They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and Round Two of the Super Challenge took that literally, giving eighteen writers a chance to tell us a thousand words and include that gorgeous visual prompt. Once again, anything that went right is entirely due to our admin team’s untiring work behind the scenes, and anything you hate is probably my fault. Especially the prompts.

Before we announce who’ll be moving on, let’s take a moment to chat about the next round of the Super Challenge. Starting Friday, the advancing writers will be combining tropes from two genres to make a blended-genre story.

A few tips and pointers about this coming 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. 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.

Y’all, I’m not gonna lie, this is one of my favorite prompt styles. I’m such a sucker for books like Glen Cook’s Garrett, P.I. series. I hope you’re as excited about writing the next story as I am about reading it.

Congratulations to Our Advancing Writers

We know who’s got a handle on combining actions, events, and settings, but let’s see who’ll be taking on our two-genre mashup for the final round of the Super Challenge:

Donna-Louise Bishop
Melony Boseley
Jennifer Noga Davinroy
Tara Davis
Cynthia DeRuyter

Joshua Flores
Ginger Gorrell
Eva Schultz
Trish Tuthill
Gail Webber

Wait, wait, there’s more!

If you didn’t move on, or you just can’t get enough of our Super Challenges, registration for Super Challenge #5 opens at 3pm US Eastern Time today. We’re headed back to nonfictionland this time, so whether that’s new to you or you’re an old hand, stop by and check it out!

Writers, if you don’t have your feedback, please send us an email at superchallenge@yeahwrite.me, ’cause that email should have reached you about twelve hours ago.

Now that this round of the competition is over, you’re free to post your work anywhere on the Internet you like, or take our judges’ suggestions and rework your submission to send on to other venues. We’ve also set up a special linkup for the Round Two stories, which you can find on the main Super Challenge page under Round Two, or right here:

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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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