NYWC Summer Youth Workshops: The Guns of War

Welcome to NYWC’s Fort Greene Park Summer Writing Series, featuring the powerful poetry and prose from writers age 6 to 17. Every Saturday morning, young people have gathered in Fort Greene Park to participate in NYWC’s free writing workshops for youth. At the end of the summer, we hope you’ll join us  for the 9th Annual Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Festival on August 24, where you’ll get to hear these young voices of tomorrow share their work alongside other award-winning poets and writers. Enjoy!

Last week it rained, and the outdoor workshops got moved to the Fort Greene Park Visitor’s Center. It was my first time in the visitor’s center, and little did I know that the place is full of history. There are guns on the walls, an old American flag, and a real Revolutionary War cannon. Tim, one of our workshop leaders, proposed this fun writing prompt:

“Look around the visitor’s center. What objects do you see? Use as many of these objects as you can in a piece (but the piece cannot be about the visitor’s center).”

The story below, written by a young writer, is succinct and thought-provoking.

The Guns of War
by Anwen Burns, age 11

I could hear the cannons firing, the guns loading, and the people dying still ringing in my head. I’ve been back from the army for 1 year, and I still have nightmares. Since then, I’ve kept my American flag high on my wall, standing proud. Prouder than I’ll ever feel.

I’ve tried to use my sharp senses for good, I’ve become a bird watcher. I’ve captured photos of birds of prey and favorite birds of everyone’s. I’ve been to many states. From Nevada to Washington to Wyoming.

I put my worries into my work. Not only do I watch birds, but I collect leaves from different trees. Being one with nature helps me cope with what I’ve seen in battle. I just hope one day, it’ll be all over.


  1. Yeah Anwen! You go girl!