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YWS Autumn Newsletter

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Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:57 am
Nate says...

I'm particularly interested to hear what people think about the poetry slam (read below) and if you plan to participate in it.

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November the Fifth of 2005

Dear YWS Members,

Well, it's the first newsletter since September, and that's because there really wasn't anything to say in the October newsletter.

But, a lot has happened since the beginning of October. Some new changes have been introduced, and plenty more are coming. Just a few of the new changes are the introduction of the "Quote of the Week," which is run by nickelpickle, "Word of the Week," which is run by Matt Bellamy, and the "Writing Challenge of the Week," which is run by yours truly. Then there's the new personal photo and guestbook features in the profile, the new Member of the Week system, and the YWS store.

All this is designed to make YWS more of a community (except for the YWS store, which is there to help pay for the hosting costs), and to emphasize that YWS is the Young WRITERS Society.

Anyways, the YWS newsletter will be changing as well. It'll be quarterly from now on (January, April, July, November), and there'll be actual columns and articles in it from now on as well. If anybody is interested in writing a column or an article for the January issue, just pm me about your idea. But I do request that you write it within a two week period.

So read on... particularly the ending part about the YWS poetry slam! From what I gather, it'll be the FIRST online poetry slam.

- Nate


I. Quote of the Season
II. YWS Store and Paypal
III. New Moderators
IV. Member of the Week Information
V. NaNoWriMo
VI. The Write Stuff, by Nate
VII. YWS Birthday Celebration and the YWS poetry slam

I. Quote of the Season

This quote of the season is from YWS member Reichieru.

"As long as you don't overdo it, fragments are just fine in fiction, and are a neccesity in many kinds of poetry."

II. YWS Store and Paypal

YWS is now being hosted under a $40 per month plan, so that's becoming a drain on my budget. To help pay for it, I've introduced the YWS store ( and a Paypal donation system. Regarding the former, if you want an item changed (say, you like the shirt, but want a different logo for it), just let me know. All logos are done by the two winners of the YWS logo contest: Bobo and Galatea. They came up with some great ones!

But if you wish to just donate a dollar, or even a quarter, to help keep YWS running, you can do so through Paypal. To do this, just look at the upper right hand corner of any page if you are using the YWS standard template. But if you are using the YWS dark template, look at the center bottom of the page. I also want to thank Bobo for donating five dollars!

III. New Moderators

YWS is growing larger and larger, so we needed more mods to help keep the site going good. The new mods are:

- aerida07
- Duskglimmer
- Griffinkeeper
- Matt Bellamy
- Midnight

They are now part of the all knowing and all benevolent BIG BROTHER!

IV. Member of the Week Information

Back when Member of the Month was introduced, YWS barely had 100 members. Now there's 850, and there'll be more than a thousand by years end. So we're switching to Member of the Week in order to give more recognition to more members. The featured member will have a block on the front page and a link to their profile and portfolio.

V. NaNoWriMo

It's November so it's novel writing month! YWS has it's own forum for NaNoWriMo under the Misc. Works category in the Literary Forums section. You can use this forum for advice, help researching, grammar check, etc. And of course, post your novel there! I'm writing my own as well.

VI. The Write Stuff, by Nate

Okay, it's a cliche title for a writing column and lame as well, but you know what, I don't care! I think it's cool. Anyways, I'm going to write this column from now on, and I hope to use it in order to impart some writing wisdom.

Now, writing is not just a jumble of words strung together to form a coherent, and sometimes (God forbid) an incoherent sentence. Writing is us telling the rest of the world of our life stories. These stories come from every aspect of our lives from the mundane to the exciting. Even though setting aside an hour to write everyday is the best practice, there are other ways to improve your skills as an author.

Reading is the number one most important thing you can do to improve your skills. From reading we explore new worlds and meet new faces. But most importantly, one is able to expand their vocabulary greatly, and, even more importantly, one is introduced to another’s style. Often times I consult one of my favorite books when writing something just to see how the author approached this or that.

Sports is another way to improve our skills. This can be done in a variety of ways from merely walking for any amount of time during the day to being involved on the teams at school. By exercising, we stir up those creative juices and although you may write less, the quality will be better.

The last way to improve one’s skills as an author is to simply do nothing. Take a break, catch up on some sleep, watch some TV, go on an eating binge. Or, if you want, just get up and stretch for a few minutes. Whatever you decide to do, doing nothing can freshen our minds and open it up to new perspectives. I often don’t look at my first drafts until a couple of weeks after I write them just because I will approach them with a renewed sense of mind.

None of these ways is guaranteed to improve your skills as a writer, but I assure you they will at least help you write better. Also, go out there and talk with people and listen to what they have to say. Doing this will help you improve writing dialogue. In addition, look around you and think how you would put the world around you onto paper. Turn on the TV and think ‘Now, how would I describe her?’ But remember above all things, writing is not a pastime, it is a way of life.


For those who didn't know already, YWS will turn 1 on November 14th (at 7:14 p.m. EST to be precise). I'll be adding a lot of new things that day to mark the occasion (new forums, finally a reason for points, games), but there'll be festivities as well. However, because November 14th falls on a Monday, all festivities (as well as the new additions) will be held on November 13th.

Regarding the events... there'll be a chat room event for users to meet each other and talk from 6 pm to 8 pm GMT. There will also be an all day scavenger hunt where the winner will get any item of their choice (below $11) from the YWS store. Besides those two...

Poetry slam: This is going to be tricky to do online, but it's possible and we're gonna try it. Now, a poetry slam is where poets read their works and then are graded on by an audience based not only on the content but performance as well. To participate in the YWS poetry slam, follow these steps:
1. Record your reading using a recording program on your computer.
2. Convert your recording into .mp3 format. If you don't have the software to do this, then download winLame from The software is free and easy to use. Plus, it comes with no spyware or trojans.
3. Send the mp3 file to Nate at As long as the file is under 10mb in size, there should be no problem. Though, if you have dial-up, it may take a while to send.

If you have problem, talk to Nate.

Now, if you want to be part of the audience, you just need to download iPodder (or any other podcasting service, but iPodder is free and great) at Info about the poetry slam will be given a few days before. The poetry slam will take place at 8 pm GMT. Go to the chatroom to join the audience, and get iPodder to listen in.

I haven't heard about something like this ever being done online so it'll be interesting to see how this develops! If it's successful, it'll happen again.

Well that's it for this newsletter. Next one will be out the first Saturday of January (unless that happens to be January 1st, in which case it'll be the first Sunday of January!).

- Nate
Last edited by Nate on Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:06 am
marching_gurl89 says...

The poetry slam is defintly going to be super sweet. YWS is turning one year old. They grow up so fast don't they. YWS has become so big since I joined.
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Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:45 am
Firestarter says...

The poetry slam would be ace but unfortunately I don't have a mic! So I'll just listen to those who participate.

Also what might suck is at 6pm GMT I'll probably be out. Actually, I'll definitely be out. So I probably won't even be able to listen to 'em!

I'm sure it'll be fun but I won't be there! For a variety of reasons. I'll be there in the morning and late evening but oh well....sounds good!
Nate wrote:And if YWS ever does become a company, Jack will be the President of European Operations. In fact, I'm just going to call him that anyways.

Edna began to feel like one who awakens gradually out of a dream, a delicious, grotesque, impossible dream, to feel again the realities pressing into her soul.
— Kate Chopin, The Awakening