Creative Nonfiction

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”

My Manifesto

By Daniel Litwin, TIWP Student What is a manifesto? Throughout history people have taken a stand for what they believe―physically in the form of revolution or protest, or in writing, as in a manifesto, for good or for ill. Notable historical manifestos include The Declaration of Independence (1776), the Declaration of the Rights of the ManContinue reading “My Manifesto”


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”


By Ben Davis, TIWP Student My identity? Well, I don’t really know. I mean I go to a much better school than most, live in a safer neighborhood than most. So I’m more privileged than most, which defines me I suppose. I mean, I’m certainly empathetic to everything, sometimes too much at times, but IContinue reading “Identity”

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”

Let It Out

By Rebecca Gunderson, TIWP Student Anger is within us all. It needs to be let out or else it will boil inside us, turning our insides rotten. Women can be angry, too. It’s not because we’re hormonal. It’s not because we’re on our periods. It’s because we have feelings, just like men. We get frustrated.Continue reading “Let It Out”


By Olivia Uzuncan, TIWP Student “It’s hard to accept that we’re one and the same flesh.” — Kate Tempest Our world is divided into a million different sections refusing to unite as one, each side not wanting to believe, let alone hear, what the other has to say. But borders aren’t the only thing separating us. What weContinue reading “Unity”


By Ellie Hawkins, TIWP Student Loneliness is nothing more than a thought. I know its agonizing pain burns your chest, but its nothing imagination can’t fix. Look deep into your mind and find the notebook you once filled with the stories and adventures of a little girl. The little girl who slayed monsters and marriedContinue reading “Imagination”


By Aly Kirke, TIWP Student Q is for quiet, for the air was left to the birds for song. U is for unified, as we all experience this history together. A is for annoying, because we are with the same people all day, everyday. R is for reckage, for I have forgotten how to spell.Continue reading “Quarantine”


By Magdalena Meyers, Age 11 It is a wet and cold Sunday. I am living in the pandemic, so my house is suddenly turned into a sanctuary like the ones we build, in this broken world, of lost magic, and purpose. My friends are not far away in terms of distance. But to me, it’sContinue reading “Wonder”

What I Miss

By Cate Foy, TIWP Student I miss sitting around a table at 1 pm with my friends, laughing, talking, eating foreign candy. I miss going to my favorite class, and standing on a stage and looking at my peers, my friends, and thinking that I still have time with them. I miss driving around withContinue reading “What I Miss”

Be Grateful

By Aly Kirke, TIWP Student If everything that I hold dearest to me disappeared, what would I miss most? Perhaps the knock my mom makes before entering my room. Or maybe the way the sun’s rays make me feel like sweet honey. Would I regret not lingering outside a second longer to get one lastContinue reading “Be Grateful”

Lockdown Desires

By Olivia Uzuncan, TIWP Student As much as I wish this could all disappear, I find this as an opportunity to become better. Being more grateful, more humble, more in-the-moment. More bubble baths and face masks, more staring out the window seeing new flowers that have bloomed. More books and magazines and photo albums youContinue reading “Lockdown Desires”

To Heal

By Caroline Hesby, TIWP Student Pain. Whether we realize it or not, we spend our whole lives avoiding it. In small or big ways, we run from any pain that peeks into our lives. We’re just trying to survive. But you can’t outrun it forever. When it does hit, it stings like a bee, it’sContinue reading “To Heal”

The Only Sun

By Caroline Hesby, TIWP Student A gentle breeze sweeps across my face, the one I have been waiting for all these days. A splinter of sun across my pillow reminds me that those cold, gloomy days were not a permanent cloud above my head. The warm glow of light soaks my sheets and in anContinue reading “The Only Sun”

I Hope

By Caroline Hesby, TIWP Student The day our doors were locked and our towns became empty, nobody knew what kind of changes were about to rattle the steady ground that lay beneath us. In an instant the world spun and the constants in our lives were shattered. We all played along in those first fewContinue reading “I Hope”

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