Well, here we are. It’s the final round of YeahWrite’s fourth Super Challenge. We’re down to ten fantastic writers and we can’t wait to see what they come up with!

This round, our writers will be combining tropes from two genres to make a blended-genre story. A few tips and pointers about this round:

Look. Up. Your. Genres.

Even if you know one of the genres well, even if your name is actually Ngaio Marsh and we assigned you “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 with your genres. Sure, there are noir stories that don’t incorporate crime, femme fatales, or hardboiled main characters… but this isn’t the time to be trying to write one. Stick to the main tropes for your 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 may, if they feel it appropriate, include a content warning. It’s our firm belief at YeahWrite that content warnings, far from discouraging readership, make work available to a wider readership by allowing people to make informed decisions about the material they read. You know: like the summary on the back of a book, or movie ratings.

Now that that’s cleared up, let’s get to the topic assignments:

Let’s check out the prompts

For Super Challenge #4, our writers will be combining the following two genres:

Science Fiction / Epistolary

An epistolary is a story told entirely in an exchange of correspondence. To head off that FAQ: for our purposes, correspondence means written material from one person to one or a few people, such as texts, emails, or letters; it does not mean material posted from one person to many like a blog, article or transcript.

Don’t skip looking up science fiction just because you think you know what it is: it’s not alternate history. Writers choosing a variant or subset of science fiction should make sure all their main tropes are in place, because we’ll be reading for them!

Wait, wait, there’s more!

Don’t post your story anywhere on the Internet until after our judges are done and you get your feedback! But if you want to talk up the competition or live-tweet your writing process, use the hashtag #YWsuper. Just remember not to include identifying details about which story is yours!

Your essays are due Sunday at 10pm US Eastern Time. Remember to check the rules for formatting, including all those fiddly details like title page, font, and filename. Don’t get disqualified on a technicality! We know it seems really useless at times, but all those rules have a purpose, from helping get your file where it needs to be to making sure you’re read anonymously and fairly. We’d hate for you to get this far and then miss out on your chance to win.

Email your questions to superchallenge@yeahwrite.me—we will not be reviewing other email addresses or social media for your questions over the weekend and we want to make sure you get the answers you need!

We hope you have as much fun with the prompt as we had picking it out. Good luck, and good writing!

About the author:

Rowan submitted exactly one piece of microfiction to YeahWrite before being consumed by the editorial darkside. She spent some time working hard as our Submissions Editor before becoming YeahWrite’s Managing Editor in 2016. In real life she’s been at various times an attorney, aerialist, professional knitter, artist, graphic designer (yes, they’re different things), editor, secretary, tailor, and martial artist. It bothers her vaguely that the preceding list isn’t alphabetized, but the Oxford comma makes up for it. She lives in Portlandia with a menagerie which includes at least one other human. She blogs at textwall and CrossKnit.

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