yeah write weekly writing challenge #260: popular vote winners and editors’ picks

yeah write weekly writing challenge #260: popular vote winners and editors’ picks

yeah write weekly writing challenge #260: popular vote winners and editors’ picks

I’m not ready for our birthday to be over, are you?

Well, good thing it’s not.  Keep your eyes peeled, because we’re going to be sneaking surprises in all month. Like today’s surprise: Who wants a love letter? Just kidding… sort of. If you’re curious about what kind of feedback you would have gotten on your post on the grid this week, leave me a comment on this post asking for it, plus whether you’d rather have the feedback in a reply to your comment (editor’s pick style) or a private email.

Uh, Rowan, I can hear you thinking. I don’t want to volunteer to be a public example if you’re just going to rip my ears off. Fine, I get that! So here’s what your feedback would look like if you had written Natalie’s poem:

This poem has a really relatable theme, and I like how it begins and ends with light after taking us through the dark. I also love the complicated “abca” rhyme scheme and complex meter. That said, there are a few hiccups with the meter and a couple places (notably “a communion of ecstasy” and “fervency” in a poem with otherwise fairly prosaic word choice) where vocabulary or grammar feels pretty strained in order to fit into the metric structure.

There. That wasn’t so scary, was it?

Speaking of how good your work was, though, you probably want to know the outcome of the vote, 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!

Yeah write #260 weekly writing challenge staff picks: nonfiction

parenthood

That’s right, folks. The winner this week is parents. We don’t usually do a grid roundup, but with so many good posts this week featuring moms, how could we pick just one? Sam brought us an unsentimental account using the never-actually-described birth of her child to weave together office and mothering seamlessly. Natalie, a few months behind, told us about hope, and expectations, and balancing your own with those around you. Lisa was the child, not the mother, as she taught us that childhood lessons come back to help – and haunt – us later. Marcy and her dad showed us in words and pictures how to cherish the accidents, the mistakes and the moments we’d otherwise forget, to choose memory over deletion. (That was, by the way, exactly how you use pictures in an essay, folks. Pay attention. They illustrate a point made in the writing that the reader couldn’t understand as well without the graphic.) Meanwhile, Nancy brought us a slow countdown, the way shared custody parcels out parenthood into snapshots and precious half-weeks that turn into a time-lapse image of her daughter growing up. Melony wondered how we are shaped by our parents’ trauma, and they by theirs. Donna-Louise turned the tables on us again, making the most sympathetic character her lonely dinosaur son. Laissez faire, too, explored the limits of parental permission, balancing protectiveness with opportunity in her own life and for her children. And last but hardly least, Ellen reminded us that generally it all turns out okay, no matter which instructions you try and fail to follow in your parenting.

So here’s to you, moms and dads, and moms and dads of moms and dads. This was your week to shine.

erica

I’d already slated this post for an editor’s pick when Elan stole my thunder. It’s not just the total relatability of trying to fit into a group at any age that makes Cindy’s story so great; it’s the inside-out storytelling. By jumping around in time, Cindy creates a feeling of inevitability to the failure of her efforts, an inevitability that weighs on the reader as it weighs on her, even as, with her, we hope against hope for the 80’s Brat Pack ending.

michelle

Yeah write #260 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction|poetry

I am all for a quality Frankenstein reboot at any time, but Michael’s bop raised my expectations significantly. Told from Dr. Frankenstein’s lab gopher Igor’s perspective, the fumbles and mistakes all recall Young Frankenstein without wearing the genre out. The impish use of language, for starters, summons Igor’s voice and dilemma quite deftly. Then, the humorous dramatic irony of the last stanza brings about a satisfying conclusion for everyone.

natalie

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.

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

Grab your mom or dad or stepparent or starparent or angel or whoever’s been the most important adult figure in your life and drag them down to the moonshine grid with you this weekend. Natalie’s opening the doors at 6pm and serving mocktails and decaf in our no-rules grid all weekend. Grab a flask and sneak your smokes in under your sleeve, we’re only checking for commercial posts at the door!

Congratulations to the crowd favorites at yeah write #260

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.

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About the Author

11 Comments

  • Michael [Wed] 13 Apr 16 at 5:14 am

    I very much appreciate the editor’s pick. 🙂 I’d be happy to have more feedback on that or my microstory. Leaving it here is fine ….

  • Donna-Louise Bishop [Fri] 8 Apr 16 at 4:39 pm

    Oh I’d love feedback please. Happy to have it with the blog post ????

    • Rowan Author [Fri] 8 Apr 16 at 10:45 pm

      You had me hooked at your opening paragraphs, and I know I wasn’t the only one (although you and I have some of the same problems with commas: we tend to put them where we breathe rather than where they belong, and it interrupts the flow of writing). “And at just three years of age, he is the loudest little boy I know.” What a fantastic hook. It’s pithy, it draws us in, and it tells us immediately what your story will be about without giving too much away. That gives you the space to explain about his dino obsession and circle back to the main point without ever losing the reader’s attention.

      That said, I would have loved to see this post come in about 2/3 as long as it is. There’s a ton of deadwood in it that takes away from your gorgeous imagery and solid main point. What’s the deadwood? Every time you re-explain what the reader is capable of understanding from your descriptions. “Is it just me, or have children stopped playing?” “Now it seems that this is not the case.” The reader gets it. You don’t need to tell them, because the rest of your writing is strong enough to convey the point. (I would have cut your last three paragraphs entirely, for example, and left the reader standing with Adam, watching his new friend vanish.) Trust your reader a little bit more, and they’ll have more faith in your writing. Telling them again what you intend them to take away puts distance between you and them and leaves them feeling like you’re a Sunday School teacher instead of a storyteller.

      • Donna-Louise Bishop [Sat] 9 Apr 16 at 10:55 am

        This is awesome feedback. thank you. And really helpful. I’ve been meaning to work on my commas for a while now too so this is what I am going to aim for next week. Thanks for taking the time to do this Rowan.

  • Ellen [Fri] 8 Apr 16 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Rowan, I’d love some feedback on my nonfiction story, please? Um, debating, but I think I’d prefer a private email. Thanks so much! Ellen

    • Rowan Author [Fri] 8 Apr 16 at 10:58 pm

      It’s in your mail! Please feel free to share the bits you’re comfortable sharing here.

      • Ellen [Sat] 9 Apr 16 at 11:40 am

        Thank you, Rowan! For everybody, here is the “meat” of the critique:

        The biggest issue in this post is that it feels a little overprocessed. We as readers don’t get to journey with you to your own nervousness and exhaustion as a new mother, we don’t join your daughter and son-in-law in their panicky search for books , and we don’t feel any sense of loss when you discuss how we’ve turned to books instead of elders for advice. I know you’re trying to convey a lesson, but it’s a hard earned and actually kind of funny one, and pulling the reader with you through generations of discovery and books and laws and… only to turn around and end up right where you started with Grandma’s advice might have been more effective than a discussion of when seatbelt laws took effect. You’ve got a solid handle on what you want the reader to take away, and your last line is fantastic; now it’s time to focus on getting them there with you as a shared journey.

        I find myself agreeing with all of your advice and critiques… now just to put it into action. 🙂

        Happy Birthday to Yeah Write!

  • Charlotte McMullen [Fri] 8 Apr 16 at 1:53 pm

    Hi, Rowan. Would you give my microstory post feedback, please? You may leave it in a reply to my comment. Thank you.

    • Rowan Author [Fri] 8 Apr 16 at 10:31 pm

      I love the way your post took us from frustration to a sort of suspended poignant remorse – it really mirrored, for me, a very realistic grieving process. On the other hand it also feels like you ran out of room, like you tried to do a little too much here. The middle three lines especially are incredibly clipped, which is a huge contrast to the lush beginning and ending. At the very least, “Surfaces bare she opens drawers” needs some punctuation. You would probably have done a little better to give up on the longer scene you were trying to write and just show us with words what you ended up having to use a photo to convey. I know- it’s a beautiful scene and I hate “killing my darlings” too, but with only 42 words sometimes you have to take a sharp left turn from what you intended. Your opening line was fantastic, and I would have loved to see you keep that power through the story.

      • Charlotte McMullen [Sat] 9 Apr 16 at 10:13 am

        Thank you, Rowan! I appreciate this writing community. Your feedback is invaluable. To slow down the pace and add emphasis, I originally had “Surfaces bare, she opens drawers.” I should have left the comma. Also, I’ll try to focus future micros on a singular moving moment. Thanks, again. I’m excited for next week!