Making the grade
Most teachers get at least part of the summer off (supposedly; I see you, teachers, working on your syllabi on unpaid time, and I want to thank you for it). But here at YeahWrite we’ve been busy all week “grading” Super Challenge essays! We’re as excited as our writers are to move on to the next round of competition next week, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have time for our regular challenge grids, too! In fact, a lot of the lessons from the challenge grids carry across to the Super Challenge and to anywhere else you’d want to write or pitch: read the submission rules. Make sure the story you’re telling is the story you promised the reader. Tell stories that are yours to tell or that you know the “characters” are comfortable having aired in public. And think about your audience – are you giving them appropriate breaks from heavy writing, engaging them, and taking care of them as well as yourself? Ultimately, writing is important because someone will read it (unless it’s your processing journal, ok, but don’t share that one outside therapy). Write for your reader as well as yourself.
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 #327
If I told you that you had two minutes to tell me your favorite story, how much time would you spend saying “well, last Tuesday, no Wednesday, no, definitely Tuesday…”? That’s what you’re doing when you spend any part of a 1,000 word essay repeating information. Go ahead and say something twice for emphasis. For emphasis. Like that, see what I mean? And then move on. And hey: you’ll have more space to tell the story you want to tell!
I admit it. I hate-read. And the only thing I like better than a good hate-read is reading someone else’s excellent hate-read. So when I stumbled on Jenny Trout’s hate-read of 50 Shades of Grey, it was like all my terrible dreams coming true at once. Jenny expertly disassembles all three books, finds a lucrative novel of her own along the way, and dispenses some fantastic writing advice while she’s doing it. One of the most memorable segments of that advice comes after she reads this line:
He’s tall, dressed in a fine gray suit, white shirt, and black tie with unruly dark copper colored hair and intense, bright gray eyes that regard me shrewdly.
I’m not going to be able to paraphrase what followed, so I’ll just give it to you in Jenny’s words:
That… is one hell of a tie. I’m going to have to ask someone, please, look into the kindness and the goodness of your soul and photoshop me a picture of a black tie with Robert Pattinson’s hair and eyes stuck on it, gazing at me shrewdly.
This is why participles and subject-verb agreement matter in sentences. Re-read your work and make sure the right people and objects are being described in each sentence. Please. Or else warn me so I can open Photoshop.
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 #327
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. If you’re wondering why the voting numbers change sometimes, it’s because we monitor the grids for cheating! So don’t! It’s easier for you to just not cheat, and it makes us respect you more as a person!
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.
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.