IYWP Summer Reading at Prairie Lights

July 25th is the Summer Reading!

Summer is ending soon, although the IYWP will have camps through July, we will be putting on a celebratory Summer Reading at Prairie Lights Bookstore this Wednesday for all the participants in any of our summer camps. This is your chance to read your work for your peers and parents in a professional atmosphere!

The night will kick off with a reception from 6pm-7pm and the reading will go from 7pm-8pm, any students are welcome to read their work! As Summer comes to a close, we hope to leave everyone with great memories and great writing, we hope to see you there!


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

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

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.

R.O.L.O Write-Up #2: Speaking OBJECTively

By IYWP Intern Rebecca Jefferson

This week at R.O.L.O. with Caleb Rainey students wrote from the perspective of various objects. Caleb challenged students to give life to objects: what would they feel? What would they love? what would they hate? With these questions in mind students turned ordinary objects into characters with stories both heart wrenching and silly!


Fatima at ROLO on 6.20.18
Fatima reading “The Quilt”

“The Quilt” – Fatima

If I was a quilt I would be confused of who I was. I would be confused because I would have so many parts. The quilt would want to be on the wall because people would call it beautiful. The quilt would be hanging up in the museum.  The quilt loves colorful things, so it would be lots of colors with more designs.

The quilt would be happy but at the same time still confused. The quilt would be a unique quilt, seeing all the people pass by calling it amazing and unique. The quilt would love it. It would see all the people taking pictures of it, the quilt loves the attention.

But when it turns night and it turns dark the quilt feels lonely. It doesn’t like being alone, it starts crying because there’s nobody there. The quilt doesn’t like the dark but at the same time it gets tired of all the attention. Hanging up on that wall on the glass, he starts not to like it that much.


Zariah at ROLO on 6.20.18
Zariah reading “The Floor and the Table”

“The Floor and the Table” – Zariah

Dear Table,

I am floor, the opposite of table…I think. So, people walk on me, but you stand on me, and I like that. In fact, I love you, I want you to marry me.

Table’s Reaction: “What! No, I will not marry you! I—I…I hate standing on you, so…I will just float in the air!

*mad face*


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/

Caleb Rainey is a writer, performer, and producer. He has led Slam Poetry Workshops for five different junior highs during the IYWP Junior High Writing Conference. Caleb is also the co-founder of the University of Iowa’s initiative to spotlight black voices on campus: Black Art; Real Stories (BARS). 



October Student Showcase- Colton Nicks

As part of a new student showcase series, we’ll be posting an IYWP student’s featured work on the blog each month. We are excited to kick off the monthly showcase with The Staff, a short story written by Colton Nicks at the junior high writing conference last April. This year’s junior high writing conference will be held on Wednesday, April 20th. Stay tuned for more information and make sure you check back next month for a new student showcase!

Click here to read Colton’s story.