We’re here now. What do we do next?

That’s me. Running around in circles for the past few months as my daughter prepares to graduate from high school. She is finishing on a certificate track and must attend a two-year college before being eligible for a four-year program, if she ever attends one at all, so we are looking into the local community college.

She is also being encouraged by the local office of a state agency to prepare for independent living away from her parents, and her case worker has given her all kinds of summer job leads. Since I am unable to figure out if her shirt being on inside out and her hair being all over her head is a direct result of her brain injury or from simply being a teenager, I am hesitant to send her out into the world just yet.

What if she encounters a cranky customer at her summer job who yells at her for not moving fast enough with his mocha latte and I end up in jail because I ran over him three times with his own luxury vehicle? Would there be snacks? These are things we must consider, so I feel immobilized by all the decision-making.

Putting it all out there in a personal essay or a quick anecdote

I can see how some of you would feel immobilized in your debate about submitting to the weekly challenge grid. Do you have a “so what?” Are you going to receive a love letter in your inbox? Have you figured out yet what the editors are looking for in each submission? It’s a tough decision, especially when writing about a particularly personal subject. What’s being judged here? Your writing style or your topic?

Is your shirt on inside out and that’s why you’re at the bottom of the voting? Did you leave the house without combing your hair, so well-meaning neighbors called the sheriff’s department over for a welfare check, and that’s why Rowan, our submissions editor, invited you to the weekend moonshine grid? It’s so easy not to know, so we make up all these reasons why, and our confidence takes a hit then we eventually stop writing our way out.

Hey, we do not abandon our beginning writers who do not quit. We really do want you to start looking at your blog as a nice collection of personal essays you can have for the rest of your life. Snapshots of your family, quick bursts of encouragement from your readers, remarkable improvements from when you started up until today. You may have to learn about story structure or parallel grammar construction or the difference between climax and denouement, and we’re here to teach you.

Don’t you sometimes wonder why if it’s just a stupid blog post?

Here is why: yeah write is a community of readers and writers willing to learn. Even though the challenge grid is moderated, don’t be afraid to bring us what you’ve written. You will get valuable feedback either way, and you’ll not find a more close-knit tribe than the one we’ve built here. Since starting in 2011, we’ve never gone on vacation, hiatus or any type of unannounced break, and we’re available by email, chat or phone. That’s gotta underscore our commitment to you.

Is this your first time here? Welcome!

Did you follow the link from the badge on a friend’s blog? Welcome! Please check out our submission guidelines, then jump right in. We’d love to have you.

Did you land here out of curiosity because you saw a whole bunch of hits from yeah write in your wordpress.com stats? Welcome! That means somebody at yeah write stumbled over your post, thought it was a good fit for us, and submitted your post for consideration. We hope you don’t mind!

If you like, please grab the challenge badge from our sidebar, install it using the HTML view of your post, then visit the other entries on the grid. Did we mention there will be a vote for the best submissions on Thursday? That’s the fun part. Please stick around.

Let’s open the invitational grid this week!

Why don’t we use our social media for good instead of evil this week and recruit our writing/blogging friends to the challenge grid? If we hit 30 entries, we will unlock the invitational grid, which is exactly what it sounds like: a separate grid, by invitation only, for editors to build by adding their favorites. It’s a separate grid voted on only by the editors who will then select a jury prize from the selections. If you know a few people who’ve been meaning to try us out, this would be a great week to convince them what good people we are. Thanks!

Kevin the kiwi and Comment Bob

Everyone knows Kevin by now! He’s that stylish kiwi with the scarf and hat, rooting around for an exceptional post on the grid. When we have fewer than 30 posts entries in the challenge, a randomly selected editor will choose her favorite post and award that post the week’s kiwi badge. This week, though, we want Kevin to take a little break while we award the jury prize instead!

Comment Bob flies through your open window at night and leaves pom-poms under your pillow when you are the reader leaving the most thoughtful comments on each entry on the challenge grid. Just kidding. Penguins can’t fly. The part about the pom-poms, though, completely true, so please make it a point to participate in our community as a writer, reader, voter and commenter. We call it a challenge for a reason, and making the rounds to all the other blogs is a very large part of it.

More entries means more votes

The crowd favorite is determined by a moderated popular vote. That means it’s never a clicking contest. We expect our readers to vote for the best on the challenge grid based on technical and artistic merit. here’s the scale:

  • 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: it’s 500 words plus 100 words grace
  • Personal essays or traditional blog anecdotes only
  • There are no mandatory 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 commercial, sponsored or 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.

Looking for the fiction slam and poetry jam?

If you’re a poet or a fiction writer, there is a challenge grid just for you over at the speakeasy. Please head on over and check it out. If you are feeling super creative and imaginative, you can participate on both grids, however please be sure you’ll have the time to read all of the entries and vote responsibly.


Yeah write #164 traditional challenge grid is open…

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