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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.

Joy
Power
Confidence
Pride
Honor
their words
Reimagine
this world
Raise
your voice
Write
the future

Find Student Writing

Our writing collections feature student writing on diverse topics from diverse authors. Browse, enjoy, and discover representative mentor texts to inspire your students to write. Find more student writing in our RESOURCE LIBRARY.

Black Lives Matter

Grades 11–12
Writing
My Black
by Keyshana, Grade 11, 826CHI

Black strength, beauty, and pride soar in this poem as a student discusses overcoming brutality and discrimination.

Poetry

"My Black is not afraid anymore. My Black is stronger than before. My Black are leaders, believers, and dreamers. My Black will take no more, And for that, we will soar."

Grades 11–12
Writing
Wrong Black Boy
by Oriel, 826NYC

In this poem, an echoing question strikes a chord and reveals the tragic loss held within systemic injustice.

Poetry

"Will my brother make it home tonight? Or will he be caught at the wrong place at the wrong time? Just another Donnell Thompson."

Grades 7–8
Writing
Who I Am
by Duanté, 826 Valencia

A personal narrative about race and identity.

Poetry

"When my mom picked me up, I jumped in our long black car and told her what happened and her first response was, 'I don’t care what any of those kids say. You’re black, don’t let nobody tell you nothin’ different.'"

Grades 9–12
Writing
Racial Autobiography
by Bianca Morcho, 826 MSP

A personal essay that explores the different shades of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Memoir
Narrative

"While Goerge Floyd's death was tragic, it shouldn’t just be tragic to me because I’m Black. I firmly believe that as a human it should be tragic to see a fellow human die in such a horrible way. It felt like I was expected to give out the mystical “not racist” approval stamp."

Grades 9–12
Writing
The Achilles Heel
by Salma Khalif, 826 MSP

A powerful poem that lifts up Black women.

Poetry

"It's ok, Black Women, it's okay. If your counterparts won't protect you, Then I will. Let go of the invisible burden on your shoulder And rest on me."

Grade 8
Writing
Chicago Is My Voice
by Kiara, 826CHI

In this personal narrative, a student explores growing up young and black in Chicago.

Memoir
Narrative

"For me, it’s hard to be a young black girl. I don’t feel safe around people that make fun of my skin color and don’t know who I truly am. Nowadays, I want to relive my younger days when I didn’t have to worry as much. I was free to love everything. Getting older, I notice everything. I feel more responsible and alone."

The Many Shapes of Love

Grades 4–5
Writing
Relationship Poem
by Erriyanna, 826michigan

An epic poem about a younger sister. English and Spanish versions included.

Poetry

"Jlaya is bad. She’s kind of bad. She’s not that bad, though. She’ll terrorize your house. She reads a book and leaves it on the floor. And she is one."

Grade 5
Writing
Dance
by Elena, 826michigan

Thinking of Cherry Coke lip gloss, community, and dancing, this narrator celebrates life from their front stoop.

Poetry

"I love to dance. I love to feel like I'm shining, because I know I'm awesome. When I dance, I always feel awesome."

Grades 6, 9
Writing
Cinnamon the Corgi
by Claire Leiva, Grade 6, 826michigan

A poem about the writer's favorite animal--corgis!

Poetry

"I love corgis! I don’t know how to express my love for them. If I had a corgi, I would name her Cinnamon."

Grade 6
Writing
Dear Mom
by Najah, 826 MSP

A student appreciates and reflects on her mother's kindness over the years.

Narrative

"Dear Mom, I want you to know, You mean the entire world to me. You’re not just my mother, you’re my best friend too. You are always by my side to give me support, confidence, and help."

Grade 1
Writing
Love
by Lanae, 826 New Orleans

A poem about giving and receiving love.

Poetry

"I love my dad And my dad loves me I love Akira And Akira loves me"

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 8
Writing
Gift of Love
by Samuel Wang, 826NYC

A poem about the complexity of love exchanged during the holidays.

Poetry

"Reunited at last The two see stars run past The bells ring; the stars shine Magic of the luminous and divine"

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.

The Future is Female: Powerful Voices and Visions

Grades 9–10
Writing
An Indescribable Place
by by Samantha Wint, Grade 9, 826 Valencia

This poem uses metaphors and similes to explore many dualities of the narrator's life.

Poetry

"I am the definition of self-made. From my open-minded spirit like the valleys in California that go on and on for years to my independence like a lion queen running her pack."

Grades 5–6
Writing
Life Before and After Becoming President
by by Kelis, 826michigan

This student describes what it would be like to become the first female president, campaigning on education for all, friendlier attitudes, more food and housing, and snow days!

Informational
Narrative

"When I become president, I would like for every single child to get their full education. I would also like for the people to have more food and more housing."

Grade 8
Writing
Confused
by by Anonymous, Grade 8, 826 Boston

In this poem, a student reflects on identity.

Poetry

"I am a young woman! I don’t know what it means yet, I act like a child. My body is a pretty perfect young woman who knows what she wants but my mind is a little girl."

Grade 8
Writing
Wage Gap: Who Does It Affect?
by by Xaria, 826 Valencia

An argument against the wage gap that prevails in the U.S. and across the globe.

Informational
Persuasive

"'Oh,' you may say, 'I know the wage gap! It’s gone in the U.S. now, right?' It is nowhere close to gone."

Grade 8
Writing
Women United: Stand Together Against Being Critiqued
by by Elizabeth W., 826 Valencia

A persuasive piece for women and girls to unite and cultivate a culture of body image positivity.

Memoir
Narrative

"How can we make a difference? We need to eliminate the stereotypes. Women and girls don’t need to walk around unconfident or afraid of being rejected."

Grade 10
Writing
Woman
by by Jahruwach Hamilton, 826NYC

In this rousing poem, a student asserts her strength and worth as a woman.

Poetry

"I am every color of the rainbow and every flavor of ice cream I am kissed by the sun and hugged by the moon I am chaos and peace and everything in between"

Writing for Change

Grades 3–5, 9–12
Writing
The Girl With the Sweater
by Jekaya, 826 Boston

A student reflects on what it takes to stand up to bullies and speak up for others.

Narrative

"My mom and I were on a crowded bus and I saw a girl named Penny. She was wearing a sweater that had a big eye on it and it was moving. Yes, it was a googly eye. Penny was also getting bullied by three big boys and I wondered, “Should I go say something?”

Grades 6–7
Writing
The Fight for Civil Rights in the Bathroom
by Satis, 826 Valencia

A student argues for the importance of transgender rights in response to current events.

Informational
Persuasive

"Can you imagine being picked on or verbally or physically abused in the bathroom? Can you imagine going to the opposite one because the law forced you to? This is a reality for many people in America."

Grades 9–12
Writing
Giving Shelter
by Steysi Hailee, 826LA

A student reflects on a small moment and single sacrifice that transformed her outlook on giving.

Narrative

"As I walked to my house, I kept remembering the man’s expression and how I felt fulfilled by doing something good for someone without expecting any benefits. I found myself skipping and jumping in the rain, enjoying the feeling that I had and embracing the fact that people who do good feel good."

Grades 9–10
Writing
The Rez Girls Are Powerful
by Navayah, 826 MSP

Through redefining a label, a student reclaims a piece of their identity.

Poetry

"At my last school we had to have a partner. So this girl, her skin was way lighter than me. She had to work with me but she didn’t want to."

Grades 1–3, 9–10
Writing
The Day I Cheered My Friend Up
by Sherilyn, 826LA

A story about what to do when one witnesses bullying.

Narrative

"Kindness is important because it could make someone feel really happy when they are sad. If you want to be friends then ask instead of bullying someone to get her attention because it is more kind."

Grade 6
Writing
Save the Penguins, Save Ourselves
by Jacore, 826 Valencia

An intriguing and educational essay discussing environmental consciousness and the devastating effects of global warming.

Informational

"Why should kids care about global warming? How will global warming affect us? How does what we do affect global warming? And how do we fix it?"

“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.