[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about deadlines.
I’ve also spent a lot of time this week making a color-coded chart of all the deadlines I have to meet in the next ten days, which may or may not be related. Summer’s winding down and our nonfiction knowhow and poetry slams will be back for fall, just in time to distract you from our next super challenge. I’ve also got day-job deadlines and travel and… I’m just basically a hot mess of due dates.
Sometimes I can’t tell if I’ve done my best work when I was under deadline pressure or when I had a chance to really think things through. Usually it’s a combination of the two: I write under deadline pressure, which makes the work actually happen, then take a break and come back to it later. That’s how I’ve done my best essays for yeah write, for sure: I’ve tried to write something by the time the grids closed, realized it wasn’t done, decided it wasn’t worth publishing, and come back to it the next week trying to make the next deadline. Those tend to be my essays and poems that do best in the popular vote.
But it’s not all about the popular vote here at yeah write, folks. We also have 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 we don’t give out a staff pick on a grid one week, it means nothing really stood out for us. Maybe the best stories had a bunch of typos or the grammatically perfect ones didn’t have much there there. You’ve really got to nail both elements – structure and storytelling – to earn a staff pick.
If there isn’t a staff pick one week, check out Rowan’s Roundup (man, it’s weird to refer to myself in the third person). Probably there’s a clue in there why that post you liked didn’t make the cut. Then 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? 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![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Rowan’s roundup: yeah write weekly writing challenge #280
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[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]While a personal essay doesn’t have the same pressure to summarize and restate its thesis that, say, your Masters thesis does, there’s an increasing trend to end on “a zinger.” That is, to finish with a single phrase or paragraph that re-says what the essay is about, tacks on a moral, or “lightens up” a heavy essay.
Unless it’s really good, you might consider resisting the temptation to do that. If you have to state your conclusion or moral at the end, either you’re reiterating information the reader has or you forgot to put it in the essay to begin with (those are both mistakes, btw). In addition, it often feels contrived to the reader when you throw a pat phrase in at the end of the essay; if you could write like that, why haven’t you been doing it for the last 980 words or so? And as far as twists… guys, if that’s what you want to talk about, just go ahead and talk about it. Why waste hundreds of words on setting up a joke that isn’t actually funny, when you get down to it? Write the essay you’re interested in, rather than writing the one that prepares the reader to read that essay and then trying to fit the entire essay into one punchy sentence.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”29344″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]”Less is more” was the watchword on our fiction|poetry grid this week. The top pieces (well, this is awkward) came in around 100 words, while the wordiest pieces came in much lower. Obviously, wordiness isn’t the only reason a piece will do well or poorly on a grid, but if you’ve been struggling down there in the bottom third, you might try writing that 750 word story and then seeing if you can put the same amount of information in 200-300 words. Writing briefer pieces is good practice for the long ones, too: you’ll learn that you can fit a whole lot more story in those 750 words.[/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 #280
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]