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: You-words

Jan 20, 2017
Courtesy, Susan Reid

Your eyes were always my favorite.
Bright stars on the dark background of your chocolatey, tousled hair.
Warm and inviting they drew me to you
     to sit with you
wrapped in a blanket
     by the fire.
Sipping something warm,
     something brown, and dark from the mug tucked between our hands.
It was dark and brown but never as dark as your tousled hair or your winter hat,
     a shade of deepest forest green – another earthly element in the dark backdrop from which your celestial eyes shone.

Young Writers Project: The Making Of Konrad

Jan 13, 2017
Courtesy, Susan Reid

Mrs. Perkins stormed into the business meeting, stumbling over her high heels, her hair looking like it had gone through a tornado. Her face was beet red from anger and her eyes had a look of slight insanity to them.

Situations like this, except with different people, had happened so many times that Mr. Kiln instantly knew why she was barging in on his very important meeting.

"I quit!" Mrs. Perkins bellowed.

Some of the employees closer to the door yelped and began to scoot away in their chairs.

Young Writers Project: Mi Nombre

Jan 4, 2017
Courtesy, Susan Reid

Briggs. That’s my mother’s maiden name. It is also my first name. It’s a strange name, often mistaken.

It is not Bryce, Brig, Brick, Bridge, Bricks — or even Prince, as one old man misheard.

This was one of many choices for my name. Most were nearly as strange, though I still would have preferred nearly all of them: Ronan, Cadmium, Van, Rory and one of my dad’s favorites — Boy.

But my great-grandmother had a dream before my birth that I would be Briggs, and so it was.

I don’t like my name. It doesn’t fit me.

Young Writers Project: I Believe

Dec 30, 2016
Alison Redlich Photo

I believe hard work gets you

somewhere in life, even though it may

not be the place you want to be. I believe

Young Writers Project: Drugged

Dec 20, 2016
Madi Cohen

I take it like a drug, one that falls
like rain over my open skin,
drink it in like water
until it runs in my blood
knowing nothing but this feeling,
nothing but euphoria of this moment.

Young Writers Project: What He Called Me

Dec 16, 2016
Alison Redlich Photo

Cierra Mist,

that’s what he called me.

A day in June of 2015 was the day I got the nickname.

Young Writers Project: In The City, In The Night

Dec 7, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

In the city, in the night,
a ticket stub sits on the salty, damp sidewalk.
The play title, “A Christmas Carol” is barely visible,
concealed by bootprints and slush.

In the city, in the night,
a ripped-off Christmas bell,
too full of sludge to ring clear,
lies as a remnant of the Salvation Army
and their dances for pocket change.

Young Writers Project: Road

Dec 2, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

Don't play in the road. 
Crisp, stern mouth
pushes our feet faster.
Mother always told us
to be cautious.
But we were not cautious.

Young Writers Project: Beautiful

Nov 23, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

All day I sucked in,

​trying to hide

​any traces of fat

​on my body,

Young Writers Project: Don't Tell Me I Can't Cry

Nov 21, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

Don't tell me I can't cry

because I care.

Young Writers Project: Ignore

Nov 14, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

The word "ignore" has such a negative connotation,

it is only thought of in relation

to being unwanted, an enraging frustration.

Young Writers Project: The Cabin

Nov 7, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

Craig was tired. He had been working all day, and even walking home was an enormous challenge. He glanced at his watch. It read, 7:30 p.m., Friday, June 20. He focused on the path ahead, to keep his mind off his tired legs and sore feet. He walked past the corner store, and the park, up into the more rural part of town.

Young Writers Project: Uncovered

Oct 28, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

I am a book.

I am also a storyteller and a door to another world. 

I am also trash.

I used to be considered important.

Young Writers Project: Philosophies

Oct 20, 2016
Courtesy, Fiona Goodman

When or if somebody asks me,

“Why do you think we’re here?”

I’ll probably reply,

“Because we’re so self-centered

we think we’re more important than the rest of the world

This is a graveyard,

I think to myself

as I walk into a clearing

in the forest.

Young Writers Project: Prayers

Oct 5, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

This is a prayer for the fish I never caught

in the pond at my friend’s ninth birthday.

Young Writers Project: She, Next To You, Next To Me

Oct 3, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

She was sitting next to you and you were next to me,
legs intertwined, bare or covered with jeans.
Hands taking our weight, pressed down on the porch,
we turned over our palms and saw the grooves.
It was just another early autumn day.
Breeze blew our hair back and you lifted up your face to feel it.
She smiled at you and we renewed our oaths
to marry at the same time and call the kids our names.
Almost all of us had painted toenails, except for you.
You had an ankle bracelet that she and I had braided.
There's water down below us.

Young Writers Project: Another Poem About Fall

Sep 26, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

The season that peeks its head
Through the doors of summer
Then darts back out again,
And the wood nearly closes on your fingers
For trying to catch it.

Young Writers Project: Fake Love

Sep 19, 2016
Courtesy, Young Writers Project

Fake Love

By Grace Brouillette

Grade 10, Essex High School

You said
That you would always be
With me,
With me.
But you
Never wanted me,
Not really,
Only wanted to play the game.

Young Writers Project: Who Will You Be?

Sep 19, 2016
Courtesy, Susan Reid

Let's sit down on a mountaintop

And take in all the people.

Let's look down and smile

Upon our fantastic equals

Going about their everyday lives

Through pain that's unimaginable.

Yet we refuse to open our eyes.

See, in this wonderful, wonderful life

It's hard to know if we matter at all,

If being a good person is really important.