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Brilliant Stories

826 believes in amplifying and publishing youth voices. Celebrate and honor their stories with us. Find inspiration with hundreds of student writing pieces in our Writing Gallery, and share your students’ writing on 826 Digital. Our students’ words will make you smile, think, sigh, cry so hard you laugh, and laugh so much you cry.

Students
YOU could become a Published Author.

Your piece could be published in a beautiful 826 book, right here on our Writing Gallery, and beyond.

Find Student Writing

Read student writing on diverse topics from diverse authors. Find inspiration for yourself as a reader and as a writer. And let your students be inspired by mentor texts from their peers.

Celebrating Hispanic/Latinx Voices

Grade 10
Writing
Six Poems in Search of My Border
by Jasmine J., Grade 10, 826 Valencia

In this poem, a student reflects on her origins to deconstruct social borders and seize her boundless future.

Poetry

"I’m from the United States, but I’m living in two Worlds: my mother’s culture, my dad’s culture. And those cultures are a part of me and proud To be a Latina"

Grade 8
Writing
My Latino Self
by Arianny, Grade 8, 826 Boston

A poem that celebrates being Latino.

Poetry

"Latino, a blooming generation of a beautiful culture With a little Sazon!"

Grade 12
Writing
Two-Sided Latin Culture
by Karina Centeno, Grade 12, 826 Dallas Project

This poem takes an honest look at two sides of the writer's culture.

Poetry

"Bright blue skies, delicious aromas, laughter and cheer Behind the beauty, there is something to fear Culture embedded in us from a young age Some habits are just too hard to escape"

Grades 10–11
Writing
Sunny Smiles
by Sergio M., Grade 10, 826 Valencia

A smile isn't always what it seems.

Memoir
Poetry

"Let the days be gray Let the smiles pour Everything is okay I’ll fix up to see the sun another day"

Grade 12
Writing
Generations
by Jizelle Villegas, Grade 12, 826 Dallas Project

The stunning and vulnerable poem processes feelings of loss, grief, and hope for the future.

Poetry

"The rope has tied our hands Together bonded by the same Realization that we have no father I am my mother’s daughter"

Writing to Process: Embracing Big Emotions

Grades 5–6
Writing
Worried
by Kevin J. Ortiz, 826DC

A personal narrative about a trip to Ocean City, a lonely puppy, and sharing our fears with others.

Memoir
Narrative

"I was sitting on sand that felt like little rocks tickling my feet."

Grade 8
Writing
Memoir
by Laila, 826CHI

A memoir about losing a parent—and a community’s support.

Memoir
Narrative

"It was May 22, 2012 and I went to school just like any other day."

Grade 12
Writing
Generations
by Jizelle Villegas, Grade 12, 826 Dallas Project

The stunning and vulnerable poem processes feelings of loss, grief, and hope for the future.

Poetry

"The rope has tied our hands Together bonded by the same"

Grades 7–8
Writing
School Blues
by Jamie, 826 Valencia

A metaphorical poem about frustrations, from homework to homelessness.

Poetry

"Frustration with homework and studying for tests. I wish I could throw my homework into outer space. I am as angry as a rhino getting attacked."

Grades 1–3
Writing
The Day I Cheered My Friend Up
by Sherilyn, 826LA, Presented by: Cartoon Network

A story about what to do when one witnesses bullying.

Narrative

"Once, I saw my friend getting bullied by a boy. She became sad as a rainy day."

Personal Narratives

Grades 11–12
Writing
I Took My First Steps...
by Maria, Grade 12, 826 Boston

In this public narrative, a student makes the case for creating community change by building youth centers in her neighborhood.

Narrative
Persuasive

"I took my first steps in a small farming village in the northern part of Greece named Loudias."

Grades 11–12
Writing
I Cannot Be Defined
by Alexis G., Grade 11, Novato, CA

In this narrative, the author uses vibrant language to explore their identity, in all its complexity, through different landscapes.

Memoir
Narrative

"I cannot be defined as one place, one clear image in your mind."

Grade 12
Writing
Finding My Wings
by Camille, Grade 12, 826LA

A student finds her wings in unexpected places in this piece about the transition to college.

Memoir
Narrative

"The Lancaster evening was bitter cold by my Southern California girl standards..."

Grades 9–10
Writing
Retrospect
by Kevin G., Grade 10, 826 Valencia

This narrative calls us to see the world through the perspectives of others.

Narrative

"It was like I was in a movie. A bad one. Moving slowly, hearing an echo of my dad’s voice, my body felt cold. My smile was gone."

Grades 11–12
Writing
History and Me
by Corazón, Grade 11, 826 New Orleans

In this essay, a student threads their identity across cultures, histories, and places, engaging with legacies of violence and the movement of people.

Memoir
Narrative

"They never think to ask if I’m Latina and they never guess I’m from Jamaica—speech lessons bleached out my accent long ago."

Giving Thanks: Student Odes

Grade 8
Writing
Ode to My Grandfather
by Amara, 826 New Orleans

An ode celebrating an important figure in this student’s life.

Poetry

"If my grandfather were A rainbow I would follow him Until I found a pot of gold"

Grade 4
Writing
An Ode to Tacos
by Jonathan Rivera Navarro, 826 Valencia

This poem celebrates and mourns a taco.

Poetry

"Oh, shiny, blue taco eyes, I lick the eyeballs like a lollipop. Blue taco eyes, like blue Airheads, you taste like my dream."

Grades 6–7
Writing
Ode to Sonia Melara
by Jose Martin Gomez, 826 Valencia

This poem celebrates a special person in the writer's life.

Poetry

"Dear brave Sonia Melara You are responsible for accomplishing goals as an executive director You make the world bright like the stars"

Grades 4–5
Writing
Beans, Rice, and Chicken
by Victor, 826 Valencia

An ode to Beans, Rice, and Chicken.

Poetry

"Oh Beans, Rice, and Chicken, you give people energy to control their bodies. You keep me alive."

Grades 8–9
Writing
Shout-Out Poem
by Anjum, 826CHI

A shout-out poem to some things missed (Hyderabad) and celebrated (Mom).

Poetry

"Here’s to my best friend Mahek, because when I am sad or bored she cracks jokes and makes me happy."

“It feels good to have my voice out there and that I have left a mark on this world, even if it's small.”
- Brandon R.
Grade 11, 826LA
“I think the biggest impact it has had on me is the realization that other people see the writing I do. Other people can also refer to me as a writer, and it's not just me. It makes me want to improve and do better.”
- Bless A.
Grade 9, 826 Boston
“It always feels like an honor when someone shares their writing because writing is a physical form of somebody's vulnerability and it's special to see that when I get the chance.”
- Justis P.
Grade 9, 826 Boston
“[Being published is important] because our voices need to be forefronted if we want to reimagine this world.”
- Anton J.
Grade 12, 826 MSP

Fill Your Bookshelf

When we publish our students’ writing, something magical happens. Students see their ideas reflected in something tangible and begin to see themselves as authors with words worth reading. See the magic in action by checking out 826-published books that will feel right at home on any bookshelf.