hadnt contracted the u.
He went down on one knee,
saw her face bright with glee,
and took a sore breath
and said, Marry me, sweet Beth,
and part not till death.
Happy forever;
always together.
Hopefully, he looked up
and suddenly froze
for something was dripping out from his
nose.
His joints were aching;
his throat was dry.
He thought he felt something in his eye.
And down he tripped,
the unfortunate groom,
suddenly subjected to grief and gloom
for when he was righted,
he saw a sore sight,
his Beth, running away in the night.
If it wasnt enough,
hed just remembered
hed left on his oven.
Now his house was in embers.

THIS WEEK: Proposal & General

YWP EVENTS

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication.This
week, we present responses to the prompts, Proposal:
Write about a proposal that goes terribly wrong; and
General writing. More at youngwritersproject.org.

VERMONT WRITES DAY

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

THURSDAY, MARCH 12
The day Vermonters stop everything
and write for just seven minutes!
More details at
youngwritersproject.org!

THE VOICE

Special thanks this week to

VERMONT BUSINESS
ROUNDTABLE

Down the drain


CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF
YWPS DIGITAL MAGAZINE!

BY MARK HARRINGTON
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School
One day, Joe from New York wanted
to propose to his girlfriend. So he went to
one of the best jewelry stores in town and
bought a really expensive diamond ring.
The next morning Joe went to brush his
teeth, and he brought the ring with him because he was worried about losing it. After
he brushed his teeth and washed his hands,
he went to dry his hands and knocked over
the box that had the ring in it. The ring fell
into the sink drain hole without Joe realizing it.
Joe picked up the box without the ring
and got ready to go on his date with his
girlfriend Alivia. At the restaurant, Joes
legs were shaking and he was sweating
profusely. Joe, who is a gentleman, pulled
the chair out for Alivia, but he pulled it too
far and she fell. Joe picked her up and said
sorry. Alivia was thinking, Whats with
him tonight?
Their food came and they started eating.
Joe let out a belch so loud that the people
around him stared at him. Alivia was so
embarrassed.
Joe was nally ready to propose. He
got down on his knees and grabbed the ring
box, but still didnt notice that the ring was
gone.
Alivia, will you marry me? he said.
Uh ... Where is the ring? she asked.
What do you mean? Its right here!
Joe looked and saw that it was gone. His
jaw dropped to the oor. Then he said,
I dont know what happened! I lost the
ring?
Joe, I will marry you, Alivia said.
But we need to nd the ring rst!
Okay, replied Joe. After they nished
eating dinner they went to Joes and looked
everywhere. Joe couldnt nd the ring. He
got frustrated and went into the bathroom
and remembered that he had the ring in the
bathroom. He started looking all around.
Finally, he realized that it was down the
drain.

Go to youngwritersproject.org
for your FREE subscription!

Bittersweet
Olivia Fewell, Essex High School

See you at Starbucks


BY KATE HENRY
Grade 6, Lyman C. Hunt Middle School
Will you marry me, Lucy? I say.
I open the little black box holding the
glittering ring and look up. I then close the
box and stand up and walk away from the
mirror. Ive been practicing in the mirror
for days, planning what I would say to her.
This is the day. Im going to get coffee this
morning, at Starbucks.
I get in the car, and I now have butteries in my stomach. I get out of the
driveway, and drive down the road. She has
to get to work at 9:00, so I have enough
time to propose and still get her to work on
time. I pull into the parking lot. I slowly get
out of my car and take a big breath.
I start walking toward the entrance.
Those butteries are really ying around in
me, and I start sweating. What if she says
no? She wont say no. She couldnt say no.
I hesitate before opening the door. I
walk to the counter and order a cappuccino.
I look around. I spot her in the back corner
of the cafe, sitting at a table with her back
to me. I grab my coffee. I smile, and begin
to walk toward her.
Suddenly a man with perfectly combed
black hair steps past me and starts toward

Lucy. I stop walking. He sets his coffee


down on the table and sits in the chair
across from her.
My mouth drops open. Who is he?! I
walk toward their table, no longer wanting
to propose to her.
I take the cover off my coffee and ing
it at the man. The man jumps backwards
and Lucy gives a little shriek. She whips
around to look at me. I gasp.
Its not Lucy.
The man gets up and starts toward me.
Everyone is staring our way.
Wait, Im sorry ... I thought ... but ...
He doesnt hear a word I say. He yells
something at me, but I cant hear him. I
drop my cappuccino and run. I run out of
Starbucks and jump in my car. I see the
man, the woman hanging onto his arm,
both looking at me as if I had just run over
their dog.
When I get home I op down on my
bed and cover myself with all the bedsheets
and blankets.
I look at the clock. Its 8:37. My phone
rings. I dont pick it up. I hear Lucys sweet
voice, leaving a message.
Im sorry, honey, but I cant get coffee
today. I have to go in early. Lets go next
week. Love you, bye.

BY CATIE MACAULEY
Grade 6, Endeavour Middle School
I think that winter is like a person.
It has two sides to its personality.
There are icy blizzards that turn any exposed skin into frozen stubs,
where the wind is so loud and strong it can
push you over without trying.
The only thing you can see is a cyclone of
gray and white,
and it circles all around you mercilessly.
The storm greedily snatches away your
energy and breath;
everything is surreal.
And then there are the cold days,
where you sit, wrapped in a blanket before
a crackling re.
You stare into the mesmerizing ames,
without a care in the world.
The snow falls softly and silently onto
every surface,
but you are safe from the biting cold as you
sip your hot drink,
and feel nothing but happiness.
Winter is a bittersweet season
that is all yours.
And all mine.
And everybodys.
It is different and special to every person.
I think that winter is like a person.
It has two sides to its personality.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

THIS WEEK: Dream

The rst dream


BY HALLE NEWMAN
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
The illuminated window suddenly loses
its glow, and the room beyond it turns dark.
I clutch my pouch tightly. In just a few
minutes, the child will be sleeping and my
rst mission will commence. I check my
bag one more time, making sure it contains
the adequate amount of pixie dust. Sure
enough, its full to the brim.
From my perch in a rosebush, I watch
the dim street lamps icker. Their light
captures the orange leaves twirling in the
gentle wind and the contents of some overturned recycling bins.
A crescent moon stains the pitch-black
sky, and a dog barks in the distance. The
houses on Cranberry Lane all have their
lights turned off; its time. I take a deep
breath and utter over to the childs windowsill, careful not to rustle the leaves in
the bush as I go.
I open my pouch and sprinkle a pinch
of the sparkly, almost translucent, dust onto
the windowpane. Sure enough, the window
slides open and a rush of heat hits me in
the chest; I didnt realize how cold it was
outside.
In the darkness, I can see the silhouette
of the human lying in her bed. Her braided
hair is draped over the side of the bed, but
I cant make out any other features. The
sound of her breathing is so peaceful; its
not like the lousy snoring other fairies had
warned me about. I y over to the bed and
hover above her face.
Suddenly, the reality of what Im about
to do hits me squarely in the chest. What if
I mess up and give her a nightmare instead
of a dream? What if I dont use enough
pixie dust? What if I use too much? My
tiny palms begin to sweat. I quickly shake
the What ifs? out of my mind; Im going
to do this job right. I close my eyes and
reach into my pouch. I extend my hand, full
of pixie dust, over the girls head and begin
to form my rst dream.
I picture rolling hills, covered in lush
green grass and white dandelions. A warm
summer breeze whooshes through the air,
making the grass sway and the dandelion
petals dance. A blue sky looms high above
the ground with scattered cotton ball
clouds and a bright yellow sun. Graceful
butteries soar through the air, and red,
juicy apples fall from their trees. The wind
whooshes, the grass rustles, and hummingbirds sing to the tune of a perfect day.
I open my eyes, and thinking of the serene hills, I sprinkle the magical dust onto
the sleeping childs head.
Grinning, I congratulate myself for
creating my rst dream, and I know by the
smile on the childs face that I have created
a good one. I wonder what shell do with
it? I wish I could create more of it, make
the dream mine instead of hers. But we
fairies are only sent to create the magic,
and the humans are only there to cherish it.

NEXT PROMPTS

Detective. Write a
detective story about
a librarian who nds
a mysterious package
at her front door.
Alternates: Penny.
Tell the life story of a
penny since it was
minted to the time you received it as
change; or Photo 6 (above). Due Jan. 30

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt, Dream:
Write about a recurring or strange dream. Read more at
youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


PHYSICIANS COMPUTER CO.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Kevin Huang, Burlington High School

A birds dream

Waterfall

BY SIRI BECK
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

BY HAILEY CHASE
Grade 6, Williston Central School

I quietly slipped on my pajamas and


tiptoed over to my bed. Dont let anyone
hear me, I thought to myself.
My hand slipped over the covers as I
threw all my blankets over my head. With
one quick motion, the light clicked off and
I fell fast asleep.
I dreamt I was soaring over rooftops,
swishing in and out of the doorways of
the tall buildings in front. The wind was
blowing through my hair. It felt as if I was
a bird, free and alone. Alone was good; it
was my time. Alone. Free to do anything.
I suddenly felt my arms getting pulled
back ercely; my face felt tight. A large,
black, pointy, cone-shaped thing was growing out of my face. A beak? Yes, yes, it
was. I looked down at my hands but they
werent there any more. Instead, there were
bright blue wings. The feathers felt soft and
smooth. I felt as if my legs were melting. It
wasnt possible. Was it? Shortly after, the
question became clear. Where my legs used
to be was a long, bright blue tail. I was
absolutely magnicent!

Im falling down a waterfall. My rst


thought is, Aaah! but then I come to
my senses and realize I cant feel myself
falling. However, I can feel the water
trickling down my face.
The sky is the most beautiful blue, the
clouds shaped like turtles and stars. The
trees are the most elegant green Ive ever
seen. There isnt much force on my body
from the water. Its an amazing feeling ...
like a dream. The water feels like silver
rain. Then the wind starts to blow and
the peaceful rain is coming at me from
an angle, not so peaceful anymore. The
sky starts turning gray and the trees grow
faces and arms and try grabbing me, and
I scream!
My heart pounds so hard and fast,
it feels like thunder inside of my body.
My arms and legs, my whole body, are
uncontrollably ailing ... The at ground
turns to mountains, closing me into the
waterfall...
(Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.org/node/104270)

It cant get any better


BY IRA SIEGEL
Grade 3, Bellwether School

I was walking upstairs to see my new


room. I walked to the bookshelf, ipped the
switch, pressed the button and watched the
bookshelf slowly slide down into the oor.
I walked in. The door automatically closed
with a soft creak. I looked around.
It looked like a state. First, I saw a pool.
I walked over to the pool so I could take a
closer look. The water was dark blue with
a re-red lining. The stairs that led to the
pool were sky blue. There was a black and
bumpy diving board. And a smooth rainbow slide. Then I saw what I thought was
a closet, but I wasnt sure, so I walked over
and opened the door to see drawers full of
clothing and even baseball gear!
I walked out to see that the pool
was changing color. From dark blue to
light green. I walked to the other side of
the room to see a king-size bed with a
handmade loft. The bed had yellow- and
pink-striped sheets and red covers. The loft
was six feet long and three feet wide. The
ladder was a reddish brown color and the
rest of it was gray.
Message from your mom. Do you accept? came a voice out of nowhere.
I jumped with shock.
Yes, I said, trying to hide my fear.
It is time to go to bed, the voice said,
but this time, sounding a bit like my mom.
Tell her okay, I said, still trying to
hide my fear.
Message sent. The voice came from
nowhere again.
So I got into the bed. It was soft and
squishy.
This day cant get any better, I said.
I could not fall asleep so I got up to
look around some more. Right next to the
bed I saw a bookshelf lled with books,
some ction, some non-ction a lot of my
old favorites ... some were picture books
but most were chapter books. They were
organized by author ... I read for an hour
and nally got tired, so I got up and spotted
a note on one of the shelves. It read, This
shelf has been passed down for hundreds of
years. Use it well.
I slowly and lazily walked to the bed,
crawled in and fell right asleep. At 7
oclock, my alarm went off. Toot-toot. It
sounded like a train horn. I woke with a
start, rolled over and fell off my bed.
That surprisingly did not wake me
up, so I decided to take a swim. I slowly
changed into my bright, blue bathing suit,
then more slowly climbed up the diving
board, ran off it, twisted into a ip, and
hit the water with a splash. The water was
warm, but not hot; it felt good as I plunged
down...
Later, I saw a baseball diamond. A
game was about to start. All of a sudden my
baseball uniform was on, so I went to play.
It turned out that I was the rst one
at bat so I got a bat, walked out and the
pitcher got ready. I got ready.
The ball came ying at me. I swung the
bat and my hands shook as I made contact.
I started running to rst base, also watching
the ball as it ew into the crowd over the
outeld fence, and my face turned from a
straight face to a smiling, happy face.
I ran the bases and when I got to the
dugout, everybody clapped their hands and
patted me on the back.
(Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.org/node/100968)

Free time
BY EMMA MCCOBB
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Bye, Em.
Bye, Mom. Have fun at yoga. I smile,
wave, and shut the door. WAO.
I pull my hair out of my ponytail and
shake it around. I sprint up the stairs and
pull on the fuzziest socks I own, making
sure to test them for maximum slipperiness.
I skid across the kitchen oor and turn
on the radio to 102.3. Music oods my ears
and blares out of the speakers. My feet start
thumping and the next thing I know, I am
dancing around and singing at the top of
my lungs.
I rush to the freezer and pull out a
carton of peppermint ice cream. The spoon
plunges into the ice cream and the sweet
minty taste lls my mouth. I grab the
chocolate sauce and a chocolate waterfall
pours out. Perfect.
I plop down on the couch and whip out
my laptop. The keyboard clicks under my
ngertips and I begin typing. What do I do
when Im home alone? Well...

Alone at last

THIS WEEK: Alone


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt, Alone: What
do you love to do when you have time to yourself? Read
more great writing at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

JANES TRUST

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

BY HELEN WORDEN
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

My mom locks the door on the way out,


and I am surrounded in peace. My sister is
at ice hockey and my mom is going to the
store. I can breathe.
I slip off the chunky, navy blue slippers
that I always have to keep on, and hold on
to the bed railing. 1, 2, 3, GO. I let go of
the railing and start oating.
I literally feel as light as a feather. I
rise up, and my head hits the ceiling with a
bump and my vision goes a little fuzzy. It
clears, and I look through my new perspective at my room. The bed is just a doll
house prop that cowers in the corner. My
stuffed animals are little soldiers, lined up,
listening for their cue. My bureau is like
Mt. Everest. The clothes on it rise to my
toes and tickle the bottom of my feet. My
door is slightly ajar so that the ruckus in
my room can trickle into the hallway. I drift
out to go rummage in the fridge.
As I oat through the hallway, I brush a
photograph of my grandpa hanging on the
wall. It wobbles on its nail like a tightrope
walker on a rope. One side bobs up and
then swings back down. I can almost hear
the nail bending under the photos weight.
Its screaming and writhing until it gives up
and snaps. The photograph slides down the
wall like a sledder in slow motion. Noooo.
Then it bursts on to the ground.
Usually cleaning up glass is a little dangerous, but when your body is instinctively
oating up and you need to hold onto the
wall to stay down, its even more dangerous. I decide that I should probably put my
slippers back on, so that I wont get sliced.
As I oat back into my room, I take one
last look through my dream-like perspective before I have to come back down to
earth.
Its very cool, how different things
seem from above the roar of my busy life.
Its time to come back down though. I pull
myself down using the bedpost and slip on
my chunky, navy blue slippers. I should
probably try to attempt cleaning up that
mess in the hallway. Sigh.

My world
BY JULIA SHANNON-GRILLO
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Julia, your dad and I have to go to a
meeting. Well be home by 7.
OK, bye! I say. Its 4 oclock; I have
three hours all to myself! I hear the door
click shut as the door to my own world
opens wide. My mind wanders as I think
about what I want to do during my time to
myself. But I always know what Ill end up
doing.
I take all of the blankets off my bed and
make a little nest to sit/lie down in. Then I
grab my enormous stuffed lamb and open
my book. As I begin reading, I can feel
myself turning with the pages and feeling
the characters emotions. I breathe with her,
I dance with her, and I laugh with her. The
rest of the universe is frozen as I am drawn
deeper and deeper into the vast ocean of
words.
Honey, Im home! I sense my body
jerk awake from the world of imagination.
Quickly, I rearrange my nest back into my
bed and sit in my beanbag chair as I pretend to look at a magazine. Creeeeeak. The
door to my room swings open and standing
in the doorway is my mom. How was your
evening? she asks.
Fine.
Just ne?
Just ne.
OK, well dinner is ready, so come
down soon.
I will. Then she turns around and
walks downstairs. I glance at what was my
nest and what was my own world. Then I,
too, turn around and walk downstairs.

On my bike
BY EAMONN BOTTGER
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

Deanna Davis-Kilpatrick, Essex High School

Sunday morning
BY CLARE MAXWELL
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Its a Sunday. A super-boring-not-looking-forward-to-Monday Sunday.
I am lying in bed, under my blue and
green patterned duvet that looks like
waves. I slightly open my eyes and turn my
head, only to be disappointed by the big,
red, block letters on my alarm clock that
tease 9:00. Dismissing the clock, I get out
of bed anyway. I always forget that my bed
is about four feet off of the ground, and I
gasp as my feet hit the cold, wood oor.
I yawn and take a peek out my window.
Im blinded by the sun and immediately
shut the shade. I am such a vampire when
it comes to mornings. I slip my red-sockgarnished feet into my slippers. I smile at

the warmth. The doorknob is cold on my


palm. I twist the knob and it makes a jolting noise as the bolt exits the door frame. I
cringe at the creaking noise of the opening
door, and whip it open so it doesnt make a
sound. I suddenly remember I have slippers
on and my feet clomp on the hallway oor.
I slip my slippers off and bend down to
pick them up. I tip-toe stealthily down the
hallway, so as not to be noticed. I step on a
board and it groans.
Look whos awake, my mom remarks.
I sigh and start to skip down to the living room.
Just me, I exclaim and smile really
big. I op onto the couch next to my mom
and start to watch TV. I slip my slippers
back on and yawn once more.
Im so tired, I think to myself, its such
a lazy-but-enjoyable Sunday. Not bad at all.

Whenever Im alone I like to clear my


mind by taking a bike ride. Somehow the
wheels moving around and around calm
my body. I can go anywhere. I can go to
the Sears Lane bike jumps. I can ride down
the bike path. Most of the time I like to nd
something new a trail, a road, anything.
But the best way for me to clear my
head on a bike ride is to go down a trail I
made near Champlain Elementary School.
The trail is short but fun with a wood
bridge, a couple of bank turns, and my
favorite a nice drop at the end. When I
hit that drop I feel a rush go through my
body and I have a sense of satisfaction like
I got an A on a test. When Im in the air I
feel like Im ying and will never touch the
ground...

Thinking
BY COOPER SMITH
Grade 5, Champlain Elementary
When Im in my room alone I like
to think. I think about things like a royal
knight going on a dangerous quest to nd
his beloved princess, but on the way he
meets a scaly dragon or an ugly troll.
Sometimes I think about what I want
to be when I grow up, like an architect or
an amazing artist or a ve-star chef. And
then theres those days where I just start to
daydream and lose complete track of what
I was thinking before. My favorite thing to
think about is creative stories that I might
write later. When I think hard, I think about
me.

THIS WEEK: Door & General

Waiting for winter


BY ELLA STAATS
Grade 9, Burlington High School
The snow collects on the windowsill.
I kneel on the edge of my bed and lean
my shoulders against the pane, wondering vaguely if maybe it will give way, and
send me tumbling down to the sidewalk
below. It doesnt, of course, and my eyes
follow the snowakes as they dance ditzily
downward.
The sun melted away hours ago, and
took my family with it. Im the one left
awake, watching as winter materializes
before me. I untuck my legs and wriggle
my feet into the space between the bed and
the wall, so my toes are resting on top of
the radiator.
Its been snowing all day, and at this
rate, well have six inches by morning. Its
time to say goodbye to raking leaves, hello
to shoveling snow. Its time for the squirrels to nish off the last of the Halloween
pumpkin and curl up in their burrows,
with their tails tucked snugly around their
scrawny little bodies. Its time for hot chocolate in the mornings and annel sheets at
night and evenings spent wrapped in down
comforters eating chocolate crinkle cookies, the recipe for which only comes out
once a year.
Tomorrow morning, my little brother
will drag me outside with him to make
the rst snowball of the season and have
the rst icicle ght. My mom will make
chocolate chip pancakes. My dad will
grumble as he attempts to shovel the snow
off the car. Mimi, our cat, will lie slumped
under her favorite chair, indignant that the
snow has driven away the birds she likes to
intimidate.
Right now, though, all is silent. The
world understands that now is a time for
the snow and me alone, that I take some
odd pleasure from watching the trees turn
white, the gutters ll with akes. And so
here I sit, quiet, undisturbed, by my bedroom window, welcoming winters return.

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication.
This week, we present responses to the prompts, Door:
Whats behind the mysterious blue door? and General
writing. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

JANES TRUST

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Statue. Youre walking through


an empty park and pass a statue. To
your surprise, the statue strikes up a
conversation with you. Tell the story
of the statue and what it says. Alternates: Dark. Are you scared of the
dark? Why?; or Houston. You are an
astronaut. Describe a moment oating
in space. Due Jan. 9

I was walking past Pine Street Deli when I


saw it a small blue door.
It was scratched and the paint was peeling.
It had never been there before.
I walked up to the side of Pine Street Deli
and opened the door.
Inside was a land full of candy!
I stuffed myself silly until I was so full I
couldnt even walk!
I climbed up onto a cotton candy cloud and
shut my eyes.
The candy settled in my stomach.
I woke up and found myself in my room.
How fun was that dream!

The meadowlark
BY ZORA STEWART
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

The trap door


BY CAMRYN MUZZY
Grade 5, Renaissance School

BY ELLA MASON
Grade 5, Champlain Elementary School

NEXT PROMPTS

BY ZOE FISHER
Grade 5, Champlain Elementary

A clear and somber melody


Resounded through the dark;
A sweet and charming rhapsody
Sang celestial lark.
He ew along contentedly,
Light as morning dawn,
His voice a golden pleasantry,
His song like liquid bronze.
He hopped from branch to branch,
Chirping as he went;
Soaring on the ocean breeze.
By night, his wings were spent.
For though he is mellisonant,
Hes ephemeral as could be,
Lasting but a second,
Breathless brevity.

The blue door


As I walked down my street, wishing
that I did not have to walk my dog every
morning, I noticed something. Something
weird. Something new. Something, well,
different. Where my friends yard used to
be was a building with a blue door. I didnt
know what to do.
Should I open it? Should I keep walking? I wondered.
I am a very curious person. So I opened
it. Do you know what it led me to? That
blue door led me to a place with mountains
and lakes, people and animals!
And I never went back out of that door
again because I did not want to leave that
place, that place called VERMONT!

Pine Street Deli

Emma Parizo, Essex High School

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALL OF US AT YOUNG WRITERS PROJECT!


WELL BE BACK IN THIS SPACE WITH MORE GREAT WRITING ON JAN. 9!

What to do?
BY MADELINE EVANS
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Walking down a quiet street,
look up! Surprise!
What meets your eyes?
A big blue door
with handles of brass
that youve never seen
and never passed.
A golden key on a golden ring

clatters to the ground;


no one can be seen.
Look left, look right,
with key in hand.
Now its time to make a stand!
Push the key in.
Door to man!
A blinding light engulfs the street.
No door, no girl was ever there,
with me, witness I do bear.
Another twinkle in my eye,
another tap of my shoe,
and a big blue door.
What would you do?

I was walking in front of my house,


being the most bored person on the planet,
when I saw a blue trap door on my driveway! I walked over, opened the door and
looked down.
All I saw was a ladder leading to a
hallway, but I could not see what was past
the door at the end of the hallway.
So, I climbed down the ladder and
opened the door. In front of me was a
world that had everything I liked: horses,
pizza, dogs, sweets, gymnastics and so
much more.
This is by far the coolest day of my
life! I thought.
The air smelled like pancakes, the
lakes were made of chocolate, and the
clouds were made of cotton candy. I saw
a trampoline and ran over to it. When I
started bouncing, I went so high I landed
on a cloud. I pulled off a piece to see how
good the cotton candy was.
As I put it in my mouth, I heard my
mom calling me for dinner. So I grabbed a
handful, jumped off the cloud and landed
on the trampoline. When I put the cotton
candy in my mouth, it was even better than
the rst bite: so, so good, so, so mapley.
I ran to the door, climbed up the ladder
and onto my driveway. As I ran to my
front door I thought, I hope the trap door
will be here tomorrow.
When I was done with dinner, I looked
out the window and the trap door was
gone.

Eclipse eyes
BY ALEXANDRA CONTRERAS-MONTESANO
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Listen to the silence, let it ring on, eyes,
dark grey lenses frightened of the sun.
(Joy Division Transmission)
Listen to the silence,
avoid your eyes
as they catch the sun.
There is an eclipse in your soul.
Bad is closing up your good.
Winter is on the edge of the cliff;
spring is breaking,
but you are not opening your eyes.
Something has threaded through your lids.
Love is broken and your soul knows that.
The blood is stale running through your
body.
Your ears are half closed and you are waiting.
When the moon covers the sun Ill let it
ring,
the silence.

Be brave
BY GRACE LU
Grade 8, Albert D. Lawton Intermediate

THIS WEEK: Lyrics & Photo 4


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompts, Lyrics:
Sprout a piece from a favorite song and Photo 4. Read
more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

AMY E. TARRANT
FOUNDATION

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

I wanna see you be brave. - Sara Bareilles


I might be afraid, but its my turn to be
brave. - Idina Menzel
I wanna see you be brave.
Dont let what they say or do
strike your heart.
Fearlessness and determination
is what you need.
I wanna see you be brave
in the things you do.
You have a mind; use it.
Be aware of the things you say
and their impact on others.
I wanna see you be brave.
Keep believing in who you are,
what you are.
Dont change yourself to be like others
or think like others.
I wanna see you be brave.
Make the rst bold move.
Show some kindness, you fool.
Go over there
and apologize.
I wanna see you be brave.
The challenges will come to pass.
You can brave the storm of hurtful words.
Dont let their words penetrate your skin.
Have thick skin.
I wanna see you be brave.
I wanna see you be brave.
So be brave.
Be brave.
You can do it.
I know you can.

NEXT PROMPTS
Sorry. Write a story or poem that
incorporates the sentence, Im sorry
Im so sorry. Alternate: Cyborg.
Write a story about a cyborg (part
human, part machine). How did it
become that way? How does it use
its powers? Can it integrate into the
world of humans or the world of
machines or is it always an outsider?
Due Dec. 19

Photo 4. Casey Mulrow, Essex High School

No escape
BY JARED BRYCE
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School
It follows you everywhere you go to
school, to the bathroom, on a eld trip, to
a birthday party, outside. Your shadow is
exactly a copy of yourself by sunlight.
Sometimes your shadow does not obey
you. Sometimes your shadow shows itself
in a game or a sneak attack. Then your
friend or enemy wins the game or something serious.
You become mad at your shadow, hurt
by your shadow, betrayed so much that
you just want to run away from it. But you
cant. You cant run away from yourself.
Your shadow is you, it will follow you, tag
along with you, be you.

The body
BY GENNI BOGDANOWICZ
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

Ian Ballou, Essex High School

Fall battleeld king

Lazy shadow

BY MADELINE EVANS
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

BY SARAH DANIELS
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School

I mounted my foot on the rake, feeling


victorious at the end of a long-waged war
between me and the now neat pile of the
fallen warriors from the fall.
I kicked a straggling leaf back into the
pile and gave it a glare that I hoped seemed
like the silent intimidation my father was
so good at.
I looked at my shadow and no longer
saw a kid playing king. I grinned at my
shadow with pride and abandoned my
knightly rake for a warm hug and a steaming hot (and rather large) slice of apple pie.
With the heavenly aroma trailing
behind me I grabbed my rake and sat in my
throne of leaves, and I thought, it might
not be so bad being a kid playing king for a
little longer.

My shadow is lazy, always dragging behind.


While Im heading up a hill, the shadow
just reclines.
It really drives me crazy that my shadow is
so lazy.
My shadow is a copycat; it repeats everything I do.
Its just like a blob on the ground; it reminds me of black goo.
When I get up in the morning, my shadow
is still snoring.
Its so embarrassing my shadows still in
bed.
It makes me really angry, and then my face
turns red...
Still, I love my shadow and it loves me.
Its like we have a real connection, you see.

I limp up the hill, the cold air biting at


my nose. Theres no snow on the ground,
yet its still 20 degrees. I drag the rusty
shovel behind me. Theres only about 10
feet until I should be able to see the top of
the hill, where its hidden. Fear and anger
rage inside of me. I still cant believe what
I did, even though he made me do it. He
wouldve killed me instead. Thats what
will happen to me if I get caught, I think.
I push the thought out of my mind, and
continue the trek up the frozen hill.
As I reach the top, I stand for a second.
I catch my breath and gather my thoughts.
I take a deep breath and walk over to the
spot next to the woods where hes hidden.
I drop my shovel, and get down on my
knees. I push through the brush trying to
nd the body. As I reach where it should
be, I realize something. Its not there. The
bodys gone. Someone knows.
So youre the guy who tried to kill
me, whispers a voice from behind me.
Didnt know a shrimp like you could do
that much damage... As I turn around I
know what Ill see. A boy, about 10 years
old, covered in blood. Dirt on his hands and
face, streaking his trousers. Shorter than me
by about a foot. I tried to kill a kid. A little
kid.
I didnt have a choice, I mumble, still
in shock. As I turn around, I see him holding the shovel above his head. He brings it
down with all the force he can muster, and
I black out.
I wake up in a hospital and quickly get
out of bed. I need to nd him. A cop stops
me as I get to the door. I ask him where the
boy is.
Hes dead. And so are you if you dont
get back in that bed and keep your mouth
shut, he barks at me. I go back to my bed,
and lie down. It has to be a dream. This
couldnt have happened. But when I wake
up again, I have to face that its not. I have
to live with what I did. Forever.

An uninsulated tent
BY SOPHIA ST. JOHN-LOCKRIDGE
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
A sun porch, an uninsulated tent,
connected to our house with wood and
cement,
looked over the beaches and onto the lake,
a beautiful sight you would not forsake.
A place that was fun to play in in the summer,
but in the dead of winter, it was quite the
bummer.
But Grandma, oh Grandma, did not mind
the cold,
although her bones were brittle, aching and
old.
She sat in her rocking chair day after day,
with a blanket and cocoa to watch the kids
play.
It must have been 20 degrees in that room,
but she knitted and hummed, and wove
with her loom.
She didnt feel cold, and she didnt mind.
She stared at the lake, every day, all the
time.
The sparkling snow would melt through the
netting,
and puddle the oor, and wet her warm
bedding.
But Grandma didnt mind, she didnt care.
She watched the snow while children
braided her hair.
Snowball ghts and ice shing,
Christmas Carols, New Years wishing.
She watched as the snow fell, and melted,
and fell.
She knitted some socks; she rocked and she
rocked,
until the snow went away, and she nally
stood up,
walked into the house, with no need to
have knocked.

THIS WEEK: Winter Tales


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. This week, we present local pieces
that were selected for Winter Tales to be performed by
the Vermont Stage Company at FlynnSpace Dec.10-14.
For more information and tickets, go to vtstage.org/
winter-tales; or youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an


independent nonprot that engages
students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.org,
and cowbird.com. YWP also publishes
The Voice, a monthly digital magazine
with YWPs best writing, images and
features. To learn more, go to youngwritersproject.org or contact YWP at
(802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

PHYSICIANS COMPUTER CO.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Performance: Thursday, Dec. 11 @7:30 p.m.

A ride on a reindeer
BY JADYN JACOBS
Grade 5, Thomas Fleming School
I gallop through the sky.
Its like the stars
are snowakes,
and the sky
is the ground
and the ground
is the sky.
The reindeer pants,
and I pull back
to slow down.
I hold on to his horns
and pet his soft fur
as we gallop
through the snowy
Christmas night.
Performance: Wednesday, Dec. 10 @7:30 p.m.

NEXT PROMPTS
100 Miles. You get lost and end up
walking 100 miles through thick,
bug-infested woods. When its nally
over, you cant believe whats waiting
for you in a clearing at the edge of the
forest Alternates: Online. Somehow
youve fallen into the Web page youve
been browsing. Where are you? Whats
happening?; or General writing in any
genre. Due Dec. 12

Jonathan Palmer, Essex High School

Being a snowdragon
BY NOAH SANDERSON
Grade 4, Thomas Fleming School
Theyve made many before.
But none quite like me.
Many were men,

some women,
even babies of three.
Made of snow,
not feathers, skin, or scales.
I only pretend to breathe re;
but still, when everyone else is so plain,
its cool to be me.

Winter in Vermont
BY SALLY MATSON
Grade 11, Burlington High School
For some people, winter is just like
you see it in Hollywood movies. Winter is
perfect snowakes landing on outstretched
tongues. Its new Bean boots; its their
fresh tracks in the snow. Winter means ice
skating on perfect ponds with a fresh batch
of Swiss Miss after. Winter is the brief moments spent outside of the warm coziness
of home.
Well, Im a Vermonter. In Vermont,
winter isnt simply a season: its a mindset. After screaming in pain while running
almost-frost-bitten ngers under water in
the hopes of thawing them after hours on
the sledding hill, winter takes on a new
meaning. Its an intense survival of the
ttest, a brutal few months where you feel
lucky to make it to the end alive. Just last
year I spent 20 minutes waiting for the bus
when it was -15 degrees. Maybe in some
other state that kind of weather would call
for a snow day but not in Vermont. If
you want a ride to school but the car wont
start, you walk! Winter is watching your
breath turn into not just fog, but ice right in
front of you. Winter is waddling around in
ve layers of clothes, just for a run to the
supermarket. Winter is spending over an
hour shoveling your driveway, just to have
the plow come push all the snow back onto
it. Winter is giving up on trying to raise the
thermostat to an acceptable level, because,
no matter what, your house will be freezing. Winter is hell!
But somehow, us Vermonters still get
giddy at the rst sight of snow. We love
turning ourselves into human Popsicles
on the ski slopes, taking breaks only long
enough to defrost. We love Sundays spent
reading on the couch in the living room
with ve blankets, a cup of Lake Champlain Chocolates hot cocoa, mittens, and a
scarf on. We love the feeling of beating, or
almost beating, the cold but even more,
we love knowing that were some of the
few people who know what winter really is.
Sure, some may call us crazy but
here in Vermont, its an unspoken fact:
winter is the best part of the year.
Performance: Saturday Dec. 13 @2 p.m.

Snow Tag
BY PATRICK HERRIN
Grade 6, Albert D. Lawton Intermediate

Performance: Sunday, Dec. 14 @2 p.m.

SCHEDULE OF YWP WRITERS


WINTER TALES
(Presented by Vermont Stage Company, FlynnSpace, Burlington; more info and tickets at
vtstage.org/winter-tales)

Wednesday, Dec. 10 @ 7:30 p.m.


Jadyn Jacobs
Emily Weatherill
Thursday, Dec. 11 @ 7:30 p.m.
Haley Noel
Sophia St. John-Lockridge

Saturday, Dec. 13 @ 7:30 p.m.


Samuel Boudreau
Soa Spano

Friday, Dec. 12 @ 7:30 p.m.


Patrick Herrin
Milo Wilcox

Sunday, Dec. 14 @ 2 p.m.


Noah Sanderson
Holly Ray Sherrer

Saturday, Dec. 13 @ 2 p.m.


Kaila Skeet Browning
Sally Matson

Sunday Dec. 14 @ 6 p.m.


Frances Kaplan
Eleanor Braun

Just me and my brother were in my yard.


The yard isnt too big, but big enough
and blanketed in diamond-sparkle snow
to run and chase and ee.
When we chase each other,
we run through
the deep, deep, uffy snow.
Running through snow is like
running through water sluggish
but in a merry way.
The snow ies up from the back of our feet.
Running through the powder,
Ive almost gotten my brother
until he takes a big leap!
Froosh!
Snow urries everywhere
and Im covered.
I yelp, but then laugh
as he squeals in delight.
I fall face rst into the snow,
not caring about the cold.
Im already covered in the white
that made our tag game so fun!
Performance: Friday, Dec. 12 @7:30 p.m.

My important ones
BY ANNA SCHWARZ
Grade 6, Cambridge Elementary School
Have I ever said that when I smiled and
laughed at your jokes, I wasnt just thinking about the humor in them, but more of
the people telling the jokes? Hearing you
laugh, and me laughing too, just makes me
light up inside.
Someday I hope to tell all of you, my
parents, my friends, the many people I have
met along the way, how much I really love
you. The reason I have let you keep a place
in my heart is that each of you has done
something for me. You have befriended me
when I was lonely, or just given me a place
in your household. And the teachers the
teachers who went above and beyond to
make a place for all of us kids in the class,
who let us enjoy ourselves, who taught us
most everything we know now.
I remember everything. Everything
even the tiny things that have made my
life a little easier ...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.
org/node/100398.

Always there

THIS WEEK: Letter & Photo 3


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompts, Letter:
Write a letter to someone to say thanks; and Photo 3.
Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


THE BAY AND PAUL
FOUNDATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Photo 3. Chelsea Somerset, Essex High School

Passage of time
BY EUGENE PETROW
Grade 9, Rice Memorial High School
The new moon rises,
the old moon wanes.
A new day dawns and sets.
Passage of time is predictable
like a train on a track,
over bridges, through tunnels,
together or alone,
to stations not always known.

Secret wonderland

BY HANA KALLEN
Grade 11, Mount Manseld High School

BY HELEN WORDEN
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

A standing shadow,
not too close,
nor too near,
just a shoulder in the distance,
ready to be leaned on.
A young girl of 5 years,
blonde, fearless, excited,
in a pink, frilly tutu,
with a father showing her how to kick a
soccer ball.
You can be anything, he said.
A relationship based on trust,
memories and struggles,
someone who makes you want to be strong,
hold back your tears,
and ght for what is true and just.
Fifth grade, a talent show,
a man who never touched a Hacky Sack in
his life
kicks it around with his ecstatic daughter
in front of a crowd.
Dont ever take yourself too seriously, he
said.
A father who has seen the world,
and wants to place it in your hands,
and every day teaches you how to grasp the
continents,
and reach the stars.
Sophomore year,
learning how to push through the sloughs
and mountains of toxic homework.
Youll nish, he said.
In a life of confusion, complexity and hardships,
he untangles the knotted string,
and makes life simplistically beautiful.
Junior year,
trying to hold it together, staying strong,
trying to cope with the idea of college,
with the idea of my love leaving.
People come and go, he said.
No other way to describe him,
besides a rock
in every way, strong, fearless
and the best human being who ever lived.

I skipped along the boards and tried


to avoid the nails and angry rust streaks.
The green support columns rose up around
me, making me feel like a queen walking through a great hall, rusty, creaky and
old. This was my wonderland. I came here
every day, sometimes after school, sometimes in the morning when I decided school
was overrated, or when I just needed to get
away from the life I didnt belong to ...

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.


org/node/100184.

Crossing the bridge


BY ISIDORA BAILLY-HALL
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
I was walking calmly across the railway
bridge, spanning the Winooski River,
before I heard the train. It started off as a
soft chugging noise, growing louder and
louder by the second. Soon it sounded as if
a screeching, screaming, chugging monster
was right behind me, biting at my heels.
... That was when I started to run, my jog
quickly transforming into a full-on sprint,
the type that makes you so full of adrenaline you think you might explode if you
stopped, the type that is so fed by fear you
might only go that fast once in a lifetime.
This was a once in a lifetime experience. ...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.
org/node/100404.
Smugglers Notch, Vermont. Kevin Huang, Burlington High School

NEXT PROMPTS
Invention. Youve just invented the next big thing! Pitch it to the head of the most inuential company you know. What is it and what does it do? Alternates: 15, 10, 5. Create a short dialogue of three characters. The rst can only speak 15 words, the second
10, and the third just ve words; or Author. Write in the style of your favorite author or
poet. Include the writers name and a favorite quote, if you like. Due Dec. 5
100 Miles. You get lost and end up walking 100 miles through thick, bug-infested
woods. When its nally over, you cant believe whats waiting for you in a clearing at
the edge of the forest Alternates: Online. Somehow youve fallen into the Web page
youve been browsing. Where are you? Whats happening?; or General writing in any
genre. Due Dec. 12

Feeling
BY MANNY DODSON
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Adrenaline. Thats all I feel. Not the
cold, the guilt, the hard gravel that crunches with every footfall. Nothing. Well, there
actually is one thing, a thing that cant be
unfelt. No numbness or distraction would
keep me from feeling it at this moment.
Its actually the reason for the adrenaline...
Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.
org/node/101108.

THIS WEEK: Angel

My guardian

BY ZANIPOLO LEWIS
Grade 6, Homeschool, Burlington

He sweeps past me, watching my every


move.
He sees me sleep,
putting dreams in my head.
Long, blond hair owing,
blue everyday pants,
black shirt
thats how I describe my Guardian Angel.
My protector.
My father.
My brother.
My guardian.
He puts good thoughts in my mind.
He helps me when Im sad or mad.
He helps me focus and get better.
He watches over me
and loves me.
He moves faster than lightning,
but sometimes if I look hard and quick
enough,
I can get a glimpse of a twinkle for just a
moment.
He shows himself to me in my dreams
because he is kind
and gentle.
He is my Guardian Angel.

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication.
This week, we present responses to the prompt, Angel:
Write about the rst time you meet your guardian angel.
Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


CHAMPLAIN INVESTMENT PARTNERS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Secrets of your life


BY KENDALL MUZZY
Grade 6, Endeavour Middle School
I slowly fall asleep, with my head resting softly on my pillow...
I look around curiously, taking in my
new surroundings. I am outside on my
street, looking up at my house. Everything
is still and empty, no cars, no people, nothing. Everything is ghostlike and I begin
to get worried. I realize that there is faint
music playing smoothly. The music is
beautiful and my worries oat away with
the rhythm.
I turn my head and see a gorgeous
woman walking silently toward me. Her
presence comforts me.
Hello Kendall, I am your guardian angel, she explains. She has a owing white
dress and white wings. I try to speak, but
words refuse to come out.
I am here on the head angels request.
She thinks you are ready, she says mysteriously.
R-ready for what? I choke out.
Do not be afraid; I am not here to hurt
you. You are ready to meet me and learn
the secrets, she says.
S-secrets? I ask.
Yes, the secrets of your life. Every
guardian angel has to visit her child to tell
them. She stops suddenly.
Tell them what? I ask.
I-I am sorry, I have to go, she says
urgently.
But I try to say.
Im sorry, she says again.
Then she vanishes, but a bright light
shines in her place. I wake up and look at
my clock. 3:24. I close my eyes and try
to go to sleep, but open them when I hear
a familiar piece of music and see a bright
light, like a star shining in the dark sky.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

War angel
BY ARIEL MERRILL-NOLTE
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
The ground shakes as I cower under
the table, waiting for the explosions to
end. The heat is unbearable. My palms
are sweaty and my knuckles are white as I
clutch the table leg. My world is lled with
screaming, pleading, waiting. My mouth is
full of grit and I cough, hacking up blood.
My ears are ringing, and my vision is beginning to fade as I open my eyes, knowing
this could be the end. Then a bright light
descends through the smoke and lands
softly next to me, blinding me for what
seems like forever. I feel someone lifting
me gently, then I slowly start to rise. Soon
everything fades to black.
My head is pounding, and I suddenly
hear my mother singing me a lullaby, the
one about my guardian angel. Then out of
the gloom she walks; her face is hidden
yet I know it is her. I reach out to her, my
ngers just inches away. I call to her to
take me with her, but its too late. She is
gone, leaving only a melody drifting in the
smoky air.
Then I know that it is time to leave, yet
I cling for a moment and try to envision
my mothers face one last time. She comes
clear and crisp, then the picture fades and
she is gone; her face is enveloped in the
black river of my past. Then I release and
embrace death. My soul oats upward, and
I am enveloped in a sky full of smoke.

Angel speaks
BY HANNAH MILLER
Grade 9, Rice Memorial High School

Danilo Salgado, Essex High School

Grandfather

My wish

BY AVA BENOIT
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School

BY MIKE CASARICO
Grade 9, Rice Memorial High School

My grandfather is my guardian angel.


He passed away four years before I was
born. He died of a heart attack on July 24,
1999. ... When I was about 3 years old, I
told my mom that I saw a man at the foot
of my bed. At various times I told my
mom, Theres a man! Theres a man!
When my parents asked me what he looked
like, I said, He was wearing a shirt with
squares and has brown hair. I was 3, so I
didnt know what plaid was at the time.
When we moved into a new home, I
often saw a face of the same man in the
corner of my room. I stopped seeing him
when I was about 8 or 9. I was told that my
grandfather was kind, loved to sh and was
an excellent cook. I believe that my guardian angel has made me a kind person and
has inuenced the choices Ive made.

My guardian angel stands 10 feet away,


inside a grand hotel room, looking bright
and cheerful. She is 17 years old. Her hijab
covers her hair.
I look at her in bewilderment, Who are
you? I ask her (even though I know).
I am your Guardian Angel Malala
Yousafzai.
I have had dreams about meeting
Malala. We talk about different situations
in our lives; about losses, siblings, and different teenage things. It is my dream, my
wish, to follow her example. To stand up to
authority for education.
It is time for me to go, says my
Guardian Angel Malala.
Wait! I proclaim. I want to know
more about you ... But she disappears in a
wisp of mist.

Hi, my name is Kevin and Im your


guardian angel. I know what you are probably thinking: Arent angels supposed to
have cool names like Ezekiel, Ariel, or
Razeal? But those cool names are all taken
so I got Kevin. Yea, I know, a little weird,
but hey, it works.
Anyway, girl, you are probably the
weirdest person I have ever had the pleasure of guarding. You have some weirdly
fun moments where I just get to relax. I
mean, that one time on your birthday you
got bacon and gave out hippos, a little out
there but I can deal with it.
There were also times where you
needed me like no other: Pats death took
a toll on both of us, but we got through it.
Im really proud of you for that.
You make it easy to wake up in the
morning and say, Hey, I have to guard
Hannah today.
So I just wanted to put it out there that
Im here for you. And my names Kevin,
but thats not important.

NEXT PROMPTS
Invention. Youve just invented the next
big thing! Pitch it to the head of the most
inuential company you know. What is it
and what does it do? Alternates: 15, 10, 5.
Create a short dialogue of three characters.
The rst can only speak 15 words, the
second 10, and the third just ve words; or
Author. Write in the style of your favorite
author or poet. Include the writers name
and a favorite quote, if you like.
Due Dec. 5

Night mystery

BY MAIA VOTA
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

I slip into the darkness of my own


shadow. Rounding the corner of the garage,
I follow the gure through someones backyard. Im trying to move as fast as I can
without making any noise.
I sneak through a small path leading
into a cluster of trees and then were in a
woods. Thats when I hear something else.
Nothing too loud, but I can tell that the
noise is unintentional. The rest is almost a
blur. I feel something cold and clammy on
my shoulder and everything goes black.
My eyes begin to adjust and I see
everything before I can hear. Colors are
blending, but I can clearly see blue and
white ashing lights. It is still dark and
now I notice all the commotion. Everyone
is busy, and from what I can tell, nobody
has seen me. I am lying on the ground in
the trees just off the road where multiple
police cars are parked.
I begin to breathe more heavily and
my hands start to sweat. I get down on my
hands and knees. Slowly, I crawl slightly
deeper into the woods. As I stand up, I hear
leaves crunching. Goosebumps race up
my arms and legs. As I turn around, I hear,
You dont have to lie; I know it was you.

THIS WEEK: Room & Lie


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. This week, we present responses to
the prompts, Room: Redesign your room with no limits;
and Lie: Use the line, You dont have to lie; I know
it was you. Read more at youngwritersproject.org, a
safe, civil, online community of writers.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


MGN Family Foundation

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

The lie
BY THOMAS MONTGOMERY
Grade 6, Browns River Middle School

BY CAVAN LAMONTAGNE
Grade 9, Rice Memorial High School
All glass walls for natural light,
king-size water bed with a polar bear
blanket,
my pet koala that knows not to bite,
a hot tub in one corner
where I spend most nights,
a reclining chair for when I read
and a twirly slide that goes outside.
My room is perfect
but not yet complete;
I also must have huge speakers
and my beats.
Now my room has no aw,
just a boy with too much homework is all.

Just right
BY WILLOW ALBEE
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School
My room would have:
A book shelf that always had the books
I wanted. (Even if they werent out
yet.)
My bed in a tree house that was watersealed and had heaters.
A light that made the ceiling look like
the moon.
Loads of cats, one unicorn ... and a
baby dragon in a re-proof house.

Wingtips

You dont have to lie;


I know it was you
who messed with my house
and ripped my red shoes.
You dont have to lie;
of course it was you.
Who else would run in
and unscrew all the screws?
Of course it was you.
Theres nothing to do,
but run to your parents
and tell them the truth.

BY ALEXANDRA CONTRERAS-MONTESANO
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

I know it was you


BY GRACE SLAUTERBECK
Grade 9, Rice Memorial High School
You dont have to lie; I know it was
you, who lay on my bed and now acts like
it isnt true. You dont have to lie, I just saw
you ee from the couch where I knew your
footprints would be.
How dare you look at me like you did
nothing wrong, when I saw you in the trash
where you do not belong.
You ruined the house! Oh, what an
unpleasant surprise! Again I look right into
your eyes. What should I do? Gazing into
your eyes that are so blue.
I call you over to give you a talk, but
your eyes look through mine and all I can
do is gawk. You give that silly grin and
again I let you win, then repeat myself
holding onto your chin: You dont have to
lie; I know it was you ... You ruined the
house! Oh, what an unpleasant surprise!
But this time, unlike the rst, I dont look
at your eyes so I am not immersed in those
blue ocean balls. Instead, I look around my
house, but there is no mess at all!
I look in your eyes to nd pure delight.
You cleaned the house. Oh me, oh my! I
leap for joy and start to cry. My puppy is
growing up and my house is clean; there is
no better sight that could be seen.

Dream room

Jill Macfarlane, Essex High School

Extraordinary room
BY KATRINA GARROW
Grade 9, Rice Memorial High School
The rst thing you see is a giant tree.
Inside the tree, steps are carved exquisitely
with quotes from various authors, sports
players, celebrities, poets, and many more
famous citizens. As you climb the steps
there are white Christmas lights all along
the siding as it gets darker, but suddenly
you see a door that is glowing with images
of creatures of all different species. Say the
word Open and the door shall open with
no restraint.
The room lights up with a glass ceiling, so you can see the stars twinkle in the
night. The bedding made of memory foam
with galaxy sheets is the rst thing you see.
The dark walls and furniture are hidden

until you say, Let there be light, and the


room lights up and you see everything
down to every detail.
The furniture is black, but now you see
the elegant design of statues engraved in
the boards. The carpet looks like youre
walking on a dark sea. There is a hidden
closet when you touch the second star to
the right of you. (Just inside the door.) You
see the wall to your left move and an abundant amount of clothing is there and you
would never nd something you couldnt
wear.
For the lights to turn off when you go
to sleep, you simply have to say, Goodnight. But wait, you get thirsty during the
night and need some water. Touch the wall
and it will give an endless list of drinks,
from water to soda, lemonade to hot chocolate. Same if you get hungry, just doubletap the wall and anything you want to eat
will show up.

The sun was rising


against the bloodstained sky.
A boy sat on the roof of his
little home.
His silhouette was framed by trees waving,
curling around the lightening sky.
His head was bent
and his eyes paved the pebbles
as if he didnt deserve to see the
beautiful sunrise that he
went up to see.
Two birds ew across,
wingtips touching.
A couple houses down,
a girl was sitting at the
edge of her roof,
teasing fate carefully,
staring up as the sun rose.
She only looked at the boy once.
You dont have to lie,
I know it was you,
were the last words she had said to
the boy with the bent head
before he started watching the sunrise
alone.
He didnt have to lie,
he knew it was him
who had broken the pebble heart,
and let go of her hand,
so he could y and then
he could fall
and land,
sitting at the edge of the roof,
framed against the morning.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

I wonder
BY CATIE MACAULEY
Grade 6, Endeavour Middle School
The circle in the sky is hot and merciless today. At rst the heat was pleasant,
but I am now parched. I hope the sky
waterfalls again soon, but there is no way
of knowing when it will come.
A slight breeze blows my way, and
my whole branch gently sways. Some of
the leaves whisper to each other, but I am
content to just think.
My mind wanders, and I wonder what
color I will turn when it gets colder. The
few leaves that have somehow survived the
winter (by holding onto the tree throughout
the whole biting cold) say that it is the best
time of year when we all turn into bright,
happy yellows, light, glowing oranges, and
deep, regal reds.
It is not scorching and boring as it is
now; it is not the freezing calm when we
fall to the ground, coated with uffy white.
I know when these seasons arrive, change
will come. It is inevitable. I have no idea
what will happen when I drift slowly to the
ground far below, watching the tree high
above. I have no way of knowing when this
will happen, nor how. I have only heard
witnesses stories. But I know I will enjoy
what I have while I have it, for that is the
only way to go through life.

THIS WEEK: Leaf


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt, Leaf: Write
from the perspective of one leaf on a large, colorful
maple tree. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

LANGWATER FAMILY FOUNDATION

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

SATURDAY, NOV. 8
9:30 A.M. 5 P.M.
VERMONT COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS

36 COLLEGE STREET
MONTPELIER
Join us! Its FREE!

The last one


BY MADELINE EVANS
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
I am a princess,
I am a leaf,
with a bright dress on
of amber and gold.
All around me,
shift into old crones,
browned by age,
and wrinkled by sun.
As winter comes,
I am the last one.

BY ZOE FISHER
Grade 5, Champlain Elementary School

The wind whips and roars through the


branches. Despite this, the sky is a cool,
clear blue, and the sun glows joyfully. I
utter in the wind, holding on tightly to my
twig Im not ready to let go.
Autumn is coming the air has a crisp
edge and a spicy, slightly smoky scent.
Brilliant shades of crimson and gold
are just beginning to creep onto my edges.
Many of my kin are already saturated in
color, and the maple tree seems to be covered in ames.
Cars scoot along beneath me, couples
walk by holding hands, enjoying the
weather. Students, weighed down with
numbers and words, trudge past. Dogs sniff
my maples trunk, and cats lurk on nearby
porches or slink around shadowy corners.

Wonderful fall
BY NOLIN WUESTENBERG
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School

YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

AND RELEASE OF ANTHOLOGY 6

The great height

BY ADA CASE
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT

CELEBRATION OF WRITING

(This poem is also featured in the October issue


of The Voice. Check it out at youngwritersproject.org.)

Holding on

...When I woke up one morning I was a


different color; I did not understand it, but
I liked it.
The next week I felt a little loose. I
woke up and I was not in the tree. I was
blowing in the breeze. It was so wonderful;
it was fall. ...
I had noticed I was alone, but suddenly
many others joined my side. I was even
happier.
We went through parks and forests.
We nally landed on a lawn next to a huge
structure. People raked us into huge piles
and did cannonballs and belly ops into us.
I was satised.

YWP NEWS

Emily Cunningham-Firkey, Essex High School

A leafs life
BY GRACE ADAMS-KOLLITZ
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
A cool breeze blows over, causing me
to brush against my neighbor. Its a tight t,
and I always nd myself bumping uncomfortably into the leaves surrounding me.
I live my life on a large, old maple tree
in a neighborhood just east of a large park
lled with immense amounts of foliage.
The area is kept clean and fresh, and I
never nd myself entangled in hazardous
plastic bags as in the stories Ive heard. I
hope to never nd myself in this situation,
for I have a great fear of being choked to
death.

Every leaf on this tree is bright and


colorful, whether a lime green, pumpkin
orange or blood red. Every leaf but me. I
am a dull brown. I dont know why I am
this way.
I try to hide when pedestrians stroll by
the beautiful maple. I will catch a wind and
oat in towards the back of the pack while
the others try to catch their attention.
The beautiful ones are occasionally
plucked off by a small hand and kept to rest
peacefully on a dresser or dinner table.
But not me. I am unpleasant to the eye.
People wince as they stare up and look
into my eyes. I am the mist of the group.
I never leap out at the humans, trying to
catch their gaze, for I know they will never
accept me.

If you hang upon a branch


of a giant maple tree
and you give away colors
that no one has seen,
then you are one of me
and I am one of you.
Day after day, the cold winds blow.
Poor little me, Im getting old,
so as I fall, I say my goodbyes,
goodbye to this world
and to the other leaves,
goodbye to the branches that held me so
tight,
and the best of them all,
goodbye to this beautiful, old maple tree.
I fall to the ground,
still saying my goodbyes.
I look at that beautiful tree just one last
time,
the colorful leaves, the rough branches,
and that smooth bark of the tree that held
me so tight.
And as I do, I say, goodnight.

NEXT PROMPTS
Reporter. You are a new reporter, excited to be assigned to your rst big story,
but everything seems to conspire against
you (e.g., trafc jams, torrential rain,
wrong information, police barricades, people who refuse to be interviewed.) Whats
the story and how do you pull it off?
Alternates: Seconds. Describe something
that happened in mere seconds, something
big or small; or Famous. You nd out
someone you know is famous. Describe
the person, and why s/he is famous. How
does this affect you? Due Nov. 21

Fishing and pizza


BY NOLIN WUESTENBERG
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School
If aliens visited Vermont, I think they
would rst go shing in Lake Champlain.
Aliens probably dont have shing in
space. I bet aliens are pretty curious and
would love Lake Champlain.
I think they would demand pizza from
my Mom and Dad, because its delicious ...
and Ben & Jerrys ice cream. I think they
would be amazed that Phish Food doesnt
taste anything like the sh they caught in
Lake Champlain.
Another thing that I think would amaze
them is the beauty of Vermont, like the
view of Mt. Manseld from my backyard.
It would be cool if aliens visited Vermont, as long as they were nice.

Bad day
BY RIANN GIANNI
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
... I stared into the refrigerator, it was
like looking at an empty house, nothing but
shelves and compartments.
I heard the buss roar, so I lled my water bottle and ran out the door. I, of course,
spilled ice cubes everywhere so I picked
them up and tossed them into the sink.
When I nally got outside I found myself watching as the bus raced by. I chased
after it until the next stop... I hopped into
the bus and walked to the back. When my
friends nally got on the bus, they sat down
next to me and we talked until the bus arrived at the school.
When I got off the bus, I was heading
over to talk with some other friends. It had
rained the night before so, of course, with
my terrible luck, I slipped and fell. Mud
got all over my sweatshirt... Luckily, I had
P.E. rst period so I just wore my sweaty
gym shirt all day. After all that drama, I
went about my day. I slipped off my chair
in math, spilled some chemicals in science,
and smelled like sweat all day...

THIS WEEK: Complicated & Aliens


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students. A team of staff,
mentors and students selects the best writing and images for publication. This week, we present responses
to the prompts, Complicated: Sometimes life is complicated...; and Aliens: They arrive in Vermont. What do
they do? Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.


org/node/99528.

AND RELEASE OF ANTHOLOGY 6


SATURDAY, NOV. 8
9:30 A.M. 5 P.M.
VERMONT COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS

36 COLLEGE STREET
MONTPELIER
Register for workshops today
at youngwritersproject.org! Its FREE!

THE VOICE
CHECK OUT THE OCTOBER ISSUE OF
YWPS MONTHLY DIGITAL MAGAZINE!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Go to thevoice.youngwritersproject.org
Get your FREE subscription!

Transfer students
BY MADDI EVANS
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands, Boston, Oct. 11. YWPs Sophia Cannizzaro of West Glover took this photo
and also participated as part of the Bread and Puppet brass band.

Lost dreams
Some days my life is complicated. It
is lled with lost dreams, but the dreams
make a point. I think about the people and
the fancy rich government ofce workers and Obamas play dolls. They sit
and watch as the wars rage on. People are
scared and afraid, not knowing if their wife
or husband is ever going to come home or
if there will be something like 9-11 again.
People are afraid of their government,
but the government should be afraid of its
people and what its people can do. They
can protest and make the streets as unsafe
as the war that is going on right now as you
read this. Some people hide, hoping the
war will end soon. Some people are sick of
there being nothing done about this war. It
will be up to the people to stop the war, and
not the government.
No one likes a coward, and a coward
the government is being. They say they will
do something about this, but do you see
anything happening? ...

CELEBRATION OF WRITING

MAIN STREET LANDING

Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.


org/node/100556.

BY KOLBY DARRAH
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School

YWP NEWS & EVENTS

Human alert
BY KAYLEE WHITE
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School
Aliens were coming by the thousands,
landing their UFOs anywhere there was
space on the vast eld I was walking on.
I took a glance at them and my impulse
was to run, but I realized I was frozen on
the spot. I urged my legs to run but I could
not.
Then one came up from behind me
and held my chin. It hissed, wwhaat aare
yyyouuu doinng hhheeere?
I screamed and feeling came back to
my legs. I took off as fast as I could.
Then it bellowed, Human alert! The
effect was immediate. They turned around
and started to march toward me.
I ran even faster to who knows where.
They were gaining on me; one brushed my
shirt; another tripped me. I hit the ground
with impact and they pinned me to the
ground. They were demanding silly things
like, Where do we get doughnuts? What
is a bicycle? Those were everyday things

to us, but another world to them.


Then suddenly, they stopped. What
happened? Soon, one of them said slowly,
Wooow! Its so, so, so very pretty!
I knew what they meant right away, for
some reason. It was my bright pink hair
clip.
They were so transxed I thought I
could slip away. I inched away from them,
slowly, slowly.
I drew a sharp breath and they snapped
out of their gaze. I scrambled up and
sprinted.
I noticed it was getting darker. I glanced
up and found a close dark shape blocking
the sun. It was getting close, so close I saw
it was a net. It gobbled me up, binding my
hands, then feet and waist.
I struggled as they started to carry me to
a cliff. In seconds I heard them saying, 1,
2, 3, let go!
I screeched as loud as I had ever done
in my life. I was nearing the ground, feet
away, inches away ... I woke up panting,
sweating, struggling, and twisted up in my
strangled blankets.

Invasion? No, more along the lines of


lost. They had appeared in the school just
last month, one in each class.
Usually we were lucky to have one or
two transfer students from across counties, but these classmates had come from
reaches beyond imaginable.
They all transferred in at the same time
under different last names. They didnt talk,
and on the rare occasion they did, it came
in short clipped sentences.
The only time Id ever heard the transfer in my class speak was to ask if the seat
behind me was taken. The sound resonated
in my ears and clashed a metal tang that engulfed and covered my mouth in a strange
tingling, numbing sensation.
No demands, no suspicious behavior.
Despite all this, I am 100, 200% sure: the
new transfer students come from the outer
reaches beyond; the new students are aliens
and Im the only one who knows because I
was here rst.

NEXT PROMPTS
Door. Youre walking along when you
spot a large blue door in the wall of a building that you pass every day and youre
sure the door wasnt there yesterday. Open
it! Where does it lead? Alternates: Season.
Write about your happiest memory of a
holiday season; or Mythical. Invent a mythical creature and tell us about it. What does it
look like? What does it do all day? Good or
bad temper? Is it a fan of peanut butter and
jelly sandwiches? Due Nov. 7

THIS WEEK: Haunted & Aliens

YWP EVENTS

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont
and New Hampshire. This week, we present responses
to the prompts, Haunted: Your dog runs into a creepy,
abandoned house. What happens? and Aliens: What is
the rst thing they do upon arriving in Vermont? Read
more at youngwritersproject.org.

CELEBRATION OF WRITING

When aliens land


BY TYLER MULLIGAN
Grade 6, Browns River Middle School
It was a normal night and Kevin was
watching the news.
This may scare you a little, but we just
received an image of a UFO in a eld in
Jericho, Vermont! a news reporter said.
Kevin turned off the TV and ran into
the kitchen where his dad was making dinner.
Dad! Aliens have landed a UFO in our
town! Kevin said.
Well thats bad, Kevins dad said
sarcastically.
Im not kidding, Dad! There really are
aliens.
OK, I believe you, he said, sarcastically again.
If you dont want to believe me, thats
ne.
Later, Kevin woke up to knocking on
the front door. He went downstairs and
opened the door to nd three aliens. Kevin
was so shocked he didnt move.
We demand you give us Ben and
Jerrys ice cream, the aliens said.
I will get you your ice cream if you go
back to the planet you came from after I get
it for you, Kevin said, not knowing what
else to say.
Follow me and Ill bring you to the
Ben and Jerrys factory, Kevin said.
When they got to the factory, Kevin
went in to talk to one of the workers.
Can I have a lot of ice cream?
Yeah, how many pints are we talking
about? the worker said.
Two hundred.
Thats a lot, kid. You sure you can pay
for all that?
I dont think I have to.
Yeah, you do, kid.
Come on in, guys! Kevin yelled to
the aliens. The aliens came in and asked for
the ice cream.
The worker was so scared and surprised
that he said they could have the ice cream.
Were going to need a way to get it to
the UFO though, Kevin said.
Weve got a trailer in the back of the
parking lot we could use, the worker said.
Great, lets go, Kevin said.
The worker lled the trailer with 200
pints of ice cream and they took it to the
UFO. After they loaded the ice cream on
the UFO, Kevin thanked the worker and
they watched the UFO take off.
When he got home, Kevin went upstairs
to bed. As he was lying there, he thought
about what had just happened, then he fell
asleep.

NEXT PROMPTS

Winter Tales. Tell a story about your


experience of
winter in short
descriptive
poetry or prose.
No clichs,
please. The best
will be selected
for presentation
by the Vermont
Stage Company at its annual Winter Tales
production at FlynnSpace in Burlington in
December. Alternates: Lyrics. Find a line
from a favorite song that inspires you/ excites you/ makes you feel good, and use it
to sprout a poem, song or story; or Photo
4 (above). Due Oct. 31

AND RELEASE OF ANTHOLOGY 6


THIS IS YWPS KEY EVENT
OF THE YEAR!
SATURDAY, NOV. 8

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

9:30 A.M. 5 P.M.

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

VERMONT COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS

Special thanks this week to

JANES TRUST

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Derek Pham, Essex High School

Greta, no!
BY AMELIA MASON
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Greta! I shriek to my dog as she bolts
down the street chasing a squirrel, ripping
the leash out of my hands.
I furiously race after her, but I cant
keep up. She nally gives up on the squirrel and skids to a stop abruptly at the end of
the street, right in front of the abandoned,
haunted house that every kid in my neighborhood knows not to go into. I scream at
her, saying, Greta! No! Stay right there!
But being a dog, a disobedient dog, she
creeps up the stairs, which squeak under
her paws. She pushes open the door and
wanders into the house.
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh,
what is she doing?
That house is haunted; everybody
knows the story of the ghosts and the
blood-stained carpets! Greta, Greta, Greta,
no! Im going to have to go in there after
you. No, no, no, this is so bad. Please can I
be dreaming? This is awful, awful, awful.
... Thoughts are racing through my head of
all the possible things that could happen

to me or to Greta. I could be eaten by the


monsters under the beds, or I could be
frightened to death by the ghosts, or I could
be I have to go get my dog!
I nally muster up a sliver of courage
enough to get me to go into the haunted
house. I fearfully walk up the old, rotting
stairs. I push the door open creeeeeeeak
with my heart pounding and my palms
sweating.
The air smells musty and damp. A bat
ies in front of my face and I let out a cry
as I drop to the oor, hugging myself and
squeezing my eyes shut.
I nervously open my eyes and look
around for Greta. There is a broken
chandelier on the oor. There are cobwebs
everywhere. There are holes in the walls,
multiple windows are shattered, and dust
coats everything in sight.
The wind is suddenly howling outside,
and I take 10 long strides into the next
room which has a very old looking piano
and a grey, matted carpet.
My whole body is shaking out of complete fear. ...
(Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.org/node/99224.)

36 COLLEGE STREET
MONTPELIER
More details and registration
at youngwritersproject.org

Chasing Caramel
BY CECILIA FIELD
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
Caramel! Come back! I screamed.
But it was no use. Caramel shot into that
door like a sprinter running across the nish line.
I panicked, not knowing what to do. I
crept up the brick walkway. The trees were
swaying and the wind howled. I peered in
through the window while standing on the
creaking porch. There were spider webs
dangling from the corners of the ceiling,
and I thought I saw a shadow reecting on
the curtain in the window.
My heart started racing as I realized I
had to go nd my dog inside that house. I
gingerly pushed open the door and quietly
whispered his name.
Caramel?
But there was no bark, no sound of his
wagging tail slapping the walls, no whimpers, nothing. I peeked around a corner and
saw a light ickering on and off. I quickly
glanced behind me and jumped when I
heard a slam of the door.
That was just the wind, I thought, but
I couldnt believe myself. Something was
in this house; I just knew it. I had to nd it
before it found me.
I cautiously crept down the hallway and
with my feet, cleared away the dust blanket
covering the oor. I heard the rain starting
to splatter on the metal roof above me.
I heard a creeeeak and stopped
abruptly. I looked behind me but nothing
was there. I quickly ducked into the next
room and cowered behind a couch. I had
to think of a plan and fast. I was giving up
hope that my dog was alive, but I was still
going to search. I got up and tip-toed out of
the room. It was getting dark outside and
every light I came upon wouldnt turn on.
I had to use my wimpy ashlight from my
phone that barely gave any light. I got up
and went into the next room. There were
boxes scattered across the ugly, wood oor,
like someone was moving out of the house.
Suddenly, I saw a dark shadow dart across
the room.
Caramel? I said, hopefully. But there
was no response. I shuddered. I was beginning to doubt that I still had a chance of
nding my dog. The wind blew across my
face, coming from the broken window next
to me. I saw lightning strike in the distance.
I was suddenly worried that Caramel had
made his way out of that creepy old house
and into the pelting rain. I bolted from the
room, calling his name...
(Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.org/node/99451.)

THIS WEEK: Objects

YWP EVENTS

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication.
This week, we present responses to the prompt, Objects: Write about a relationship between two inanimate objects. Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

CELEBRATION OF WRITING

Salt and pepper


BY ISAAC JENEMANN
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Im just inches away from the love of my
life;
shes lled with iodide, but also sugar and
spice.
They say that opposites attract, well, thats
true,
cause were as different as a nail and a
screw.
You are spectacular, I try to exalt.
For I am the pepper and she is the salt.
Your brass containers beautiful, I try to
yell.
Being inanimates like being in hell.
Im just inches away from that really sweet
guy,
The one who makes my stomach feel like a
buttery.
They say that opposites attract, well, thats
true,
cause were as different as conditioner and
shampoo.
I say loving phrases but my words are put
to a halt.
He is the pepper; I am the salt,
Your mechanics grind well, I try to deliver,
but my voice is lacking and he hears not a
sliver.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


AMY E. TARRANT FOUNDATION

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Bunsen and Copper


BY PAIGE HAUKE
Grade 12, Rice Memorial High School
For a while I thought I had no purpose.
I made things hot; they bubbled or exploded above my average orange glow, the
ames licking lightly at the metal holding
their contents without making any statement about my character. Otherwise, I just
sat in a cupboard, feeling empty with no
fuel to keep me ignited, nothing running
through my veins to give me purpose, no
human hand to take me out and make me
feel useful for a time. It was a boring life,
one lled with glimpses of data tables,
material lists, exclamations about how
exciting it was to play with re and make
things blow up. I never felt appreciated.
Then the day came when I heard the
footsteps, saw the light, felt the hands, got
ready for monotony. But the monotony
didnt come, for when a heavy hand placed
me roughly on the table, it put next to me
a piece of metal, small and worn, which
the hand proceeded to roughly clean,
scratching it with steel wool. I could see
the metals pain, ashing on its newly raw
surface, its old skin still clinging to the
cast-aside wool. I knew this pain, the pain
of being part of something, without having
a say, allowing yourself to be rubbed away
simply because society required it. I knew,
and I wanted to say so, as the hand made
re come from my top. In the next moment,
it took up a pair of tweezers, using them to
grip the metal in a death hold, and thrust
the subservient body into my ames.
Then something happened. Something
so unexpected it made even the human
gasp. Where I could have burned most
materials, singing them in the midst of my
blistering red glow, the metal remained intact, taking in the heat and giving me a new
color, a green ame, dancing within me, a
change from the usual, a communication
with the world.
That metal and I, we knew each others
suffering. We related to each others helplessness. Alone, we were deated. Together, we spoke colors.

Alex Russell, Essex High School

An unheard conict
BY ISABEL VIVANCO
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
A pair of bright green sneakers walked
quickly down the hall. A pair of polkadotted socks peaked just over the edges.
And though we (the humans) couldnt
really hear them, the shoes and socks were
in heated debate. (This argument has gone
on ever since the shoe and the sock met
each other. You would think they would
have come to an agreement by now, but
alas, no).
We get to see way more than you do!
bragged the socks (whose names, by the
way, were Polka and Dotty).
Yeah, right! retorted the shoes. We
do, we get to see all the places in the world
while you two just stay tucked away inside
us.
You guys are just like moles. They
enjoy the dark, you know, agreed the right
shoe (whose name happened to be Righty).
Well, you know what? Our owner gets
us mixed up with her brothers socks, so
we get to see much more than you two do!
fumed Dotty.
And, they are much nicer than you are.

I wish we were with them all the time!


added Polka.
Well ... said Lefty (the left shoe),
wildly thinking of another quip. We get
to meet other shoes, you know! All you do
is stay tucked away in your drawer while
we get to breathe the fresh air and actually
have a pleasant conversation with shoes of
our own kind.
Yeah, remember the time that we met
those super high heels. They were so bossy.
She tried to step on us with big long edges.
It was horrible! recalled Righty.
She lapsed into silence that was quickly
interrupted by Polka. Well, too bad for
you! But... news ash! I. Dont. Care! All I
care about is why were better than you are.
Theres no use denying it, because, well,
we are.
Just as the shoes opened their mouths
to retaliate, the feet, that were inside the
socks, that were inside the shoes, stopped
walking. The socks and the shoes immediately stopped talking. They slowly glanced
up at their owner fearfully.
But all she did was smile down at them
and say, Aye-aye-aye! My new shoes are
really squeaking today!

YWPS KEY EVENT


OF THE YEAR!
SATURDAY, NOV. 8
9:30 A.M. 5 P.M.
VERMONT COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS

MONTPELIER
More details to come
at youngwritersproject.org

Snowakes
BY CORTINA BARBIERI
Grade 7, Edmunds Middle School
I was always told that life is short so
make sure you live the whole thing. I never
did that until I realized how short life can
really be...
Today is the most special day of winter
in Vermont. It is the rst snow. I am sitting
up in the clouds when all of a sudden the
wind pushes, and I start to slip off the side,
colliding with the others until I plunge into
nothingness.
Then I fall, slowly drifting, oating,
sailing, spinning into the abyss. I collide with another; she is beautiful, her six
points glistening even in the dark sky. She
grasps onto one of my many hands and we
oat downward toward the barren frozen
ground. Together as one.
I get closer to her beautiful body and
the wind gushes and pushes us far to the
left away from the others. We are alone;
falling but ying together, we dance and
twirl through the night sky, knowing soon
our life must end but ... we are together as
one. Forever.
We smash into the ground. Our eyes
close; our life ends.

A tree to a ag
BY ALEXANDRA CONTRERAS-MONTESANO
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
A ag waved on a slight breeze,
echoing the murmurs of the leaves in the
tree.
Pointedly the tree shifted its attention to the
ag.
Why hello, dear ag, how are you today?
The ag kept on waving, but in a whiny
voice it cried,
Death to the Russians!
Oh no! How can you say that? inquired
the tree.
The ag stood proudly.
I am the best! I stand so strong!
The tree shook her trunk and righted his
wrong.
No, we are all the same, ag, look at thee,
you stand above, but still below me.
With that attitude no one will like you.
Why must you always win when you can
have peace?
The ag wavered and leaned its torn ends
down.
Im sorry, he mumbled,
and together they stood,
one taller than another but
the same size too.

The dare
BY MEGAN LEACH
Grade 6, Browns River Middle School
It started with a dare. My friends and I
were out on the old railroad track.
Joe Billy was the one who set the dare,
and he was the leader in the group. He
dared Sam Parker that he couldnt skate on
the tracks at 5 p.m., the same time that the
train would come.
He wouldnt have done it, of course, except that Joe said that if he didnt, he would
tell Wendy Simon, and Sam likes her. And
that couldnt happen! So there we were on
the railroad tracks. Sam had brought his
skateboard. We all looked at him.
Come on, scaredy-cat, on the tracks.
Lets go, said Joe.
Im going, said Sam.
As he got on the track, we looked at
each other. All of us watching had a bad
feeling about this.
After he got up speed, he started to
do tricks. We cheered and clapped as he
jumped and landed each one. But when we
heard the rst whistle, he booked it off the
track.
Oh come on, we have plenty of time,
complained Joe. Do some more!
No, we dont, I said. That is an
Alvero train, fastest train yet.
The others nodded.
Its coming now, said John Flane.
Just then Joe pushed Sam on the track.
But like all of us, Sam was fast. He grabbed
Joe and pulled him out with him.
Okay, the rst one who steps off rst
loses the dare, said Joe. Now he was getting reckless.
No, said Sam, shaking his head.
Someone will get hurt.
Oh, come on, Sam ...
Look out! I yelled.
The train was plowing toward them.
Sam and Joe were both on the track!
Sam dove to the other side of the track
and Joe dove toward us. Minutes seemed
like hours. We wanted to leave, but we
couldnt just leave Sam on the other side
of the track. When the train passed completely, we rushed to the other side. There
was Sam, scared, but safe.
All of us knew that Sam and Joe could
have been killed that night. We were all
shaken, and didnt say anything on the way
home. That night we didnt say a thing to
our parents. The next day we said nothing
to our friends. And none of us went back to
the old train tracks again.

THIS WEEK: Photo 1


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt to write about
Photo 1 (right). Read more at youngwritersproject.org,
a safe, civil, online community of writers.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


VERMONT BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE

Photo 1. Erin Bundock, Champlain Valley Union High School

Landing the jump


BY KAYLEY HAYS
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Whirl, wham, boom! He landed. He
landed a jump over a two-foot fence onto
the sidewalk. He slid to the right and
jumped again! Wham! The noise was loud
enough to be heard across the street and
beyond with an echo.
He rode on his skateboard, faster and
faster, and jumped.
Silence. The air was lled with the cool
autumn breeze and his silence as he was up
in the air.
Kaboom! The teen landed on the rusty,
brown train tracks, balancing carefully and
not falling off until he made a trick, ipping his skateboard in the air, jumping, and
getting back on the board, skating on the
sidewalk.
People all around, walking along the
sidewalk, had watched as he did his amazing trick. He knew it would be unimpressive if he had made a wrong turn and failed
the jump. He ended his show, turning into
the driveway of his home.
Splat! His skateboard fell to its normal
place beside the front door, falling on its
back with a humming noise as the wheels
spun, going slower and slower until there
was no motion at all. He kicked off his
shoes kaboom, splat! walked into his
house and slammed the door slam!

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Keep moving

Wheelie!

BY MORGAN MAGOON
Grade 11, Champlain Valley High School

BY MADDI EVANS
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

Crash! He could feel the gravel crumble


under the wheels of his skateboard as he
jumped on the tracks. Faster and faster,
he pushed off until the railroad was a blur
under him. Trees went by beside him,
no more than a ash of green. The wind
rushed all around, owing through his hair.
Just keep moving, he thought. He tried
not to think about anything else, even with
the ever-present prickle on the back of his
neck, itching for him to turn his head and
look behind him. He came up by a sidewalk and jumped over the rail and onto it.
Pushed off, kept going.
He still kept the small notebook in an
iron grasp in his right hand. You would
have to pry off his ngers from the book to
get it. It wasnt going anywhere. Not now.
Not ever again.

Jared Lee, Essex High School

Flying like a hawk


BY CHARLOTTE DAKIN
Grade 5, Cambridge Elementary School
He was skateboarding and he felt like
he was going a million miles an hour. His
heart was racing! It felt like it was going to
pop out of his chest.
He went off a small ramp and he felt
like he was ying like a hawk, like he was
on top of the world. Then he did a small
kick ip and an Ollie and another sequence

of tricks. Every time he launched off a


ramp, he ew higher and higher. He took a
90-degree turn and headed toward a huge
ramp. Adrenaline tingled down his spine
and his heart was running 90 miles an hour.
He nally reached the ramp and he was ying. He had a feeling he had never experienced before.
Little did he know he was about to experience another very powerful feeling. He
felt his stomach drop to the ground.
At rst, he didnt know what was
happening, but then he realized ... he was
falling.

The scuffed white lining on heated


worn-out Vans accompanies a faded,
worn-out red as the shoes scrape and tap
the ground, high-ving the pavement and
earning new battle scars.
New black on old, yellowed white.
Scabs and scrapes line his elbows and
skateboard edges; holes in the knees of an
old pair of well-loved jeans expose weekold road rashes.
A loud whoop resounds down the street
as he succeeds with his rst real wheelie.

MORE GREAT STUDENT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG

The tryout
BY LUKE MCKENZIE FITZGERALD
Grade 5, Orchard Elementary School
Im at Olympic Development Program
(ODP) tryouts. For me, though, this isnt
just a tryout. It is an opportunity to improve
my skills and to meet other highly skilled
U12 players.
There are at least 50 kids trying out for
these 20 spots which could be one of the
rst potential steps in making the future
U.S. World Cup team.
I know 10 of these kids and only two
of them are willing to pass the ball. I know
I need to stand out if I want one of those
spots.
Uh-oh, not again! I think as I watch
the other teams tall left wing in a breakaway.
I try to run back to stop him, but hes on
the other sideline and I cannot get there in
time. I feel nervous because he could score,
which might hurt my chance of making the
team.
He shoots the black and white Nike
ball with his left foot, right at the keepers
chest. The keeper is brave and saves it.
Phew, I sigh in relief.
I wonder what the keeper is thinking
inside his head.
The ball makes a puhh sound when
the towering and skinny keeper punts the
ball far and high, like Tim Howard.
The ball goes exactly to the waiting
right-winger, who has black hair and a
sharp, freckled face.
He receives the ball while standing still
and starts sprinting down the line.
He does scissors around one player,
fakes out the next and sprints past the third
to the corner. By now, I am in the box calling for the ball.
He blindly crosses it behind the third
defender.
I am ready to receive the cross that is
somewhere between a line drive and a lob.
This is my moment, I think to myself,
my time to shine, to show that I am good
enough to make the team by making this
goal.
It is at a hard angle because I am in
front of the near post, and I will have to
change the trajectory of the ball. I jump up
in the air and twist my neck like a piece of
rotini pasta.
I think, I got the angle, the accuracy.
Did I get the power?
Yes! My rst header and its a good
goal too! I shout inside.
All of the pain of practicing this move
has actually paid off! I think.
But, again, I didnt do it by myself. I
only did one part of it, the easy part, scoring the goal.
My teammate did the hard part, receiving, sprinting, dribbling and crossing.
I run up to him and give him a high ve
and tell him, That was a perfect cross.
We run back to our positions, right
wing and left center mideld.
I wonder, Was it enough to make the
team?

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG
VPR.NET
VTDIGGER.ORG
AND NOW... THE VOICE
YWPS NEW DIGITAL MAGAZINE!

THIS WEEK: Ode & Sports


Each week, Young Writers Project receives several
hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompts, Ode: Write
an ode to the Segway; and Sports: Describe a favorite
sports moment. More at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to

NATIONAL LIFE GROUP

BY ALEXANDRA CONTRERAS-MONTESANO
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Oh Segway, my darling,
how hard you must work.
Panting and pufng for those who smirk.
Ode to the Segway,
love goes to thee.
All the unt people who dont walk agree.
Everyone looks at your rubber wheels,
turning and turning head over heels.
We have your latest design,
we even built you your very own shrine!
My mother takes you everywhere,
how I dont get to is not fair!
Everybody loves you,
(except maybe Mother Earth with whom
you are quarreling.)
Oh Segway darling,
even if the people of Burlington reject you,
I know that your cold, steel heart
warms when we step on you.
Segway, if only you knew
how much we love you under our shoe.

First win

YWP NEWS

BY AKUCH DAU
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School

INTRODUCING...
Young Writers Projects new digital literary
magazine a multimedia
monthly that showcases
the best writing, art, photography, audio and video
posted by students, grades
3-12, on YWPs web site,
youngwritersproject.org.
Subscription is free!
Go to youngwritersproject.org and click on The
Voice or go to this link:
bit.ly/1CaT9WB.

Cover photo: Josina Munson, Essex


High School

NEXT PROMPTS
Room. You have a chance to redesign your room from scratch with no limits. What do you do? Alternates: Lie. Use the sentence, You dont have to
lie; I know it was you, in a poem or story; or General writing. Your best
piece in any genre. Due Oct. 10
Angel. For the rst time you
meet your guardian angel.
Write a short story developing
your guardians character and
his or her relationship with you.
Alternates: Snapchat. This is
no time to Snapchat! Use this
sentence in your story, poem or
play. What has just happened or
is about to happen?; or Photo 3
(right). Due Oct. 17

Ode to a Segway

Photo 3. Chelsea Somerset, Essex High School

With the score 40 all, I step back in


position, ready to serve the ball. I throw the
ball in the air but I miss it, sweat rolling
down my face.
Im feeling all kinds of emotions: anger,
worry and sadness.
I close my eyes, count to 10, then open.
I need to get the ball to hit the right box of
the opponents court.
Breathing in and out, I throw the ball in
the air and give it a hard hit. I manage to hit
the ball over the net.
Sadly it doesnt land in the right box,
rather it lands in the left box.
Coach is smiling and I feel miserable;
he tells me to get a drink of water. I rush to
my purple water bottle about 10 feet behind
me in the corner. Gushing down water, I
feel water drip down to my chin. Refreshing.
Now back to the game. Second serve.
In and out I breathe. I push back my
left foot. Give the ball a toss in the air
and strike the racket into contact with the
tossed ball.
The ball speeding at 60 miles per hour,
gleaming in the sky and covering up the
sun for what seems like three seconds, hits
the right box, not the left.
I feel excited, happy and much better.
I turn my back quickly to stand in the
center.
Turning to stand in front, waiting to receive the ball back, I hear cheering, not any
kind of cheering; they are cheering for me.
It sounds incredible; I can only do one
thing.
I reach my water bottle, the drink
refreshing like the last, but this feels much
better.
I have won, not just won any game but
my rst game.
There are more games to come. I will
lose at times but also win more.
I shake hands with the opponent and get
ready for my next game.

Things
BY PAIGE HAUKE
Grade 12, Rice Memorial High School
My room is full of mementos,
a collection of everything under the sun.
Stuffed animals litter the bed.
Some have missing ears;
others sport uff worn down to scratchy
stitching.
Still more have smells of must and mothballs
wafting from their fur,
smelling of my grandmothers house,
their place of liberation.
I have cheap plastic rings of all shapes,
sizes and colors,
mood rings permanently clouded over,
forever stuck on blue,
imsy metal rings
twisted into weapons t for impalement.
Some were so big I grew into them,
snugly tting just when I had no desire
to ever wear them again.
Others cant slip over my pinky nail,
but I cannot bear to give them up;
that trip to Pizza Putt was too memorable.
There are broken tops and cracked marbles,
skipping stones and dried-up owers.
All of them stay,
even if their meaning has been lost to me
for years.
All I can think is,
I have stuff that is important to me now,
more than anything else.
What if some of these old trinkets were just
as important
in some long-forgotten memory?
I can picture my chubby 4-year-old face
screwing up in a distorted cry, echoing
from the past,
every time I even consider relocating her
treasures.
No, I really must not let anything go.
Im sure even those broken binoculars have
meaning.
Maybe they were fairy watching mechanisms
in an alternate world of my creation,
maybe something I begged for for my
birthday
and nally received,
broken a week later but still a precious
memory
of candles and cakes and Pin the Tail on the
Donkey.
Once, there was some meaning.
Therefore, now, there is still meaning.
Therefore, later, there will be meaning
enough
to keep them forever.

Grandmas doll
BY JACKSON NEME
Grade 7, Endeavour Middle School
I stand there looking at a raggedy old
doll I got from my grandmother.
Its my last object from her and its a
smelly, old, rotting, yellowish doll and its
hair (or whats left of it) is a reddish brown
terra-cotta color thats just disgusting. And
it smells like rotten eggs mixed with horse
dung, rotten apples, and a dash of spoiled
milk.
Yet I cant let it go.
Its the last remnant of my grandmother
who was so dear to me and, now that shes
gone, the doll has become her. I put it back
on my shelf and smile.

THIS WEEK: Treasure


Each week, Young Writers Project receives submissions
from students across Vermont and New Hampshire. A
team of staff, mentors and students selects the best writing and images for publication. This week, we present
responses to the prompt, Treasure.What is something
you should throw away but cant? How did you get the
object? Read more at youngwritersproject.org.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them improve
and connects them with authentic
audiences in newspapers, before live
audiences and on web sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.net, vtdigger.
org, and cowbird.com. YWP also
publishes The Voice, a monthly digital magazine with YWPs best writing, images and features. To learn
more, go to youngwritersproject.org
or contact YWP at (802) 324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


PHYSICIANS COMPUTER CO.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Jasmine Douglas-Hughes, Mount Manseld Union High School

Glass dragon
BY EMILY FOSTER
Grade 7, Endeavour Middle School
Erin, please come down. Honey, you
know you cant stay up there forever,
Mom called, a little helplessness in her
tone, which I still detected even though
there was a oor level and locked door
between us.
I turned my face toward the rainspattered window and cuddled deeper into
the comfy window seat cushion, trying to
ignore the truth.
She was right, I could not stay up here
forever. But I could stay until they came.
I played with the glass pendant, moving it
up and down on the frayed cord that served
as a necklace for Mema. Tears pooled and
then spilled from my puffy red eyes.
I shook in tune to my gasping, uncon-

trollable sobs, drawing a breath here and


there, and then let my snotty tears dribble
down the side of the otherwise clean window.
My vile shaking caused the window to
tremble slightly, as if it was afraid of the
ugly monster girls sobs.
I buried my face in a pillow. Now no
one else had to see the demon girl.
I ngered the cool, textured glass of the
pendant and drew a little comfort from it.
I could barely remember the day she made
it.
I was 4 when Mema made the necklace.
What that? I asked her, standing on my
tippy toes, trying to peek over her tall-tome desk where she made her art.
She was really an accountant, and glass
sculptures were just a hobby, but I didnt
know that then. ...
(Read the complete story at youngwritersproject.org/node/96877)

YWP NEWS
THIS WEEK!

YWP INTRODUCES

THE VOICE
AN EXCITING NEW
DIGITAL MAGAZINE
Go to youngwritersproject.org
to view YWPs new monthly
e-mag and subscribe!

Green crown
BY LILLA ERDOS
Grade 5, Rick Marcotte Central School

I had this green sparkling crown, and I


still have it, but I dont do much with it.
Once in awhile, Ill go and brush the
dust off it and glance at it, maybe twice a
month. My mom keeps bugging me about it
and asking why its still on the shelf.
I got this crown when I was 9 years old.
I was at a slumber party with two of my
friends.
We were bored, so we started doing
crafts. They both worked on something in
my brothers room. When they came out,
they carried that green sparkling crown
with the words, Queen of Arts and Crafts.
They presented it to me.
Since I moved to Vermont from Florida,
Zoey, one of my friends, has moved too.
Hailey stayed in our hometown, sad that we
both left.
Three years have passed, and I never let
go of that crown.
I look out to the mountains of Vermont
and think, Why couldnt we all have
stayed in Florida?
Then I look at the crown and sigh. At
least I have a memory. I go back to my
homework. I only have one more question
to answer.
Soon, Im done, and I head to my
friends house. I promise Mom Ill be back
in an hour. As I walk, I think, This isnt
bad ... its a new start.

NEXT PROMPTS
Complicated. Your life is complicated, and some days, theres just one
mess after another. Describe one of
those days in detail it can be funny
or tragic. Alternates: Leaf. Write
from the point of view of one leaf on
a large, colorful maple tree; or Photo
2 (Write a story or poem based on the
photo below). Due Oct. 3

Photo 2. Jeff Schultz, Essex High School

Goodbye

THIS WEEK: General writing

BY ALEXANDRA CONTRERAS-MONTESANO
Grade 8, Edmunds Middle School
Goodbye,
long-lost friend slipping,
slipping delicately through my ngers.
I will count the days alone with the
days of pain.
Goodbye,
forever leaving,
blowing furiously away.
No love was lost but none regained.
Goodbye,
together.
Treading lightly,
sliding further.
Goodbye,
my hurt,
my friend,
my enemy;
goodbye to the tinkling of you,
and the heaviness of your soul.
Farewell, my friend.
Away, my dear.
The steps away are a cut there
and a cut healed.
Avez my darling,
oat to the ends of the sunset
to spark the sunrise of my
goodbye.

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several


hundred submissions from students across Vermont and
New Hampshire. A team of staff, mentors and students
selects the best writing and images for publication. This
week, we present responses to the prompt for General
writing in any genre. Read more at youngwritersproject.org, a safe, civil, online community of writers.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

THANKS FROM YWP

Young Writers Project is an


independent nonprot that engages students to write, helps them
improve and connects them with
authentic audiences in newspapers,
before live audiences and on web
sites, youngwritersproject.org, vpr.
net, vtdigger.org, and cowbird.com.
This month, YWP also launches The
Voice, a monthly digital magazine
with YWPs best writing, images and
features. Learn more at youngwritersproject.org or contact YWP at (802)
324-9537.

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.

Special thanks this week to


THE BAY AND PAUL
FOUNDATIONS

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

YWP NEWS
COMING SOON ...
YWPS NEW
DIGITAL MAGAZINE

THE VOICE
WORDS

| SOUND | IMAGES

Watch youngwritersproject.org
for more details on the launch!

MILLENNIAL
WRITERS
ON STAGE
Hear the next generation
of great Vermont writers!

BURLINGTON
BOOK FESTIVAL
SUNDAY, SEPT. 21

Evolve

FLETCHER FREE LIBRARY


PROGRAM BEGINS
AT 12:30 P.M.

BY OLIVIA PINTAIR
Grade 9, Emma Willard School
Hometown: Williston

I miss you
when theres nothing else,
when the crowds hold
rushing bodies
and little girls
who wonder about love,
and the others who cant see it or
spell it out,
and little boys whove already found
a god,
have already needed
a god,
and bright-eyed babies
who say, Mama, I miss you,
and all those others who
miss.

NEXT PROMPTS

Objects. Write about a relationship


that develops between two inanimate
objects (e.g., books on a shelf, apps
on a phone, park bench and trash bin).
Alternates: Aliens. Curious aliens visit
Vermont. What is the rst thing they do?
What do they demand? or Photo 1 (Write
a story
or poem
based on
the photo,
left).
Due Sept.
19

Photo 1.
Erin Bundock,
Champlain
Valley Union
High School

THE CALVIN
WIN $1,500 FOR AN
ESSAY ABOUT VERMONT
Deidre Vanmoerkerque, Essex High School

Grungy thumbs and cracked sidewalks


BY PAIGE HAUKE
Grade 12, Rice Memorial High School
He sticks out his thumb
to ask for a ride,
sticks out his grungy,
dirt-encrusted thumb
because he cant afford
a bus ticket;
and you drive right by,
face hardened, eyes forward,
not even turning to look
because you are scared
he will kill you
with the hand attached
to that thumb.
His sister sits on the sidewalk
asking politely for money,
sits on the graying,
cracked sidewalk
because her home
was taken away;
and she wishes you
a nice day
as you edge stify past,
imagining the people

she robbed
and the drugs she took
on that sidewalk.
He is alone.
She is abandoned.
You are a missed opportunity,
another person walking by
handing out free judgments
when love in the smallest dose
is all they desire.
He should be driving his own car.
She should feel safe in her own house.
You should be ashamed of your own
thoughts.
But they dont have a car or a house,
and you dont feel bad for discriminating
against them.

Write an essay and win $1,500


and a trip to New York City to be
honored at a reception!
Young Writers Project partners
with the contest sponsor, the Calvin
Coolidge Foundation, for the best
essay writing in Vermont for the
2014 Calvin Prize.
This years theme: To stay or
to leave? Are you likely to stay in
Vermont or relocate elsewhere?
What factors will inuence your
decision?
Use Coolidges autobiography
and other sources to address the
issues you face and compare with
those faced by Calvin Coolidge in
his years as a Vermont youth. Your
writing must address this prompt
and be fewer than 1,000 words.
You can nd more details at
youngwritersproject.org/calvin.
Deadline: September 26

MORE GREAT WRITING AT


YOUNGWRITERSPROJECT.ORG