Three Writing Prompts at the Year’s End

"How the Nortons Beat the Heat," a photograph published in Look magazine in 1957, is one of the prompts for this week's Young Writers Project. (Jim Hansen, Shorpy)

"How the Nortons Beat the Heat," a photograph published in Look magazine in 1957, is one of the prompts for this week's Young Writers Project. (Jim Hansen, Shorpy)

Young Writers Project is an independent nonprofit that engages students to write, helps them improve and connects them with audiences through the Newspaper Series (and and the Schools Project ( Support: YWP is supported by this newspaper and foundations, businesses and individuals who recognize the power and value of writing.

This week’s installment, the final one for the school year, includes posts in response to three prompts: Photo 10, titled, How the Nortons Beat the Heat; Telepathy: You have the power to telepathically place an image in everyone’s mind. What is it?; and Bully: Write a letter to a bully.

Day Dream

A hot sunny day it was,

In the back seat of the car sipping a milkshake,

Mom, Dad and my baby brother up front.

Dad sipped his ice cold beer as a lady vacuumed out the car,

The low hum of the vacuum and the heat lulling me to sleep.

It wouldn’t be bad to stay like this forever,

With vanilla taste, endless warmth,

And plush leather upholstery.

But then the vacuum stopped,

The car started moving,

And the wind through the window blew me back to reality.

The Telepathic Message

If I could telepathically place an image in every human’s mind, I would put a picture of war and death and destruction. While planting this message, I would include, “Nothing like this will ever happen again, either if it is unseen, seen by human eyes, or seen on a camera; this will not happen.” I would want to tell the people who got this message to try to be more peaceful and kind to others and also to try their hardest in anything that they can.

To a Bully

The popular divas of my generation must be rather dense. As you think that I, a humble nerd, would be easy prey to break. How unrealistic. Gather all of your “friends” and gang up on one person: A girl without a spot on a bus that unknowingly took your spot. She didn’t know the rules yet. She didn’t get the chance. She was attacked daily before anyone could step in. You kept yourself hidden, away from the teachers that could impact your future, away from the few friends I had managed to make who might have helped me.

But no, I wouldn’t be broken.

Why wouldn’t I accept it? Why was I different from everyone else your group had ganged up on? Why didn’t I shatter? I understand your confusion. You have more power. You have more, as you call them, “friends.” I had next to nothing. So why did I fight it? The truth is, at the time I didn’t know. I still was trying to figure out how the world worked, and why it was so unfair. I still believed the lies they told us in elementary. I was bewildered at the fact that the school did nothing to help. The only thing I could do was fight. Every time you knocked me down, I had to get back up. I kept my head and thought logically. How many friends do you really have? How many of your friends would cast you out if you wore the wrong shoes?

You tried to break me, but I became stronger because of it. I learned the truth that the world isn’t fair, and I accepted it. My fellow nerds wouldn’t sell me out to get a date. My friendships were real. The humble nerd is stronger than you think. We rule the world. We are the doctors, the engineers, the lawyers; we are the people that are needed in the world. We learn early on, that if you find enemies, you’re going in the right direction.


That nerd you bullied on the bus

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