Look, I never thought I’d quote Tom Cruise outside the bounds of irony, but I was looking for some words on “winning” to start today’s post and I just…. nah. Not even for the sake of coming up with a post idea, ok?

Still, it’s been a great week for winning here at yeah write. From our super challenge round one winners (good luck this weekend!) to today’s popular vote winners and recipients of 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.

That’s one of the reasons we worked so hard to make sure that every super challenge entrant got feedback. Sure, we ran into some unexpected challenges along the way (did you know some mail programs cut you off at a “just over one tweet” character count?) (how do you compile the feedback from several judges into a meaningful structure? Is it clear that there’s more than one person talking, and not the same person saying the same thing twice?) but hey, it’s our first time too! Let us know how we’re doing so we can make all our challenges bigger and better for you! And stop by that super challenge page even if you didn’t enter; there’s a special grid where you can now read entries from round one. We’ll be doing the same thing for round two, including announcing the prompts tonight at 10pm so that folks can play along at home. If you’re wondering what a persuasive essay looks like? There’s one on the grid this week. See if you can spot it!

Speaking of feedback, don’t forget to check out Rowan’s Roundup below the editorial staff picks this week for a general sense of some stuff I’m seeing on the grids. 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 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? Our challenges share 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 #275 weekly writing challenge staff picks: nonfiction

Stacie’s Pick: taking measure by chef’s last diet

A broken tape measure is, indeed, a “heavy, useless thing”—except when it serves as a vivid metaphor within an essay, like it does here. Every day, we measure: counting, temperature-taking, gauging. Every day, we measure the weight of life. But as Nancy reveals in her essay, counting the number of killings reported in the news, calculating the efficiency of workers, taking our internal temperature as the heat outside rises—each of these measurements is overwhelming. How nice it would be if, like the tool company that offers to replace the broken tape measure with a new model, someone would just send us a more reliable, easier way to measure life.

Meg’s Pick: pressed by red’s wrap

Jan’s latest essay is a great example of giving the reader just enough information—not too much, not too little. The story begins in medias res, the middle of a conversation between the author and her colleague, who are discussing the unintentional (though perhaps subconsciously inspired) spilling of coffee on another colleague. In just over 600 words, the reader is treated to a setting and characters that reveal as much about the author as they do about themselves. She trusts us to follow her well-paced narrative without the kind of backstory that too often mires writers. Instead, we are invited to revel in the spare, charming prose.

Yeah write #275 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction|poetry

Natalie’s Pick: morning flight by danielle

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Danielle’s Morning Flight is a lovely example of a vignette, with tightly-packed imagery that creates a specific sense of place and mood of whimsy. Part of this has to do with the use of color and texture. We see the purple nightgown “soaring,” the pink “cotton candy” clouds, and we can almost feel the hand-carved wooden seat of the swing and the dew on bare feet. It also takes on a leisurely pace that gently moves us toward the final image, which feels dreamlike in quality, much like the subject matter. This is a great example of taking an idea like the short -almost micro- fiction that’s been on the grid lately and taking it out for a spin in your own style, and it worked really well for Danielle.

Nate’s Pick: wisdom walk by red’s wrap

In a week of strong writing and trying new things, I think Jan surprised me most. The way she structured her lines with grammatical breaks and mixed concrete and abstract ideas was risky, but she ultimately succeeded in mimicking the unfinished thoughts and logic leaps we make during the conversations that take place in our heads. This new style is a departure from Jan’s usual voice, but I hope it’s one she continues to experiment with.

Rowan’s roundup: yeah write weekly writing challenge #275


A picture is worth a thousand words. How many times have you heard this? When you’re selecting pictures to include in your writing, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. is it an interesting thousand words? That is, does it add anything to the written word, increase reader understanding, or provide some kind of contrast?
  2. is it a repetitive thousand words? If you want to include a picture, don’t just re-say what you’ve already said or described
  3. are my thousand words in a logical order? Does the picture flow naturally within the structure and thought process of the story or essay, or does it come out of order and break the reader’s train of thought?


What is it about descriptions that makes ordinarily concise writers lapse into Dying Wizard Voice? Sure, it’s great to read a pretty description in a story, but if the story itself is written in quick, terse prose right up to the point where the character sees something, and then all of a sudden it’s “fluffy limned pearlescent wafts of cloud vapor stroked the lightening pine-tipped lacework hills with dawny traces of ember fire” you’re putting in a description that actually gets in the way of the reader’s ability to understand what’s happening. Ease up a little. Save the adjectives and glowing phrases for places you want the reader to pause and savor your writing, and then move on.

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!

Congratulations to the crowd favorites at yeah write #275

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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