How Much Do You Want to Win?

When I first started participating at YeahWrite, I kept a spreadsheet of what post I submitted, how many were on the grid, where I ranked and if I got an Editor’s Pick (note: that column was almost always blank). I studied those who did win to learn what they did that I could emulate. Guess what started happening? I started doing better.

There are two things at play there: First, I started writing more for the audience I had. I figured out what the crowd liked and what the editors liked, which weren’t always the same thing. Second, I became a better writer. I took classes, read about craft, and practiced. Practicing is really key. If you want to win – whether it’s here or elsewhere – you have to put in the work.

But is it worth it? Well, that’s all relative. What is your goal? We want to see your best work here at YeahWrite because that makes it more fun for everyone. The weekly grids offer no prize except for a badge, so it’s not like you’re going to become wealthy off the weekly grids. This can be a stepping stone to greater fame and riches (or, you know, winning the Super Challenge), or just a paid gig if that’s your thing. Or maybe it leads you to find what you really want to do. At the end of the day, winning is great, but hopefully that win takes you somewhere.

I know it sounds like I’m knocking my own challenge here, but I’m not. I take a lot of pride in what we do here and I hope you do, too. I hope you enjoy it. I hope you don’t take it so seriously that you recruit your friends to vote for you without reading the rest of the grid. I hope that you don’t intentionally circumvent rules so that you can get ahead in the popular vote. Don’t take the fun out of a fun thing. Our participants are what makes YeahWrite great and we can’t do this without you – but everyone has to do their part to be a good community member, right?

PS – This wasn’t brought on by any one person doing any one thing. It’s just a friendly reminder to our old friends and some housekeeping for our new friends that we watch the vote and we want everything fair, which means no self-voting or targeted voting. It’s not a clicking contest. We’ve seen some things over the past few months and we haven’t put this out there as a reminder lately so… there you have it. Carry on. Go write something amazing.

YeahWrite Super Challenge

Round 2 of our fifth Super Challenge is officially underway! Good luck to all of our contestants as they anxiously await their results! Did you miss out on registration? Sign up for our email blast so you don’t miss out on any announcements for our Super Challenge #6. Next time, we head back to the land of fiction!

Bring us your personal essays and creative nonfiction!

The Nonfiction Challenge grid opens on Monday at midnight EST. This is the best place on the ‘net to showcase your best writing. Make us laugh, make us cry, make us think, and above all: make us care.

Nonfiction Know-How: Persuasive Essay

Creative nonfiction isn’t just your personal mostly-true stories. You can also use your powers to teach and persuade readers. Learn how to share your wisdom and lessons about life in a persuasive essay that’s more fun to read than that Grade 8 essay question answer in this month’s Nonfiction Know-How. 

Is fiction more your thing?

The Fiction|Poetry Challenge grid opens on Tuesday. Grab a mic and join our monthly poetry slam or check out our weekly prompt up!

Prompt up!

Prompt up is our optional weekly writing prompt for the fiction|poetry challenge! Here’s how it works: we announce a sentence prompt from last week’s winning nonfiction post. It’s your job to use that prompt in your story or poem in some way. Feel free to use it as your first sentence, move it somewhere else, change it, or float it down to other territories.

Nate is on vacation this month, so I’ll be picking the prompt up! This week’s prompt comes to us from Sara’s post, “Any Males?” Her sentences are pretty long (not a bad thing!), so I’m just using part. Here you go: I am amazed at her mountainous courage.

 

August Poetry Slam: Prompts

We’re wrapping up our summer break with a break from poetry and looking forward to our next Super Challenge as Rowan breaks down what a prompt is and how to use it from the other side of the judging table. Looking for ideas? She’ll even throw in some prompts at the end to stretch your brain. We’ve got your Slam right here.

Winners’ Round-Up

In case you missed them, you can find last week’s YeahWrite staff picks and crowd favorites all laid out for you on Friday’s winners’ post. Leave the winners some love in the comments. They will love you right back, we guarantee it.

Weekend Writing Showcase

The weekend’s not over: the yeah write Weekend Writing Showcase is still open. Have something to add? Old posts and new are welcome. No moderation, no voting. It’s a laid-back relaxed kind of place. Just leave your commercial or sponsored posts at home. Drop by, share your work, and while you’re there, visit your fellow yeah writers.

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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