yeah write #93 weekly writing challenge grids are open: speakeasy, original challenge and invitational

Writing it 0ut

Ever read a short story called Twenty Minutes? Written by James Salter, it’s from the excellent collection Dusk and Other Stories. The story moves swiftly through twenty minutes of a woman’s life while sketching all the years that came before and is full of stark, magnificent sentences. I took a class from Mr. Salter and I’m sure I learned something. But twenty years later, this is what I remember: he liked his martinis with pearl onions in the bottom of the glass. He kept a jar of them in his car, in case he found himself stranded with an inadequate martini.

Salter wrote by moving a pen across a piece of paper, then typing and retyping. He once told the Paris Review that many of his peers had suggested he try writing on a computer. He said, “I find that the ease of moving a paragraph is not really what I need. I need the opportunity to write this sentence again, to say it to myself again, to look at the paragraph once more, and actually to go through the whole text, line by line, very carefully, writing it out.”

“Writing it out” can mean reading it aloud to your cat. Or asking yourself and your cat, “What exactly is the ‘so what’ here?” It may mean emailing a draft to one of your yeah write pals and asking for some feedback before you hit the “publish” button. Or reading something like “Twenty Minutes” as a star to steer by. Before you link up this week, go over your post one more time; we’ll wait right here with our excellent bathtub-gin martinis.

The speakeasy is for poetry and fiction submissions

The speakeasy works off an opening sentence prompt and an influencing photograph. If fiction or poetry is your thing, you should check it out. If fiction or poetry is not your thing, try writing a paragraph off the opening prompt as a warm-up before your next nonfiction post; you may fall in love. This week, there’s a chance to earn a $25 Amazon gift card. And, if you bring someone new to the speakeasy, Flood will create a custom photo for your blog. For a past contest, she created photos for the header at Chicken Noodle Gravy. Her images are also at work  in the headers at Ice Scream Mama and free fringes.

Challenge grid

What you need for the challenge grid: a classic yeah write post and the willingness to read about forty other classic yeah write posts.  Some time logged reading our submission guidelines and FAQ. And some more time to come back and vote fairly for a crowd favorite on Thursday.  Yeah write virgins: welcome!  We hope you’ll find it’s time well spent.

Invitational grid

The best posts with the most compelling so whats will be moved by the yeah write editors onto the invitational grid, from which a jury prize will be selected.  Invitational grid posts also remain on the challenge grid.  While you’re reading aloud to your cat and retyping drafts, please consult this checklist.  The invitational grid won’t be made public until popular voting opens on Thursday.

Yeah write #93 weekly writing challenge is open. Bring us your best stuff if you know it’s gonna be the best on the grid.


9 Responses to “yeah write #93 weekly writing challenge grids are open: speakeasy, original challenge and invitational”

  1. I love the idea of reading to your cat. I read today that the this term’s brilliant inaugural poet read outside, to snowmen, to get used to speaking in the cold weather. I am a huge proponent for reading your post aloud (some of you might remember my love letters, begging you to read aloud, listening for run-on sentences, awkward phrasing or distracting grammar). It’s the number one way to get the best out of your stuff.

    Great post, Louise!

    • Reading outside to snowmen. . .what a beautiful image. But also a practical and excellent thing to do. I’ll add to reading-aloud that it’s also helpful to print out a post before publishing; I always find things (bad things, that is) on the printed page that I don’t see on my computer screen.

      • Yes! I tell my students not to turn anything in until they’ve read it out loud. You catch so many things – awkward phrasing, repeated words, weird tense changes, fancy words that people never actually say, etc., etc.

  2. Louise – great post, great recommendations for writers. When we blog, it’s so easy to do so in a vacuum and hit publish like we are just saving a Word document. Thanks for encouraging us all to take an extra step or two, and strive for excellence.

    • Thanks, Cindy! I think those of us who participated in the yeah write summer series enjoyed all the great instruction and the resulting high-quality posts; that’s what I had in mind, anyway. I enjoyed the pressure to do better and I’m still happy with the posts I submitted those weeks — that alone was worth some extra work.


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