Welcome to the fiction and poetry challenge at yeah write

My high school English teacher junior year was a character. Always coated in chalk dust, he would talk to the pigeons outside and sometimes frighten us with a decades-old, desiccated Twinkie he kept in his desk drawer. Though I’m still not sure about the point of all his theatrics, I especially remember how he would challenge us. Linking verbs were discouraged, and gerunds were our “friends.” We were not allowed to use any version of the verb form “to be” in our essays. As a result, I learned to turn out essays, research papers and eventually my thesis without any appearance of “is” or “was.” Not easy at first, after years of ruthless editing and flipping of sentence structures, I got to be pretty good at it. I learned to use more precise verbs, and my writing improved exponentially.

The point of this story? Challenge yourself. You can be a better writer, but only if you put in the elbow grease and scrub. You don’t need an eccentric English teacher to push you (though that does help).

Want to know where to start? Ask yourself:

What’s that in the shadows?

This optional prompt is to serve as your inspiration for your fiction or poetry. Use the question, word for word, in your story or poem, or just answer the question. Try and imagine a very specific “that” lurking in the shadows: is it a Grendel-like monster? A revolutionary idea? Bedbugs? Be specific. Already have your own story thought up? No problem! The prompt is only there if you need it.

How yeah write works

We’ve got three competitive challenge grids — nonfiction, fiction|poetry and microstories. They are all moderated. Submissions which do not meet our editorial guidelines will not be passed through to the voting grid.

You can learn more about yeah write in our FAQ.

Want more info?

Is this your first time here? Check out Sunday’s post which kicked off the week here at yeah write. If you don’t think you can remember to check back every Sunday, you can sign up for our email blasts directly to your inbox.

Have questions you can’t find the answer to by poking around the site?  Email us or find us on Facebook and Twitter and we’ll happily help you out.

The fiction|poetry challenge is open for submissions!