There Goes the Sun: A Mentor Text

“There Goes the Sun” is a short story by Phoebe Donovan, age 11. It is written in close third person, in past tense. The protagonist is a boy named Robin. In the opening scene, Robin is on the subway on his way to his trumpet lesson. He is thinking about his father, a Beatles fan […]

The Lonely Radio: A Mentor Text

“The Lonely Radio,” by Avital Sagan, age 12, is a short story told from the first-person present perspective of a radio. The radio lives in a city called Floracion at the top of a skyscraper. Floracion is unique because of the giant moonflowers called “gigantics” that only bloom at night and grow to over twelve […]

Up on the Roof: A Mentor Text

This is a short story told in the close third-person point of view. It follows Violet, a thirteen-year-old girl who lives in the Divided States of America, a country split between the Purple People in the West and the Green People in the East. In the middle, dividing the two sides, is the Forbidden Strip—where […]

Where I’m From: A Mentor Text

“Where I’m From” is a prose poem by Talia Moro, age 10. The poem is written in the first-person perspective. The speaker talks about all of the different places they are from: the hot deserts of Africa, Europe, New Jersey, Zimbabwe, the piano, a village in France, New Orleans, summer night barbecues, and giving Lotta […]

Antarctic: A Mentor Text

“Antarctic” is a poem by Amber Zhao, age 10. The poem begins with a letter, written to the speaker from an unnamed “you”—this you is the addressee of the entire poem. The “you” is in Antarctica, and they report that they have not seen penguins yet. The speaker imagines the letter writer there, and talks […]

The Window: A Mentor Text

“The Window” is a poem by Summer Loh, age 8. In the poem, the speaker wipes the fog off of the glass of their window into the shape of a heart. The speaker then observes the people of the city: a girl with her dog in a baseball cap strolling, a young man performing a […]

How to Clean the Hallway: A Mentor Text

“How to Clean the Hallway” is a poem by Soheon Rhee, age 12. The poem is written in the form of a how-to list and is composed of seven numbered instructions. Each instruction is between one and two lines long, and most are made up of between one and two full sentences with capitalized first […]

Art: A Mentor Text

“Art” is a poem by Sim Ling Thee, age 13. The poem is written in the second person. It begins with a stanza composed of a long list of different accidents and mishaps that can occur in the creative process, from spilled milk to a father throwing artwork in the trash. Some of these lines […]

A Beautiful Day in August: A Mentor Text

“A Beautiful Day in August” is a poem by William Chiu, age 13. The poem describes, in first-person present tense, an August day. The speaker starts out wondering what happens now—school is out, their friends are gone. They describe their new routine: they wake up, have breakfast, practice violin, walk the dog, eat lunch, practice […]

Midnight: A Mentor Text

“Midnight” is a poem by Julia Marcus, age 13. The poem describes how lonely it must be to be a clock hanging on the wall in the middle of the night. In particular the poem laments the fact that there is no one to ask the clock what time it is, even if the clock […]

Waterfall: A Mentor Text

“Waterfall” by Jillian Carmel, age 9, is a haiku. The title names what the poem describes: this is about a waterfall. But the word “waterfall” never appears in the poem itself. Instead, we see the effects of the waterfall on the world around it and on the speaker of the poem.  How does this poet […]