Perseverance

My 11 year old has embarked on several months of rigorous training leading up to a test to receive his black belt. He’s nervous, and rightfully so, as the training, qualification, and testing are all pretty intense. As I write, he’s 36 hours in on treatment for strep throat and he really wants to bail on today’s training. If he does, he may lose his chance for the belt. If he goes to training, likely he will be off his game and won’t do well. He wants me to let him quit. I reminded him that one of the character traits he’s learning through karate is perseverance and despite how hard things will be, he must persevere if he wants to reach his goal. Pot, meet kettle.

Writing is scary and hard. It’s so much easier to quit. But if we quit, will we be satisfied or disappointed? This is me telling you to persevere if you really want this. There simply is no other way. Go write something.

It’s the first week of the month, so that means moderated grids. We’ll be reviewing submissions and passing the best work on to the voting round. If you don’t make the cut, you can expect some exceptional feedback letting you know how you can improve your writing. I say it’s worth the risk. What say you?

Welcome to Week 356

We’re kicking off the week in style at YeahWrite with both our competitive challenge grids in one post, plus prompts, tips, tricks and more. You asked, we answered! Keep scrolling down cause it’s all right here.

Submissions for this week’s challenges open on Monday at 12 midnight and 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.

Having trouble getting started? Hop on over to our quick guide. And don’t forget to doublecheck the full submission guidelines before you hit that button.

Microprose Challenge Opens Wednesday

This week has the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means: our tiniest challenge will be open for under 24 hours, starting Wednesday at midnight! Every microprose challenge has different rules, so you’ll need to keep your eyes peeled and your fingers fast. Need a quick link to the challenge? This one goes live when the microprose grid opens.

Nonfiction Challenge

Tapa-ed Out

You know what I mean, right? Tapas or “small plates” have been an “it” thing in dining for a while now. Strategically, it’s brilliant. Order a ton of dishes to share, each one just slightly under the price of a normally (much larger) portioned entree. Only a minimal amount of food arrives at your table at a time, so you keep ordering more because your brain hasn’t gotten the “I’m full” signal from your belly yet. And when you finally walk out of the restaurant, you are uncomfortably stuffed and wow that’s a big bill. Yeah, I just did that and now I’m tapa-ed out for a few weeks. But not when it comes to writing. I can’t get enough “small plates” of writing. Won’t you write some mostly true “tapa” stories for me this week?

Technique Toolbox

There’s no point in writing – at least, not in writing and posting your writing online – if nobody’s reading it. Find out some things you might be doing to accidentally make your writing harder to read in this month’s Technique Toolbox, where Rowan unpacks blog design and reader interface for everyone!

Nonfiction challenge grid:

Basic YeahWrite guidelines: 750 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; nonfiction personal or persuasive essay, creative opinion piece or mostly true story based on actual events.

Check the submission guidelines for our full set of rules. If you’re not sure how to link up, hop over to our quick tutorial for getting started at YeahWrite! Otherwise, click that blue button when the challenge is open, and good luck! Come back to vote starting Wednesday at 10pm, and check out our winners on Friday!

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Fiction|Poetry Challenge

Flat Cats on Mats

Poetry’s been on my mind recently. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about the links between rhyme, meter, and memory.

Story #1: When I was 13, I took elocution lessons. I had to memorise a poem and deliver it, with emotion, to an audience. Everyone participating was judged on their memorisation and delivery (I chose The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll). More than 35 years on, I still remember every word of that poem.

Story #2: When my children were small, I read them stories. We read Lynley Dodd’s Slinky Malinky (you can hear it read here), and Hairy Maclary (watch some of his adventures here), and Mem Fox’s Possum Magic (you can hear Mem Fox read here). These stories had clear rhyme schemes and easily identifiable meters. After only a very few readings, my children recited the next line of the story in anticipation. They had memorised the stories.

You can explore more about poetry and how it can help you hone your writing by signing up to YeahWrite’s Fun With Words poetry writing class with Nathan James!

February Poetry Slam: Kyrielle

We know February is traditionally given over to sonnets, but Rowan hates sonnets. What’s a poet to do? Well, our answer is to explore a different rhyming, metered form, the kyrielle. Taken from old church songs, the kyrielle has not only a rhyme but a refrain, which saves you the trouble of writing at least one line per stanza. Get lyrical this month in about 12 lines.

Prompt Up!

Prompt Up is our weekly writing prompt for the fiction|poetry challenge! Here’s how it works:

For Fiction

  • there will be two prompts each week: a prompt generated by the YeahWrite editors and a prompt generated by a previous winner of the fiction|poetry challenge. That’s right! Winners decide one of the prompts! If you’re a crowd fave winner on the fiction|poetry grid, keep an eye out for an email from us. If we don’t hear back from you by the deadline, we’ll pick our own prompt, and what fun is that? Generally, winners will decide the prompt for the challenge two after the one they won (so 349 picks 351, and so forth).
  • the two prompts are MANDATORY for flash fiction submissions.
  • the two prompt styles will vary month to month; they may include emotions, specific words, a specific sentence, genres, photographs, etc. There is no limit to how we can change it up.
  • the prompts will be posted in the kick-off on Sunday. Submissions will be accepted through Wednesday at 10pm EST (same as before). Everyone will have a little less than 4 days to write and edit a story.
  • YeahWrite editors reserve the right to alter the winner’s prompt. We’ll give you some suggestions for what makes a prompt inspiring and functional, but we’ve noticed that some work better than others, and if we think folks will struggle with yours, we might need to tweak it.

For Poetry

  • You’ll need to incorporate at least one of the three possible prompts. Each fiction prompt counts as a single prompt, and the poetry slam counts as a prompt.
  • This means you can write poetry about one of the two fiction prompts, in any form you like, or about anything you like, using the form given in that month’s poetry slam.
  • Yes, you can use more than one of our prompts in your poem!

We’re very excited about our new challenge, and we hope you are, too!

The first prompt, a photo prompt, is:

Las Vegas Night Hike by Isaac Davis.

The second prompt, the three words that your story must contain, from YeahWrite #354 fiction|poetry winner Laura, is: “radiant, orbit, expand.”

Poets: write a poem that incorporates the photo prompt, a poem that includes all three words of the word prompt (“radiant, orbit, expand“), or a kyrielle poem.

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Fiction|poetry challenge grid:

Basic YeahWrite guidelines: 750 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; fiction or poetry only.

Check the submission guidelines for our full set of rules. If you’re not sure how to link up, hop over to our quick tutorial for getting started at YeahWrite! Otherwise, click that blue button when the challenge is open, and good luck! Come back to vote starting Wednesday at 10pm, and check out our winners on Friday!

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YeahWrite Super Challenge

The first round of Super Challenge #7 is currently underway! Good luck to all our participants as they anxiously await their results. Did you miss out on registration? Make sure you sign up for our email blast so you don’t miss out on any announcements for the next Super Challenge.

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 last Friday’s winners’ post. Leave the winners some love in the comments. They will love you right back, we guarantee it.

Last call: This week’s Weekend Writing Showcase is still open for business until the challenge grids start at midnight! 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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