Welcome to yeah write #149 weekly writing challenge
Is this your first time here? Welcome to your new writing community! Please have a look around. If it seems like a good fit for you, we’d love for you to join the challenge grid with a non-fiction essay or join the speakeasy with a prompted fiction story. Getting lost in all the awesomeness? Please email us and we’ll help you on your way.
Beginning, emerging and experienced writers gather here in one spot
We write these opening posts with all of our writers in mind. If you’re good to go, feel free to submit to the moderated queue and start reading the others. If you’re in need of loving encouragement, read this post to the end because you’re awesome.
This is the third week for the moderated grid. The submissions last week were even better than the last, and we want to carry that forward. I’ve said this before about blogging, but it bears repeating: when you know you have to get past moderation, you may think twice about publishing. If you routinely thought twice before, maybe now you think three times. This week, let’s go for four times.
I know the urge to hit publish is strong. It’s your blog, you can do what you want. Isn’t that the beauty of self-publishing? It is, and no one here at yeah write wants to take that from you. What we do want is to encourage you to aim even higher. Don’t just submit your best work, shoot to be the best on the grid. Where did you land in the vote last week? Shoot for a higher row this week. You can do it, we know you can.
There are always lessons to be learned
Some of the submission guidelines, like staying within the word count,submitting only non-fiction entries or submitting entries written solely for yeah write, are pretty obvious. Some, though, like the so what, are a little harder to put a finger on. Let’s take a minute to talk about a few common reasons submissions could be returned:
First, you’ve got to stick the landing. You can give a great performance, but if you don’t have a solid ending, your readers will feel let down. You don’t have to wrap everything up in a neat little bow or hit us over the head with a conclusion of how you feel. Conversely, a cliffhanger ending, while sometimes a useful tool, can betray your conclusion as a non-ending. Endings are not easy, and there’s no magic formula. Ask yourself: is the story finished or am I just finished writing it? There’s a difference and it’s up to you to find it.
Next, let your post sit. This can be the answer to nearly all of our writing woes. Whether your opening isn’t engaging, you can’t figure out how to wrap it up, or you’re not sure how to incorporate some necessary details or back story into the middle, you can’t go wrong letting your work rest until it comes to you. If it’s not ready, it’s not ready. Publishing a good-enough draft is the same as serving under-cooked food to your dinner guests. Whether it takes you three more hours or three more weeks, give it time. Cooking times may vary.
Finally, the so what. Have you read Deb Quinn’s yeah write essay that started it all? If not, go do it right now. We’ll wait, it’s that significant to what we do here. Writing what we know and writing relatable pieces for an audience are both important. But somewhere in there, you need to make it stand apart from every other story on the same subject. Kids growing up, parents getting old, our own mortality—these are all powerful ideas, but if you ask yourself why you’re telling it, and you don’t have a reason other than because it happened, you’re not getting to the heart of it.
Having the most flowery prose or using the biggest words won’t make the story more powerful. Retelling in Pig Latin the story of your one-year-old getting cake all over her face at her birthday party won’t make it any more interesting. Strip away the gimmicks and, if the story still stands, you’ll know you have something worth sharing.
How many votes will we have this week?
When we get to 30 or more entries on the challenge grid, a separate grid called the invitational opens, and the yeah write editors select their favorites with the jury prize being chosen as the best submission of the week.
We don’t always get to 30, and that’s okay. We always lean toward quality over quantity. But, no matter what, we will host a popular vote which is not about popularity at all. Yeah write does not host a clicking contest. We believe in voting fairly, on merit, and only after you’ve read every single entry on the grid that week. To help you focus on the best of the best, the number of votes available are based on the number of entries:
- 01-10 submissions: one vote
- 11-20 submissions: two votes
- 21-30 submissions: three votes
- 31-40 submissions: four votes
- 41-50 submissions: five votes
We even made a new badge to reflect how, with this scaled voting, the top row may not always be five bloggers. Could be four. Might be three. We’d love it to be five, though. Tell your friends about us. Make it happen.
Road trip to Tipsy Lit!
Remember last week when we invited Tipsy Lit, a writer’s community run by Ericka Clay, to join us at yeah write? Well, this week, we’re heading over to their place! This week’s prompt is up and ready for you to work your magic. If you decide to compete in the Tipsy Lit prompted fiction challenge this week, let us know in comments, and we’ll support you like only yeah write can. Good luck!
Are you a member of a writing forum or a literary blogging community? Please leave a link with your friends over there telling them all about us. If you don’t have another writing home online, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook where you can easily share or retweet us. The more we grow, the more we can learn from one another. Your endorsement of what we’re doing here is invaluable.
Odds, ends, reminders
- The badge you will need to add to your planned submission is over in the sidebar
- This immediate past Sunday is the earliest your submission can be dated
- Your post can be no longer than 600 words
- Personal essays or traditional blog anecdotes only
- There are no weekly prompts; the topic is yours. Be compelling
- The grid is open from Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. to Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
- There is voting. Voting will take place Thursday from midnight to 10:00 p.m. US eastern
- The challenge grid is limited to 50 bloggers
- The winners’ post will be published by noon on Friday
- No self-promotional posts are allowed on the yeah write grid, including those containing links to other blog events and Internet contests
Yeah write #149 is open…