You’re all winners.

Just kidding. No, I’m not. Because there’s a lot of ways to “win” here at yeah write. Whether you’re at the top of the crowd vote this week or whether you won our super challenge (winners will be announced at 10pm tonight, folks, so stay tuned), we’ve got your badge or cash prize right here. But it doesn’t stop there. Because every week you write, you’ve accomplished something. You’re doing better than a week when you didn’t write. And you’re getting valuable feedback and eyes on your work. So even if you didn’t get that coveted crowd fave, you still benefited.

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. Some weeks, the editors will comb through the grids and nothing really stands 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 the details of both elements – structure and storytelling – to earn a staff pick. 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.

On weeks when the grids are unmoderated, you can check out the Roundup, where I try to identify trends and troubles that show up for more than one writer on the grid. If you’re curious why there’s no pick, there’s usually a clue in the Roundup why that post you liked didn’t make the cut. Then keep scrolling down to check out who won the popular vote on both grids. 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? 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!

Rowan’s roundup: yeah write weekly writing challenge #308

nonfiction

Sometimes I’m guilty of clicking past an essay. I bet you are, too. You can tell in the first paragraph or two that it’s not going to get your vote, and there’s a lot of stuff you’d rather be reading. So how do you keep your own essays from becoming “clickpastable?” Set a hook.

Your hook doesn’t have to be the Most Dramatic Thing Ever, but it should make the reader want to keep reading. Think about “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Or, even better, “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” Or what about “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” All those lines make you want to know more, to find out what happens next. They tease and hint without being ponderous. If one of your first five sentences doesn’t do that, you’re probably losing more readers than you’re keeping. And that’s a shame, because you have something to say.

fiction|poetry

I’ve still got constructive criticism on my mind, I guess, because as I read through the grid this week (okay, and the nonfiction grid) one thing jumped out at me. Two things, actually: two adjectives for every noun. Are you guilty of doing this in your writing? I am!

When you write a story, take a minute to go back through and make sure that you haven’t used the same number of adjectives for every noun. Does the thin yellow pencil sit on the tall wooden desk waiting for the gaunt angry writer to pull in the black rolling chair and begin writing careful methodical prose? If you’re using the same number of adjectives frequently, your writing will fade into a drone no matter how lovely and well-chosen your words are. Add that to your proofreading checklist!

That’s it for this week, so let’s move on to the popular vote results. 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 #308

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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