May 20, 2018

Young Writers Project selections

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts and it selects the best for publication here and in 21 other newspapers and on This week, we publish responses to the prompts Puns: Have fun with a play on words and general writing. Read more at



The Annie Mall

By Alexa Kartschoke 

Grade 7, Williston Central School 


I walked into a store. To my left, I saw stuffed animals; to my right, I saw pets. A lady came up to me and said, “Welcome to The Annie Mall!”

I walked over to the stuffed animals. They all looked furry sad. I walked up to a teddy bear and said, “Do you want a piece of chocolate?” He replied, “No thank you, I’m already stuffed.”

So I turned around and went to talk to a tomato. I asked the tomato the same thing and he replied, “The last time we agreed to do something for a human, my friend, the cabbage, jumped off the shelf shouting, ‘Lettuce live!’ We never saw him again.”

I thought these animals were very weird. So I went over to the pets. I walked over to a dog. I asked her, “Do you like it here?” She replied, “All they feed us is fake ground meat. I hate it here! In the winter they make me wear a coat and in the summer I wear a coat and pant!”

I said, “Oh, sounds like the dog days.”

As I was leaving the store I heard the lady say, “Thank you for visiting one of the Annie Malls!” And with that, I left. And I knew I made the right decision.


General writing

The Sky Laughs and Cries

By Avery McLean

Grade 7, Lake Champlain Waldorf School

Hometown: St. George


She loved the way you

Always laughed with her.

At secrets that only

Believers can see.

Because you taught her that

Pretending is

Different than believing.

That sometimes imagining is

Knowing, not just


You taught her that reading the

Lyrics off the Sun is humbling.

But most of all, she learned from you

That the

Sky does cry, but it also


And that’s alright,

You said.

That’s the way it is in this

Less than perfect world.

Because rain mixed with the Sun,

Tears mixed with laughter,

After that always comes a



Snow Days

By Eli J. Dunphy 

Grade 7, Williston Central School 


During a snow day you always want to sleep in, right? But then you get that phone call at 5 in the morning saying that school is canceled and the call wakes you up and then you can’t go back to sleep. Then you get up.

You go downstairs and make breakfast and everyone else is up. You ask your parents, “Can we go somewhere today?”

They remind you that the reason you’re not in school today is that the roads are blocked and you can’t go anywhere. Then you decide to go outside and play in the snow, but then your parents say,  “Go shovel the driveway before you go and play in the snow!” You ask them if you can use the snow blower and they say, “No!”

So then you have to shovel your driveway with the shovel and by the time you’re done you’re clammy and cold. So then you go inside and make a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. You’re cold, so you drink it immediately and burn you tongue.

Then you call a friend and see if they want to come over. They say their parents can’t drive them over because of the roads, and you’re both bummed.

Your snow stuff is still drying so you decide to watch some TV but, of course, there are no shows that you like.

Your mom sees you moping around and says, “Do something productive!”

You say, “There is nothing to do.” And she says, “Read!” You reply,  “I just read a book.”

You sit around and draw, write or reread a book. Then the day is over faster than it came, and you have gotten nothing out of it.


Upcoming YWP event

Vermont Writes Day

Feb. 7, 2013

Students, teachers, all writers! Across Vermont, people are setting aside just seven minutes on Feb. 7 to write! Find out more at or




Interview someone you know and ask the person to tell you a story you’d never heard before. Alternate: Photo 8. Write a story or poem based on this photo. Due Feb. 8



The UPS truck arrives with a huge box addressed to you. What’s inside? Who’s it from? Alternate: General writing in any genre. Due Feb. 15


Eternal night 

You wake up one morning and the sun doesn’t rise. It doesn’t rise the next day either. What do you do? Alternate: Silver lining. When bad things happen, how do you recover? What advice would you give? Due Feb. 22


About the Project

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with authentic audiences through the Newspaper Series (and and the Schools Project ( 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, or mail your donation to YWP, 12 North St., Suite 8, Burlington, VT 05401. Special thanks this week The Turrell Fund.

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