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yeah write #196 writing challenge: challenge winners

yeah write #196 writing challenge: challenge winners

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m a character being written,” Marilyn Manson has said. Personally, I doubt it; few writers would have the imagination to invent him. But the truth is a gold mine for writers, as our nonfiction grid showed this week. You took us from the panicky halls of elementary school, marked with the lingering scent of cheap food and the pocked sound of a teacher’s footsteps behind you, to the bus stop after school where a child questioned the tenets of her faith, to a mother’s nighttime reflections, disturbed by accusations of faithlessness to herself and her family.

And then, like every week, we wrenched ourselves back to our own realities and voted, dissecting those stories not just for heart but for structural merit. The results of that popular vote are way down at the bottom of this post, along with the results for the fiction|poetry grid and the microstories grid.

But it’s not just about the popular vote, folks. We also have our editorial staff picks to hand out. Every week our editors comb through your submissions looking for their favorites. Picks are based on writing quality, how successful the author is in conveying information, and artistic merit. If you got a staff pick this week, grab your badge from the sidebar and wear it with pride!

Once you’re done reading through the staff picks (and congratulating the winners in the comments), keep scrolling down to check out who won the popular vote on all three grids.

…but I never win!

The winners’ post isn’t just about the bragging rights. It’s a chance for everyone to re-read the best of the best posts this week and analyze them. Instead of asking why your post didn’t win, try asking why that post did. You might get some ideas for how to make your writing better. If you’re consistently at or near the bottom, maybe it’s time to change it up a little bit. Try one of our poetry slams, or try a new style of writing for your regular grid. Head over to the coffeehouse on Sunday for Nate’s weekly double shot of espresso, where he analyzes our best posts and gives you a few tips on how to use the techniques in those posts in your own writing. Take some risks. What have you got to lose?

Yeah write #196 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction|poetry

[quote]What is striking about Jennifer’s cento is the ​way she combines disparate lines in a way that creates such unified, evocative imagery. We hear so many sounds in this compilation, from “hissing” to a “tick-tock,” from “warning whispers” to “songs of misery,” telling a very auditory story–an apt use of the optional prompt. The chosen lines’ pacing works particularly well together, creating a piece that not only catches the ear, but flows nicely; a difficult challenge when combining works from different authors.[/quote]

natalie

natalie

[ed’s note: Jennifer, like several other authors on the fiction|poetry grid this week, was taking part in our January poetry slam. The poetry form of the month is the cento, a poem made by cobbling together lines of other poems. If this intrigues you, stop by the coffeehouse for a fuller analysis of the form and the rules for participation!]

Yeah write #196 weekly writing challenge staff picks: microstories

nate

nate

[quote]Within the first few words, the reader knows something is definitely wrong between the two characters. The narrator yells; the tension builds. Then, like a slap in the face, the lights turn off and the narrator finds herself literally without power. I would call it a twist, but the hints are firmly planted: how she hears David’s anger in the rattling of the plates and the indication that he’s up to something himself, how the narrator waits to finish her makeup before confronting the situation. The rest of the scene is left off the page. We readers have to imagine what happens next, and Laura has definitely led us into some gruesome territory.[/quote]

Congratulations to this week’s winners! 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? The fiction|poetry, nonfiction and microstories challenges all 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!

Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments.

Weekend moonshine grid opens today at 6 p.m. eastern time

It’s the place where everybody knows your name… because it’s in the URL. At 6:00 every Friday, Natalie opens the doors to the least anonymous little gin joint on these internets. Slide on down and join her for some weekend fun. Just leave the commercial posts at home- they always leave peanut shells on the floor anyway.

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yeah write #195 weekly writing challenge: challenge winners

yeah write #195 weekly writing challenge: challenge winners

Of all the writing challenges in all the corners of this internet, you had to walk into mine.

And then you stayed, and you voted, and now you want to know the results, right? Me too. So, just like every Friday, I’m going to give you the results on all three of our grids – nonfiction, fiction|poetry, and microfiction – right here!

But it’s not all about the popular vote, folks. We also have our editorial staff picks to hand out. Every week our editors comb through your submissions looking for their favorites. 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!

Once you’re done reading through the staff picks (and congratulating the winners in the comments), keep scrolling down to check out who won the popular vote on all three grids.

Yeah write #195 weekly writing challenge staff picks: nonfiction

michelle

nonfiction editor

[quote]Jenny’s piece this week is such an evocative one and it’s the kind of essay that inspires me. My first reaction was that I didn’t have a place like this – definitely not when I was 26. But the piece stuck with me and as I read it again, I felt the nostalgia and melancholy it brought to the surface. That’s when it hit me that the place doesn’t have to be a physical place and that’s what made me fall deeper in love with this essay. Jenny does a wonderful job setting the mood and tone with her rich descriptions of her place, both in time and space. That alone gives the piece great merit. However, one layer down and there is so much more to explore. And that is the best thing about Jenny’s writing. There’s always another layer down there.[/quote]

Yeah write #195 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction

[quote]In Silver Leaf’s story, playing off the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Novel in Cartoons by Jeff Kinney, a pre-teen laments the onset of aging. Told in first-person POV, Silver Leaf demonstrates her agility with voice in fiction, convincingly taking on the breathless banter of a kid. At this tender age, the narrator reveals how to avoid taking on the real responsibilities of chores by “screwing up” just enough not to get in trouble but enough to require an adult (aka, parent) to finish the job. It’s a clever, charming story of how we learn to manipulate the aging process, and one from which we truly old folks can still learn.[/quote]

meg

contributing editor

Yeah write #195 weekly writing challenge staff picks: microstories

christine

microstories editor

[quote]What I like about Jackie’s story Stalker is that it is a complete story. She conveys the passage of time through simple, short lines that are no less impactful for their simplicity. While I wasn’t wild about the title – I think it might have been more effective to leave the narrator’s role to the reader’s imagination – I appreciated the sinister turn at the end.[/quote]

Congratulations to this week’s winners! 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? The fiction|poetry, nonfiction and microstories challenges all 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!

Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments.

Weekend moonshine grid opens today at 6 p.m. eastern time

As long as we all have hovercars now, why not fly yours down to the moonshine grid when it opens at 6:00? You can stay all weekend! Natalie is serving pangalactic gargleblasters behind the cosiest little bar that never existed. Heck, even Mike Callahan’s been known to drop by now and then. Bring your rocket skates and your jetpack, but leave your commercial posts at home.

Ready for a shot of something new?

Don’t forget, every weekend Nate serves up a double shot of espresso along with free inspiration in the coffeehouse, recounting this week’s best of the best and talking about what made them great and how you can use those techniques in your own writing.

This week we’ll be throwing another poetry slam, too, so stop by and learn what a “cento” is (hint: it’s got nothing to do with the number 5 and everything to do with armor). If you like the idea, try it out for the fiction|poetry grid!

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yeah write #194 weekly writing challenge: challenge winners

yeah write #194 weekly writing challenge: challenge winners

2015.  If the movies are right, this is the year we get hoverboards. And if that isn’t enough, giant mechs will protect the earth from at least one alien invasion. We’ll establish a permanent colony on the Moon, although we might be held back a little by that Simian Flu outbreak. And we’ll undertake a vital oceanographic survey that ends in… well. No spoilers.

Me, I’m just happy to put 2014 in my rearview mirror and keep driving my flying car into the future.

But you don’t have to live in a bad science fiction movie to get something out of 2015. Scroll down and check out the grids for the first popular vote results of the future!

Yeah write #194 weekly writing challenge staff picks: non-fiction

cynthia

cyn

[quote]Moving without being manipulative, Bill’s story is made up of three scenes that reveal the evolution of his relationship with his father. He carefully selects details that show his father’s transition from virility to death. Yet, amid the changes, Bill uses parallel language and structure to keep us grounded in similarities, not differences. My favorite part of this story is how even as an adult Bill calls shotgun to be at the head of his father’s deathbed where he can utter the words that let his dad go.[/quote]

Yeah write #194 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction|poetry

[quote]Cleverness, as well as compactness, counts for a lot in poetry, and this poem packs a wallop of both. Each of the three stanzas, made up of only three lines of five to eight syllables, carefully combines spartan phrasing with potent imagery. These images–particularly the reversal of sound and scent–create a mood of confusion. This, combined with the certainty imbued in the speaker’s assertions, propels the reader to the end and its inevitable question.[/quote]

natalie

natalie

Yeah write #194 weekly writing challenge staff picks: microstories

rowan

rowan

[quote]When you only have 42 words, you have to make every one of them count. Sometimes it’s tempting to hyphenate everything into one long word-full-of-meanings-and-nuances (that’s only one word, right?). At first glance, Jennifer’s wordplay seems to be heading that direction, and then you dig deeper and find the nuances: “deadleaf expectations” and running “lightquick” are not clumsy attempts to cram more words in, but cleverly tangled compounds. Once you see it, there’s no going back. Just as there’s no word for schadenfreude but schadenfreude, the words in this piece could not have been more perfect for the job if Jennifer had made them herself. Oh, wait… [/quote]

Congratulations to this week’s winners! If you earned the highest number of votes in either challenge, you are this week’s crowd favorite. If you came in second or third, you get top row honors along with the crowd fave. Grab your winner’s badge from our sidebar!

As a reminder, fiction|poetry, nonfiction and microstories winners collect the same badges.

Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments.

Weekend moonshine grid opens today at 6 p.m. eastern time

Still recovering from that New Year’s Eve party? Yeah, me too. Natalie’s got a full pitcher of your favorite hangover remedy waiting on the moonshine grid, starting at 6pm. The bar is fully stocked with painkillers and vitamin C, so drop on by with your noncommercial posts and start 2015 off with a (very quiet) bang.

Yeah write #194 challenge results and popular vote winners

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yeah write #193 weekly writing challenge: challenge winners

yeah write #193 weekly writing challenge: challenge winners

Happy Boxing Day—the day that everyone agrees is a proper holiday (unless you work retail, in which case I’m so very very very very sorry) but about which no-one can agree on the origins or celebration protocol.

Here at yeah write, however, it’s the day we neatly package up the winners of the popular vote on this week’s unmoderated grid. Thanks again to those of you who took time out from your holiday week to write! As a special present, even though we don’t usually do editors’ picks on unmoderated weeks, I’m giving out badges to my favorites on all three grids.

Happy Holidays, whichever ones you celebrate, whether it’s a day-off-work  type of holiday or an important one for your faith. As I write this I’m sipping gingerbread liqueur I got from one of the other editors, looking at pictures of our editorial staff’s families celebrating, and taking a moment to really appreciate this little community of ours. I’m glad you’re in our corner of the web, writing family.

Yeah write #193 weekly writing challenge editor’s picks: nonfiction, fiction|poetry and microstories

nonfiction: sometimes grateful has a bitter taste by vanessa

rowan

rowan

[quote]This time of year we’re often reminded to be grateful for our blessings, whatever they may be. Vanessa’s brutally honest essay reminds us that the fruit of gratitude has a bitter pith, and that not all giving is kind. [/quote]

fiction: the colour white by shailaja

[quote]This week Shailaja treated us to a lesson in the effective use of a recurring motif. Since word re-use is something a lot of us have been playing with lately in the tritina slams, I was particularly sensitive to Shailaja’s shifting “white” as metaphor. From “the whites of her eyes” to white marble, to figurative white-outs, she stuck with the theme without overusing it, just dusting enough white flakes throughout her suspenseful story to obscure the plot twist until it was too late. It’s worth noting that while white means different things in different cultures, Shailaja built this story in a way that would work in almost any context for any reader.[/quote]

rowan

rowan

microstories: the day before christmas by yeshu

rowan again

rowan

[quote]When you only have 42 words, it’s hard to pack in a plot twist. It feels like you don’t have the time to build a world and then change it. Yet that’s exactly what Yeshu did this week, showing us a hopeful world and then shattering it. Her two boxes, the present and the coffin, occupied the same place in both halves of her story, and the real and toy guns were juxtaposed in the same way as the boxes. By doubling up on metaphor, Yeshu delivered hope and heartbreak with perfect timing in her technically and emotionally precise microstory. [/quote]

Congratulations to this week’s winners! If you earned the highest number of votes in either challenge, you are this week’s crowd favorite. If you came in second or third, you get top row honors along with the crowd fave. Grab your winner’s badge from our sidebar!

Looking for your badge? Now that all our writers are under one roof, we’re sharing our badges as well as our drinks. That’s right: fiction|poetry, nonfiction and microstories have the same badges. It doesn’t clutter up our sidebar, and they’ll still look pretty on yours!

Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments.

Weekend moonshine grid opens today at 6 p.m. eastern time

Tired of hanging out with your weird family? Natalie will open the doors to our safe hiding place at 6pm Eastern US time today. She’s got a crockpot full of hot cocoa and jars full of sprinkles, mints, whipped cream, and even crushed candy bars to layer on top. BYOB, but don’t BYO commercial posts.

Yeah write #193 challenge results

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yeah write November 2014 writing contest winners: winning writers and their referrals

yeah write November 2014 writing contest winners: winning writers and their referrals

Thank you for your patience waiting for the announcement of our November contest winners. We had more than 150 entries, and we didn’t anticipate how good each of them were going to be, so we just needed some extra time. You’re awesome for understanding.

Though our original intent was to award the top three entries regardless of genre–personal essay, short fiction or poetry, microstories–we ended up with a pleasant surprise: when we each ranked our top three writers and their submissions, the winners turned out to be one from each challenge grid.

Displayed below are, first, the editorial staff’s top picks, and, second, the eventual winners and the writers who referred them to the contest. Don’t forget, we are awarding double prizes this time around. So whatever the winners’ prizes, her referrer gets the same exact prize package.

Thanks to everyone who entered our November 2014 contest and to everyone who faithfully voted for the crowd favorites each week. A huge thank you to my editorial staff who worked this contest, seemingly, around the clock. Once this post is published, we’ll all be taking a long-needed nap.

Yeah write November 2014 writing contest staff picks

With our scoring system, we have three winners plus their referrers who are also eligible for the same prize as the writing winners.

1st place: $200 cash and an assortment of Lindor truffles

Asha Rajan

Asha’s referrer to the contest was me, Erica M, who is ineligible for any contest loot since I own the site. Asha has graciously donated her $200 cash prize back to the coffers of yeah write, so please look for another writing contest next year with an even bigger treasure chest. Thanks, Asha!

2nd place: $25 cash, five Engine Books titles and an assortment of Lindor truffles

Snapper of Superhero Lunchbox

Snapper’s referrer was Lisa Schamess of Cheap Bohemian who is also the recipient of the 25 bucks, five Engine Books titles and the Lindor truffles.

3rd place: a signed copy of a Myfanwy Collins title and an assortment of Lindor truffles

Rachel of Discontented Oyster

Rachel’s referrer was Jenny Poore of Sometimes There Are Stories Here. Jenny will also receive a signed title from Myfanwy Collins and an assortment of Lindor truffles.

Thanks again to everyone who entered and who referred new writers to our weekly writing challenge. Please stick around for our regular challenges, and stay tuned for the next writing contest with cash prizes!

yeah write #191 weekly writing challenge: challenge winners

yeah write #191 weekly writing challenge: challenge winners

Tis the season… of cold and dark and more cold and more dark and if you’re lucky enough snow to close school, right? RIGHT? Our editors are excited for the winter holidays. Which holidays, you ask? Well, it’s National Poinsettia Day in the US, which apparently has a day for everything. In honor of the thousands of these flowers which are forced into service in offices nationwide only to be slaughtered after the new year (yeah, your co-worker said she was taking that one “home,” but you know she really meant “to the dumpster”) we’re ready to hand out presents this week. Our editorial staff is dressed up for the season and passing out staff picks on all three grids this week, so if you see your name in there, go ahead and grab your badge. We won’t tell anyone we saw you open it early!

Yeah write #191 weekly writing challenge staff picks: nonfiction

michelle

michellemas

[quote]Nobody likes babies on planes- not even their parents. I appreciated the way Liz retold the old standby of “I hate little kids on flights” from a parent’s perspective without asking for tolerance or understanding. She kept a biting humor through the whole piece, which can be hard to sustain, and her sense of comedic timing was spot on.[/quote]

Yeah write #191 weekly writing challenge staff picks: fiction challenge

[quote]If friendships have their own special language, the two characters in “What If” speak it fluently. Wrapped in tubes and pinned to a hospital bed, one friend’s uncertain fate leaves the other to imagine their past lives as if they had known each other forever. She describes the pranks and capers they could have experienced, and the ailing friend gamely goes along, adding details. They stitch together these stories of childhood, teenage years, college and marriage, up until their real meeting. The narrator explains, “I reach the place where they are one, where you marched into my life all tubas and twirling flags and sparklers.” That soaring imagery is the poetic climax of the piece—from this point on, the reader knows Brian’s Song or another achingly sad ending is ahead.  That Megan pulls it off without overwrought handwringing is a testament to her writing skill.[/quote]

meg

megmas

Yeah write #191 weekly writing challenge staff picks: microstories challenge

christine

christinemas

[quote]I loved the way Laura built a world, created a conflict between two characters, and made me care about the outcome – all in 42 words. She took an ordinary, even old-fashioned, game and turned it into something fantastical without resorting to lurid descriptions or melodrama. The details she chose – the clear marble, the left eyelid, the “waythread,” the contrast between the red and turquoise marbles – they all helped set the scene and the mood.[/quote]

Congratulations to this week’s winners! If you earned the highest number of votes in either challenge, you are this week’s crowd favorite. If you came in second or third, you get top row honors along with the crowd fave. Grab your winner’s badge from our sidebar! Looking for your badge? Now that all our writers are under one roof, we’re sharing our badges as well as our drinks. That’s right: fiction|poetry, nonfiction and microstories have the same badges. It doesn’t clutter up our sidebar, and they’ll still look pretty on yours! Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments.

Weekend moonshine grid opens today at 6 p.m. eastern time

When happy hour closes today, the moonshine grid opens. That’s right, at 6 p.m. today Natalie throws open the secret doors to the weekend bar and you’re all welcome to pull up a stool. There’s hot mulled cider in the crockpot, and if you add some of that rum in your flask, nobody’s gonna say a word. We’re not your parents. The only rule is no commercial posts!

Yeah write #191 challenge results

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