Young Writers Project: Vivian Ross & Narges Anzali

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.
This month, writers were asked to respond both a general writing prompt and a Community Journalism Project prompt. The Community Journalism Project is a new YWP initiative this year, established to share the voices of young Vermonters on the issues shaping their lives and their futures through journalism skills-building and publication.

Courtrooms and Hurt
Justice is not blind.
Justice knows the colors
painted onto our skin.
Justice knows the way
men look at your dress.
Justice is familiar with the way
they twist your name.
Justice has never been blind.
I want to tell you
about real justice —
about feet pounding in the streets,
so strongly that the men
up in their cold castles
feel it in their very bones.
About the burn of tear gas
as it tears through your lungs,
and the bullets
that tear through the air.
About the chants
that rattle through your body
until your throat grows hoarse,
power flowing through your body.
About trashcan fires in the streets,
and the crackling flames
you see in people’s eyes.
About the 50 people
that have disappeared,
and how you don’t trust
unmarked cars now.
Let me tell you a tale
of flipped police cars, and
bodies in the streets, and
chants that you scream, and
the way that your heart
pounds in your chest.
Let me tell you
that justice will come
from anywhere, at any time.
Let me tell you
that if your leaders
are afraid of this justice,
they are doing something wrong.
Let me tell you
of the toppled statues
and broken buildings
that litter this Earth.
Let me tell you
that this justice served in courtrooms
hurts so many more than it helps.
Let me tell you
that real justice
always finds a way.
Narges Anzali, 14
Community Journalism Project prompt

YWP is…
Young Writers Project is itself a spell,
cast by people with beautiful sentences
and shards of paragraphs revolving
under a chandelier inside their heads.
It’s a spell that lasts as long as you want it to.
Young Writers Project is a night sky,
unblemished, utterly perfected,
sculpted by words and love —
love for human mistakes and potential,
full of lovely ideas and lovely people.
Young Writers Project is a miracle
we don’t always appreciate.
Young Writers Project is something
you wish you could hold,
like a pet you cradle in your arms,
keeping you warm and listening
whenever you have something to say.
Young Writers Project is forever, infinite, perfect.
Vivian Ross, 14
General Prompt

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