Creative Writing Students Published In Youth Be Heard


On January 25, 2023, four students from the first semester of Creative Writing were published in Youth Be Heard


Youth Be Heard is, “an online gallery for youth writing and art.” 


Youth Be Heard was founded in 2018 by Renee Childs. Submission to Youth Be Heard is for anyone between the age of 13-24. Not all pieces will be published on their website but for each piece will be reviewed and feedback will be provided.


Those students were Matthew Chiles, Evangelia Maxwell, Carli Vermeulen, and Lauryn Vierck. Chiles, Vermeulen, and Vierck are seniors, while Maxwell is a junior. 


To get a glimpse into one of the published students and their writing, included is a bio from Vermeulen. 


Vermeulen wrote, “During our creative writing class we were encouraged to write about nature and how we were connected to it. I decided to write about a trip to Florida I took this summer and how meaningful it was to me. I was in awe of the beautiful sunsets and tried to capture the pure bliss of being at the ocean.”


Her photo was by Frank McKenna, shown above. 


Each student’s piece wasn’t originally for Youth Be Heard. Students had first sent these pieces out to another contest and then had submitted them to Youth Be Heard. The premise of the writing was to choose a piece of artwork out of the provided ones and write about the meaning you took from it.


Vierck chose the painting “The Saints of Hampstead Heath” by Leonora Carrington. 


Vierck said, “I think I chose that painting because I knew many other people weren’t doing it and I wanted to make something more unique. I also thought when looking at it that it held a deeper meaning to me than all the rest, especially with what was going on in the world, from death comes new life.”


An excerpt from her piece shows the meaning of the ‘from death comes new life’.

Vierck wrote, “With one death, another life begins. / The circle of life they call it, / being born into a new world, / growing up and growing old, / returning to the Earth from whence you came.”


She says she enjoyed writing this piece during her time in Creative Writing. 


Vierck said, “Something I liked was having to dig deeper into my own thoughts and really contemplate life and death and also think about what was really going on in the painting or what the painter wanted us to take away from it.” 


Chiles chose the painting “House at Port Clyde” by Stow Wengenroth. 


For Chiles, having his piece submitted gave him a newfound sense of confidence. Chiles said, “I knew I had a chance but I didn’t think I’d get picked.” 


Vermeulen also was shocked she had been published. Vermeulen said, “My classmates’ poems were phenomenal and the amount of submissions caused me to shy away.” 


Chiles poem was relating more to things going on within his personal life. Chiles said, “My piece was really just about how I was feeling at the time I was going through a lot of friend and family issues.”


Vermeulen had one last piece of advice for students wishing to submit their work; whether it be to the Literary Magazine at Arrowhead, or competitions. Vermeulen said, “My advice would be to just go for it. There’s nothing holding you back from achieving great things. If you submit your writing, you are sharing your ideas, art, and passions with the world. Readers are purely eager for new things and your work is new and original to you. It’ll never count against you.”