YeahWrite Super Challenge #2

Welcome to the YeahWrite super challenge!

Welcome – or welcome back – to YeahWrite’s super challenge. The super challenge brings together the best parts of our community: writing, reading, feedback and, well, winning! Super challenge number one, the nonfiction edition, went great, and now we’re back for the fiction edition of our newest competition.

If you’re already familiar with our weekly challenge grids, you know they’re a great way to learn, grow and connect with our community of writers, but the super challenge is where it all comes together, where your hard work and practice pays off – literally pays off, I mean, with prizes! If you’re finding YeahWrite for the first time, welcome aboard. We hope you’re along for the ride. Check out our Facebook group, the coffeehouse,  for more ways to connect with our community of readers and writers!

YeahWrite has been a vibrant community of writers for over five years, and we’ve never missed a week in all that time – 280 and counting, as I write this. Now we’re adding the next level of writing competition and we hope you’re as excited to find it as we are to add you to our community! So with no further ado, let’s dive into super challenge #2.

About

The YeahWrite fiction super challenge is a prompted challenge where writers compete to complete the best work of short fiction in a single weekend. Prompts are released on Friday, and the completed work must be turned in by Sunday night.

The competition is run in three rounds. Half the writers will move to the second round of competition, and approximately ten writers will advance to the final round of competition. All competing writers will receive feedback on their work from the judges at the end of each round. The final ten writers will compete for cash prizes for first, second and third place.

Schedule

Each round of the challenge starts at 10pm Eastern US Time on a Friday and closes at 10pm Eastern US Time on the Sunday immediately following, giving you 48 hours to complete your entry. Each round will have a different genre and prompt style. Writers will be separated into groups and each group will receive a prompt. All groups will respond to that prompt in the genre assigned for each round. The rounds are scheduled as follows:

Dates Prompt Combination
October 7-9 Emotion + Event

Writers will receive a combination of a mood or emotion and an event to include in their story. While neither needs to be the main focus of the story, both must be included in such a way as to be integral to the plot. There are no genre restrictions.

October 21-23 Character + Event

Writers will receive a description of a character (this may be in words, images, or a combination of the two) and an event. The character does not need to be the main character, and as in round one the event does not need to form the plot arc of the story, but both must be included in such a way that the story would not function without their presence. There are no genre restrictions.

November 4-6 Two Genre Mashup

Writers will receive two genres and must tell a story that is a combination of the main tropes of both genres. Some genres that may be included are: romance, mystery, horror, fairy tale, fantasy, science fiction. There are no character or topic restrictions, but elements of both genres must be clearly identifiable in the finished story.

Fees and Registration

Registration is now closed for the YeahWrite super challenge #2. Miss out? Sign up for our email blast so you don’t miss any important announcements. For all our participants, good luck this weekend!

Prizes

The amount of the prizes will be announced after all entries have been received.

Why? Because just like your sibling, we’re gonna split the money with you. That’s right: the total cash prizes for first, second and third place will add up to half of the entry fees*. You know what that means? The more folks enter, the bigger the prize gets. Sign yourself up and then go share this news with your friends and community! Make the competition bigger, better and tougher for all of us!

* Unless a prize in that amount would trigger provisions of US law relating to transfer of fees; in that case we reserve the right to split the money in such a way that we award more prizes (i.e. first through fifth place).

UPDATE: It’s official! The money’s been counted and the splits have been split. The super challenge prizes are:

First place: $225
Second place: $150
Third place: $75

FAQ and Rules

For full text of the rules of the competition, go here. By entering the competition you agree to abide and be bound by these rules, so go actually read them. Besides, they contain really useful information about how to submit your work and in what format, in case you get tired of reading this FAQ.

Who can enter?
Anyone 18 or older can enter the competition, as long as it’s not void where you live. YeahWrite editors are, naturally, not eligible. If we had actual employees they wouldn’t be eligible either, and it goes without saying that our competition judges are not eligible.

How many writers can work on a story?
A story is considered the work of the registered writer. We won’t split up the prizes. That said, you can show your work to others during the course of each round, receive feedback, and make revisions.

When will I get my assignment and when is it due?
Assignments will be posted at 10pm Eastern US Time on the opening Friday of each challenge, and it is due by 10pm on the Sunday immediately following. That means you have exactly 48 hours to write your story!

How do I submit my story?
Email your essay in .doc/docx, .rtf, or .txt format to superchallenge@yeahwrite.me before 10pm on the closing day of each round. Use the subject line “YeahWrite super challenge Round [x] Group [y] submission.” Make sure the filename is as specified in the official rules.

How do I format my story?
Your story (including the title page) must be in 12 point font – either Arial or Times New Roman. The first page should be blank except for the Title Page information described in the rules. If you don’t know how to insert a hard page break in your writing, this is a great time to learn! The title page does not count toward your maximum word count of 1,000 words. Make sure your name does not appear anywhere in your story or on the file. The name of the file must be as follows: [group number]-[title]. For example, if you are in Group 2 and the title of your story is “Daisy Petals” then the filename will be 2-Daisy Petals.doc (or .rtf, etc., as applicable).

What if I need to make changes to a story I’ve submitted?
Sorry. We don’t accept revisions or changes to your work. Once you hit send that’s it, game over. The only exception will be if you forgot to attach your story to your original submission email. We’ll send you a confirmation email when we get your story. Submitting two stories can be grounds for disqualification.

Who owns the copyright to my work?
You do. For a more complete explanation of what rights you are granting to YeahWrite by entering your work in the super challenge, see the official rules.

So can I post my work on my blog?
Not until after you receive feedback from the judges, please. Don’t make your work available in a forum where the judges might run across it until the judging is done. After each round of the challenge is over, we’ll also create a special grid to link up your work, since it’s not eligible for our regular challenge grids.

What feedback will I get on my work?
In every round you participate in, you’ll get an email telling you what the judges liked about your work, and what you need to work on. We’ll make sure to get you this feedback before the next round, so that it’s useful to you as you move through the competition!

What kinds of story are acceptable?
While YeahWrite does not place restrictions on use of strong language or on genre, our editorial standards respect the diversity and dignity of our audience. YeahWrite does not and will not accept works which insult or demean any person based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other similar traits. This doesn’t mean you cannot write a story about or containing racism or homophobia between characters or as part of the plot, but it does mean that your story itself shouldn’t be racist or homophobic. It comes down to this: always remember that people who are not like you will read your stories. What do you want them to think about you as a person and a writer?

Who are the judges?
A staff of professional writers, educators and editors. We’ll have a couple celebrity guest judges for each competition, usually in the final round, so stay tuned and keep checking our Announcements section on this page!

What if I have more questions?
Please send questions about the super challenge to superchallenge@yeahwrite.me only, and not to our Facebook, Twitter, or other email addresses. We will not be reviewing other email addresses or social media for super challenge related questions, and we want to make sure you hear back from us!

super challenge round updates

Are you ready for this? So are we. We’ll post the prompts, winners, and a special linkup for each round here as the competition goes on! Good luck, writers!

Round One

For the first round of the super challenge, writers must combine two prompts: an emotion and an event.

Writers have been broken into four groups; the top five writers in each group will advance to the second round of competition in two weeks. The following are the group prompt assignments. If you’re playing along at home, remember that stories written to these prompts are not eligible for our ordinary challenge grids each week.

Group 1: yearning / wear outrageous shoes
Group 2: envy / attend a funeral
Group 3: disapproval / swim in a pool
Group 4: trust / abandon a city

Rules for using the prompts:

Writers may not use the emotion prompt word (or a conjugation or declension thereof) to describe the character’s emotion. That is, if the prompt is “Anger” it is not permissible to write “I felt angry.” It is permissible to write “I felt rage” but we strongly encourage writers to show, rather than tell, the reader what emotion the character is feeling. As always, writers should try to avoid clichés like “a single tear rolled down my cheek.”

Any character may experience the emotion, not just the main character. However, the emotion must be clearly exhibited and identifiable so mayyyyybe don’t just throw a screaming baby into the background noise of the story because who even knows why that baby is crying, right?

The event does not need to be the plot of the story, but it must be important enough to the story that the plot could not happen without it. That is, if the assigned event is “a robbery” the story could be about burglars breaking into a house, a detective investigating the scene of a crime, or even Batman having a flashback to his parents getting mugged. If, however, the main character walks past a mugging in an alley on his way to a wedding and the mugging exists only to establish that the story is set in New York City, that is probably not going to be integral to the plot as there are a thousand other ways to set that up.

There are no genre or setting restrictions on Round One stories.

Congratulations to our Round One winners! The following 20 writers will advance to Round Two, starting this Friday at 10pm US Eastern time:

Michael Atkinson
Meryn Beattie
Amy Buchanan
Leonor Carrosquilla
Jennifer Chase
Donna Clarke
Danielle Dayney
Nancy Koziol
Jolan Marchese
JJ Mikel
Hema Nataraju
Amy Palen
Christi Silver
Jaimie Smith-Windsor
Marta Tanrikulu
Claudine Tinellis
Patricia Tuthill
Karen Vernon
Paige Vest
Lani Watt

In the meantime, if any of our Round One writers would like to share their stories, we’ve made a very special grid just for you. Go ahead and put your story on your blog (or anywhere on the ‘net), click the submission link below and enter the URL where you’ve posted your work. Please use the same email you used for the super challenge so we know it’s you, and don’t worry if you don’t see your post right away: we’re moderating entries to make sure only our round one writers link up to this grid.

 

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Round Two

Thanks for staying patient as we were up and down today. Trust me, we were almost as anxious as you. This round, our writers will be working with a character and an event. The character is shown in an image, and the event is described. A few tips and pointers about this round:

The image prompt is NOT the plot of your story. The person depicted in the image must, however, be a character. It is not necessary to make them the main character, but they should be important to the plot. They do not need to be wearing the clothing or taking the action shown in the image; use these things for clues to what you think their personality should be. Remember, just because you have a picture to work from, you’re not off the hook for describing your characters – any of them. A reader who sees the picture after completing your story should be able to immediately identify which character the picture represents.

The event also does not need to be the plot of the story, but it must be important enough to your story that the plot could not happen without it. That is, if your event is “finding a ring” you could write a story about burglars breaking into a house to steal jewelry, a couple shopping for the perfect engagement ring, or – if and only if your name is JRR Tolkien – a really short guy in a cave stumbling over a magic ring of invisibility with an inscription inside. If, however, your main character shoves the ring into their pocket five words into the story and then we never hear about it again, that’s probably not enough.

There are no genre or setting restrictions.

So with no further ado, let’s get to the prompts, shall we?

Group One: File a complaint

 Group Two: Stumble over a body

and the winners are…

Michael Atkinson
Meryn Beattie
Donna-Louise Bishop
Danielle Dayney
Amy Palen
Jaimie Smith-Windsor
Patricia Tuthill
Karen Vernon
Paige Vest
Lani Watt

Congratulations, folks! And as per Round 1, please feel free to share your stories on our special Round 2 grid right here:

 

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Final Round

This round, our writers will be combining tropes from these two genres to make a blended-genre story:

Horror / Western

That’s “Western” in the style of High Noon or Zane Grey, not as in “any Western literature.” We’ve linked to the Wikipedia descriptions of the genres here but writers are free to explore any of the myriad lists of tropes and genre descriptions available online and build their stories from common elements.

A few additional tips and pointers about this round for our finalists:

Look. Up. Your. Genres.

Even if you know one of the genres well, even if your name is actually Ngaio Marsh and we assigned “mystery,” it’s good to think about not only what you believe is in the genre but what your judges might be expecting to see. Both genres need to be easily identifiable, so think about which elements of the two will work together and which will not.

Don’t go offroading. Sure, there are noir stories that don’t incorporate crime, femme fatales, or hardboiled main characters… but this isn’t the time to try to write one. Stick to the main tropes for the assigned genres and let the interplay between the two provide the sense of freshness and innovation you’re looking for to show off your creativity.

There are no character, plot or setting restrictions, beyond what is necessary to demonstrate each genre. Writers, don’t forget to doublecheck your prompt email and the rules… and good luck! Stories are due by 10pm Eastern US time on Sunday.

Y’ALL, DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ENDS SUNDAY MORNING. DOUBLE-CHECK THE TIME.

And the winners are….

Coming up right after we take a break to thank all our writers, judges, and especially the behind-the-scenes admin team responsible for anonymizing, cross-checking rules, sending emails, and generally improving your lives in ways you don’t even know about because they handled that while the rest of us weren’t looking. Crew, we couldn’t do it without you.

Winners, you’ll receive an email from our team in the next few days confirming details so that we can make sure you get your prize!

First Place – $225

Paige Vest – Fool’s Gold

Paige’s story wove together elements of both tropes in a clean, effective story that one of our judges described as “the stuff of my next batch of nightmares.” There’s more than gold in them thar hills, and this story panned out. I’m done with Western puns, guys, I’m sorry.

Second Place – $150

Jaimie Smith-Windsor – La Muerte

Jaimie took the “Western” theme in a not-stereotypical direction, combining gorgeous visual and auditory elements to set a dystopian post-apocalypse scene that our judges wanted to know more about. Well-delineated characters and a continual sense of foreboding ramped up the tension in this story.

Third Place – $75

Amy Palen – Unearthed

Amy went back to the classics for this story: the secret crime, the bordello, and a supernatural element reminiscent of Poe’s Telltale Heart. While utilizing known tropes can make a story feel predictable, this one was more like settling down with a much-read book of short stories – even knowing what’s coming, don’t read it late at night.

Writers, if you’d like to share your stories, the super challenge grid for the final round is right here:

 

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Announcements

7.Oct

It’s official! The money’s been counted and the splits have been split. The super challenge prizes are:

First place: $225
Second place: $150
Third place: $75

(That’s United States money. Insert obligatory US/Canada dollar joke here. Insert apology to all other countries using the dollar as currency here.)

9.Oct

The first round ended at 10pm US Eastern Time. Judges, keep an eye out for your packets tomorrow! Writers, we’ll be scoring your stories over the next week; we’ll let you know who’s advancing during the week of the 16th (and we’ll give you a more accurate estimate of that date as soon as we have it but right now it’s “before Friday,” ok? Thanks!).

19.Oct

Writers, you should have received your feedback last night/this morning (depending on where and when you live!). If you don’t have it, send us an email at superchallenge@yeahwrite.me and we’ll re-send your email. Round One winners will be announced at noon US Eastern time today, so stay tuned for the post or follow this link to check out who’ll be advancing to Round Two this weekend!

Come meet the judges for our super challenge!

17.Nov

Writers, check your email! Your round 3 feedback is waiting. We’ll announce the overall first, second and third place winners right here on Friday, November 18, at 10pm US Eastern time, so stay tuned!