Season of light

Here in the northern hemisphere, the days are still getting shorter, and our little rituals – be they religious, cultural, personal, or otherwise – are designed to remind us that there’s still light in the world. But no matter the time of year, candles symbolize hope, truth, and remembrance. They light our way home, they set a mood. A candle can even embody a certain defiance, a shaking of the fist. It is better, as they say, to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

In the spirit of the season, we’re giving you a phrase: light one candle. You must incorporate these three words into your story in this specific order – but not necessarily in sequence. That is, you do not need to use the phrase verbatim, but you do need to keep them in the given order.

Phew. That was hard to explain; let’s try some examples of ways to incorporate these words.

  • YES:
    • Light one candle.”
    • I light the nights one at a time. Each star is a candle.
    • Light is a measurement. One year is farther than I can see. I measure my own years out candle by candle.
  • NO:
    • My one candle sheds light.
    • Candle by candle, I light the darkness. One flame per lost soul.

The words themselves must be used exactly as given (do not pluralize, use past tense, etc. – candle may not be candles; light may not be lights or lit). The total wordcount for this challenge is exactly 40 words: our three plus 37 of your own.

This is the badge you need:

Below is the YeahWrite badge you need for this month’s microprose challenge. Under the badge is a few lines of code. See that? Copy it and then paste it into the “text” or HTML view of your post editor. If you don’t copy it exactly, the image will not appear correctly in your post, and you will receive an error message when you submit the post to Inlinkz. If you have any questions regarding adding this code to your post or website, please contact us at editors@yeahwrite.me.

Need a hand?

Microprose sounds easy. After all, how hard can it really be to write a story with fewer than 100 words incorporating a prompt or two? But it turns out it’s our hardest challenge to really get right. Whether you’re a seasoned micropro or a brand new microwriter, it’s worth taking a minute to glance through the tips and tricks our editors have put together, like this quick refresher on what makes a micro great, or this one on how to incorporate mandatory prompts into adjudicated challenges. Make sure you make it to the vote this week: check your wordcount (we count those footnotes!) and prompts!

How to submit and fully participate in the Microprose Challenge

Basic YeahWrite guidelines: must be in response to the prompt found in the introductory post; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; nonfiction, fiction, whatever, told in exactly 40 words: the three prompt words plus 37 words of your own. You may enter only one microstory per weekly challenge.

How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:

  1. Please grab the code beneath the microprose badge in the body of this week’s post and paste it into the HTML view of your entry;
  2. Follow the Inlinkz instructions after clicking “add your link” to upload your entry to this week’s challenge grid;
  3. Your entry should appear immediately on the grid if you don’t receive an error message;
  4. Please make the rounds to read all the entries in this week’s challenge; and
  5. Consider turning off moderated comments and CAPTCHA on your own blog.

Submissions for this week’s challenges will close on Wednesday at 10pm ET. Voting will then open immediately thereafter and close on Thursday at 10pm ET. The winners, as always, will be celebrated on Friday.

Thank you for sharing with us your hard work! Good luck in the challenge…

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About the author:

After a long stint as a Russian scholar and composer, Christine rediscovered her passion for writing in 2006. She joined the YeahWrite team in 2014 as the microstory editor. A lover of beautiful stories in small packages, her primary focus has been microfiction; she also writes flash fiction, short stories, and the occasional personal essay, much of which has been posted to her blog, Trudging Through Fog. Christine was a 2015 BlogHer Voices of the Year award recipient and Community Keynote speaker. Her short fiction has been published by MidnightSun Publishing, and she is currently editing her first full-length novel.

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