We’re family-free for four weeks
Pretend your family has gone off on vacation and left you all alone. Every single person you are related to by blood, marriage, cohabitation, or any other arrangement is no where to be found. For a minute, you might feel terribly alone. Sit with that. What comes to mind? Hopefully, you’re left with a wide range of topics to write about. That’s what we want to hear about this week!
We love your families. They’re good people. However, they are easy marks for inspiration. What we’d like you to do is venture out past your household and your lineage and present to us stories you may not have considered writing before. There is a whole world out there to write about. Now’s your chance.
Life lessons from a moderated grid
Last week, a number of you received love letters from your favorite yeah write editors. These responses to your submissions were the result of considerable collaboration by the editorial team to set the bar just a little bit higher and engage you to bring your writing to where we know it can be. Perhaps you were missing your “so what” or maybe your post took a digression that drew us from the story you were trying to tell. Our intention is not to discourage, but rather to give you some practical tips and nudge you in the right direction.
Some of you took the recommendations and ran with them, submitting a new draft. Often, these revisions resulted in a stronger piece, which is exactly what we want to see. While we can’t promise your second attempt will always make it onto the grid, we do our best to consider your efforts.
Here are a few tips from the posts that were returned last week:
- Do not digress. If you feel the need to tell us you’ve gotten off track, what you have there is not a challenge grid post. You have a few options: you can save the tangential story for another day and stick with your original train of thought or you can run wild with the story within the story, cutting away your starting point.
- Always bring your post back home. Don’t just throw a bunch of stuff at us and leave us hanging. Your story needs a beginning, middle, and end. This is not to say you necessarily need to wrap the whole thing up with a pretty bow to finish, but you should support your original idea with a solid conclusion. If your post just trails off or, perhaps worse, just dumps us there in the middle wondering where you ran off to, you’ll inevitably let your reader down.
- Read your post aloud. Did you say the same sentence more than once? Find a new way to express that thought or consider cutting it. Perhaps you are repeating a phrase. Go find that thesaurus and put it to work! Did your tongue trip over some words? Your readers will trip there, too. I always feel like a dork reading out loud to the wind, but dorkiness is the price you pay sometimes for solid writing.
- Vary your sentence and paragraph structure. Mix short choppy sentences with longer, more complex ones. Use descriptive words, but don’t over use adverbs and adjectives. Don’t rely on subordinate clauses to begin each thought.
- Proofread. And when you’re done, proofread again. Perhaps then proofread a third time, just for fun.
Kevin, Bob, and the invitational
Kevin stands out in a crowd with his fuchsia scarf effortlessly tossed across his shoulder and his top hat jauntily perched upon his head. Are you a kiwi? Will your post stand out in the crowd? Each week we’re under 30 posts on the grid, a randomly selected editor, will choose her favorite post and award that post the week’s kiwi badge.
If we hit 30 entries, the invitational grid, which is exactly what it sounds like, will be unlocked. Editors will select the posts they feel most represent the yeah write way and move them to a special grid where they will compete for the jury prize. This honor has it’s own badge, too, so there’s always a chance for bling.
Bob loves the yeah write community spirit, and cheers on anyone who shows it on each post published to the challenge grid. Do you love to leave comments? Bob says go for it. Are you better at hitting the social media share buttons than you are at leaving comments? Bob says that’s awesome. Go for it. On voting day, do you campaign fairly for the best posts on the grid, feeling inspired by (instead of threatened by) your competition? Bob loves you so much, and will likely visit your blog’s sidebar, pom poms waving. Comment, share, like, vote fairly. Win your own Bob.
Scaled voting in the house
Regardless of the number of entries, we will host a popular vote where you’ll be able to select your favorites from the grid. The number of votes allotted is determined by the number of submissions on the grid:
- 01-10 submissions: one vote
- 11-20 submissions: two votes
- 21-30 submissions: three votes
- 31-40 submissions: four votes
- 41-50 submissions: five votes
The more submissions, the more votes. Write a blurb beside your yeah write challenge button inviting your friends to join us. Send a personal email. Talk us up in your writing circles. Stumble over a blog post you think would be perfect for the challenge grid? Email us the link, and if it’s a good fit, we’ll add it ourselves.
Odds, ends, reminders
- The badge you will need to add to your planned submission is over in the sidebar
- This immediate past Sunday is the earliest your submission can be dated
- Your post can be no longer than 600 words
- Personal essays or traditional blog anecdotes only
- There are no weekly prompts; the topic is yours. Be compelling
- The grid is open from Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. to Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
- There is voting. Voting will take place Thursday from midnight to 10:00 p.m. US eastern
- The challenge grid is limited to 50 bloggers
- The winners’ post will be published by noon on Friday
- No self-promotional posts are allowed on the yeah write grid, including those containing links to other blog events and Internet contests
Voting is open at the gargleblaster! If you have a chance, stop by, read all the 42-word entries, then vote on the best three of the gargleblaster grid. It’s yeah write’s newest challenge, and we’re quite proud of it.
Yeah write #158 traditional challenge grid is open right here…