Creative Nonfiction

Vicious Truths

By Caroline Hesby, TIWP Student I’m sorry, women. It wasn’t until recently I understood the weight of our struggles. The dark history and the persisting pain. I still don’t know what we’ve done to deserve it. How a made-up hierarchy translated into centuries of abuse, murder, silencing. Was it the way we cared for allContinue reading “Vicious Truths”

Being Human

TIWP Student Sometimes, I feel angry. Sometimes, I feel like I shouldn’t speak. Sometimes, I feel upset and emotional. Generally speaking, I communicate to my heart’s content – I participate, express myself, but only to a certain extent. Otherwise, I fear it comes across as overpowering. Like I’m “too assertive” or too this or too that.Continue reading “Being Human”


By Olivia Uzuncan, TIWP Student I’m not quite sure when it happened,probably when I was 13 or 14,when all of the terrible things going on in the world didn’t scare meor worry meor cause me to lose sleepbecause all of a sudden I was numbto school shootings,to rapes,to racist violence.Another day, another tragedy.And looking backContinue reading “Numb”

The Life of A Girl

By Elise Flagg, TIWP Student Wake up.Hopefully you’re alone. Eat, but not a lot, because you don’t want to be bloated all day.An apple will do just fine this morning.Maybe even half. Get dressed.But be careful,you don’t want to be a slut.Don’t cover up though,show some skin! Be confident. Grab a purse on your way out. Forget style:what’s the hardestContinue reading “The Life of A Girl”

A List of Misogynistic Things Boys Have Said to Me Before and What I Wish I Said Back

By Elise Flagg, TIWP Student Women aren’t funny. I hear this one a lot. Boys like to use this a lot when a girl makes a joke and they don’t get it. The “F” in women stands for funny. (I don’t see an “F” in men either.) But really. Why does someone’s gender determine ifContinue reading “A List of Misogynistic Things Boys Have Said to Me Before and What I Wish I Said Back”


By Elise Flagg, TIWP Student There is a small papercut at the bottom of my heart. Very small, but very much there. My insides tangle, unable to be unwound. There are no more butterflies left. The papercut starts to extend. My mind is almost empty. The only thoughts left being darker than the night sky,Continue reading “Heartbreak”


By Elise Flagg, TIWP Student My feet sprint across the field, stomping across the already dead weeds. Colors of flowers pass me by like light, and I give no more thought to them. The grass tries to tickle my ankles but I’m never in one place for long enough to allow them. My dress flowsContinue reading “Flight”

Who Is Emotion?

By Maya Petzoldt, TIWP Student Emotions are often struggled with, people juggling definitions back and forth. People sometimes travel for years at a time to find them, and then believe they have found an answer. Perhaps they have found the answers, or perhaps they are tired of searching, and simply trick themselves into thinking theyContinue reading “Who Is Emotion?”

Most Alive

By Ellie Hawkins, TIWP Student I feel most alive when I make someone smile, a genuine smile where their eyes light up and they radiate compassion and warmth. Smiles are contagious. They are a temporary solution to many problems. A moment of contentment in the middle of a raging storm. Smiles have a way ofContinue reading “Most Alive”


By Taryn Pearce, TIWP Student Fear is what makes us stronger. I’m scared of heights, but I’m more scared of never being able to fly. Sometimes I’m scared to speak, but I’m more terrified of what would happen if I don’t. I’m scared to make mistakes, but I’m more scared of never learning. Fear pushesContinue reading “Courage”


By Ava Choudhry, TIWP Student “I am a stockpile of chemical toys. My body is a deadly gadget.” — By Margaret Atwood   I live in a place where I can afford to spend my life growing my mind. I don’t have to worry when my next meal will be or where I’ll sleep tonight. WhileContinue reading “Privilege”


By Ava Choudhry, TIWP Student Yes, of course it hurts to lose someone you love, whether by death or any uncontrollable circumstance. Of course it hurts when you think of them, your heart pulling your body into a black hole, that sucks away your strength and momentary happiness. Of course it hurts, but less oftenContinue reading “Healing”

Forest Walks

By Evangeline Ford, TIWP Student Can you feel the emptiness—the roads that once were busy, the schools that were once filled with life? Anybody who ever claimed to love the word is now being challenged, both in will power and in their ability to love the world when they can’t see it. Find your passion,Continue reading “Forest Walks”

Christmas Time

By K.W., TIWP Student, Age 9 Christmas is a time for love and Christmas is a time for joy and peace. You can sing lots of Christmas carols at people’s doors and that can bring a smile to their face and yours. Decorations can get you in the Christmas spirit. Children are always happy withContinue reading “Christmas Time”

My Future

By Elise Flagg, TIWP Student I question a lot about this world. About my future. Where will I go to college? Will I even get in? What will major in? Will I be valedictorian? Will I speak at my high school graduation? What will my first real job be? Where will I live? When will IContinue reading “My Future”

The Danger of Being Female in a Sexist World

By Kea Yoshinaka, TIWP Student “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” — Margaret Atwood Recently, I’ve become strikingly aware of the fact that men really aren’t scared of much. Yeah, they get scared in the dark sometimes, or they don’t like being in deepContinue reading “The Danger of Being Female in a Sexist World”

Dear World

By Amy He, TIWP Student Dear World, I wish you’d have more compassion. Compassion for our families, neighbors, countries, enemies, the earth itself. Because we’re blessed with our planet and each other. Why make it hard? It’s an unfair world as is, yet the more selfish you become, the worse it gets. I know thatContinue reading “Dear World”

I Believe

By Amy He, TIWP Student I believe I will get through this.I believe I may never be fully satisfied, because I believe there will always be a next step.I believe I can hold on to my happiness, no matter what.I believe in art.I believe we have powers.I believe life is worth it.

I Believe

By Elle Gordon, TIWP Student I believe that we can always do better.I believe in doing my best.I believe no one should have to live in fear.I believe I should not be ashamed of who I love.I believe hate is unhelpful.I believe we should not get more or less based on our orientation or genitalia.IContinue reading “I Believe”

I Believe

By Ellie Hawkins, TIWP Student I believe stubborn is a choice.I believe in second chances.I believe in living in the moment.I believe life is too short to count the years.I believe in fate.I believe in people.I believe every day is a new day.I believe crying doesn’t make you weak.I believe it’s important to love yourContinue reading “I Believe”

I Believe

By Taryn Pearce, TIWP Student I believe there is good in everyone.I believe in love.I believe that someday I will find my place in this chaotic world.I believe that without the bad days there aren’t any good days.I believe that with tears comes a smile, just like with rain comes a rainbow.I believe that feelingContinue reading “I Believe”


By Elle Gordon, TIWP Student Dear world, I want you to listen. That lady you had a political Facebook fight with. Listen. Your sister who needs a shoulder to cry on. Listen. Your teacher or boss who can’t seem to get off your back. Listen. There is so much static in the world. “Kanye gotContinue reading “Listen”

Dear World

By Taryn Pearce, TIWP Student Dear World, I hope that one day we realize that we are all human. No one’s gender, race, religion or sexuality can make them less than. I hope that everyone will realize that it is a woman’s choice. I hope that we realize that we can’t take our planet forContinue reading “Dear World”


By Elise Flagg, TIWP Student It’s been seven months. Seven months since the pink tank top girl. And I’ve come to learn that she was just a single word in your book. But a chapter of mine. In those seven months nothing has changed. I still look at you like you are the only personContinue reading “Falling”

Deserving Love

By Samah Hamid, TIWP Student “We accept the love we think we deserve.” — The Perks of Being a Wallflower So many people live their entire lives thinking that they don’t deserve love. They might have had a difficult past. They might be too harsh on themselves. They might have fallen into society’s trap andContinue reading “Deserving Love”

Me, Myself

Elise Flagg, TIWP Student People can tell you what you’re like. They can tell you you are beautiful, you have nice hair, your eyes glisten like a diamond in the sun. They can only tell you things they see. And they can tell others also what they think. Key word “think.” Key word “tell.” IContinue reading “Me, Myself”

Living In Bold

By Kayli Harley, TIWP Student “Are you afraid of living life in bold?” — Luz Corrigan from the song “Author” I want to step outside of the lines I have drawn, turn around, and erase them entirely. I want to touch every corner of this earth that I can find, stand on the edge of aContinue reading “Living In Bold”


By Olivia Tiffin, TIWP Student I do not seek power over others or the crowd’s applause. I hope nothing of a fiery hunger for attention or the words of command. All I walk towards on the path is recognition, a recognition of how I see the world and how I see society crumble and beContinue reading “Recognition”


By Hettie Van Dyke, TIWP Student What is enough? Is it enough to simply be loved? Some might say so. I do not. Is it enough to be happy? For some, perhaps. But are we ever truly happy? No matter how far back into the deepest corners of our brain we push that little naggingContinue reading “Enough”


By Samah Hamid, TIWP Student Sometimes life likes to throw you a curveball and show you just how unfair the world really is. It’s thrown at you when you walk into a room full of only guys. It’s thrown at you when you’re taking an unpaid maternity leave. Then, you start to doubt yourself. YouContinue reading “Curveball”


By Taryn Pearce, TIWP Student Sometimes I have this desire so strong for something beyond my daily life. I don’t know how to describe this feeling but, when I think about it, I imagine dancing in the kitchen until 2 am, going on a spontaneous road trip, telling someone how I feel with no regretsContinue reading “Extraordinary”


By Olivia Uzuncan, TIWP Student In March, we were told to adapt to the idea of being a homebody. Empty grocery store shelves became the new normal as adjusted to the fact that we couldn’t have the social and human connection that was vital to our soul. We had this dream of a new worldContinue reading “Adaptation”

The Patriarchy

By Aly Kirke, TIWP Student Why are men so violent? I don’t get it. Throughout history men have always been the violent ones. Men bring no good to our world. They carry violence, abuse, and manipulation. Who do we have to thank for the genocide of the Indigenous people? Men. Who’s to blame for theContinue reading “The Patriarchy”

I Wonder

By Elise Flagg, TIWP Student I wonder about a lot of things. Is Earth dizzy from spinning so much? Do the clouds get headaches after crying so much? Do the trees get annoyed when animals land on them, tickling their branches? What does it feel like when fire climbs up the bark of a tree,Continue reading “I Wonder”


By Aly Kirke, TIWP Student I don’t feel strong. I don’t feel resilient. I feel as if I were on a sinking boat, and rather than sink and drown with the boat, I clung to a piece of driftwood. It doesn’t feel brave. It doesn’t feel powerful. It just feels not stupid. I’ve just beenContinue reading “Resilience”


By Claire Kostermans, TIWP Student “No one gets to affect my mood.” —from a list of healthy boundaries I remember the times when my happiness was determined by a notification from a Snapchat or Facetime or a text or even the thought of you—just to be drained when those simple notifications stopped appearing. I rememberContinue reading “Boundaries”


By Maya Hanck, TIWP College Program “You ask whether your verses are good… You compare them with other poems and you are disturbed when certain editors reject your efforts.” -Rilke Comparison rules. Everything around us is judged and ranked on a scale that is contingent upon its comparison. In our reality, value is allotted basedContinue reading “Relativity”

To Matter

By Sophie Corbett, TIWP College Program “All human needs are an expression of life’s energy flowing through us. Needs are the very thing that connect us to life itself.” — Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, NVC I want to matter. I want to be heard, respected, trusted, accepted, and known. I need all those things. I needContinue reading “To Matter”

I Am Beautiful

By Claire Kostermans, TIWP Student I am beautiful because I am strong. I fight my battles until I am victorious and I never give up along the way. I am beautiful because of way my pear-colored eyes glow, just like black cats do at midnight. I am beautiful because I walk with my head heldContinue reading “I Am Beautiful”

I Hope

By Ben Davis, TIWP Student I hope the world will be better in the future—even if there’s ample evidence that it won’t be, ample evidence that things already might be too late. I think if our generation were even just five years older, if more of us could vote, if we were able to enactContinue reading “I Hope”


By Kayli Harley, TIWP Student I believe that people should write more love letters.I believe that if we all lived in a Jack Johnson song life would be pretty peaceful.I believe that asking questions is a good thing and curiosity is limitless.I believe that books can be portals to vibrant and lively worlds.I believe thatContinue reading “Manifesto”

I Am Certain

By Katerina Bonderud, TIWP Student Uncertainty is unsettling. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, that’s one thing for certain. Uncertainty becomes scary and overwhelming when your mind jumps to the bad endings. Everyone wants some sort of happy ending, right? So why not dwell and fear the worst? Well yeah,Continue reading “I Am Certain”

Ocean of Voices

By Caroline Hesby, TIWP Student Sometimes those with the loudest voices have the most empty space in their hearts. They yell and with their shrill screams they pierce your ears until they ring, their ideas laced with selfishness and ignorance.  They wash out the voices that have not been acclimated yet to the battles ofContinue reading “Ocean of Voices”

To Fly

By Katerina Bonderud, TIWP Student “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” –Martin Luther King When I was younger, I had a dream of being able to fly. Every chance I got, I wouldContinue reading “To Fly”


By Jonathan Hagendoorn, TIWP Student There are many different types of people on Earth, each with their own spot in the world. Everyone has different opinions and interests pertaining to what they want to do, and each individual will have their own successes‒or failures‒throughout their life. Often, though, it turns out that the powerful, theContinue reading “Inequality”


By Maya Hanck, TIWP Student, College Program Inspired by the book “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle True beauty stems from within, or so we say. But the actions of society tell a very different story. Society tells us that beauty stems from physical appearance: thin, tall, blonde, high cheek bones, long hair, bright eyes, a softContinue reading “Untamed”

Silver Linings

By Sophie Corbett, TIWP Student, College Program Right now we are in the midst of a global pandemic and a war on racial inequality. People are suffering, dying, and angry. However, these challenging times have created an interesting dichotomy. While the world seems to be erupting into chaos there is also a sense of peaceContinue reading “Silver Linings”

I Can

By Rebecca Gunderson, TIWP Student “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way” –Martin Luther King, Jr. If I cannot make immediate change, I can protest. I can make signs. I can wear a mask. I can march alongside the black community in solidarity. If I cannot takeContinue reading “I Can”


By Maya Hanck, TIWP College Program “Race balls-out toward the extraordinary life that you’ve always dreamed of.” — Sophia Amoruso I’ve never been the type of person who knows exactly what career path she wants to take or even what field she wants to work in. On the contrary, I’ve always known what I don’tContinue reading “Counterfeit”


By Kayli Harley, TIWP Student The last rays of sunlight moved with the wind through each blade of grass until they landed on my skin. The few trees in the plain stood as silhouettes against the watercolor sky. The low mountains enclosed us in this space as they grew and fell in anticipation for theContinue reading “Sundowners”

We Are Healing

By Rebecca Gunderson, TIWP Student Quarantine is a time of healing. In the midst of this pandemic, we are healing the earth–Venetian canals are getting clearer each day. We are bonding with our pets like never before. We are appreciating the nature around us as we explore new hiking trails. Our workload in school isContinue reading “We Are Healing”

A Truer Reality

By Ellen Jurgens, TIWP College Program “Perhaps imagination is not where we go to escape reality but where we go to remember it.” —Glennon Doyle, Untamed We all know too well the feelings that emerge on the last day of vacation, or perhaps more easily-recalled, Sunday nights. These feelings may lead to phrases resembling: it’sContinue reading “A Truer Reality”

My Sorries

By Caroline Hesby, TIWP Student I’m sorry.  You were right, I was asking for too much. I should have thought about you and your needs more. I should have understood that you never made a promise to me. I shouldn’t have questioned you, of course you were doing everything right.  I am sorry that IContinue reading “My Sorries”

Summer 2020

By Katerina Bonderud, TIWP Student I wish I could shout from a mountain top and have everyone hear this. Slow down and let these words soak into your skin like your favorite moisturizer: summer 2020 is not over. It’s alive, so, so alive! It’s just covered up by sand. Go on a treasure hunt. WhatContinue reading “Summer 2020”

Are You OK?

By Elise Flagg, TIWP Student Are you OK? What kind of question is that? The people asking this question are either 100% clueless or they already know, you’re not OK. A three word question yet so many different feelings can come out of it. “Are you OK?” they ask. The emotions are swirling around myContinue reading “Are You OK?”

I Dream

By Katerina Bonderud, TIWP Student I dream of peace. I dream of going on a hike or a camping trip where you are surrounded by the peaceful wild. You hike up to the top of a beautiful hill, sit down, and survey every inch of the scenery with your eyes, staying there for hours, soakingContinue reading “I Dream”

Two Roads

By Elise Flagg, TIWP Student The road splits. On one side, daisies line the dirt brown path. The path is worn out with footprints all over, big and small. The sky is blue with clouds so perfect they could be painted. Birds chirp their so-called happy melodies. The other side is gloomy. Clouds fill theContinue reading “Two Roads”

The Ocean

By Maxine Pollock, TIWP Student The only thing that moves anymore is the ocean. And the trees move when the wind blows them and the deer move as they scamper across the meadow. We humans have put a stop to our world, our way of life, but nature has never stopped. It has been destroyed,Continue reading “The Ocean”

Plans for Me

By Maxine Pollock, TIWP Student What will give you peace? Wow, I wonder where to begin. Lately, I have been feeling like I am at the top of the rollercoaster and the front end is barely even touching the tracks and everybody is waiting for it to drop off. All of the passengers are anxiousContinue reading “Plans for Me”

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