Yeah write virgins!
There were three virgins on the grid this week! Thank you to everyone who’s been spreading the good word of yeah write and thanks to the virgins for working your way around the grid. Please join us again next week. If you made your way here through our NaBloPoMo grid, thanks for getting extra into it. That’s some blogging commitment.
Virgin trivia: two of the three won prize badges this week.
One writer from the challenge grid submitted a complete yeah write vote-o-rama tracking spreadsheet. Her votes, along with four yeah write editors, combined for this week’s jury panel prize. Thanks, everybody, for your hard work.
Let’s do some mathin’
Real quickly, let’s put your editor scores into perspective. There were five scoring readers, writers or editors this week. So if you take your total score beneath your thumbnail and divide it by five, you’ll get an idea of where you landed in the yeah write criteria.
Intangibles, such as a reader’s emotional connection to the theme of the piece, can sometimes override pure numbers and push the reader toward selecting an actual favorite from lower scoring entries. Which is how editors’ picks very often than not come from the middle of the grid instead of the top.
- 12 The author meets all of the criteria for a winning yeah write submission
- 10-11 The author meets most of the criteria for a winning yeah write submission
- 7-9 The author meets more than half of the criteria for a yeah write submission
- 6 The author meets half of the criteria for a winning yeah write submission
- 3-5 The author meets few of the criteria for a winning yeah write submission
- 0-2 The author does not meet the criteria for a winning yeah write submission
We each take notes on the entries, which I call liner notes. For the managing editor’s pick and the jury prize winner, those liner notes will replace the summaries written on the picks by our contributing editors so you can get a better feel for our thought processes.
[divider_header_h3]Jury prize winner[/divider_header_h3]
[image width="200" height="200" align="left" lightbox="true" caption="" title=""]http://yeahwrite.me/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/83jury.png[/image]
Editor 1 liner notes: Lovely opening framing paragraph. Flows perfectly from para to para, from past to present. Gorgeous final paragraph.
Editor 2 liner notes: …definitely have to mark off on the grammar front: punctuation outside quotation marks when it should be inside and some pronoun confusion (“between you and I” should be between you and me—me is the object here). I can see that this post meets all of the other requirements, but once my happy trance gets shattered by grammatical sloppiness, I just can’t go back.
Editor 3 liner notes: I liked it, but sheesh. Give us some more details about this Alejandrina. I feel like there was a paragraph cut by accident or something.
Voters’ mean average: 10.4
[divider_header_h3]contributing editors picks[/divider_header_h3]
[image width="125" height="130" align="left" lightbox="true" caption="" title=""]http://yeahwrite.me/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Kristin_profile.jpg[/image]
I’m choosing the post from Close Families, Braver Than I. I enjoyed following the author around as she scrounged for appropriate clothing and worried about how her son would fare in front of a large group. I think the contrasting of the two families – one with all the right clothes and a mom who said all the right things, and the other with more realistic closest and reactions—worked well. There was a lack of resentment, which I appreciated. And in the end, when the author’s son has impressed the room and life has gone back to normal, she realizes her son is braver than she thought. And I’d disagree about his being braver than she’s ever been – considering the honesty and storytelling in her post. Bravery comes in all mediums.
In developing this story, I’d suggest concentrating on that night and leaving the flashback in the beginning and the “back to normal” commentary out at the end. I think the story is stronger on its own. There’s actually enough for two stories in this post!
Voters’ mean average: 9.4
[image width="125" height="130" align="left" lightbox="true" caption="" title=""]http://yeahwrite.me/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Reedster_profile.jpg[/image]
Sometimes lost in my critiques of story structure is a discussion of the actual words that make up a post. And a post can be a perfectly ordered story with a beginning, middle, and end, and it might have a big so-what and a central conflict. But if the words aren’t simple and honest and true? Well, it isn’t a model of the yeah write story we seek. In “Some Heroes Don’t Like to Talk About It” from Ruminations on Love & Lunchmeat, it’s the words that elevate this affecting story about her grandfather from an ordinary anecdote to the sublime.
The words here develop a complex character —a man who wears “mismatched clothes” and carries a “well-worn wallet” while sitting in his “overstuffed chair” in his “pink and green living room.” A man who tolerates his grandkids’ silly antics, but who hides his heroism behind stories of flying unicorns and jumping out windows on his wedding night. A man with secrets we will never learn, but whose depth is obvious, as is the affection of his granddaughter, the author.
It was the dress, though, that brought tears to my eyes. The dress that “reeks of funerals and unanswered questions” and “imperfect memory.” It’s stunning writing that never manipulates us with emotion; writing that, by its authenticity, evokes a world of feelings that the narrator trusts us to work through on our own. After reading all the posts on the grid, it’s this story that will stay with me and gnaw at me a bit for some time to come.
[divider_header_h3]managing editor’s pick[/divider_header_h3]
[image width="125" height="130" align="left" lightbox="true" caption="" title=""]http://yeahwrite.me/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Erica_profile.jpg[/image]
Erica’s quick note: Obviously, as you read the other editors’ input, my choice will seem out of line with their comments. A winning post doesn’t have to be perfect, and this one was not, but the intangibles were all there to justify its selection: Gina’s passion for her subject, her willingness to edit and re-edit the post even after its publication on her blog, little turns of phrase giving us a peek into her personal life without alienating her readers with inside jokes. She made me wish I’d known her mother-in-law even though I already got a mama. And a stepmom. And a mother-in-law. Reader connection is always important.
Editor 1 liner notes: Writing is a bit pedestrian (laugh so hard /pee in pants not very creative; use of exclamation point). Could have started story later, then harked back to Nan’s personality. Great photo. Could have used editing.
Editor 2 liner notes: It would have been a great story with some editing and smoothing and snipping. Also, if she wants to make it into a spiritual “I knew something wasn’t right!” it needs to be adjusted for voice/tone.
Editor 3 liner notes: A nice tribute to Gina’s mother-in-law (and a great photo) but WAY too long. Mercy!
Voters’ mean average: 8.6
In no particular order, these bloggers were mentioned in the editors’ notes as close runners-up (so many pseudonymous/eponymous bloggers this week, I’m reduced to using only first names for consistency):
New winners’ badges
Jury prize winner, editor’s pick and top row three badges are all over in the sidebar. If you won one, grab one. Congratulations!
The thumbnails are now sorted in the grid from most editor points awarded to the least.
In the case of a tie, the thumbnails are additionally sorted by page views. Do not be discouraged if your blog has landed near the bottom of the grid; just getting on the grid is an accomplishment these days. The fun lies in getting better exposure for your blog and in the spirit of competition as incentive to improve your writing and blogging skills. It’s a win-win for everybody involved.
Thanks again, everybody, for linking up, for reading, for accepting the weekly challenge. And for making yeah write the most welcoming spot on the Interwebs for writers who blog and bloggers who write.
Yeah write #84 opens Tuesday. Bring your best stuff. Until then, please stop by Flood’s speakeasy for even more posts to read and enjoy.