While driving around the hills of central Texas, I try to listen to things that make my mind feel shored-up rather than soupy. Spanish podcasts, news in Spanish, sometimes Spanish pop stations until the brain-soup effect sets in with the repetition of certain words: amor, corazón, mi alma.

When I’m lazy, I fall back on my mother tongue, so the other day I heard, via the New Yorker fiction podcast, David Sedaris read the short story “Roy Spivey” by Miranda July. He said he first read it when it came out in the magazine: “I sat down to read the story and I felt like I was a different person when I finished reading the story.”

I suddenly remembered closing a book or looking up after the final sentence to find that everything is different; it hasn’t happened in a while, so I had forgotten that it can.

Writing requires so much looking within and scraping out the soul that it’s easy to keep looking in that direction, to forget what effect we want to have on our readers. Please re-read your fabulous not-linked-up-anywhere-else yeah write post for this week and imagine how a stranger will feel and think after finishing it. Will she say, “Wow” or “That’s exactly how it is” or “I can’t stop crying/smiling/laughing” or “That was pretty good except I felt distracted by the typos and misplaced punctuation” or “So what”?  Turn yourself inside out and read your piece again with a stranger’s eye. Do the same thing with your fiction or poetry for the speakeasy grid. We can’t wait to be shored-up and, possibly, changed by your personal essay or skillfully told anecdote.

Challenge grid

What you need for the challenge grid: a classic yeah write post that is not linked up anywhere else and the willingness to read up to forty-nine other non-double-linked yeah write posts. You need some time to read or re-read our submission guidelines and FAQ. And some more time to come back and vote fairly for a crowd favorite on Thursday. Virgins, welcome! We’re glad to have you.

Invitational grid

The best posts with the most compelling so whats will be moved by the yeah write editors onto the invitational grid, from which a jury prize will be selected. Please consult this checklist for hints about what makes, or doesn’t make, an invitational-worthy post. Invitational grid posts also remain on the challenge grid. The invitational won’t be made public until popular voting opens on Thursday.

Odds, ends, reminders

  • Your post can be dated no earlier than Feb 17th, the day the yeah write #97 badges were officially posted
  • The grid is open from Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. to Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.
  • It is limited to 50 bloggers
  • Voting will take place all day Thursday from midnight to Friday at midnight
  • The winners’ post will be published at noon on Friday
  • Our new weekend moonshine grid will open Friday at 6 p.m. and close Monday by 12:01 a.m. 
  • No self-promotional posts are allowed on the yeah write grid, including those containing links to other blog events and Internet contests
  • Combining your yeah write post with other blog events meant to maximize your exposure and minimize your effort is a no-no

Your chance to support yeah write

The focus at yeah write should be (and is) its close-knit community and its learning environment. We don’t load advertisements on our pages or distract from our visitors’ experience with sponsored posts. Participating in yeah write has always been free and, for certain subscribers, it always will be.

It takes real money to run this thing, though, and for those of you who would like to donate toward the upkeep of this community, we are introducing the monthly subscription. For five dollars a month, you will help keep yeah write operating each week, ad-free. You can subscribe one month at a time or change the quantity on the subscription form to 2–12 (or 1,000) months at a time and pay for your monthly subscriptions all at once.

For those of you who’ve already become a supporting subscriber, we give thanks. For those of you ready to support us, here’s the link to the necessary details.

Bring us your best stuff.  Bring us your best stuff when you know it’s gonna be the best on the grid.

Yeah write #97 is open for submissions…