“What makes us who we are? What are the stories that have shaped us? The characteristics that identify us? The landscapes that define us? What global events irreversibly altered the lives of our ancestors, and, in turn, our own? In this issue of Write the World Review, our young writers explore the theme of origins in all its forms.”
- Clare McFadden, Director of Education, Write the World, Inc. Read Clare's full letter here.
What makes us who we are? What are the stories that have shaped us? The characteristics that identify us? The landscapes that define us? What global events irreversibly altered the lives of our ancestors, and, in turn, our own? In this issue of Write the World Review, our young writers explore the theme of origins in all its forms.
From the seemingly innocuous discovery of a few boxes of mementoes in their mother’s closet:
The ocean had erupted from the closet doors
spreading a shore of parchment sand
and little origami crabs that give you tiny paper-cuts
Atlas Harris unearths tangible evidence of a time passed, and considers how these discoveries illuminate their understanding of where they came from.
To a questioning of national identity:
How can I call myself Australian
when I live on stolen land?
Erin Coull grapples with her country’s history, and what that means for her own sense of self, in her arresting and beautifully vivid poem “White Clover Roots”.
Paris Evans implores us to face our collective history unflinchingly—for we must confront and acknowledge the wrongs of the past, before we can hope for justice today.
My Great-Grandmother's Grandmother was a slave. A piece of property to be bought and sold.
My Great-Grandmother was threatened by the Klu Klux Klan for protesting. A white cross left burning in her yard.
Marcus Kuan reflects on the significance of the natural world in shaping his identity and how a strong connection with this untouched “paradise on Earth” in the Singapore of his childhood galvanised him into action to save it.
Surrounded by lush trees and grass patches that stretched out into untamed forests, it was the playground of my early childhood, as I chased for grasshoppers and scoured the banks for an “ecological survey” of shrimps, guppies and dragonfly nymphs.
So much of our origins are shaped for us by our parents and guardians—our early memories blurring with our elders’ stories of times passed. In “The Cement Horse” Keren-happuch Garba explores the significance of a move to the city for a Nigerian family:
Our leave was abrupt and happened before we could have an opinion on staying. Ma had travelled to the city and brought back tales of it. There was a spark in her eyes, a hunger to tell us the things she'd seen and what was different about it.
Whatever origins mean for you, I hope that reflecting on the words of our young writers can offer you a new perspective or way of seeing your own past as well as the collective histories of our global community. If you are a teacher, I invite you to use our lesson plans to explore this issue’s theme of origins with your students. And, as always, I’d love to hear from you as to how you use Write the World Review in your classroom. Please email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Clare McFadden, Director of Education, Write the World, Inc
Write the World Review is an online journal showcasing a diverse and international range of work from our young writers on Write the World. It includes journalism, poetry, short fiction, personal narrative and reflection, film and book reviews, and much more. If you are 13-19, we welcome your submissions.
The journal is an extension of Write the World, our vibrant online community where young writers can draft and publish work, respond to weekly prompts in a variety of genres, exchange feedback, enter monthly competitions, join writing workshops, receive help with college essays, and much more. Write the World also provides resources for teachers to create engaging writing communities within their classrooms.