[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Yesterday, roses; today, lilies.

More specifically, a charming little phrase that has fallen somewhat out of vogue in recent times: “Don’t gild the lily.”

What does it mean, to gild the lily? Well. Here’s the thing. You have a lily, right? It’s a perfectly good lily. It smells good, it’s pretty, you want to give it to someone. But first you stop off an cover it with gold, because for some reason you don’t think that lily is good enough as it is. And now you have kind of a ruined lily, amirite?

The lily didn’t need any gold on it. It was fine.

So that’s where the phrase comes from. As it applies to your writing? Don’t gild the lily means don’t give in to the temptation to add that one more paragraph that re-explains your main point. Don’t outclever yourself with phrasing so delicate your main point gets lost. Show, don’t tell. If your character has already fled with panicky haste up the stairs and hidden herself in a closet, it’s gilding the lily to add “Jane was scared.”

Giving in to the temptation to add that little bit extra can be the difference between a tight, well-told story or essay, and losing your reader because they’ve heard this before.

Speaking of readers, though, did you read the grids this week? Sure you did. And then you voted, and now you want to know the results, right? Me too. So, just like every Friday, I’m going to give you the results on all three of our grids – nonfiction, fiction|poetry, and microfiction – right here!

But it’s not all about the popular vote, folks. We also have our editorial staff picks to hand out. Every week our editors comb through your submissions looking for their favorites. Picks are based on writing quality, how successful the author is in conveying information, and just plain style. If you got a staff pick this week, grab your badge from the sidebar and wear it with pride!

Once you’re done reading through the staff picks (and congratulating the winners in the comments), keep scrolling down to check out who won the popular vote on all three grids. If you earned the highest number of votes in any challenge, you are this week’s crowd favorite! If you came in first, second or third, you get “top three” honors. Grab your badge from our sidebar!

Looking for your badge? The fiction|poetry, nonfiction and microstories challenges all have the same winner, staff pick, and top three badges. It doesn’t clutter up our sidebar, and they’ll still look pretty on yours![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Yeah write #254 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction|poetry

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nomenclatural by ruby

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]I’m in love with words. And if you’re familiar with Ruby’s work on our grids, you’ll know so is she. But like I was saying earlier, it’s really easy to fall over the edge with beautiful words, to gild the lily until your poem or story doesn’t make any sense. Ruby avoided that temptation in this cinquain, opting instead for evocative but clear words like “heraldic” and “dust.” By the time you get to the last word (and I appreciate that the most archaic word is the last, inverting time and language to give us a sense of circular rhythm within the poem itself and invite a reread) you’re ready to link it back up to the title: Nomenclature, name, nomen.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”22649″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_circle” title=”rowan”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Yeah write #254 weekly writing challenge staff picks: microstories

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insurmountable by laura

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Lately I have been very interested in the idea of identity – how we see ourselves, how we define ourselves. In Insurmountable, Laura asks and answers: “Who are you? You can only be yourself.” She gives us a choice, and makes it feel both impossible and inevitable at the same time. Her choice of title, insurmountable, paves the way to showing the reader both the physical staircase that must be mounted, and the overwhelming nature of the psychological journey that mounting those stairs represents. The second-person point of view and the fact that she never tries to pin down which stairs allow the reader to superimpose their own stairs, their own journeys, on the piece, keeping it personal and relatable.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”22657″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_circle” title=”christine”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

is it that hard by blackcherriess

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]I didn’t realize until I was reading Christine’s pick that we had both chosen stories written in second person this week. It’s unusual to see those on the grids, and even more unusual to see them handled this well. In is it that hard we’re confronted with our own identity, and the freedom to choose. “You definitely felt like an Alice today.” The character – or the reader – chooses the identity that fits best in the moment. Choosing a familiar scene that most readers have experienced allows the story to run almost entirely on dialogue, without having to spend words on a lot of description. That in turn focuses our attention on the heart of the story: the pull between who we are and the fluidity of who we’d be if we had the freedom to choose.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”22659″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_circle” title=”arden”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

That’s it for our staff picks this week! Remember, we don’t always give out a pick on every grid; if we were impressed by several posts on one grid, we’ll give them all picks, and if nothing really stood out for us on another grid, we’ll hold off.

If you’re lost in the middle of the grid and wondering how you can get a little more feedback on your posts, check out our membership perks!

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

It’s probably snowing where you are, but it’s spring here on the West Coast. The cherry trees are blooming, the crocus are all up and already some are starting to fade, and the rhododendrons have given up on seasons entirely and started blooming year-round. That’s how Natalie got those armloads of flowers she’s setting out to welcome you to the moonshine grid tonight at 6pm! Don’t worry- they’re the pollen-free kind. In exchange for not triggering your allergies we only ask that you leave your commercial posts behind with your tissues![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Congratulations to the crowd favorites at yeah write #254

The thumbnails are now sorted in order of most votes to fewest. Ties in the overall number of votes are broken by number of editor votes.

Congratulations if you’re at or near the top! Writing well is hard work, and we’re honored you’ve chosen us this week to showcase your entry.

If you’re at or near the bottom, don’t be discouraged. You’re in the right community for learning and growing as a writer, and we are always available with resources for those who ask nicely.

To our readers and voters: thank you! See you next week.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

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