May 27, 2018

Young Writers Project selections — ‘Bottle’

Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts, and they select the best for publication in the Observer and 21 other newspapers and on Here, we publish general writing submissions and responses to the prompt, “Bottle: You are walking along and you find a message in a bottle. What does it say?” Read more at, a safe, civil online community of young writers.


General writing


By Lily Michalak 

Grade 5, Williston Central School 



Color filtering through clouds and trees

Arms spread

Happy and awake


The wind is like ice cubes

Skimming my cheek

I feel as if

My legs are

Running on their own

I treasure these moments


Alone and free

I can run far

And forever

No time limits

I have no rules


Leaves lining the road

As if they are tiny people

Watching me

I can hear them

They are cheering me on

As if they never want me to stop


The sun is gorgeous

I can feel its last rays of the day

On my face

It is a privilege


The peace flows over me

I can hear the moo of

A cow

I must return home now

Turning is so sad

I feel the

Chill of night


Message in a bottle


By Naomi Diamond 

Grade 5, Williston Central School 

Help, the message read. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a dream come true. My chance to show the world what I great person I really was. I felt as if I just won a million dollars.

The minute I read the word, I knew in my heart that I needed to help that person who needed my help. I just knew it. I threw on my backpack, shoved my jacket and some snacks in and kissed my mother goodbye.

We lived right next to the ocean shore so my mother was quite used to me going off exploring my surroundings. What she didn’t know is that this time, I wasn’t going exploring…I was on a mission. Maybe even to save a life.

I climbed into my canoe and lowered myself into the dark, murky water. The ride was amazing and I saw wonderful fish, however no sign of anyone! Finally through the setting sun I saw an island. An island! How did I never discover this before? I quickly paddled to shore, but just as I was stepping out of my canoe, I woke up. And realized it was all just a dream.



By Eryn Erdman

Grade 6, Williston Central School

On the beach.

Sand slipping through my hands.

A cool wind.

The blue sky.

Birds chirping.

Wind blowng.

Bottle washed up. It’s rusty.

Inside the bottle, a quote. A note.

Inside it says:

Past the ground is the sky.

Past the sky are the stars.

Past the stars, you will go if you believe in yourself and where you can go.


Upcoming prompts


Something very strange just happened, and you don’t know how or why. Write a story. Be succinct. Alternate: Photo #10. Write about this photo – from any angle. Due April 5.

Photo 10

Photo 10













Write about something that disgusts you, no matter how wrong, distasteful or awkward it is. Alternate: Fairy tale. Write a fairytale that includes the phrase, “one thousand peas.” Due April 12.


What really scares you? Why? Tell a story about when you confronted it. Alternate: White lie. Write about a little white lie that grows and turns into a bigger lie until you can’t keep up. Due April 19.

Climate Change Writing Challenge

Write about one of the biggest issues of our time. Prizes and recognition on Earth Day!

Respond in poetry or prose to one of these prompts:

1. The year is 2050. Looking back, the climate crisis was solved in the most unexpected ways. You were there for a crucial moment. What happened?

2. Do you believe the world can solve the climate crisis? Tell us why.

Due March 29. More contest details at Presented by YWP and Vermontivate, the sustainability game for Vermont communities


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

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