[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Whether it’s your Friday or your Monday right now – and my condolences to those of you starting the work week today – it’s the end of the week at yeah write, which means it’s time to announce our popular vote winners!

As much as I do love a good popular vote, though, I also love that coveted editorial staff pick. 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! It’s great to not just hear that you did well, but to know exactly what it was about your story, essay or poem that really worked. I bask in praise like that, whether I’m privileged to give or receive it.

Of course, there’s the flip side of praise, too – criticism. Not the kind that tears you down, though. Constructive criticism, that builds you up and makes you a better writer. With the grids unmoderated it’s up to you to invite and deliver gentle but helpful feedback on where a post missed the mark a little, gilded the lily or failed to hang together. I don’t think anyone really misses the feeling of rejection they got from their love letters, but we’re all writers and writers are feedback junkies, right?

That’s why, as part of our changes this year, you’ll see Rowan’s Roundup down there below the staff picks. If they ever replace me, they better find somebody with an “R” name or they’ll lose all that cute alliteration. Anyway, I’ll be letting you know some general trends I see on the grids, and if there’s a technique that a lot of folks could use a few tips on improving, I’ll let you know. Don’t worry: I won’t ever call your post out in public or list specifics (not without talking to you first, anyway). And just below that, I’m still going to give you the popular vote results on both of our grids – nonfiction and fiction|poetry! If you earned the highest number of votes in either 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? Both our challenges 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 #265 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction|poetry

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shelter by michael

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]If you’ve been reading our grids for a while, you’ll have noticed that our staff picks don’t always coincide with the most popular post on the grid. Often a well-told story will have a lot of typos or a grammatically perfect post won’t have much substance. This week, of course, Michael is taking home both the popular vote win and my pick, and for excellent reasons.

I always love it when Rowan throws down the gauntlet of a new poetry form because I know Michael will usually nail it the first time. And he won’t just get the form absolutely correct; he’ll weave in elements of other stories he’s telling and tie a bow on it with his signature sense of humor. This week is no different. Michael’s rondeau had me captivated from his play on “In Flanders Fields” and kept my attention by overlaying three distinct mythoses: the Frankenstein story’s Igor, a traditional love story, and ultimately the structure of one of the folksongs where lovers are kept apart by one’s transformative nature, so that she can only stay for a season. It gave the poem an unexpectedly sweet and yearning end, where a less-skilled writer might have just had the Igor scoop the farmer’s brains out for a cheap laugh.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Ed’s note: It’s Christine’s birthday today, drop by her blog and screw up her stats or just show her some love in the comments![/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=”22395″ 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][vc_column_text]

Rowan’s roundup: yeah write weekly writing challenge #265

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nonfiction

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]I love a good persuasive essay. Got an argument to make? See something wrong (or right) with the world? Wanna talk about it? I’m your editor. So I was stoked to see so many persuasive essays on the grid this week. While I’ve got your attention, let’s talk about how to tighten those essays up and make them sing and dance.

  1. Your reader doesn’t have to agree with you. Don’t overargue your point; you’ve got a limited amount of space. Say your thing and get out. If you’ve said it well, it doesn’t matter whether your reader agrees with you — in the end, you’ve given them something to think about. Maybe they’ll change their mind later.
  2. Keep it simple. One essay, one argument, one point. Don’t try to argue two things at the same time; you won’t do either one well.
  3. Know what your point is. If you’re writing a persuasive essay and you can’t tell me what it’s about in one sentence, you’re not doing it right. That doesn’t mean you have to write it like Mrs. Henson taught you in sixth grade (hi mrs henson im still writing so good job) with all your topic sentences neatly arranged, but it does mean that you and your reader should be able to quickly and accurately describe the subject of your essay and the argument you’re making about that subject. Knowing the topic early on keeps your reader focused on your persuasive points for the remainder of the essay.

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fiction|poetry

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]You’ll probably notice, if you’re a creepy blogstalker, that I write a lot of little pieces based on bigger works. In fact, that’s how I got suckered into co-writing a book: I noticed that a friend had a bunch of little pieces of a novel on her blog and asked if she’d mind if I played in that world too. Sometimes my little snippets of bigger worlds do really well and sometimes they don’t, so here are my observations about that….

Remember what your reader doesn’t know. You’ve just spent the last eight months building up a steampunk zeppelin fantasy war scenario full of mysterious chemicals and green fire, but your reader hasn’t. They have no reason to know that it’s significant that the fire in the hearth is red unless you tell them. Know your world, build your world big, but don’t forget to look within the four corners of your page and make sure the whole story is there.

Tell a story. Sometimes I fall so in love with a character that I want to know everything about them. Where they grew up, what they like for dinner, whether they prefer red or white wine. But my reader has no reason yet to care about Holly Lee, so me throwing a bunch of facts about her up on a page is about as exciting for them as reading a menu. Less exciting, because a menu means you’ll get food, and food is great. Now I try to save my character sketches for the weekend moonshine grid, and make sure that if I’m describing a character trait it’s because something’s about to happen that my character will need the trait to deal with, or that will test her commitment to her vow to never eat eggs.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”29345″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][vc_column_text]That’s it for 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 didn’t get a pick this week, read back through the roundup to see if you can use some of this week’s tips and tricks.

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, and don’t forget, our weekend grid opens tonight at 6pm Eastern US Time![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Congratulations to the crowd favorites at yeah write #265

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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