A writing platform that works; YWP support as you need it.

Your Mood

Experiment with different voices to create a range of moods in your writing. 

Whether you are writing a story/ narrative, report, or essay you must think about the mood you are in, which often determines your voice. If you are bored, your writing will be...

Home -- Setting Tone

Sometimes the setting of your community story can establish the tone of the piece.

This challenge has two parts. First a quick write. And then RESPOND again with something more relevant to your community story efforts. The point is this: setting can often set the...

I like ...

This is a simple -- and fun -- free write. Make a list or a long sentence that begins "I like ... "

Please write your responses in completion to the starter phrase: "I like ..."  Do it in 7 minutes; you can list, write a series of sentences or write a...

I am the one

Finish this sentence, "I am the one who .... "  Take seven minutes. Only. Write as fast as you can.

...

History through Photos II

Lewis Hine photographed child laborers in the early 1900s -- and laws were changed. Look at the children's faces in these photos. Imagine their lives. Write for just seven minutes.

This challenge is intended as a free write, but it may get you interested in the...

Photo Challenge

Choose one of these photos and write. For seven minutes. Then comment.

Before you write, take a close look at each of the photos. When you've got one that interests you, hover your mouse over the photo to stop the slideshow and then think about the photo -- its characters, what's...

History through Photos I


BEFORE you listen to the audio, write for seven minutes in response to this photo. Imagine yourself as the person in the photo, or one of the children or the photographer. Tell the story. Tell the backstory. Look at details; where might this be? What's going on? 
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Physical Issues Part II

Expanding on Physical Issues Part I, use your photos to come up with solutions to the problems you saw. 


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Polish Methods Part II

Now that you have done your editing in Polish Methods Part I, let your friends help you. Use your friends...

Who - Part II

Now that you have your information and your basic paragraph from Who Part I, practice writing to an...

Impressions Part II

After commenting on the works of your peers in Impressions Part I, it's time to think about what you...

Op-ed Part II

You've written your fun Op-ed in Part I, now, take it a step further and write an op-ed worthy of a newspaper. Become active in your community by making an educated opinion about what is happening in your town politics. 


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Debate Part II

The question discussed in Debate Part I is a question you may not be able to answer on your own. Your class is the community that will have to ask themselves the same question when the time comes. Get them involved, and expand your debating skills by learning how to express your...

Soapbox Part II

This is an idea, an extension, of what you could do after discussing community issues in Soapbox Part I. Be prepared to write a speech that will be presented to a member of your community in order to spark change. 

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Converge

Flex your photography skills, and analyze your communities and where their common meeting ground is. Use your photos to understand the behaviors of communities. 


1. Create a list of all of the communities you belong to. Really dig deep. 

2. Look...

Correct This

Edit this story for grammar mistakes as a polish practice. You will find at least one mistake from each rule listed in the resource posts "Basic Grammar: Words" and "Basic Grammar: Punctuation."  (Teachers: Answer key is a resource that can be found here: ...

Bystander

Pick an issue that matters to you, research it and advocate for it. Get your class involved.

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Advice from a Friend -- Editing 1

Use one of your My Community pieces that you have not yet edited for this exercise. Analyze your own strategy, the strategies of others, and make a new revision strategy.  


1. Think about how you usually edit your writing -- not the grammar and spelling,...

Grammar Memorization

If you're having issues learning grammar rules, this activity will help. For this activity, find a friend, and a recent My Community piece you need to edit for grammar. 


First, make sure you have all of your large edits done on your piece --...

Group Editing

This is a revision activity you could do with your class on a My Community piece you need to edit. It will help you get a better idea of what you should look for when you are editing, and it will give you a better idea of what you struggle with in your own writing. 

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Comedy

This is an activity...

Soapbox Part I

A soapbox is an impromptu debate you make with a group — in this case, your class community. This is an activity you can do with your class to hopefully spark positive change in your community through the speeches you create in the classroom. 


First...

Perfect

Use this challenge as a fun writing activity that asks you tough questions about community. In the end, you might even have a really engaging discussion about what a "perfect" community really is. 


Think about the town, country, and world you live in now....

Teacher

Write about a positive memory you have with a teacher who made a difference in your life. Exercise your narrative skills, and reflect on lessons that have helped you grow. 


Teachers are part of your school community. Think back to all of your years at...

Friends

One of the strongest communities we will ever have is our friend group. Friends give us support, happiness, and a shoulder to cry on. Reflect on how your friends have helped shape you as a person, and write poetry based on these thoughts. 


First,...

Art

Write an opinion piece about an iconic piece of art in your community (or your state). Add photos of the art from different perspectives at different times of day. Send it to the local newspaper as an illustrated opinion piece.


Public art can be one of the...

Op-ed Part I

An op-ed is a short (maximum length three paragraphs or 500 words) opinion piece where someone tries to persuade someone towards a certain view point using a combination of facts and personal experiences and beliefs. ...

Gone

Is there a special place in your community that is under threat? You can advocate for this place. Write a letter to the local newspaper. Contact officials and make a strong, persuasive argument.

  • Is there a special place in your community that has been...

Listen

Record audio of what your communities sound like. Use that sound to create a piece of writing that will help you gain a greater understanding of your communities. 


We belong to different communities, and every community we belong to, communicates to one...

Home

Use words and/or photos to describe the place where you feel most at home.  The best pieces will be selected for Young Writers Project's digital magazine, The Voice.


If we are fortunate, there is a...

Elders

Research and interview an elder in your town. You will create a valuable digital story that will provide a unique look at the history of your community.

This challenge will require several sessions -- but it will be worth it!   (...

Environmental Portrait

With this activity, you will be learning the digital art of taking environmental portraits. You will be analyzing your own community, as well as gaining a greater understanding of what a person's identity looks like in a certain community setting. 


An...

Holiday

This is a year-long project. Create a photo story that shows how your community celebrates various holidays through the seasons. 

  • Reflect on how your community celebrates holidays. During these holiday times, take a walk around your community and document...

Character's Playlist

You thought you had the perfect character, but now you’re stuck. Get unstuck by creating a playlist for your character.


You want your character(s) to seem real, so you need to get to know them. Figure out what emotions motivate and define the character(s)....

Polish Methods Part I

With this activity, you will be analyzing your polish methods and trying to determine what method works for you. In Part I, you will be...

Valedictorian

Use audio to help you organize your thoughts, and learn how to deliver a speech that will make an impact...

If only ...

Learn how to take take a rant about issues at school, and turn it into a productive piece of writing that can be used to create change. 


Do you have problems with your school community? Maybe you have suggested a club that should be formed, or a problem...

Mentor

Think of someone you admire, someone who has...

Debate - Part I

The community you are born into is not always the community you live in for the rest of your life. Practice the skill of debating and articulating your opinions by using this difficult topic as a stepping stone. 

  • Conduct a debate with yourself on paper....

Physical Issues - Part I

By using your oberservational and photography skills, look around your community for physical issues. Use your pictures to create a positive change in your community. 


Think about some of the physical issues in your community. Are your roads dangerous to...

Family Traits

This is a poetry prompt that will get you to reflect on who you are, and a community that has greatly helped shape you as a person. You will produce...

Language and Length

Knowing the audience you are writing to also means understanding their attention span, and interest level. Practice these skills by...

Unique perspectives

Create a slideshow of your community -- but from unusual angles. This workshop opens your eyes to new perspectives and is simply FUN!

Take your camera (or smartphone) and go exploring in your community. Avoid the usual places (the welcome sign, the town green)...

Who - Part I

Write about the history of your town in just one paragraph. Use that paragraph to practice adjusting your writing to a target audience...

Heart

Explore the heart of your community through "man-on-the-street" interviews.


In your community, what's the one place where you always run into people you know? The general store? School? A cafe? The park?

Irene

Natural disasters can sweep in and change everything in an instant. In this workshop, the goal is to reflect and write.


Tropical Storm Irene tore through Vermont on Aug. 28, 2011, destroying lives, homes, businesses, roads and bridges. Seven people died in...

Expand

Practice journalism skills by expanding on a current newspaper article about your town. Figure out what is missing from the story;...

Digital Summary

Use photography to learn how to isolate identifying features of your community, and how to create a photo...

Object

Do research and conduct interviews based on a cool, historical object you find in your community. The article will be a blend of history and personal experience. 

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Impressions Part I

We will always pass judgment on a place we...

Disputes

A sense of community can be shattered by disputes between neighbors. Is there an issue in your community that has driven a wedge between people? Your work on this project COULD help solve the problem.

Ghosts

Tell a ghost story that originated in your town. The best will receive a rapt audience.


The old buildings in your town have years and years of stories. So many people have lived and worked there ... and some of them have stayed behind to haunt the hallways...

Graveyard

This workshop honors those who came before you in your town. As a class project, you could publish the stories in one collection. 


Go exploring in a graveyard in your town. Find a gravestone that interests you -- maybe it's the name, or the deceased person'...

Frank Glazer -- An Elder Story -- audio/photo

We're hoping this audio photo story will inspire you to create your own. 


(A challenge for this resource: Elders)

This is an example of a simple audio photo story. The text is purposely not...

Audience

Brainstorm ways to share your best work.


Part of any writing/digital media project is to find an audience. Audience gives affirmation. And audience is fun. 

Depending on the project(s) your audience can be a gallery (or the school hallway), a...

An Issue

Communities have plenty of issues. This challenge urges you to pick just one and focus on it.

  • Think about ONE community of which you are part. Now think about the issues that community faces. CLICK RESPOND and list them. As quick as you can. SAVE.
  • ...

A person

Think of some memorable people in your community. Make a list and pick one to tell a story about.


Community means people. Think of the people in your community, or one of your communities, and list significant or memorable people. You could have a personal...

A place

Tell a story about a special place or an object that represents your community to you. Make it a digital story.

Sometimes an object or a place within your community can represent community to you. Think of a place, an object, a building, a statue, whatever works...

My Life

Be brief. Be bold. Your life in five sentences.


Explain/describe your entire life in just five sentences. Think of specific moments and turning points — major events and experiences, encounters with important people in your life — that have shaped who you...

Memory

Ask a family member for a childhood memory. Create the first story of a family collection.

Ask a parent, guardian, or sibling about a childhood memory they have never told you before. Tell their story.
Share the story with the subject of the story and ask...

Free Write - Seven Minutes

Write freely and just for fun! Go! You've got seven minutes ...


Create a sentence out of thin air. Anything.
Write it down.
Beginning or ending with that sentence, write for just seven minutes.

(Photo...

My communities

We live in lots of communities. This challenge is designed to get you to think about some communities to which you belong. List a few. Then expand on the most important.



When we think of the word community, many things come to mind: Our family, our...

Free Write -- General

The easiest place to start is here. Right now. Just start in. Just write.


Sometimes it is easy to write, sometimes it is more difficult. But the easiest way to write is to, er, write. Think of a moment that happened today or in the last few days...