Labor Day micro challenge

Here in the U.S., it’s Labor Day week (September 5, 2016), and we thought we’d take advantage of the holiday to mix it up a little with a micro challenge. Let’s call it Throwback Tuesday, to early 2016. If you’re looking for something new to try or you’re missing our old challenge, read on!

As long as I’m doing teasers, registration for our next super challenge opens this Friday. This one will be for all you fictioneers out there, so don’t miss out on any updates. Sign up for our mailer today! We promise not to spam you.

If you have a story to share this week, be sure to read the submission guidelines before you press post. Have a favorite yeah writer or two? Why not ask them to be your writing partner? Everyone needs another set of eyes to point out the typos, content errors, and ungainly phraseologies in our posts. Stop by the coffeehouse and meet some of the people behind the words!

4+42 = microstory

Missing our micro?  The microstories challenge is back this week for a special encore. All you have to do is complete this story in 42 more words (for a total of 46):

The War was over.

That’s right. Just start with the prompt sentence and write 42 more words, for a total of 46. Then slap the special YW #282 micro badge on it and link up to the regular fiction|poetry grid.

Tips and tricks:

Be original. Take us someplace we don’t expect to go. Maybe “War” means your parents’ divorce, or yours, or maybe it means a civil war in outer space. Just remember that we should be able to tell what the War is, and what the sides were, when you’re done editing!

Pay attention to tense and phrasing. Don’t just run blithely on in present tense if the prompt is in past tense. You only have 42 – well, 46 – words, so little errors look huge in comparison.

If you’re writing a piece set in real history, pay attention to details. Google the battle you’re talking about, and take a good look at the area. Heck, look at Google Earth or Street View to get a sense of the place you’re describing. Nothing jars a reader out of your story faster than a manzanita tree in Australia.

Write, edit, edit some more. Nonfictioneers, this is your jam: how much information can you pack into the fewest words? Use coded phrases. Imply. Set a scene in as few words as possible. This isn’t the place for extraneous adjectives; it’s the spot for your perfectly chosen five dollar words with their precise meanings.

Correctly hyphenated words count as one word. “My five-year-old daughter” is three words, but “My daughter, at five years old,” is six. Yes, even if you say “my daughter, at five-years-old.” Because that’s wrong. (We’re on the fiction|poetry grid, though, so kennings also count as one word.)

Prompt up!

Prompt up is our optional weekly writing prompt for the fiction|poetry challenge! Here’s how it works: we choose a sentence prompt from last week’s winning nonfiction post and announce it in the kickoff. It’s your job to use that prompt in your poem or story and then run with it. The prompt is just a springboard, though: feel free to use it as your first sentence, move it, change it, or float down it to other territories.

With two young children around, Danielle can’t catch a moment’s peace. This week’s prompt, taken from her essay Could I Please Pee In Peace?, is: She put it in the trashcan.

Nonfiction know-how and poetry slam are back!

This month, Rowan offers up some advice on how to know when enough is enough in your writing, and let’s stretch our rhyming and scansion muscles with a short form of poetry called the triolet.

Yeah write #282 fiction|poetry writing challenge is open for submissions!

Basic yeah write guidelines: 750 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; fiction or poetry only.

How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:

  1. In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the challenge grid badge and paste it into the HTML view of your entry
  2. Follow the InLinkz instructions after clicking “add your link” to upload your entry to this week’s challenge grid
  3. Your entry should appear immediately on the grid if you don’t receive an error message
  4. Please make the rounds to read all the entries in this week’s challenge
  5. Consider turning off moderated comments and CAPTCHA on your own blog

Submissions for this week’s challenges will close on Wednesday at 10pm ET. Voting will then open immediately thereafter and close on Thursday at 10pm ET. The winners, as always, will be celebrated on Friday.

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