Young Writers Project

Weekly On

VPR partners with Young Writers Project to present selections of the work of young writers, photographers and artists in Vermont.

Each week, VPR features a submission - an essay, poem, fiction of nonfiction - accompanied by a photo or illustration from the Young Writers Project.

The Young Writers Project provides VPR's audience another avenue to hear and read selections from Vermont's young writers. The thoughts and ideas expressed here are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Vermont Public Radio.

The collaboration is organized by Susan Reid of Young Writers Project and Vermont Public Radio.

Young Writers Project: Used To

Aug 1, 2016
Alison Redlich for Young Writers Project

I remember a time when words came easily. 
I used to know
how words worked;
how they fell from my pen like
the first tentative flakes of winter

Young Writers Project: A Word From A Proud Luddite

Jul 25, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

I have always disliked the Internet. I know it has become a renowned part of our world and our society, supposedly giving us opportunities for connection and fame. I don't deny that; if I did, I would be a hypocrite. For instance, Young Writers Project would not exist on the same magnitude, and many people would not have had this great opportunity to share their voices. The Internet gives us places where we can meet people online, and connect with others like us. It gives us easy access to learn and spread information. It is a great tool, if used correctly.

Young Writers Project: Balance Beam

Jul 11, 2016
Alison Redlich for Young Writers Project

Balance Beam
By Hawa Adam

Gym class 2009.
A young girl steps in to face her biggest fear yet.
She thinks to herself,
nothing can hold her back from this kind of success,
can tell her she can’t do it,

Young Writers Project: Hide And Seek

Jul 5, 2016

I want to know you but
you are hidden behind clouds of smoke,
buried under a thousand identical Genesee cans,

Young Writers Project: Furious

Jun 13, 2016
Alison Redlich

What makes me furious?
It’s not the magazines and pop culture that influence us all in such negative ways, with all of the pictures of what “beauty” is, followed by an article about how to starve yourself to look just like the model.
No, it’s not that.

Young Writers Project: Teacher to Student/Student to Teacher- Winning/Losing

Jun 6, 2016

To fail me, is to fail everything.
To fail me is to lose.

Young Writers Project: Veterans

May 30, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

You sprint up a beach
to fight a fight.
Forget about life,
and do what is right.
Protect your brother
for our nation.

Young Writers Project: Allegro

May 23, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

I find light in the way you hum a melody and look to me for the words.
My heart is brimming and overflows more often than my eyes these days.
I never thought I would see this day,

Young Writers Project: Cold

May 16, 2016
Photo courtesy of Susan Reid.

Daen moved slowly through the woods. Quietly, so the crunching of the snow beneath his boots was almost imperceptible, he prowled between the trees. His frozen cloak glittered in the faint moonlight. Like a phantasmal wolf, he glided on the ice, shining sword held before him like an eerily beautiful fang. Daen danced to the melody of snow and frost, lost to the song of cold and darkness.

Young Writers Project: Never Coming Back

May 9, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

Sitting by a lifeless form.
No idea that when we got back,
he would be gone.
Never knowing

Young Writers Project: Fears

May 5, 2016
Kevin Huang


I have too many big feelings and too many small words.

Sometimes they break out of my skin,
bleeding black ink on the paper.

Every time I write it hurts,
and I don’t know where these words come from.
They are not my words

Young Writers Project: The Flower Thief

Apr 25, 2016
Courtesy, RETN

He watches his victim like a tiger watches
his prey, observing its every move, waiting
for the ideal moment to strike.
He pounces and snaps its delicate neck
with one stroke, but he is full of greed and yearns
for more, and so he snaps

Young Writers Project: Wired In

Apr 18, 2016

I sit stagnant on a couch,
its color long forgotten beneath me,
surrounded by my friends:
a text on my phone,
a chat on my laptop,

Courtesy, Susan Reid

The Little Bird

Amelia Canney

He shuffled across the stage to the mic. He could see the people in the audience snickering at him, pointing out his messily done tie, his shoes that had been stained from hours of work, his too-small coat.

Young Writers Project: Plaid Shirt

Mar 14, 2016
Susan Reid

Plaid shirt

By Ella Staats, Age 15, Burlington


You probably didn’t think

you’d ever hear from me again.

Maybe you didn’t pick up


Shard of the Sun

Sylvan Williams, Age 13, Middlesex, VT

The woman bent down to the rubble, 
the garbage and the ruins
of a once prosperous city. 
The child on her hip leaned down 
to pull their fingers through the dirt, 

Credit, Susan Reid, Young Writers Project

This is Not About a Fish

By Olivia Mead, Age 16, Williston

I knew I wouldn't have you for long;

you were a carnival fish...

Courtesy, Susan Reid

The Little Climber

By Wren Forbes, Age 12, Fayston, VT

"We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope."
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I rub my sore hands before clipping myself back into the rope.  I have one foot on the wall when a little boy and his mom catch my eye.  They pull on their rented gear – sticky shoes and harnesses.

Courtesy, Susan Reid

Walking With The Lights Out

By Leah Kelleher, Age 16, Essex, VT

Dancing tip-toed along eerie streets,

the sky charcoal

like the asphalt beneath our feet.

Step forward to the beat,

the pulse of our hearts,

Courtesy, Susan Reid

Self-portrait as a Butterfly

By Luna Isham, Age 17, Duxbury

A butterfly breaks into colored diamonds
falling from the sky.
They water the ground below her.