The US Independence Day holiday means (among other things) an optional prompt and freedom from moderation

This week, all over the United States, people will be attending BBQs, hanging out with family and friends, and watching fireworks. But until the celebrations get underway on Friday, people all over the US will be participating in the yeah write traditional writing challenge. Since this is a holiday week, moderation will be suspended once again. Your entry will appear immediately on the grid and you’ll only receive a love letter from our submissions editor, Rowan, if you fail to meet the basic submission guidelines. To quickly recap, your post must be fewer than 600 words, must be posted no earlier than June 29, 2014, and must have a so what. Impeccable grammar and punctuation wouldn’t hurt either.

For holiday weeks, we also like to offer you an optional prompt. We’re going to take the liberty* of stealing this week’s ultimate gargleblaster question:

Are you on your way to steal my mermaid?

*Did you see what I did there? I said liberty. Because it’s the Fourth of July. Independence Day. Get it? That’s comic gold, right there.

How to use an optional prompt

The challenge grid does not typically offer a prompt and you’re free to write a personal essay or traditional blog anecdote on the subject of your choosing. During a holiday week, it’s natural for the mind to gravitate towards writing about the holiday. Certainly you can do that, but we think the grid would be quite a bit less interesting if it were to only be filled with stories of summer fun. The optional prompt gives you a starting point away from the obvious.

The other thing we don’t want is a grid full of stories about mermaids, or Disney’s Little Mermaid, or Daryl Hannah, or Aquamarine. We don’t want a bunch of underwater crime dramas. However, since the challenge grid is for your non-fiction tales, if you happen to have a mermaid, or have been a mermaid, or have a great uncle who murdered a mermaid, then maybe tell that story.

Barring the above, here’s what we want you to do. Think of the mermaid thing as a starting point. Where does that prompt take you? Maybe when you think about mermaids you think about that summer at the lake when you and your significant other just started dating. And maybe when you think about that time in your life, you also think about that weird rash you kept getting. And maybe you start to reminisce about the doctor who finally figured it out that the rash was due to a horse allergy, only discovered that summer because the lake you summered at also happened to be very close to a petting zoo and your new SO was an equine aficionado. Write about the thing that happened at the pharmacy where you picked up your anti-itch medication. THAT is the story we want to hear.

Whether you choose to use the prompt or not, there’s no need to mention it in your post. No explanations are necessary and, in fact, they detract from the post. Let your writing speak for itself.

Registration is open for the 2014 yeah write summer series

We are gearing up for our six-week summer series! Our regularly scheduled programming will be taking a break while we focus on becoming better writers. You choose when and at what level you wish to participate. Get all the details and find out how to register here. You won’t want to miss out on this.

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 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.

The invitational grid and editor picks will be unlocked at 30+ entries on the challenge grid

For the second week in a row, the grid hosted to more than 30 entries last week, opening the invitational grid. The editors selected five favorites from the 32 and one jury prize winner emerged from the editors’ picks. Let’s do that again! Please spread the word about this wonderful little writer’s community, and let’s see if we can beat last week’s number. Also, bring your best stuff, exceed the submission guidelines, and maybe this week it will be your post up there on the invitational!

Kevin the kiwi and Comment Bob: yeah write community spirit awards

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 in the challenge grid, Rowan G, our submissions editor, will send Kevin home with her favorite post. If we open the invitational with 30 or more entries, Kevin will gladly sit this one out.

Comment Bob flies through open windows at night and leaves pom-poms under the pillows of the readers leaving the most thoughtful comments on each entry on the challenge grid. Just kidding. Penguins can’t fly. He has a jetpack.  The part about the pom-poms, though, is 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.  Remember, a good comment is more than “great work,” it’s a thoughtful response to the post you just read.

Voting on the challenge grid opens Thursday: 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! Yeah write #167 traditional challenge grid is open right here…


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