My SEO tracker says I should say “winner” here

There’s a weird liminal space between writing for formal publication and writing journals, and a lot of our online writing falls into that space. Is it a blog? A writer’s personal website? What?

Depending on how you view your online writing, strange artifacts can creep into your work that don’t necessarily make sense for what you’re trying to do. The two I notice the most are undermining the end of a solid personal essay with a question and adding a tangentially related photo that breaks up the flow of a story or essay. When you read advice about how to write online, remember to look at the goal of the person giving the advice: are they trying to optimize your site for search engines? Are they trying to monetize your site? Once you’ve figured out what the end goal of the suggestion is, ask yourself “is this my end goal?” If it’s not, feel free to discard the advice.

Here at YeahWrite we’re not ambiguous about our goals: we want you to be the best possible writer you can be. That’s why we take your writing seriously. And of course taking your own writing seriously will help you top that popular vote each week.

Besides the popular vote, we also have the option of handing out an editorial staff pick to any post on our grids. Our editors comb the grids to find, not just the best writing on this 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. 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- and we’d love to, so keep that great work coming!

On weeks when we don’t award a staff pick, keep an extra close eye on the Roundup. That’s our rundown of trends we see from week to 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 the Roundup, 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 #318

Sometimes I want to wax long and poetic about trends I see on the grid; other times I’m attracted to the soundbite, the easy sentence I hope you’ll carry with you. But there’s a danger to the easy sentence. It can feel like a personal attack, a callout. It can feel like I’m going after one specific writer on the grid the comment is attached to rather than an observation of trends over months. It can feel like… you know what? We’re all grownups and I’m talking to all of us here, myself included (I just cut 2,500 words based on this advice and I regret only five of them):

Adding a bunch of adjectives to a list of events doesn’t make it a story.

As I was making the rounds of comments last week I borrowed a phrase from a novelist I know, who refers to everything between about Chapter Ten and Chapter Thirty as “the swampy middle.” We often know how we want a story or poem to begin and end: these are the flashes of inspiration we get on our bike, or in the shower. These are the sentences that creep into our heads and won’t leave until we commit them to paper or pixel. But the odds are good that once you’ve written your way through that swampy space between Awesome Sentence Alpha and Awesome Sentence Zed, you’ve got some mud on your shoes. Take a look at your next story. I can almost guarantee you that you can take out a third of the words between the first and last actions. Micro writers, you’ve got the advantage here: use it!

That’s it for this week! 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! If you’re more the self-help type, remember to scroll through our writing help section for tips and tricks. Even if a post isn’t directed at your favorite grid, there’s probably a handy hint for you in there anyway!

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 #318

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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