July Summer Writing BINGO!

This Summer is sure to be full of “aha!” moments, but if you’re on the lookout for more, then search no further. The IYWP is proud to present: Summer BINGO! The program involves picking up your BINGO sheet at any of IYWP’s sites (or downloading and printing the file here). On it, we’ve included a list of summer prompts. Your goal is to write the prompts in any way that gets you BINGO, whether that’s up or down, side to side, it’s all up to you!

With all games comes prizes! When you reach BINGO be sure to drop your BINGO sheet attached to your writing at any of the IYWP’s sites (including the Antelope Lending Library’s Bookmobile) or E-mail the sheet and your work to us at iywpsummerwriting@gmail.com! This will give your work a chance to be entered in our digital literary magazine, YouthQuake, AND win exclusive prizes at the Haunted Bookshop OR free ice cream at Yootopia!

BINGO sheets can be picked up at any of the IYWP’s sites, or downloaded to print at the bottom of this post.

Rev up your pens and pencils, Writers, and may the odds be ever in your favor!


Download your BINGO Sheets to print: IYWP summer writing bingo FINAL


Summer Camp Blog: Work from The Imaged Word and Poetry Comics!

This week, we’re featuring work from The Imaged Word and Poetry Comics!, two camps that focused on the ways in which writing and visual art can be integrated. In The Imaged Word, some of our younger campers created artwork inspired by poems they read during camp, as well as poems they wrote themselves.

Poetry Comics! was put on in cooperation with the community of Kalona, IA and focused on marrying the genres of poetry and comic strip to create unique pieces of artwork.

We are also excited to announce the title and cover of our digital summer publication! Our publication will be called Youthquake, a word which refers to the power young people have to create change. The cover for our publication is this post’s featured image, and was designed by Abigail Morrow, one of our wonderful interns.

The Best

by Avery R.

Some people see it as ugly.

But I, I see it as beautiful.

Some people say that they are lost.

I just say they’re exploring.

Some people think that they’re failing.

But I think that they’re flying.

You have to make the best of it.

Life’s too short for worry.

Where the Sidewalk Ends 

by Jeri S.



FTT #3 – A R.O.L.O Rap

By IYWP Intern Rebecca Jefferson


Last week R.O.L.O may have ended, but there’s still stunning student work to be shared. I’d like to take this Tuesday to spotlight the Rap a group of students wrote together during the Musicians Workshop last week. The students got to hear about the writing process of an established rapper and used it to create a rap of their own! The student “producers” listed at the bottom, acted much the way a real producer would during the writing process, by offering suggestions and alternate lines to maintain rhythm and clarity.

Facts Tho

A Rap by Skye, Tory, Josh, Devion, and Zariah

Chorus (All):

I ain’t got no money, that’s facts though

I got homework every day, and it stacks though

I ain’t clean my room, that’s facts though

I threw the dirty diaper in the trash though


Verse 1 (Skye):

I be working every day, I don’t get allowance

I’m just trying to get PAID

I got protein in my body and

it’s keeping me going…

Even when I’m flowin’

I hacked into the Wi-Fi and that’s facts though!


Verse 2 (Josh)

I get allowance though, that’s facts

Wish I was 21, getting stacks

Last night I snuck some snacks

Got me some chicken…you know I’m black

I’m a real baller I ain’t wack

And yeah, that’s facts.


Verse 3 (Tory)

Yeah, I’m spittin’ facts

No, I don’t got racks

I’m like Tetris–Stacked

Got slapped in my back

Waffler with no butter

It’s hot like the summer

Gotta do my homework

Ugh, it’s a real bummer

Got Cubs on his shirt

Took an exam but still gotta do work

We all ain’t got no money and its facts though

Flip a penny to a dollar gettin’ racks bro!


Chorus (All)

I ain’t got no money, that’s facts though

I got homework every day, in stacks though

I ain’t clean my room, that’s facts though

I threw that dirty diaper in the trash though!


Produced by Devion and Zariah

Lyrics by Josh, Tory, and Skye

Keeping Families Together: A Writing Campaign

By IYWP Intern Abigail Morrow

Neither the heat nor the humidity deterred anyone from descending upon the Iowa City Public Library this past Saturday for a special purpose: to write letters to state and federal legislators condemning the immigration policies concerning family separation at the border, and to write messages of support and welcome to the children currently being held in youth detention centers. Following on the heels of the Families Belong Together rally, the tables were abuzz with quiet chatter and the whirring of pens and markers.

IYWP Letter 2

A message of support from a teen writer.



Children, teens, and adults worked hard to express the need for urgent and compassionate action on the part of our lawmakers.




A letter of welcome from a young writer.


The letters are a powerful reminder that writing can, and does, change the world.

The IYWP stands to honor all youth and their creativity, no matter who they are or where they are from. If you would like to write your own letters of support and welcome to a detained child, you may address them to OPERATION COMFORT, 4470 W. Sunset Blvd, P.O. Box #217, Los Angeles, CA, 90027.

R.O.L.O Write-Up #3: It’s All Music To My Ears

By IYWP Intern Rebecca Jefferson

In R.O.L.O. this week, students were able to dip their hands in the music industry with the Musicians’ Workshop, brought to us by Ean Mills, DJ K Yung, DJ Fresh, and DJ Demand (A&R). Students got the chance to sit down with professionals to write their own songs, mix their own beats, and create their own tunes using pre-made sounds. We learned to scratch records, about time signatures in music, how to write in time with a beat by counting syllables, and how different digital programs help create beats.

As we lined the cafeteria to take group photos the atmosphere was excited but bittersweet. Saying goodbye to the enthusiastic and talented group at ROLO was hard, but as with all IYWP Workshops, there’s still more writing to do, more material to learn, there’s still next year!

Stay Fresh, R.O.L.O and Northwest Jr. High, you were a delight!

The R.O.L.O Crew along with Guest Musicians


R.O.L.O was founded in the Fall of 2016 by Northwest Jr. High Staff members Renee Zukin, Jalexis Senter, and Whitney Lang. The program aims to connect students of color to positive adults in their community and provide support for students of color struggling behaviorally and academically. To learn more about R.O.L.O at Northwest Jr. High click here: http://roloatnwjh.blogspot.com/

Summer Camp Blog: Work from A God’s Toolkit and History Hunt

This week, our featured work comes from A God’s Toolkit and History Hunt. In A God’s Toolkit, our awesome teen campers were introduced to the basics of world-building in fantasy/sci-fi writing. In History Hunt, our younger campers created work based off of numerous historical events.

Next week, we will be featuring work from The Imaged Word, YA Writing for YAs, and Poetry Comics! We will also be announcing the name and cover of our Summer 2018 Digital Publication.

Untitled Short Story from A God’s Toolkit

by Maddi Mossman

Nobody knew. Nobody but her. She was curled into a ball in the darkness of her room. Just a shadow of horror and amazement curled up in a corner. She knew that she should do something. Get up and run or go tell someone, but she couldn’t move. The terror of what she had just seen pulsed through her veins and thoughts frantically raced in her mind like a scared group of people running for dear life.

“No.” she whimpered to herself, not wanting to believe what she had just seen. “It’s all a dream.” she told herself trying to sound confident in the thought, but it was hopeless. The memory was seered into her mind already. There was no mistaking that it was completely real. All of a sudden, a scream tore its way through the silence. She jumped to her feet and sped over to the room where it happened and about knocked the door off its hinges. A blast of bone chilling air hit her and she fell over. Quickly she scampered up to her feet and her fearful eyes swept over the room with record speed. Had he come back? No. She thought to herself that would be impossible. She saw the salt and iron filings lying across the floor, but then something in the corner of her vision moved. The movement was slight but definately there. Her head whipped around and she saw a paper rise into the air. She gasped as a paper weight careened towards her face and she thrust her arms out in a protective gesture and a bright light enveloped her and she collapsed to the ground. When she wakes up everything is gone except a small orb of light hovering in the corner from which the paper weight had come flying. She opened her mouth to scream, but the light started to expand outwards into the whispy shape of a small boy. The boy stepped forward but then thought better of and stepped back again. She noticed a small glimmer of hatred in the beings eyes but as fast as she could blink it was gone. The little boy whispered something. She couldn’t hear.

“What?” she asked nervously.

The whisper came again and this time she heard the words.


The spirits lips curled up into a terrifying smile, as he lifted his hands, his fingers sparking with evil power.

She couldn’t move. Immediately she knew that she was in ghost lock. Her scream filled the air as she saw the phantasms hands thrust forward and a wave of darkness rushed towards her and threw her body into the window. Her body hit the window and blood splattered. The sound of her scream reverberating through the air to this day.

Untitled Short Story From History Hunt

by Edward Li

“On the very eve of the birth of the Third Reich, a feverish tension gripped Berlin.”

Chapter 1: Rising to Power

As lots and lots of boys and girls woke up all over Germany, on January 31, 1933, one of them heard his parents walking around, mumbling secretively. They were going to Berlin tomorrow to see his grandparents. The next day, as they were passing through Berlin, the boy though he saw a soldier out of the corner of his eye. As they came to his grandparents’ house, his grandmother quickly opened the door, let them in, and closed it just as fast. When the boy asked why they were in such a hurry, his grandfather motioned for him to come to the back of the room.

Chapter 2: The Great Reveal

As they walked to the back of the room (it was a fairly big room), his grandfather said, “The Third Reich has risen. This is very bad.” The boy was only 4, so he did not understand the rest of it. They had a nice day at their grandparents’ house, but when they left the boy didn’t understand what his grandfather said until…

6 years and 7 months later…


FTT #3: Worlds Away Fantasy Camp Group Story

By IYWP Intern Rebecca Jefferson

Last week I volunteered with Zoe Polach at the Worlds Away Fantasy Camp. The Camp was full of fantastical delights ranging from Danger Noodles to magical Shwoops locked in an everlasting war with the Shwips (because their names were too similar). On our last day, campers worked as a class to create a story that held all the elements of a Fairy tale, complete with twists unique to our class. So without further ado, Friday’s Fairy Tale!

Harold and He-Hay’s journey illustrated

Friday’s Fairy Tale

Harold is sitting in his garden when he sees a lantern and has a flashback to the fire he started. The Fire Spirit warns him that if he continues his path he will become not the hero but the antagonist. He turns back around and looks at the house where his parents are being burned alive then turns around and walks away. Then out of smoke and mist and whatever else is found in a fire (wood?) a magical Donkey named He-Hay appears and asks for a magical pretzel that will give him powers.

Harold disregards the warning from the Fire Spirit and He-Hay’s request and thus becomes the villain. He-Hay then proceeds to destroy the magic crayon which sends Harold into hysterics. Still, Harold wants to know how to become immortal and all-powerful and therefore proceeding to destroy all magic. He-Hay tricks Harold into giving He-Hay the pretzel which is in Harold’s pocket so that Harold cannot become immortal, and He-Hay doesn’t eat it and doesn’t become immortal. Harold realizes this [that he was tricked] in a book that he read and he kidnaps He-hay’s one and only son. Harold tells He-Hay that he can have his son, Dominic, back if He-Hay gives him the magical pretzel. He-Hay sees the evil brewing inside Harold and refuses.

He-Hay is visited by a magic fairy who says: “I’m going to test if you are kind enough, and if you are kind enough I will guide you to your son.” The Fairy gives Harold a Trolley problem but Harold reacts to the problem by thinking out of the box and pushing the Trolley off the track. The fairy grants He-Hey magical armor and guides He-Hay to the place where Dominic is being held captive. But as they approach, Harold spots them and grabs Dominic and holds a knife to Dominic’s throat. He-Hay charges into Harold performing The Magical Back-flip thus crushing Harold under his weight but Harold is a half-elf and survives the attack. He-Hay deprives Harold of oxygen rendering him unconscious and he goes to try and save Dominic who was injured in the attack.

He-Hay feeds the Pretzel of Immortality to Dominic but because Dominic would have been dead without it, he does not become immortal but is restored to his previous state. Harold is transported into a sky prison, which if he tries to escape he would fall to his death.  Harold is brought back into the present, his reminiscence ends as he watches the lantern hanging outside of the window of his prison cell. Harold has been in prison for thirty years.

The Fire spirit comes out of the lantern and says, “I told you so.” 

Which makes Harold learn to be a chaotic good and not a chaotic evil because evil doesn’t pay out.