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yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge is open for popular voting: nonfiction, fiction|poetry and microstories

yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge is open for popular voting: nonfiction, fiction|poetry and microstories

Vote for your favorite nonfiction, fiction and microstories here

What would you say if I told you there are only two things you can do to become a better writer, and you’re already doing both of them?

Yeah, I love you too. Okay. No, really, it’s getting hard to breathe.

The two things you have to do are read and write. It’s that simple. Now, you’re already working hard on your writing, but are you doing as much for your reading? Let’s see. As long as you have to read all the posts on each grid before voting on that grid, let’s try an experiment. As you read, ask yourself if you like or dislike each post and what it is about the writing – not the subject, a good writer can get you interested in almost any subject – that holds your interest or catches your attention. Is it lush adjectives? Unsentimental handling of a sensitive subject so that you get to make up your own mind? Humor? Gentle guidance to a conclusion through example, rather than just being told what to think? Once you’ve identified what you enjoy about the writing, try it in your own work!

If you’re new in these parts, here’s how our schedule works: our three challenges open on separate days – Monday for nonfiction, Tuesday for fiction and poetry, and Wednesday for microfiction – but instead of separate days for voting, we’ve combined them all into one big voting post every Thursday.

All three challenges are open below for your voting pleasure. If you want to vote on a grid, please take the time to read all the entries on the grid before voting for the best three. To do that, you might have to take a step back and read the rules for each grid: for example, does that microstory really answer the ultimate question, or did it just make you laugh?

You get three votes on each separate grid. If you’d like to reveal the current vote tallies, just refresh the page after you’ve finished voting. Just a reminder: if you want to see the vote tallies, please use the device you voted from originally. Don’t double-vote just to see how your post is doing; it’s not fair to anyone and we’ll remove your votes.

I got a love letter. Now what?

Trust me, it’s not any more fun to write love letters than it is to get them. I know that on the other end of that letter is someone who’s hearing “my post wasn’t good enough this week.” I’m not going to say this hurts us more than it hurts you, but we do know what rejection feels like. That’s why we never tell you that you didn’t make the grid without explaining what you need to improve. We also have a fantastic writing help section where we’ve collected the best of our summer series and the posts we think give the best advice on improving your writing on all three grids.

Did you break a rule? Miss too many typos? Just skip that last proofread? Remember, there are no points for being first in line. All the entries you see on the grids down there are in random order. Take the time to reread the submissions guidelines and to give your post that last bit of polish that makes the difference between “okay” and “great.” Read the rules one more time before you submit to make sure you are following all of them. Bring your best, most careful work to the grid, and it will pay off.

If you are reading your love letter and you think the advice conflicts with other advice you’ve received on your writing, remember that we’re not the absolute overlords of writing but we do know what’s going to improve your chances in the voting and competition here at yeah write, from structure to grammar to visual elements in your post. Take a minute to listen carefully, even though it hurts, and see how you might be able to use that advice.

yeah write #214 popular voting

Writers: thank you for entering this week’s challenge! If you see your avatar or thumbnail below, you’ve made it into the voting round. If you haven’t already, please make the rounds by reading the other entries and leaving behind a footprint for the writers. If you don’t see your thumbnail, please check your email for a love letter from our submissions editor. You didn’t make it into the voting round, yet your letter will contain valuable, detailed feedback you can use for your next submission. Thank you for sharing with us your hard work; please stick around as a reader and voter.

Readers and voters: thank you for reading all the entries in this week’s challenge! As you read, please make note of each submission’s technical and artistic value, such as story structure and compelling narrative. Click on the thumbnail to read, then click on the heart icon to vote. Can’t decide between two entries for your third vote? Technical merit wins over emotional subtext. But you can certainly leave your fourth place finisher a very nice comment.

One final voting guideline: Targeted voting or voting for your own entry is not allowed. So if you’re a reader and voter who also happens to be in the challenge as a writer, please refrain from campaigning or voting for your own submission. We monitor the vote to make sure our writing challenge isn’t inadvertently turned into a clicking contest, and we will remove any targeted or self votes.

Yeah write editorial staff: thanks for another great week at yeah write! Please post your blurb for your favorite post to either one of our private message boards by 6 p.m. eastern. The winners’ post will be published on Friday by noon.

Good luck in the challenge, everybody! Voting closes on Thursday at 10 p.m. US eastern daylight time. [-4 GMT]

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yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge is open for microstories in exactly 42 words

yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge is open for microstories in exactly 42 words

Greetings Earthlings!

I find that the most interesting stories are about relationships: between people, between objects, between people and objects, between objects and their context. Relationships create tension that triggers change, and — for better or worse — change is interesting. Like two trains heading for the same track, there’s a potential for disaster, for narrow escape, for heroics or horrible mistakes. Let’s see what you can do with the circumstances you create.

Answer the ultimate question in exactly 42 words: how did you two meet?

This week’s question requires two things for a good answer: a pair of individuals and the circumstances surrounding their meeting. Also: pay attention to tense! The individuals should have met in the past. A few other reminders:

PROOFREAD. Nothing is easier, and nothing will get you bumped from the voting grid faster than typos, spelling or punctuation mistakes, or grammatical errors. You’ve only got 42 words; mistakes stick out.

Keep in mind that your post has to make sense if your reader doesn’t know the question. Don’t use the question as your title or anywhere else in your piece. And remember, any words surrounding your gargleblaster — explanations, references, footnotes, shout-outs, etc. — will be counted against your 42-word limit.

Need a second set of eyes? Find yourself a writing partner over in the yeah write coffeehouse.

The top 42 entries will be open for voting on Thursday

You may enter only one gargleblaster microstory. Submissions are moderated. All entries will show up on our submissions grid, and up to 42 entries will be moved to the voting grid, which opens on Thursday. Everybody: read, comment, vote!

If you don’t make the voting grid, don’t despair – you’ll get a detailed love letter from our wonderful submissions editor, Rowan G., letting you know what needed improvement. Email us or head over to our pages on Facebook and Twitter with any questions.

Winners will be announced on Friday

Look for Friday’s combined winners’ post to see the crowd favorites and editors’ picks from across all of our challenge grids.

What else is happening around here?

We’ve got the nonfiction grid opening on Mondays, the speakeasy for fiction and poetry on Tuesdays, the gargleblaster micro challenge on Wednesdays, and the come-one, come-all moonshine grid for the weekends. We’ve also got a great hangout space over at the coffeehouse. Make sure you subscribe to our weekly e-mail blast so you don’t miss out.

How did you two meet?

The yeah write weekly writing challenge is open is open for micro-stories: fiction, non-fiction, haiku, whatever. Answer the question in exactly 42 words by clicking the link below.

yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge is open for fiction|poetry

yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge is open for fiction|poetry

Welcome to the fiction and poetry challenge at yeah write

It is with a not-so-heavy heart that I am about to bid you all farewell–at least for the next three weeks. That’s right, fictioneers and fellow poets, this editor is on vacation. For the next few weeks you’ll be in Nate’s capable hands as I eat more than my fair share of pizza and gelato, while gorging my senses on some of the world’s finest art and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ah yes, I’m headed to the land of Michaelangelo and Bernini, of DaVinci and the Medici, the one and only Italia. Though I may not bring you back any chianti or Prada sandals, I do promise to bring you photos and stories.

Some of my most enduring stories come from my time spent traveling. Being on a journey somewhere far away opens me up not only to unimaginable experiences, but also to new facets of myself. I can then channel these experiences and newfound interests into more developed characters and richer settings.

So when you’re on your summer journeys, make sure you take notes. You never know what kinds of stories will blossom from there.

How did you two meet?

This optional prompt is to serve as your inspiration for your fiction or poetry. Use the question, word for word, in your story or poem, or just answer the question. You can describe how you met anyone from your long-lost great-aunt Phyllis or just a stranger on a train. Already have your own story thought up? No problem! The prompt is only there if you need it.

Need a little more direction?

For those looking to challenge themselves further, we’ve got many options to choose from. Those who practice fiction can take a stab at romance, this month’s focus on fiction genre. If you prefer to compose quatrains and lyrical verse, then blank verse is this month’s poetry slam form. Writers who want another set of eyes to look over their work before submitting can check out the coffeehouse.

Want more info?

Is this your first time here? Check out Sunday’s post which kicked off the week here at yeah write. If you don’t think you can remember to check back every Sunday, you can sign up for our email blasts directly to your inbox.

Have questions you can’t find the answer to by poking around the site? Email us or find us on Facebook and Twitter and we’ll happily help you out.

The fiction|poetry challenge is open for submissions

yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge is open for personal essays and mostly true stories

yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge is open for personal essays and mostly true stories

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in this space opening the nonfiction challenge. For the longest, the challenge grid, as it was called then, opened on Tuesdays, so if I got a little behind because of life, I could always research and write my Tuesday posts while my kids were in school on Mondays. This thing I’m doing right now, typing on a deadline while I’m supposed to be putting my kindergartner down for the night (as he is waxing on about zombie dinosaurs and complaining of a loose tooth) is new and kind of thrilling. Will I make it? Will life delay the opening of this week’s challenge? Will I be killed by a zombie dinosaur in my sleep?

This is actually what writing pieces of flash creative pieces, especially mostly true stories, feels like to me. It’s hard for me to stay in a regular writing groove, so when I finally open a draft window to write, every single distraction flies through my window like a fireball. Will I make the challenge before it closes to submissions on Wednesday? Will it be my best stuff or will it be the best stuff I have on me right now? Then comes the major decision: do I submit it?

I have two what I call “forever stories”. Stories that I can tell over and over while finding new ways to tell them each time. The first is about my daughter Jordan and how she is overcoming her traumatic brain injury (overcoming is the wrong word, let’s go with adapting to its bullshit ways) and the second story is that of my paternal grandmother and how she was perfection in every way even through the Alzheimer’s that stole her from me. Over and over I’ve told one or a combination of both stories in the nonfiction competition with relative success. They are each so intimate and powerfully moving to me, the paper comes alive, it seems, as I type. Sometimes, when I have very little to say, but I still want to “get on the grid” I will pull one of those stories from my brain and coast on in.

But what about all the other things that have happened to me over the past four decades? Why am I not as skilled as getting those events onto the page? However darkly, I see the humor in my dissolved marriage, taking care of three kids, dating in the modern digital world. How come I can’t write about them as powerfully as I can my forever stories?

Because I don’t practice telling them, and therein lies the rub. When I whip something out for the challenge and submit it through our process an hour after hitting publish, shitty first draft be damned, what am I hoping will happen? A collection of oohs and aahs in my comments? A top three finish in the vote? A book deal (because obvs).

It won’t hurt for me to hold on to these essays I am not used to writing well. It definitely wouldn’t hurt for me to hit the yeah write coffeehouse for a little feedback on where I may have lost the reader. There can be only good in the revision process since yeah write isn’t going anywhere. There will be a challenge waiting for me when I know bringing my best stuff also means it’ll be the best in the challenge.

Maybe I’ll see you this week, maybe I won’t. But I’ll read and vote and learn from the others who had their revisions ready in time. It’s the courteous thing to do.

Nuts and bolts for this week’s nonfiction competition

  1. Optional prompt: how did you two meet?
  2. Word limit: 1,000 hard count. We raised it from 500 plus 100 words grace, so no more grace
  3. See this week’s kickoff post for more information
  4. Still confused? Email your favorite yeah write editor at getsocial@yeahwrite.me
  5. Click the blue button below to add your submission to the first round of the competition

yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge kickoff

yeah write #214 weekly writing challenge kickoff

We want YOU!

Every time the seasons change, we get a little antsy. Sometimes we mix things up with new badges or features, like our focus on fiction or the yeah write poetry slam. Sometimes we change up the website (well, hello there, gorgeous!), and sometimes we go around shaking the interwebs to see if we can’t flush out a few new writers. Are you one of our regulars? We bet you know someone who’d love to give yeah write a try. How about you invite them to play along? Are you new around these parts? Check out our submission guidelines, then hop right in.

Finally, if you are looking for a little something more in depth, consider becoming a yeah write member. You’ll get lots of great writing advice tailored specifically for you, plus you’ll be supporting the best place on the ‘net for writers who blog and bloggers who write!

Questions about any of this? Ping us on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail!

Bring us your personal essays and creative nonfiction!

The nonfiction challenge grid opens on Monday at midnight EDT. This is the best place on the ‘net to showcase your best writing. Make us laugh, make us cry, make us think, and above all: make us care.

Is fiction more your thing?

The fiction|poetry grid opens on Tuesday. Grab a mic and join our monthly poetry slam, or check out our new focus on fiction! The coffeehouse is the place to go to keep up on these special events.

This week’s ultimate question: How did you two meet?

Answer this question in exactly 42 words for the gargleblaster micro challenge, or use it to inspire your submission to the other competitive grids.

Tips for your microstories

This week’s question requires only two things for a good answer: a pair of individuals and the circumstances under which they met. Please note that the verb tense of the answer should match the verb tense of the question. The two individuals must have met sometime in the past.

Winners’ round-up

In case you missed them, you can find last week’s yeah write staff picks and crowd favorites all laid out for you on Friday’s winners’ post. Leave the winners some love in the comments. They will love you right back, we guarantee it.

The weekend’s not over: the moonshine grid is still open. Have something to add? Old posts and new are welcome. No moderation, no voting. It’s a laid-back relaxed kind of place. Drop by, share your work, and while you’re there, visit your fellow yeah writers.

How yeah write works

We’ve got three competitive challenge grids — nonfiction, fiction|poetry and microstories. They are all moderated. Submissions which do not meet our editorial guidelines will not be passed through to the voting grid.

You can learn more about yeah write in our FAQ.

More than just a weekly writing challenge

Sure, the competitive grids are our bread and butter, but there’s more on the menu. We’re building a community of writers who are continually striving to get better at their craft. The challenge grids are one way to do this. We’ve also got the moonshine weekend writing showcase, which is a great place to let loose and try something new, plus the yeah write coffeehouse — the hippest place on the ‘net to find a writing partner, talk about writing or just hang out with other yeah writers. Head barista Nate serves up a couple shots of espresso every week, specially formulated to get your creative juices flowing. Grab a chair and start chatting up your neighbors!

More questions?

Want to ask a question? Start a conversation? Brand new to yeah write and need some clarification? Please visit us on social media!

You can also email us at getsocial@yeahwrite.me.

yeah write weekly writing challenge #213 weekend writing showcase

yeah write weekly writing challenge #213 weekend writing showcase

It’s the weekend, so the moonshine grid is open

Are you ready for the weekend? It’s time to shut off those office computers, close up shop and head home. No more spreadsheets, no more budget meetings, no more getting that printer to work by shaking out the ink cartridge. I am certainly ready to be done filing paperwork–are you?

Lazy days

On the weekends, yeah write needs to relax a little too; hence, this weekend moonshine grid. We get up to all kinds of mischief here, as we love to read any post you want to bring us. No word counts, no genre, no publish-by date, no prompts, no problem. The only rule here is no commercial or sponsored posts: this is a cash-free zone.

This is the badge you are looking for

Over in the left sidebar is a list of yeah write badges containing the codes you need to satisfy the backlink requirement (also called a permalink) of the Inlinkz app. The badge for the moonshine looks like this:

Under the badge is a few lines of code. See that? Copy it exactly then paste it into the “text” or HTML view of your post editor. If you don’t copy it exactly, you will get an error message from the Inlinkz app. If you get confused or your browser is uncooperative, visit the Inlinkz step-by-step instructions here. If all else fails, contact Inlinkz customer support.
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