[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]All good things must come to an end, or so they say. Who are “they” anyway, and why can’t I come up with anything original to write this week? Anyway. So it is with our November writing competition. We’ve loved having you with us this month-and-a-bit, and we’ll announce the competition winners soon so stick with us.

In the meantime, we’ve got the results of our two (yes, two) votes this week down below.

First, the staff vote. Our editors are elbows-deep in spreadsheets, rubrics and other important-sounding voting tools, picking out the best of the best for the November writing competition, $200, and the all-important chocolate.

Down below you’ll see each staff voter’s favorite three posts on a grid (in no particular order) and a quick note about something they found particularly memorable in one of those posts. So check out the top three picks, grab your staff pick badge if you see your name, and take a minute to check out what we think of our favorite posts this week.

Then there’s the good old crowd favorite! Yay! If you scroll down and see your name in first place on the grid, grab your crowd fave badge! The next two? Grab your top three badge![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Yeah write #190 weekly writing challenge staff picks: non-fiction

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sleeping in a foreign land by maggie

 the little house by nancy

Jan’s voice is so clear in her piece this week about her hearing loss. The phrase, “I wasn’t prepared for this,” is repeated several times and breaks down the ways in which Jan was blindsided, tying the essay together quite nicely. This part struck me particularly: “No one told me… how to accept what can’t be changed but not give an inch away too early.” I am haunted by the idea presented that accepting the loss is about doing so in stages, about carefully monitoring where she is at and neither getting ahead of nor lagging behind something that’s moving at a rate she cannot control. This is a beautifully sad narrative but it has notes of empowerment and hope at the end leaving the reader with the same uncertainty I believe Jan may have been feeling when she wrote this.
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sleeping in a foreign land by maggie

we are magic by jenny

finding light in the dark season by liz

 

“Sometimes I would sleep with him just so I wouldn’t have to listen to him…” Raw admissions like that one pepper Maggie’s essay about one quirky adventure with sex, companionship, stress and questionable hygiene while she was living in China. The narrative pulls no punches, and the reader is very, very unlikely to think “I remember when that happened to me,” but Maggie writes in a way that is universally compelling. When she is disgusted, so is the reader. When she is bored, the reader knows something better is on its way because the reader is now Maggie’s friend and cheerleader. No moment goes unexamined in this slice from the undercurrent of life. Well done.
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blindsided by jan

we are magic by jenny

in the numbers by megan

In under 600 words, I am a child again. I remember magic- not only pretend dragons, but the real ones. It is perfectly reasonable to have a private island, with a volcano and a mansion and possibly laser sharks. Jenny reminded us this week not to give up on dreaming – not just because dreams can come true, but because they are inherently true; because we are, ourselves, magic.
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Yeah write #190 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction challenge

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tinker tailor soldier sailor by asha

obeisance by shannon b

moral compass by shannon p

Taking four discrete stories and not only integrating them, but doing so in fewer than 600 words, is a challenging fictional terrain that Asha’s story successfully navigates. The unifying theme of the nursery rhyme lends a ready structure, so that four distinct voices may be heard, lamenting their respective (yet related) fates. 
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tinker tailor soldier sailor by asha

obeisance by shannon b

no by nate

Nathan’s poem, “No,” is about the non-negotiable space in relationships, the lines we won’t cross when arguments arise.  What I appreciated most about this piece is its assertive dignity. The poem opens by refusing battle symbols—charging horses, crows, thunderbolts—a place in this relationship. Instead, the narrator cuts conflict at its knees. “The operatic crows in their robes—those black guards—,” Nathan writes, calling forth the image of a flock of judges, “will find no antecedents’ bones to pick.” The narrator leaves us on a sere landscape where no one – not the judgmental crows, and not the narrator himself – gets the satisfying last word. They must “fly off with nothing, hewing their complaints elsewhere.” No is the last word.
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tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor by asha

 obeisance by shannon b

 moral compass by shannon p

Erotica is one of the most difficult genres to write well. It’s entirely subjective, and every reader approaches the story differently, from action to vocabulary. Shannon handled erotica fearlessly and well this week in her story “Obeisance.” From the contrast between the delicate onomatopoeia of “susurrus” and the blunt earthiness of “cunt” to the structure and pacing of the story, Shannon brought a technical expertise to her post that is almost obscured by the rhythm of the words and the reader’s – and narrator’s – need to know what comes next. Pun intended. 
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Yeah write #190 weekly writing challenge staff picks: microstories challenge

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traps by discontented oyster

ornaments of loss by silverleaf

what’s left by shannon p

When we grieve there are always reminders, small things, simple things that take our breath away in unexpected moments. Break us all over again. Silverleaf captures such a moment in her story “Ornaments of Loss.” Her answer to the ultimate question is subtle and as delicate as the drops of water she describes. This loss is so profound, so deep, that it could not possibly have happened to anyone else. Who hasn’t felt this way?
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traps by discontented oyster

ornaments of loss by silverleaf

what’s left by shannon p

Shannon’s microstory immediately draws the reader in by setting up tension in the first two lines that continues throughout the piece. I absolutely loved the effortless flow as a reader. Underneath the pleasant rhythm, the story itself is somber, illustrating how unequal partnerships and one-sided “compromises” ultimately destroy the compromiser one piece at a time. “The winner doesn’t warn the loser because that’s how they steal victory” is what answers the “why” part of the question that so many people had trouble with this week.
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traps by discontented oyster

ornaments of loss by silverleaf

the clod in the casket by josh

Oyster’s microstory left me breathless as its single sentence unfurled. The carefully chosen words set a perfect tone, giving a light touch to the heavy subject of ‘til death do us part. Calling the other women “God-fearing,” referring to their mouths as “traps” and using the word “skedaddle” set the perfect mood. Plus, in the face of a challenging question this week, Oyster crafted an answer that was both clever and clear.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Congratulations to this week’s winners! If you earned the highest number of votes in either challenge, you are this week’s crowd favorite. If you came in second or third, you get top row honors along with the crowd fave. Grab your winner’s badge from our sidebar!

It’s a good week to be crowd fave; you earned it honestly. For the first time in a very long time, we can tell you that there was no cheating or targeted voting this week that we had to remove. We’d also like to give a very special thank you to those of you who were love lettered and who still stuck around and voted. It means a lot to us that you’re as committed to this little challenge as we are!

Looking for your badge? Now that all our writers are under one roof, we’re sharing our badges as well as our drinks. That’s right: fiction|poetry, nonfiction and microstories have the same badges. It doesn’t clutter up our sidebar, and they’ll still look pretty on yours!

Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Weekend moonshine grid opens today at 6 p.m. eastern time

Done with work? Done with your week? Just… done? At 6 p.m. today Natalie throws open the secret doors to the moonshine grid and you’re all welcome to pull up a stool. Grab a glass of bathtub gin – or grape Nehi, if that’s your thing – and hang around in the officers’ mess. Just keep your commercial posts out before Colonel Potter finds them and throws them out![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Yeah write #190 challenge results

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