[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Before we talk about writing this week, I want to talk about silencing.

I’m writing this post on the 19th of January, 2017. Tomorrow, Donald Trump is scheduled to take office as the 45th President of the United States. Regardless of where you stand and how you voted, if you’re reading this you’re a writer and you should be very, very concerned.

The essence of writing is communication. When communication is stifled, when ideas are stifled, we lose something. Some folks like to think that the clamor of voices on the left is “fractured” rather than diverse; that by allowing more people to speak we lose unity. You know better. A unity gained by silencing voices is no unity at all, but a tyranny. So for the next four years I challenge you: use your voice. And even more, listen to the voices of people more marginalized than you and use your voice to amplify theirs.

Above all, never stop writing.

And as long as we’re on the subject of writing, we should probably see who wrote their way to the top of the popular vote this 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 #301 weekly writing challenge staff picks: nonfiction

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boxes by ellen

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Sometimes the quietest stories can be the most powerful. In the age of the personal essay, when writers are willing to part with their most private secrets for $50 and a byline, readers can reach a point of oversharing overload. That’s why I loved finding this unassuming post from Ellen at Baby on a Raft on the grid this week. It raises that most quotidian of tasks—decluttering—to the elegiac by the simplicity of its language, the soft containment of its scene, the deftly painted setting, and the alluded-to emotions. It is sparse writing that is both familiar and fresh, asking small but universal questions about life and love and letting the answers linger in the air for the reader to consider.[/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_column_text]

Yeah write #301 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction|poetry

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]Ed’s Note: Y’all, please welcome Asha again. We’re so pleased to have her on staff. This week she asked to give a special shout-out which, while not a traditional editor’s pick, falls under the staff pick umbrella. With that said… take it away, Asha. /RBG[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

cat-like by melony

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]There were so many compelling entries in this week’s fiction|poetry grid, and such creative incorporations of the optional prompt. Those who attempted the poetry genre discovered just how deceptively difficult a couplet can be. I’d like to give a special shout-out to Melony for her post Cat-like. I love Melony’s resilience. She admitted that she found writing the couplet much harder than she expected, but she did it anyway. That embodies so perfectly the Yeah Write spirit that I think it deserves a special mention.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”26368″ style=”vc_box_circle” title=”asha”][/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 #301

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nonfiction

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Cindy’s lesson this week really clicked, didn’t it? A good single scene story draws you in and holds you, whether it’s between the four corners of Nancy’s missing photograph, deep in Ellen’s basement, or in a cozy spot by Jan’s fireplace (Jan, I’m coming over. Save me a spot by the piano.). Place is a fantastic anchor for a story. You can also apply this lesson to objects. As long as we’re calling out old editor pieces this week, here’s one by Stacie that I keep on my “must-read” list for how to anchor a big story to a small place or thing. Focusing on a scene or object gives the reader a space in your story, something to hang onto and come back to, and that’s what this month is all about: where your reader fits into your writing.[/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]

fiction|poetry

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]You’ve heard of six-word stories, right? “For sale, baby shoes, never worn.” The way to screw up a six-word story is to try to tell the whole story in six words: “Today I bought milk at Safeway.” The reader reaches the end of the sentence and stops caring, because there is no plot or dramatic tension.

That same sensibility applies to any situation where you have a tight word or line count to meet. Sure, the 750 words on our fiction grid may feel generous, but trust me it’s not. The novel I’m currently editing came in at about 475,000 words in first draft. If you’re trying to write middle-grade fiction where the whole story is contained within the parameters of the paragraph, 750 words is barely enough for one scene. Trying to fit more than that in will result in you writing about your story rather than writing your story.

If you start with the idea that you’re going to write something that fits in six words, or two lines, or 750 words, that’s all you’ll write. You could fit so much more into that space, though! Try this exercise: look at a story or essay on the grids that impressed you this month, and try to compress it into six words. Or combine this idea with our January poetry slam and try to compress a favorite scene from a book or movie or your own life into a couplet. How much can you say, and in how few words? Knowing how to pack more story into less space will help you tell those big stories you want to tell.[/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 #301

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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