The First Book

Like many writers, I grew up reading. My mom loved to read and she later worked in a library where I got to spend many afternoons just reading. I think I took out How to Be Funny, a book I cannot find proof of on the internet so you’ll have to trust me, about a million times, making it my first favorite book. I remember reading Misery by Stephen King and The Bad Place by Dean Koontz in 9th grade (first favorites of high school). In college, I read A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley and Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, my first favorites as an adult, and the emotional toll they took on me has stayed with me for 20 years.

Each phase of life has brought me new first favorites and sparked my love of reading anew. So how about you? What are some of your first favorites?

Welcome to Week 357

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.

Looking For Microprose?

Our tiniest challenge with the biggest bang is open the first Wednesday of every month from midnight to 10 p.m.

Nonfiction Challenge

Writing About the Ordinary

This past Friday, I switched lines at the grocery store three times, and each time it was a bad decision. By now, I should know better. I always choose the wrong checkstand (PSA: never get behind me at the grocery store, or any store really). Small ordinary moments like these happen in our lives all the time. A creative nonfiction story doesn’t always have to be about something big and emotional. A talented writer can craft a good story out of a seemingly mundane commonplace event. If you don’t have anything momentous to write about, how about writing an extraordinary story about something ordinary? Give it a try!

Technique Toolbox: Design

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

Regrets: I’ve Had a Few

It hurts to end up at the end of the popular vote (I thought my microprose last week would do better than it did, honestly). No one wants their writing to tank. But the popular vote is a good way to see how our writing is connecting to an audience. Because when you’re submitting to YeahWrite, you are submitting to a particular audience. A work that didn’t do well at YeahWrite might go gangbusters in, say, a slash fiction Facebook group. My point is a low showing in the votes doesn’t necessarily mean that the writing of the submission was bad (though maybe you missed a typo or failed to consider a conflicting POV. Ahem. Me.) The point is we’re not going to hit home runs every time we sit down, and considering why one of our submissions went over better than another will help us become better writers.

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:

Sky Lantern by barakbro

The second prompt, the three words that your story must contain, from YeahWrite #355 fiction|poetry winner Rowan, are: promise, regret, automaton.

Poets: write a poem that incorporates the photo prompt in some way, a poem that includes all three words of the prompt above, or a kyrielle poem.

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 second round of Super Challenge #7 is currently underway! Good luck to all our participants as they furiously finish their submissions. 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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