Smells like victory

Just like one of the best parts of writing is seeing someone with your book in their hand (essay onscreen, etc.), one of the best parts of design is seeing your images in use. And just like I’ve been thrilled to see the new grid badges on everyone’s posts, I’m extra looking forward to seeing the new winners’ badges in use, so let’s get to the results of the popular vote, shall we?

But it’s not all about the popular vote at YeahWrite, folks. We also have our editorial staff picks to hand out. See, while there’s a popular vote winner every week, we don’t always give out a staff pick. Our editors comb the grids to find, not just the best writing on our grid this week, but what we think is pretty darn great writing anywhere anytime. Picks are based on writing quality, how successful the author is in conveying information, and just plain style. If you got a staff pick this week, grab your badge from the sidebar and wear it with pride!  The great part is that we don’t have a finite number of picks to hand out. That means that if two, three, five, or even all the works on one grid are fantastic, we can give them all kudos.

The other benefit of the editors’ pick, of course, is that unlike the popular vote we’ll tell you why we liked that post. So don’t just skip reading the blurb if it’s not about your post; you’ll pick up some handy pointers about what makes good writing great that you can apply to your own work. For more of that critical feedback, keep an eye on our Roundup for a quick rundown of trends we see each week. We try to highlight the good stuff and point out problems that more than one writer is struggling with. There’s probably a handy tip in there for you right now, so check it out!

Once you’re done reading through any Editorial Staff Picks and Roundup (and congratulating the winners in the comments), keep scrolling down to check out who won the popular vote on both grids. If you earned the highest number of votes in any challenge, you are this week’s Crowd Favorite! If you came in first, second or third, you get “Top Three” honors. Grab your badge from our sidebar!

Looking for your badge? Both grids have the same Winner, Editorial Staff Pick, and Top Three badges. It doesn’t clutter up our sidebar, and they’ll still look pretty on yours!

Rowan’s Roundup: YeahWrite Weekly Writing Challenge #310

Nonfiction

I often say there are two parts to great writing: substance and structure. While neither has to be conventional to make your writing great, you’ve got to put some thought into both of them to reach those heights. Paragraphs and verbs may not seem important to you in the throes of writing, but if your reader has to struggle through your structure the greatest “so what” in the world probably won’t reach them. Conversely, if your writing is grammatically perfect and has an ideal layout but lacks meat and heart, you’ve just written something more like a textbook than an essay. Reach for a balance between structure and substance. Sometimes that means breaking down a perfect sentence into fragments for emphasis or letting your writing get a little raw. Sometimes that means letting a friend edit and taking those edits to heart even if you have to let go of a little bit of your unique voice and structure to make your work more readable to a bigger audience. For a few more tips on how to do this in your own work and for others, hop over to my constructive criticism and critical reading tips in this month’s nonfiction knowhow and our concrit guide.

Fiction|Poetry

For this week’s roundup, I’m going to give you a sneak peek into an idea that’s probably about to make its way to our writing help section: escapism. One of the reasons we read and write fiction and poetry is to step away from our daily life, to go further into or out of our ordinary selves. When we’re writing, then, we often pick a character that’s unlike us, try on some emotions or actions to “escape” and it feels like variety. What we forget is that not all our readers are positioned like us. It’s not escapist for us as readers to read about people who are feeling exactly like we are. So change it up: give your characters more than one emotion in your story. If you’re going to make them despair, give them hope first (trust me on this one, unless you watched all of Firefly and then you know exactly what I mean when I say I’m a leaf on the wind, watch me…). If you’re going to make them sad, show happiness. Adding at least one more emotion will increase the depth and complexity of whatever you’re writing and will ultimately provide the escape you wanted to write for more readers. (Yes, this goes for poetry too, and you can see a great example on the grid this week.)

That’s it for this week! Remember, we don’t always give out a pick on both grids; if we were impressed by several posts on one grid we’ll give them all picks, and if nothing really stood out for us we’ll hold off. If you didn’t get a pick this week, read back through the Roundup to see if you can use some of this week’s tips and tricks.

If you’re lost in the middle of the grid and wondering how you can get a little more feedback on your posts, check out our membership perks!

Everybody: before you go, please take some time to leave your favorites a little love in the comments, and don’t forget, the Weekend Writing Showcase opens tonight at 6pm Eastern US Time!

Congratulations to the Crowd Favorites at YeahWrite #310

The thumbnails are now sorted in order of most votes to fewest. Ties in the overall number of votes are broken by number of editor votes.

Congratulations if you’re at or near the top! Writing well is hard work, and we’re honored you’ve chosen us this week to showcase your entry.

If you’re at or near the bottom, don’t be discouraged. You’re in the right community for learning and growing as a writer, and we are always available with resources for those who ask nicely.

To our readers and voters: thank you! See you next week.

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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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