Challenge grid v. the speakeasy

The challenge grid is for the traditional blog anecdote and personal essay. The speakeasy is for fiction and poetry. If you’re here for the first time, welcome! Please have a look around, click a few links and, if it seems like a good fit for you and your writing, feel free to join us below on the challenge grid or over at the speakeasy. We love virgins.

Invitational grid

This one is by invitation only and remains private for editor selections until it’s revealed on Thursday as popular voting opens on the challenge grid. We choose submissions from the challenge grid as well as from blogs we may discover in other spaces. We can’t always predict what will be selected, but we always know what won’t be selected, and we’ve made a handy checklist to help you avoid common pitfalls.

Writing for an audience

When you’re writing for an online audience and, specifically, writing for the yeah write weekly writing challenge, what happens when your confidence takes a big hit? Writing for the editors, writing for the others on the grid, writing for the casual surfer who may stumble over your post—it’s hard not to feel the pressure to perform. Every week, it feels like you’re bringing your best stuff, yet you’re constantly landing near the bottom of the grid. How can you get it right?

You keep writing. Writers who blog don’t know how to do anything else, really. Keep writing, keep asking questions, keep chasing the one main idea of your post until it dies from exhaustion at your feet. Research what “show, don’t tell” means. Understand the subtleties of conflict, climax and denouement as they relate to a 750-word blog post. Read your work aloud. Understand a million people every minute are doing the very thing you are writing about in this very moment—what will make us care it’s happening to you? Share that with us in thoughtful, unpretentious language. 

It’s a snapshot, a little peek

Writing about your baby’s first steps? Look at the socks she’s wearing. Where did you get them? Did someone give them to you? Who? What’s your relationship like with this person who gives you baby socks? What do you wish most for that person? Think hard: what do you wish most for that person? Write that story. Tell us about that. Don’t even mention the socks or the baby. It’s a snapshot, a little peek, not the next Lord of the Rings trilogy. Something that, among all the things done a million times a day like buying baby socks, can be told only by you. Be concise, connect with your reader without manipulating your reader, turn to the person in the next cubicle or in the bed with you and ask “how does this sound?” Insist on and wait for an honest answer.

You’re the only one on the grid

Yeah write never wants to bum you out or make you feel less of a writer. It’s meant to give you a reason to keep writing, to keep practicing in the spirit of accomplishment. It’s easy to get caught up in the popular vote, wanting to win its validation, but I’d rather see myself getting better as a writer each week instead of “writing to the votes.” Let the voting do what it do. Get caught up instead in the community spirit of yeah write as if there were a million posts on the grid, and focus on your writing as if yours is the only one.

Odds, ends, reminders


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  • Your post can be dated no earlier than Feb 3, the day the yeah write #95 badges were officially posted
  • The grid is going old school and is going back to its original schedule of opening Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. and closing Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
  • It is, once again, limited to 50 bloggers
  • Voting will take place all day Thursday from midnight to Friday at midnight
  • The winners’ post will be published at noon on Friday
  • Our new weekend grid will open Friday at 6 p.m. and close Monday by 12:01 a.m. Full details in an upcoming post
  • No self-promotional posts are allowed on the yeah write grid, including those containing links to other blog events and Internet contests
  • Combining your yeah write post with other blog events meant to maximize your exposure and minimize your effort is a no-no. We feel used, then 8 out of 9 of your favorite yeah write editors start day drinking. Save our livers and our feelings


Your chance to support yeah write

[image width=”200″ height=”183″ align=”right” lightbox=”true” caption=”” title=””][/image]The focus at yeah write should be (and is) its close-knit community and its learning environment. We don’t load advertisements on our pages or distract from our visitors’ experience with sponsored posts. Participating in yeah write has always been free and, for certain subscribers, it always will be.

It takes real money to run this thing, though, and for those of you who would like to donate toward the upkeep of this community, we are introducing the monthly subscription. For five dollars a month, you will help keep yeah write operating each week, ad-free. You can subscribe one month at a time or change the quantity on the subscription form to 2–12 (or 1,000) months at a time and pay for your monthly subscriptions all at once. 

For those of you who’ve already become a supporting subscriber, we give thanks. For those of you ready to support us, here’s the link to the necessary details

Bring us your best stuff

Bring us your best stuff when you know it’s gonna be the best on the grid. 

Yeah write #95 is open for submissions…