Each week, Young Writers Project receives several hundred submissions from students in Vermont and New Hampshire in response to writing prompts and selects the best for publication here and in 20 other newspapers and on VPR.net. This week, the Observer publishes responses to the prompt, “Light/Dark:write about contrasts.”
By Olivia Pintair
Grade 7, Lake Champlain Waldorf School
The silvery sky was a lot like your eyes,
The way it swam with stars of clarity.
When you laughed, your little skies crinkled and sometimes
your soul would spill over.
I loved to watch you when you spoke.
I pictured the words like you said them.
You added beauty to my thoughts
and I loved how it clashed with the silence.
By Isaiah Lawrence
Grade 7, Homeschool, Hinesburg
No dark without light
No death without life
No healing without blight
No success without strife.
No sun without a moon
No sorrow without love
No strength without a swoon
No hawk without its dove.
No broccoli without a pie
No chaos without order
No truths without a lie
And nothing is born without a mourner.
Don’t wish for one
Without accepting the other
Because if you accept them as they come
Then there will always be another.
Life and Death
By Samuel Lawrence
Grade 5, Homeschool, Hinesburg
To live brings sorrow
To die brings peace
To live brings humor
To die brings solemnity
To live brings wonder and purpose
To die brings knowledge, no reason to exist
To live is to experience, to wonder, love, to weep
To die is to leave that, the joy and sorrow, the questions
To die is to live, without life
There’s no return
On the bad side
By Caroline Lamantia
Grade 3, Richmond Elementary School
I am creeping through
my dark cave. I’m on the bad side. With
evil filling up my
heart—it feels so good
to me. It’s deep in
the night, the moon
glowing. I am creeping
through my dark
cave. I’m on the bad
side. The moon reflects on the pond
ahead. I can see my
evil shadow with a scary smile
on my face—it feels
so good that way.
I am creeping
through my dark
cave. I’m on the
17. I like… Create a list of things you like. They can be random and unrelated or they can have a progression and tell a story within a story. Alternate: Relief. Describe the moment when you felt the greatest sensation of relief from thirst, hunger, sadness, pain or fear. Due Jan. 25
18. Three letters. Choose three letters. You can write a poem or a short story, but all words must either start or end with these letters. Alternate: Bottle. You’re walking along the beach and a bottle with a message inside washes up on the shore. What is the message? What do you do? Due Feb. 1
19. Surprising. Interview someone you know and ask the person to tell you a story you’d never heard. Alternate: Photo #8. Write a story or poem based on this photo. Due Feb. 8
20. Package. 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
21.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 youngwritersproject.org) and the Schools Project (ywpschools.net). 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.