It’s the final week of our writing contest at yeah write!

We had been calling this the November writing contest, but then we took a week off for American Thanksgiving and it turned into December on us. We hope you took last week to write a killer essay for this, the final week of the competition. The entries in the first three weeks have been wonderful. If you’d like, you can take a look at all of the semi-finalists here.

Last week I read an essay on Brevity that I wanted to share with all of you. It’s a post by Belinda Shoemaker titled Undertaking Research about what happens in our minds when we begin to explore a new topic. As writers, we always have to be looking for the next story even while we’re knee-deep in one already. The essay is a quick one, so give it a read.

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How will the writing contest work?

We wrote you a whole page about it. Click here for details, but the main thing to remember right now is you must be a subscriber to the yeah write weekly email blast to be eligible for any of the prizes. If you haven’t already subscribed, here’s the link.

If you’re not up for clicking that link just yet, here’s the gist: over a four-week period (with a one week break for the American Thanksgiving week), writers will be competing for a variety of cash, book and chocolate prizes. The yeah write editors are standing by to judge the nonfiction, fiction|poetry and microstory submissions on technical merit, style and overall amazingness.

You can enter one submission per category per week, but we urge you to focus on making a few entries in your strongest category of your absolute, very best work. One stellar piece is going to take the ultimate prize and twelve mediocre ones won’t stand a chance. If you’d like your submission added to the contestant pool, please be sure to fill out this form for each entry you make.

Remember, you can also win a cash prize by referring the top writer to us. Please spread the word about our contest to your friends and in your writing circles. Make sure when they subscribe and enter their submissions, they name you as the referrer. It’s win-win!

Is this your first time here?

Yesterday’s kickoff post tells you everything you need to know about all of yeah write. We tell you about the schedule, upcoming events and get you ready for the week ahead.

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

Just the basics

Today the grid opens for our nonfiction writing challenge. There is a limit of 500 words plus 100 words grace. You must tell a compelling story. If we get bored or can’t figure out what’s going on, you’ll get a nicely detailed note from our submissions editor explaining where we fell off. You can rewrite it, rework it and workshop it. We’ll be happy to read it again in a few weeks.

The nonfiction challenge closes Wednesday at 9:59 p.m. US eastern. If your entry is accepted and you’ve filled out an entry form for our November writing contest, our editors will move you over to the invitational grid open to voting both by our readers and our editorial staff. On Friday, we will publish editorial picks and announce the popular vote winner.

The ultimate question: how come no one warned me?

Our nonfiction challenge does not have a mandatory prompt. You can write about whatever topic you choose, so we hope you’ll choose one you feel passionate about so you can share that passion with us. Make us feel what made you want to write about your subject. But, if you need a little push, use the ultimate question as your jumping off point. As you consider the question, let your mind wander. We always love to see where our writers take the prompt.

The yeah write #190 weekly writing challenge is open for nonfiction: personal essays, creative opinion, mostly true stories based on actual events. You can check out the submission guidelines and join us with your essay using the link below.