yeah write #73 is open: September is family-free month on the challenge grid

yeah write #73 is open: September is family-free month on the challenge grid

yeah write #73 is open: September is family-free month on the challenge grid

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“”Before finalizing our plans for summer vacation, my boys and I managed to meet up with Navy SEAL Team 6 and kill Osama bin Laden.”

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“”While I was pushing my toddler through the park in his stroller, he began a line-for-line performance of Waiting for Godot, alternately speaking as the two main characters. He stuck out his sippy cup to passing strangers, and we made enough coin that afternoon to pay our utility bill.”

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“”My little brother, though he’s aware he’s adopted, and he knows he’s the love child of Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy, has no idea he was traded for a half-kilo of coke and a rare Cy Twombly line drawing my parents stole from a gallery opening in Santa Monica. A woman my dad knew only as Frieda brought Steven, this brand new baby, to our house on a Friday night. I remember it was snowing.”

If one of these stories or all of them belong to you, please ignore this month’s topic restrictions and lay it on us.

Don’t recognize yourself in any of them? Except for the words summer, stroller and adopted? It’s family-free month at yeah write for you.

We’re stretching our writing muscles while giving our audience a 30-day break from reading about our adorable children and perfectly wonderful significant others.  Moms, dads, sisters, brothers, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, the whole lot. Being tied to your subjects by blood, marriage or any legal family relationship is off the table, off the grid.

Submitting a piece of fiction propped up by a family theme? If none of your protagonists is a terrorist-killing playwright toddler who’d at some point been pushed through Princess Fiona’s vagina in exchange for uncut cocaine AND your story isn’t on the Man Booker Prize shortlist, we’re gonna pass on publishing it.

Links you’ll need to get started, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve submitted an entry to the challenge grid:

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Flood’s speakeasy is not all the way family-free this month, but it is kid-free. 

Did you guys bring any virgins with you?

If someone new subscribes to the weekly email blast at your recommendation and gets published on the yeah write #73 challenge grid, the editors will toss your name into a jaunty fedora among others who do the same. Before the yeah write #73 winners’ post, we’ll draw the name of a winner and both that person and the guest will win a copy of Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little published by W.W. Norton, one of our challenge grid sponsors.

Open to U.S. residents only unless one of the random winners is willing to pay international postage.

The yeah write virgin must be new to the “yeah write is open” list as of today or by 9/6/2012 without being a current or former subscriber or, god forbid, having ever marked  a yeah write email as spam. The person recommending the virgin must be a current subscriber to the “yeah write is open” list as of 9/6/2012 or any date before the virgin subscribes. 

When the grid gets back to 50 published entries, we’re offering one writer a $100 Amazon gift card

Once we get back to a full grid of 50 published submissions, we will kick off a four-week challenge for the blogger with the most accumulated points earning a $100 Amazon gift card which I would recommend go toward the purchase of these 10 books suggested in this Brain Pickings article How to Read Like a Writer. We’ll get there with or without you. May as well be with you ‘cuz you’re witty and can tell a pretty good story.

The popular vote is suspended indefinitely

Opening the grid entries to a public, popular vote has been the hallmark of yeah write from its very beginning 18 months ago. There have always been pros and cons to it—pro: it’s our most effective marketing tool, con: it caused some people to have weekly nervous breakdowns—but it’s now become more trouble than it’s worth. Beginning this week, for the first time, yeah write voting is closed to the general Internets and the final grid order will depend solely on the the four contributing editors and me, the managing kahuna. This is not to say the popular vote will never return, but it’s gone for now. 

Since we no longer need an entire day for open voting and promotion, the grid will stay open for submissions until Thursday at 4 p.m. US eastern daylight time [-4 GMT]. 

In case you’re just now tuning into the post, you skimmer:

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  • No family posts. For the month.
  • No popular vote. For the foreseeable future.
  • Moderated submissions. Forever.
  • Challenge grid now closes on Thursday afternoons at 4 p.m. US eastern time [-4 GMT] instead of Wednesday night.

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All four yeah write editors are back and we’ve added one more

Please take the time to welcome Cindy Reed of The Reedster Speaks, our new contributing editor, who will be selecting her first official editor’s pick for Friday’s winners’ post along with Kristin, back-from-summer-hiatus Jen and me. Flood will design the winners’ custom photos and weigh in on the jury panel selection.

Kristin will tweet your submissions individually on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on when you were published, and I will figure out something to replace my traditional get out the vote tweets on Thursday since we’ve now closed challenge grid voting to all but the yeah write editors. Winners’ post published Friday at midnight.

Friday winners:

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  • editor’s pick by Erica M
  • contributing editor’s pick by Kristin W
  • contributing editor’s pick by Cindy R
  • jury panel selection by Erica, Kristin, Cindy, Jen and Flood

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Every single yeah write editor has faith in our writers. We know you can tell a very good story with a so-what without falling back on writing about your kids or family. I happen to the think the so-what is easier to find in a kid-free narrative, mainly because you won’t lose the plot in a mélange of cuteness sharing. Take your time and get it right because Flood can smell a submitted first draft six Canadian towns away. Third and fourth drafts are our friends, and you now have nearly an entire extra day before the grid closes. 

We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Yeah write #73 is open for submissions…

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About the Author

19 Comments

  • Emma @ Your Doctors Wife [Wed] 5 Sep 12 at 3:39 pm

    Yay! I made the grid this week! Just that is a grand accomplishment! Thank you!

  • Mamarific [Wed] 5 Sep 12 at 1:08 pm

    I love the idea of the family-free challenge. As much as I love the idea of a family-free trip to Hawaii to a deserted beach, where I can write in peace. Unfortunately, neither is happening for me this week! Will try for next week, though. Keep up the good work.

  • Kathy Kramer [Wed] 5 Sep 12 at 11:52 am

    It figures that for the first week of Child-Free Month, the only idea for a post I could come up with involved my kid. Granted, my child is almost 21 years old and no longer a kid, and I normally don’t write about him because he’s 21.

    Well, I’ll try again next week and see what I come up with. 🙂

    • Kristin [Wed] 5 Sep 12 at 2:11 pm

      Not the Packers? Or does the team count as family – judging from your Twitter page. 😉

  • Debbie McCormick [Wed] 5 Sep 12 at 11:38 am

    Change is good. Although I’m not sure why the popular vote caused so many problems.
    Is that a nice way of saying the ones that win popular vote are pretty much crap writing and should not be on the top of the grid? Of course I’m joking and this is meant to be lighthearted, but it does raise that question. Looking forward to this writing challenge. I’m going to submit a post about high school and there is one reference to my kids in the bottom paragraph that ties everything together. I’m hoping that doesn’t scratch me off the list.

    • Erica M [Wed] 5 Sep 12 at 11:41 am

      Thanks for the light-hearted joke. Your theory, however, is incorrect, haha. Referencing the kids to tie your conclusion to your post isn’t the same as making the post about your kids, so I think you’re good there. Just to be sure, I’m floating this exchange to our submissions editor. Thanks for submitting!

  • 50Peach [Tue] 4 Sep 12 at 12:00 pm

    I’ve so loved watching all the changes here – I started as a newbie back before the summer series, stuck with it through the summer series changes and now these new twists? Still here! All of the differences will be great to stretch us as writers/bloggers and I, for one, appreciate it! (Sorry, I still will not don the cheerleader outfit…CrossFit badass or no.)

  • Tomekha [Tue] 4 Sep 12 at 9:13 am

    Guuuuuuuys!!!! It won’t let me link up – I have the badge AND a link and it still say I don’t have a back link!!! *cries* *wails* *bawls* Heeeeelp.

    • Erica M [Tue] 4 Sep 12 at 10:06 am

      I see you over at the speakeasy. Did you get it figured out or are you having trouble linking to the challenge grid?

      • Tomekha [Tue] 4 Sep 12 at 10:19 am

        *embarrassed chuckle* Figured it out 🙂

  • Liz @ShiftlessMommie [Tue] 4 Sep 12 at 9:00 am

    I…just…the words…won’t come…So much…So very, very happy…tears.

  • deborah l quinn [Tue] 4 Sep 12 at 5:39 am

    way to throw it down!! I love the challenge of writing family-free; I think it’s great. Even though my children are the standard by which all other children are judged and found wanting, I’m joining the grid just for the sheer enabling constraint of having to leave the famdamily off the page.

  • Alison [Tue] 4 Sep 12 at 12:34 am

    I haven’t been here in a while (and I apologize for that) and wow, so many changes! Change is good, change moves worlds. So good on you, Erica!