The way things are
Sometimes the morning comes and you just hate everything. The kids woke you up a dozen times in the night. It’s still dark and the heat hasn’t come on. When you go to write your next blog post, your computer is Resolving Host – forever. Your best friend is impossibly chirpy and cheerful and you’d really like to drown her in your espresso but you need the caffeine.
It’s okay. It’s all right. Sometimes that’s just the way things are.
The way I see it, you’ve got three choices: you can ignore it, you can complain about it, or you can give yourself permission to feel those feels. So go ahead: drink enough Rockstars to let you see far enough through time that happy morning people are just a blur in the background. Go for a walk or a run or a bike ride – it’s not warm enough here to swim yet – to clear your head; use the time to headwrite a new poem or story. Write a scathing letter to the complete stranger who interrupted your happy hour conversation with a Nixon scholar to mansplain the Watergate scandal to her. All emotions are fair game, right? Somewhere in the space between anger and coping you might find the inspiration for your next masterpiece.
Yeah write gives you three competitive challenge grids — nonfiction, fiction|poetry and microstories — all of which are moderated. Check them out below. Submissions that meet our guidelines will be moved to the voting grid; those that do not will get a personal love letter from our submissions editor explaining why. Got a question? E-mail us, tweet us, ping us on Facebook, or visit our online community, the yeah write coffeehouse. You can learn more about yeah write in our FAQ.
Please make sure you are familiar with our submission guidelines before you enter. We don’t have a lot of rules, but we do enforce them across the board. We’d hate to see anyone get disqualified by a technicality.
Bring us your personal essays and creative nonfiction!
The nonfiction challenge grid opens on Monday at midnight EST. This is the best place on the ‘net to showcase your best writing. Make us laugh, make us cry, make us think, and above all: make us care.
Nonfiction theme of the month: phrasing
There are more ways to make your story boring than just having no content. The most interesting story in the world will make a reader’s eyes glaze over if you make every sentence and paragraph the same. Learn to avoid this common mistake with this month’s technique.
Is fiction more your thing?
The fiction|poetry grid opens on Tuesday. Grab a mic and join our monthly poetry slam or check out our weekly 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 as the first sentence in your poem or story and then run with it. The prompt is just a springboard, though: feel free to keep it as your first sentence, move it, change it, or float down it to other territories.
Meg wowed us with her essay on grief, You Were Once Wild Here. This week’s Prompt Up is: I was awake when my heart stopped.
March poetry slam: haiku
Haiku is not just about counting syllables, and it’s much, much more than 5-7-5. Rowan will teach you to pack this tiny poem with enough imagery and emotion to sustain your soul for days.
This week’s ultimate question: what’s at the top?
Answer this question in exactly 42 words for the microstory challenge, or use it to inspire your submission to the other competitive grids. The microstory challenge opens on Wednesday.
Tips for your microstories
Your answer can be literal (a tree on the top of a hill) or figurative (that six-figure salary).
Remember: do not include the question in your title or your answer. Do not include extra words – no footnotes (except for photo credits), no explanations, no shout-outs. Do not rely on your word processor or blog to give you an accurate word count. COUNT YOUR WORDS WITH YOUR EYES. Posts that do not meet these standards will not be moved to the voting grid.
Questions? Want to talk it through? Grab a latte at the coffeehouse and chat with your fellow yeah writers.
In case you missed them, you can find last week’s yeah write staff picks and crowd favorites all laid out for you on Friday’s winners’ post. Leave the winners some love in the comments. They will love you right back, we guarantee it.
Weekend writing showcase
The weekend’s not over: the moonshine grid is still open. Have something to add? Old posts and new are welcome. No moderation, no voting. It’s a laid-back relaxed kind of place. Just leave your commercial or sponsored posts at home. Drop by, share your work, and while you’re there, visit your fellow yeah writers.