OK, but was it made of cheese or not?

51 years ago today, the first US spacecraft soft-landed on another world. Well, ok, on the Moon. It’s a whole nother round thing out there in space, though, you know? Moments like these spark our imagination in so many ways. Whether it’s a “where was I when” personal essay or a “what might we find if” spec fic story, or even a “it looked so small from here at night” poem, inspiration is around us all the time. It’s up to us what we do with it.

This week, it looks like everyone was inspired to go after that popular vote by linking to our grids! 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 #320

This week, two of our top three crowd faves did something that we’ve encouraged everyone to try: focus on a single moment of clarity and build an essay around that. Whether it was Sara’s ringing phone or Erin’s yell, both of these essays found a moment, a familiar sound that the reader could imagine, and kept coming back to that moment to anchor the reader. While trying new things doesn’t always produce your best writing the first time you do it, it adds another tool to your writing toolbox that you can pull out when the story calls for it.

Quite a few pieces on the grid this week, both prose and poetry, used one of my favorite tricks: repetition. Repetition, by creating a cycle of exactly or not-quite-exactly repeated words with a predictable rhythm and spacing (the first line of every paragraph? every 10th line of a poem?), can anchor and reanchor the reader and force comparisons between each place the phrase is used. The key to doing it well is to not overuse it, and once you do use it, commit to it. That means don’t abandon it halfway through your poem and start writing some other poem with some other technique. Don’t start three paragraphs with it, write the next two as normal, and then come back to it. Have a plan for your repeated phrase. Do you want to identify a block of time that the narrator is stuck on? Use it for that block and nowhere else. Do you want to compare the way one character touches others? Use it there and nowhere else. Don’t just pepper your work with pointless repetition; you’ll end up looking like you’re overusing a random phrase.

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 #320

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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