People & Places

YWP: I Write Everything

Young Writers Project, an independent nonprofit based in Burlington, engages young people to write and use digital media to express themselves with clarity and power, and to gain confidence and skills for school, the workplace and life.

Check out the most recent issue of The Voice, Young Writers Project’s monthly digital magazine. Click here.

Each week, VTDigger features a writing submission – an essay, poem, fiction or nonfiction – accompanied by a photo or illustration from Young Writers Project.

YWP publishes about 1,000 students’ work each year here, in newspapers across Vermont, on Vermont Public Radio and in YWP’s monthly digital magazine, The Voice. Since 2006, it has offered young people a place to write, share their photos, art, audio and video, and to explore and connect online at For more information, please contact Susan Reid at [email protected].

“Boots,” by Lauren McCabe, 16, of South Burlington.

In a modern consumer culture where every minor purchase, every insignificant choice made, seems to define our personality, “you are what you own” is more apt than “you are what you eat.” This week’s featured writer, prose poet Charlotte Dodds of Burlington, scribbles down a meandering yet hilarious stream of consciousness conjured up by the rather distinct pink paper she writes on. 

I write everything…

By Charlotte Dodds, 17, of Burlington

… On a pink legal pad, because this one time I read about a black-haired, middle-aged, white woman
who lived in Manhattan and produced films and took all her notes on pink legal pads, and the
photographs of her apartment looked so stylish, and whoever wrote that profile of her made everything
sound so glamorous

that I went out and bought a pack of pink legal pads for myself

to seem like her — that rich woman with stringy, black hair — 

and now I write everything on these pink legal pads, even though they are the kind of thing that belong with the woman who is a film producer or with someone reminiscent of Elle from "Legally Blonde,” but not with me (I am nothing like Elle; I haven’t the least desire to become a lawyer and spend half my days in a cold, stone courtroom where justice will never be guaranteed, and how could I ever choose my career in a harsh act of hatred for an ex-boyfriend?), and what’s more is that the presence of these pink legal pads on my desk is distracting since I wouldn’t typically buy notebooks like that, which is sort of a disappointment, but it means that they’re out of place and don’t fit with my other belongings, except I’m not going to buy another type of notebook because I’m too afraid of overconsumption to buy that for myself and ––

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