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May 29


[Photo credit: Kevin Huang, YWP Alumni Advisor]
Looking for ideas? Dive into YWP's challenges this summer! 
The list will keep growing through the summer.
Add your own challenge ideas to our Create a Challenge and we'll feature them here.

Our annual Weekly Challenges will be back for the 2023-24 school year – from Sept. 3, 2023 until May 2024.


Precious – "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver asks in her poem, "The Summer Day:" Where does this thought take you? Write about it. 

Absurd – What is something you have always considered downright absurd, that either cracks you up on a day-to-day basis or makes you so frustrated, all you can do is throw your hands up in the air?

Oh, the Places – Have you visited somewhere wonderful this summer? Share photos!

Camp Memories – Share your favorite moments and experiences. Write them down so you don't forget! Collect your photos and keep them in a safe place! [Inspired by "Camp Memories" by Anna_banana, YWP; Photo by You know who, YWP]

Rainy Day – How do you turn a rainy day into a creative day? Share your rainy day creations – poetry, photography, painting, anything!

Lightning – The crash and flash of thunderstorms can be frightening and dangerous, but they have also inspired writers, photographers, and filmmakers to make art. Describe the experience of thunder and lightning using as many senses as you can. 

Five Words – Write a poem or story that includes these five words: flowers, sugar, river, curious, laughter.

Start-End – Every ending is just a new beginning. Try creating a new piece of art to reflect that! Start with the last line of your last poem, favorite poem, or something that you think holds creative potential and use that as your first line. See where it takes you! [Challenge created by queenlalaladaisy, YWP]

Relief – Phew, you made it! Describe the full-body, all-encompassing sensation of relief. No need to explain the backstory, take us into the immediate moment.

Summer Sound – Describe the summeriest summer sound for you. The whirl of an amusement park? Waves on a beach? A loon on a lake? Use all your descriptive powers to make the sound come alive. 

Boat – Write from the perspective of a boat. Which body of water does it live in? What kind of boat is it? Who owns it? How old is it? What does it think about being a boat?

Metaphor – Create a poem that's one big metaphor! Show how two things that are not alike in most ways can be similar in another important way. If it's not clear what two things you're comparing in the poem, give us a hint at the end! [Challenge created by Writer1326]

Abstract – Write a love story between a character and an abstract idea – falling in love with the stars, for example, or the idea of love, or loving a story so much you start to think it's real.

Summer Photos – Post photos that shout SUMMER!

Natural Design – Get in close to a flower, leaf, tree trunk, garden vegetable, beach grass. Observe the designs, patterns, and wonders of art in the natural world. Take photos! [From YWP's archive of challenges] 

New Word – Create a new word and describe it. Explain its meaning, origin, why it's useful, how you could use it. [Challenge created by ZoeBee, YWP challenges archive]

I am ... – Who are you at your core? Write a poem that begins with the words I am ... or I am the one who ... 

Character – Who is your favorite literary character of all time? Write a poem from the perspective of that character. [Challenge created by Amelia_v]
Toaster – Write a story or poem from the perspective of a household appliance that has a big decision to make – toaster, coffee-maker, can-opener – you get the idea. Does the appliance sort it out alone or seek the help of the other kitchen mates?

Guessing – Sometimes photos or poems will make you guess what the big picture is really about. Write or take a photo about something that will make the reader think more about what they're looking at! [Challenge created by EverlastingWaves]

Juneteenth – June 19, Juneteenth National Independence Day, became a federal holiday in the United States in 2021, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Find out more about Juneteenth from the Smithsonian and other resources. Write or make art inspired by Juneteenth.

Dad – The best gifts come from the heart. In honor of Father's Day, write a letter to your Dad or someone in your life who has a special role and deserves your thanks.

Favorite Song – Choose your favorite song and bring it to life in a photo, poem, or painting! [Challenge created by Writer1326]

Six – Create one or a series of six-word stories!

Personify – Everyone has different personality traits that are specific to them. Pick one personality trait and personify it. What would courage act like? What would desperation say? Try to make these attributes come to life. [Challenge created by Geri, YWP]

Déjà Vu – Write about an experience with déjà vu – that feeling that you’ve already been here, have already done this before.

Wildfires: Wildfires in Canada, too many and too early in the spring season to be considered anything close to normal, are sending smoke and air pollution across Canada and the U.S. Write about the dark, hazy skies above us. Take a photo. Document your evidence that climate change is real.

BuildMake a sentence by writing a poem that has one word in the first line, two in the second, three in the third, etc. Example: The / The cat / The cat sat / The cat sat down. 

Two Characters: Put two characters from different authors and different worlds into one story. Write about them meeting each other. [Challenge created by Amelia_v, YWP]

Zodiac: Choose a zodiac sign at random and write a poem (or any other form of art) about that certain sign! [Challenge created by Writer1326]

Evicted: Vermont is winding down pandemic-era programs that have sheltered about 80 percent of Vermont’s unhoused population in motels. Thursday, June 1, a record hot day, the first wave of about 2,800 evictions began following a judge's ruling against an eleventh-hour attempt to block the evictions. Read about it in Write about it!

Haiku: Haiku is a short form of poetry adapted from Japanese tradition, usually based on observations of the natural world and written in the present tense about a present moment. A haiku has 17 syllables in three lines of 5-7-5 syllables. Try it! Focus on a tiny detail – a color, a texture, a movement. Create a haiku by describing, literally or figuratively, that detail in just 17 syllables.

Rewrite: Rewrite a famous story! Choose a story written by a famous author but rewrite it in your style and... change the ending completely. [Challenge created by Amelia_v, YWP]

Path: Imagine a character who has been a person of routine all of their life, following the same path to work and back every day. What happens when a new path, a fork in the road, seems to appear out of nowhere? Does the routine-loving character decide to follow it? Tell the story.  

Creating Voice: Write a creative anecdote (a mini-story or poem of just 5-10 lines) using a voice that clearly shows a mood, tone, personality.

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