[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Nonfictioneers! That’s not a word, but whatever. If you’ve been playing along this month, check out the roundup to see the next piece of our January class.
Honestly you should do that anyway. I don’t know how many times and in how many ways I can say “becoming a better reader will make you a better writer.” And it’s great practice for the super challenge!
Also, you guys, check out these cool #300 badges! Even though we’re going back to the old badges next week, we thought we’d give you a sneak preview of some of the awesome changes in store for 2017! You know. To distract you from the really crummy, scary changes in store.
Becoming a better reader will help take your essay, story, or poem from “well, that’s a thing you wrote” to the top of the popular vote each week. But it’s not all about the popular vote at yeah write, folks. We also have our editorial staff picks to hand out. See, while there’s a popular vote winner every week, we don’t always give out a staff pick. 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! The great part is that we don’t have a finite number of picks to hand out. That means that if two, three, five, or even all the works on one grid are fantastic, we can give them all kudos.
Speaking of reading the grids, keep an eye on our roundup for a quick rundown of trends we see each week. We try to highlight the good stuff and point out problems that more than one writer is struggling with. There’s probably a handy tip in there for you right now, so check it out!
Once you’re done reading through the staff picks and roundup (and congratulating the winners in the comments), keep scrolling down to check out who won the popular vote on both 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? Both grids 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 #300 weekly writing challenge staff picks: nonfiction
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Even if you’ve never personally been touched by addiction or withdrawal, after reading this week’s clear-eyed post from Lisa at pryvate parts you have a much sharper idea of what a day in the life of a recovering addict is really like. Lisa turns her individual experience into a universal one. It is a story one can read and then say, easily, one of the two things we hope our readers will say: Yes, I know this experience firsthand because it has affected me or my family and your storytelling resonated with all my memories. Or no, I’ve never experienced something like this, but after reading your story, I now understand what it would be like. How does Lisa accomplish this? With humor, with exquisite turns of phrase, and with an unflinching dedication to story, she places us with her in a single scene in a claustrophobic trailer, with just enough flashbacks to fill in the backstory leading up to that moment. We feel the heat, hear the noise of the singing children, and sense the author’s acute pain, all because she shows us up close her actions and reactions, rather than telling us how she felt from a distance.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”22658″ style=”vc_box_circle” title=”cindy”][/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 #300
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[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]All right, y’all, class is in session. On Monday Cindy talked about making your writing a coffeeshop conversation, so let’s dive into the grid a little and see if we can find some examples. Anusha‘s post stood out for me as an example of sharing an intimate, uncomfortable moment. “This happened to me, and I felt some kind of way,” her essay confesses, and then (as you can see from the comments section) without ever explicitly soliciting or prescribing a reaction, makes space for the reader to respond with a shared or similar experience. On the other hand, Donna-Louise‘s post is an intimate conversation between herself and her body, with significantly less room for the reader. It does an excellent job of cataloguing her conflicting feelings, but ends up being more of a milestone than a discussion with give and take. And then there were a couple posts that reminded me not of a coffeeshop, but of being trapped next to someone on an airplane. This brings us back to Cindy’s point: remember that you have a reader. When you sat down at the table with your cup of coffee, who was next to you? Do they need to hear every intimate medical detail, drop of blood, or racial slur? Are you actually shocking them, or just making them tired? Take a minute to picture your reader – it’s relatively easy here at yeah write, where you actually get to talk to them – and ask if this audience is the right one for the story you’re telling.[/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]Writers. I know this is usually the space where I talk about what’s on the grid; this week I want to talk about you talking about what’s on the grid. There’s some phenomenal feedback out there, and it warms my cold black heart to see you thinking critically about line breaks, sentence structure, plot points, and communication, and then sharing that information with each other in a kind but direct way.
Your takeaway for this week is that I’d love you to give some thought to the feedback you’re uncomfortable giving. What do you say when you thought a story was preachy and boring, or a poem was trite? That’s the hardest feedback; you can give technical advice all day but how do you tell someone there’s no there there? I’ve never been able to think of a good way to say, in public “this left me absolutely flat.” On the other hand, that’s what beta readers (and your membership perks, and professional editors) are for. If you’ve never worked with a professional editor, you might not know that you can ask them to give you overall notes for your work rather than a line-edit. If you think your writing has technical merit but you’re not topping the grid, this might be a useful thing to think about. Try to find an editor or beta reader who isn’t just like you; they’ll be able to tell you things like “we don’t describe people of color with food words any more, that’s always been weird.”[/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 both grids; if we were impressed by several posts on one grid we’ll give them all picks, and if nothing really stood out for us 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 #300
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]