Know Your Audience

In order to write effectively, you need to know a few key things: what you’re writing, where you’re writing it, and who you’re writing it for. If any one of these elements are missing, there’s a good chance you’ll miss the mark. For example, if you built a blog as a DIY writer who provides crafting tips to crafty people, it may not go over so well when you write a gut-wrenching post about something tragic that happened to you. If you are known for your humor and you write a very not funny post about replacing your kitchen sink, it may fall flat.

It may seem obvious that you shouldn’t submit Grandma’s pineapple upside down cake recipe to a literary horror journal (unless it was a really terrible cake, I guess), but you’d be surprised how often people don’t read submission guidelines or peruse the work already published by the place they’re submitting.

On the Nonfiction Grid at YeahWrite, you’re generally free to write about whatever subject matter you choose. However, we discourage journal entry style blog posts, open letters, and lists. Why? Because they typically do not hit the mark when it comes to storytelling which is what we favor. Not sure what that means? A great way to get a better understanding is to see who gets an editor’s pick and what Rowan is discussing in her Round Up each Friday. Reading all the entries, seeing how they do in the popular vote, and noting what the editors say about them is a great way to get a feel for the audience here.

This week, once you get done submitting your very best work, commit to really reading everything on the grid with an eye toward what you already know about this community. Guess who might get a pick or what will land in the Round Up. Then, when the week is out, think about how you can apply that to your next submission.

Nonfiction Know-How: Think Outside the Thesaurus

Word overuse plagues most writers but the solution isn’t always as simple as grabbing a thesaurus. Learn how to avoid the most common traps in both overuse and trying to correct overuse in this month’s Nonfiction Know-How. Fictioneers, you might want to glance at this one, too! Learn more from Rowan here.

How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:

Basic YeahWrite guidelines: 1000 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; nonfiction personal essay, creative opinion piece or mostly true story based on actual events.

1. In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the nonfiction badge 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:

Michelle submitted her first entry to YeahWrite in March 2012 and they haven’t been able to get rid of her since. After nearly 20 years in the insurance/employee benefits industry, she decided to give it all up to pursue writing full time. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post and xoJane, as well as several local sites near her northern NJ home. She blogs at Michelle Longo.

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