Bear with me

It’s a pun, get it?

Sorry, my sense of humor isn’t what it might be: I’m coming off a three-day migraine punctuated by texts from my dad asking if I’ve finished the bear bells for our camping trip yet. See, bear bells are… they’re bells. You sew them on your crap and then the bears hear you coming, and I guess bears are scared of bells or something because supposedly they don’t attack you. I don’t know. My dad’s been hiking for longer than I’ve been alive and he hasn’t been eaten by a bear yet.

Bear bells let bears see what’s coming. Our kickoff posts let you see what’s coming, like our microfiction challenge next week. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for those posts every Sunday! And we’ll see you next week on the micro grid, competing for that sweet top spot in the popular vote.

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 the 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!

YeahWrite #328 Weekly Writing Challenge Staff Picks:


I love it when the editors are spoiled for choice for an Ed Pick because so many of the pieces are so good. This week, my Ed pick goes to Ruby Bastille for Je Vois, J’ai Vu, J’aurai Vu. The time jumps in this piece were deftly handled, and each vignette was clearly woven back into the larger narrative through the repetition of a single phrase. Laura drew the reader in immediately by placing the action early in the piece, and kept us there through clever pacing and use of just enough dialogue to develop her characters. This story takes the reader beyond what’s written by enticing us to consider the very nature of time and imagine other encounters in the narrator’s past.

Rowan’s Roundup: YeahWrite Weekly Writing Challenge #328

This week’s roundup comes from a longer piece that I was editing for sweet cash money earlier this week. The author has a fantastic conversational tone, but struggles with how to punctuate her writing. We broke it down like this:

Take a breath = no punctuation. You don’t need to put a comma everywhere you breathe; the reader will naturally pause for breath or hear you do it.

Short pause for effect = use a comma if you must, but don’t be afraid of colons, semicolons, and just plain breaking up your sentence.

Long pause for effect = a period or semicolon, or even a paragraph break with an isolated line. But you can also, in writing, just try moving that sentence to a different spot in the paragraph and seeing if it “pops” more.

The punctuation you wish you could use but really need to avoid = the dreaded ellipsis. Unless you… are actually… William Shatner… more than one ellipsis per ten pages is probably too many.

One of the things I work hard at as an editor is preserving the writer’s natural voice. No matter how good a turn of phrase sounds to me, if the writer wouldn’t use it naturally, it’s out. When you’re taking your piece to beta readers or editors, if it comes back sounding like someone else you should give some careful thought to whether they’re a good editor for you. Your finished, edited work should sound just like you… but better.

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 #328

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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