About Young Writers Project

The Young Writers Project -- Overview

VISION | To build a generation of better writers by engaging as many youths as possible through  youngwritersproject.org  a respectful online teen learning community — and its direct programming. 

MISSION | YWP’s mission is to build a generation of confident writers who think, develop ideas and express themselves with clarity, civility and power. 



NEED | Seventy five percent of the nation's high school graduates cannot write proficiently, yet the ability to write is key to success in business, community affairs and life. • Schools do not spend enough time with writing. • Students learn to dislike writing.

CORE BELIEFS | Students can learn to write well • The Web can be a safe, civil place for youth to take creative risk • The prospect of being published and having peers as audience motivates students to try harder, learn more and write better • Receiving objective, positive feedback online and in person helps young writers gain confidence and grow • Giving feedback improves critical thinking • Students at risk need special attention • Young people want voice. • Youth can and do learn a great deal from each other.

SERVICES | YWP offers:

  • This site, www.youngwritersproject.org, where registered youths post writing, respond to prompts, receive and give respectful feedback, read tips on writing, post audio stories, engage in online workshops and discuss books, news and life;
  • Youth instruction, a comprehensive program both for students and teachers that includes mentoring on youngwritersproject.org, online workshops and live workshops both in and out of school; 
  • Professional development for teachers (often with students); a digital classroom platform used by some 50 schools; and a growing library of effective lessons and best practices;  click here for more;
  • Trained professional writers and college students serve as mentors by providing workshops and feedback to youths online and in person;
  • Collaborations with dozens of organizations to provide special wriitng challenges, live events, workshops, storytelling, slams, ballad-making and digital storytelling; and
  • Publication of selected student work in media all over.

WHERE PUBLISHED | Students submit work to our Newspaper Series to be considered for outside publication; student judges, with professional guidance, help choose which work gets published

  • Rutland Herald (Monday); Times Argus and Valley News (Tuesday); St. Albans Messenger (Wednesday); Addison Independent, Colchester Sun, Essex Reporter, Milton Independent, Stowe Reporter and Waterbury Record (Thursday); Brattleboro Reformer and the Hometown section of the Burlington Free Press (Saturday); Rural Route Today (every other Wednesday) and the Charlotte News (every other Thursday); and monthly in the Barton Chronicle, Caledonian Record, North Avenue News, Randolph Herald and Williston Observer. Also in Times Argus' weekly Extra and Rutland Herald's weekly Reader (Thursday); Hinesburg Record (monthly)
  • on youngwritersproject.org;
  • on Vermont Public Radio (and vpr.net) weekly; 
  • on vtdigger.org weekly;
  • on cowbird.com frequently; 
  • in the venues of these partners:  Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Vermont Youth Orchestra, Vermont Stage Company, The Young Tradition Concert, First Night/Burlington and the Vermont Songwriters Association.
  • and, monthly, in The Voice, a new digital magazine published by YWP.

BENEFITS | YWP student participants:

  • develop and hone writing skills;
  • connect with their peers;
  • succeed;
  • develop creative and critical thinking skills;
  • learn writing through emerging digital technologies; and
  • learn how their ideas and experiences relate to the world around them.

FEEDBACK | YWP teacher participants say YWP helps them teach by providing ideas for students to write to, incentive for the students to write and great writing resources. Students say the project helps them write. For some specific comments, click here.

SOME NUMBERS | Since October 2006, YWP has received more than 30,000 submissions from 320 schools in Vermont and New Hampshire. This Web site averages more than 1,100 visitors a day and 2,500 active registered users who spend an average of 7-8 minutes on the site per visit.

STAFF | The Project's editor is Geoffrey Gevalt, an award-winning writer and editor with 33 years experience in newspapers and magazines. He was, for two years, a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in Beat Reporting. He formerly was managing editor of The Burlington Free Press.

The Project's Publications Coordinator is Susan Reid, a writer and editor.

The Web Coordinator is Doug DeMaio, a longtime YWP mentor and recent graduate of UVM.

The Administrative Coordinator is Sarah Gliech, a writer and recent graduate of McGill University. To contact them:

To reach us by post:

Young Writers Project Inc.
12 North St., #8
Burlington, VT 05401

    BOARD | YWP has a strong governing board of directors that includes educational leaders, philanthropists, business leaders, writers and teachers. YWP also has an active advisory board of teachers and students; if you would like to join, contact Geoff Gevalt.

    DONATIONS | YWP depends on your donations. YWP is a federal 501(c)3 nonprofit and thus all donations are tax deductible. If you like our work, donate or get a friend to donate. For more, click here.

    SPONSORS | The Vermont Business Roundtable and its business and higher education members began a two-year grant to the YWP in August, 2006. YWP receives major support from the Bay and Paul Foundations, FairPoint Communications, Windham Foundation, Amy Tarrant Foundation and several anonymous family foundations. It receives support from many other companies, foundations and individuals. For more about other Friends and Partners, click here.