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Young Writers Project

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve, and connects them with authentic audiences in newspapers, before live audiences, and online. YWP also publishes an annual anthology and The Voice, a digital magazine with YWP’s best writing, images, and features. More info: youngwritersproject.org or contact YWP at sreid@youngwritersproject.org or 802-324-9538.
 
Take a wish upon a star
 
Wishes are for fairy tales,
wishes are for dreams.
Wishes are for pretty things
in between what we think.
Wishes are for people in love
on sunless summer nights,
and wishes are for three-leaved clovers
and comets streaking high.
Wishes are for burning stars,
so that they can find sleep.
Wishes are coins in a fountain
while we silently weep.
Wishes are for sleepless people
who stare into the void,
and wishes are for troublemakers
who just got tattooed.
Wishes are for lonely people
with tears in their eyes,
just as wishes are for empty people
trying not to die.
Wishes are the delicate things
between the stars and the sky —
wishes are for all the people
who want to feel alive.
 
Narges Anzali, 13, Weybridge
 
 
Notre Dame
 
Once, in Paris, when you were very young,
you realized you had nowhere to go.
So you took yourself to Notre Dame,
attracted by the stained glass windows.
Even with little to nothing for you to live on,
you found you were no longer alone.
Now all of that may be gone —
but you are still here. What do you know?
 
I thought that tonight I would call you up,
meet you in front of some payphone.
A quarter could take us nearly anywhere
as long as you wouldn’t leave me alone.
I’m just trying to keep it together,
as wonders and history burn to the ground.
It’s true, nothing will last forever …
I just hope I will always have you around.
 
Some damage we do cannot be undone.
Some hurt, some pain, is irreversible.
Sometimes we are the ones in the wrong,
and even our best apologies are futile.
It doesn’t matter if it was an accident —
it happened because I wasn’t careful.
You can’t light a flame and leave it unattended
next to something so priceless and so beautiful.
 
Maybe it’s because I’m now a little older,
maybe it’s wisdom still left in the cathedral,
maybe it’s your head on my shoulder,
but I feel something light up in me, like a candle.
They built this city long before me, before you,
yet I think I’ve found hope in something new.
We might never be the same as we were,
but the city is burning, and I still love you.
 
How does one rebuild history?
How does one accept when it is lost?
The truth is, we are shockingly temporary,
outlasted by our stories and ghosts.
Change might happen very slowly,
but it is an undeniable, constant force.
I know that one day I may look out on Paris
and realize I have nowhere to go.
 
Maisie Newbury, 18, Weybridge
 
 
 
The curse of knowledge
 
“Do you overthink things?” my therapist asks.
“Yes,” I reply, “but everyone does.”
“I’m not talking about everyone. I’m talking about you.”
“I am everyone,” I tell her.
“How so?”
 
Rebecca Orten, 14, Middlebury

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