Greetings, Earthlings!

Summer is almost here, and our thoughts are turning towards barbecues, vacations, and that ever-growing pile of books on our bedside tables. To be a writer is to be, above all, a reader, and yet it seems like there’s never enough time to do both. That’s why we love these gargleblasters: they’re perfectly sized for maximum enjoyment.

Speaking of summer, did you catch the teaser in yesterday’s kickoff post? (If you’re not on the yeah write e-mail list, by the way, you’re missing out! Sign up to stay on top of all the news.) Starting July 14, we’re collapsing all the grids into a single summer grid during the 2014 summer series. What’s the summer series? Think of it as a kind of clubhouse that gives you a safe space to ask for constructive criticism from your peers and the yeah write editors. Looking for a low-key way to share your work and get to know the writers on the other grids? The summer grid will accept submissions of all types (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, micro) as long as they are not commercial in nature. Looking to get serious about your writing? Sign up for a small group workshop with the editors or a one-on-one critique from Suzanne or Natalie. It’s going to be a blast.

All right — enough about the summer series. We know you’re here for this week’s ultimate question. This one comes from Alice Munro’s short story Postcard and was suggested by our own Erica M:

Did Grace say that, too?

Give us your answer in 42 words, but be creative. Don’t go where we expect you to. Don’t write down the first thing that comes to mind. Think, craft, edit, and craft some more. Give us your very best. Take a little time to think on it, if you need to. We’d rather have you hitchhike with a great response than post the first thing that comes to your head. That’s why we created the hitchhiker’s prize in the first place!

You don’t need to include the question in your 42-word response, and you should make sure your answer stands alone. What do we mean? Write down the question. Write down your response. Now cover the question with your hand and read your answer out loud. Does it still make sense when you don’t know the question? That’s what we’re looking for. A few more things:

  • Do not mention anywhere in your post, either as intro or footnote, that you are writing to a prompt.
  • We want the story the furthest away in your imagination from the original prompt. Let your imagination loose.
  • Keep your writing style! Do you tell stories with humor? Prose? Verse? Photos? Illustrations? Keep doing that.
  • Proofread. Just because it’s short doesn’t mean you can cut corners.

The grid is now open, and will close at midnight on Tuesday (one minute after 11:59 PM on Monday). Yes, that’s only 24 hours to post, so you’d better get writing now! We’ll announce winners on Wednesday. Don’t forget to badge your post – the current gargleblaster badge is below.

Recipe for a proper gargleblaster

  • Entries must be 42 words exactly. We count. (Tip: don’t trust your word processor – use your eyes!) Also: hyphenated words count as one (willy-nilly, self-centered, etc.).
  • Non-fiction, fiction, and poetry are all welcome.
  • Let your post speak for itself. If it needs an explanation, it’s not really 42 words, now is it?
  • Link to the individual blog post, not your main blog page.
  • Include the gargleblaster badge and accompanying backlink. Scroll down to get this week’s badge.
  • One post per person, please, and no cross-posting to other link-ups. We want you all to ourselves!

Any submission deemed not to meet the guidelines will be removed from the grid and the author will be notified. Read the gargleblaster FAQ for more information.

Remember: the grid is limited to 42 (of course!) submissions. If you miss the grid, don’t panic! Leave your link in the comments of the voting post and you may be eligible for the hitchhiker prize, which may be awarded at the editors’ discretion to someone who missed the grid, but wrote up a particularly excellent response to the prompt. However, to be eligible for the hitchhiker’s prize, you’ve got to stick around for the whole ride, not just hop on, drop your link, and hop back off. After leaving your link, go forth and read, comment and vote on the grid as usual.

Badge up!

Please be sure to include the proper gargleblaster badge in your post. Not sure how to add the badge? It’s simple. Copy the code under the badge below and paste it into the html or text view of your blog editor. Having trouble? Contact for tech support.


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