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Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:53 pm
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Welcome to Squills, the official news bulletin of the Young Writers Society!

What will you find here? Tons of interesting news about YWS, including but not limited to: articles about writing, art, and the world of humanities; interviews with YWS members; shameless plugs; link round-ups; and opinionated columns.

And where will all of this come from? Take a look at our fantastic creative staff!

CREATIVE STAFF


Spoiler! :
Editors-in-Chief
Iggy
Hannah

General Editors
ShadowVyper
KnightTeen

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Friendly Neighborhood Cow
CowLogic

Literary Reporter
JamesHunt

Community Reporter
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Resources Reporter
Tenyo

Storybook Reporter
AfterTheStorm

Link Cowgirl
megsug

Poetry Enchantress
Aley

The Adventurer
BlueAfrica

Quibbles Columnist
Aadygirl

Social Correspondent
Iggy

Associates of Pruno and Gruno
Blackwood
defyingravity01

Media Critic
Kanome

Code Master
Avalon

General Reporters
OliveDreams
ArcticMonkey
whitewolfpuppy
AriaAdams
defyingravity01
Elinor Brynn
JamesHunt

Past Editors-in-Chief
GriffinKeeper
AlfredSymon


Of course, our content can’t come only from our staff. We also depend on you to help keep Squills successful. You’re all a part of a writing community, after all. If you’re interested in submitting to Squills, pop on over to the Reader’s Corner to find out how you can get involved by contributing an article or participating in other Squills activities.

Well, that’s all I have for now. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy!





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Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:55 pm
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PAWPRINTS: DARING PEOPLE TO READ SINCE JUNE 2014
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written by megsug < PM: >

June was the kickoff of a club called PawPrints . It’s like a book club except you don’t have to read the same book as everyone else. Depending on how many people join in that month, a group goal and a number of books read per person is set. This month, the goal was a ninety six books, and every member was expected to read at least three books.

@Auxiira did some number crunching at the end of the month and found that everyone participating in PawPrints read a total of 116 books. She also had a few more statistics:



Our favourite book was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, being read by five different readers. Another one of John Green's books, Looking for Alaska was read twice. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare and The Kite Runner by Khaled Housseini were also all read twice!

Our most prolific reader was Auxiira, reading 17 books in one month! TriSARAHtops read 8, as did fortis! Honourable mentions for Dreamy, icannothearthings and Pompadour who've all read 5 books, and BlueAfrica, Hannah and Prokaryote who've read 4!



I interviewed @TriSARAHtops and @manisha about their PawPrints experience.

Squills: What books did you plan to read in June?


manisha: I nominated The Fountainhead, Game of Thrones and The Inheritance of Loss

TriSARAHtops: I originally planned to read Run by Tim Sinclair, Girl Saves Boy by Steph Bowe and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

S: Why did you choose those books?


M:The Fountainhead was recommended strongly and I always wanted to try a Kiran Desai book(Author of Inheritance of Loss). I am addicted to the Game Of Thrones Show and really wanted to see how the book went.

T: I chose Oliver Twist because it was the book I had chosen to read for the 'wider reading' aspect of my Literature class at school, Run because it was Inky Award longlisted and after my judging stint last year, I wanted to read the entire longlist this year(the Inkys are YA book awards here in Aus, which are entirely judged by teens), and I can't quite remember why I wanted to read Girl Saves Boy. I think it was just cos the cover was pretty.

S: What books did you read in June?


M: I could complete The Fountainhead, and Inheritance of Loss. Unexpected read was The Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch.

T: Let's see if I can do this off the top of my head... I read Run, Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron, The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves, both by Maggie Stiefvater, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Liar by Justine Larbalestier, The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, plus two others that I just realised I totally forgot to count for Pawprints. Oops!

S: If you didn't read a book you were planning to, why?


M: Game of Thrones is such a bulky book! I had exams starting and I had to let that one pass.

T: I didn't read Girl Saves Boy because I got a couple of chapters in and decided it wasn't for me, and as For Oliver Twist, I think I just got so preoccupied by the other books I was reading that it kind of fell by the wayside. I will finish it, eventually, I hope.

S: Of the books you read in June, which was your favorite?


M: The Fountainhead! Ayn Rand is my current favorite! Her writing and characters are spectacular!

T: Hmm, tricky question! The Dream Thieves is one of my absolute favourite books, but it was a reread, so of the new books I read, I think it would have to be Run. It was just so unique and clever, and the fact that it was written in free verse just worked incredibly. Seraphina was also rather lovely.

S: How many books did you read in June?


M: 3! XD

T: Technically, I read ten, if you include the ones that I forgot to add, but I officially read eight.

S: Did you find that Pawprints inspired you to read more?


M: [i ]Pawprints definitely inspired me to read. [/i]

T: It definitely played a massive role in how much I read. I guess I'm a little competitive, and if I hadn't read my three books as per the goal it would have been a blow to my pride. Between Pawprints and the discovery that my local library is actually half-decent now I was able to get my hands on a fair few books to read.

S: Are you doing Pawprints this month?


M: Yes yes yes!

T: Yes! And aiming to beat my record from last month!

S: Would you recommend others join Pawprints? Why?


M: Definitely! People need a place they can gather around and talk about the books they are going to undertake for that month. It gives a support group and makes you want to try new authors and genres.

T: Definitely! It's a great way to see what other people are reading, and if you're one of those people who needs a bit of motivation to get books read, you'd be surprised how much it does encourage you to get those books read. Plus I love reading and would encourage anyone to get involved with anything reading-related.

S: Anything else you’d like to add?


M: I'm not very fond of Bookclubs. Pawprints is one of a kind for me.

As you can see, people love PawPrints! With 26 people signed up for this month, it’s definitely not losing interest. I think this may be an aspect of YWS we could expect to be around for quite a while.





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YWS OLD & NEW (III)
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written by AriaAdams < PM: >

It's O&N again! Having seen the interest last week, as well as some pretty great answers, I've decided to make this a regular thing, with different theme each week.

Now without much further ado, because really their words are more than interesting enough on their own, join me as I bring you the last part of YWS O&N focused on people's general experiences rather than a specific part of the site. Enjoy the wise words of @Nate, @Kyllorac and @Baesch.


Squills: When did you join YWS, what made you join, and what made you stay?


Kyllorac:I joined YWS back when I was looking for a site with decent critiques to help improve my writing. I actually lurked for a good long while before I actually joined (on Pi Day), and then promptly disappeared for about a year after an initial burst of activity because the reviews I got weren't quite the type of critiques I was looking for.

The reason why I eventually came back and wound up sticking with YWS was the community; there are sites out there with better critiques and lots of critiquers who know the ins and outs of the writing craft, but the communities in those places are pretty much nonexistent or else quite hostile towards less experienced writers. YWS, in comparison, is filled with a lot of people who don't quite know what they're doing, but are willing to try new things and to help each other figure out how to write better, and the community is much more friendly as a result. Also, I used to be really into RPing back then, so all the SBs going on were a pretty large draw.


Baesch: Hello there, Squills reader! I've never really written one of these, so bear with me while I figure out what I could say.

I joined YWS exactly five days ago. [A/N - the questions were asked about a week ago, though]. I already had accounts on figment.com and fictionpress.net, but on a whim I thought I'd have a look around on here, as well. And guess what? I decided this was possibly the coolest of them all. You see, although my very first impression of YWS was that it had a slightly out of date design and hadn't changed since I stumbled upon it at the tender age of thirteen, I soon found a system that engendered one of the kindest and most circumspect communities that I'd seen on writing sites so far.
It was a poem by @rhiasofia that convinced me to join, actually. I hadn't seen contents such as she'd opened to the world on either of the other sites, and the desire to review it, to tell her what I thought of it and, especially, to tell her what I thought of it as myself quickly decided me.



Squills: I know it changed a bunch over the years. Do you prefer it now or did you like the old version better? Is there something from old YWS that you miss?


Kyll: There are a lot of features I like, such as everything about the SB interface, but there are a lot of old functions I miss, such as the ability to subscribe to threads. Back when YWS was almost completely forum-based and works were posted as threads in their respective forums, you could subscribe to a work and have it appear in the UCP. It was a convenient way to bookmark a work to review for later if you happened to be browsing YWS on a computer not your own, or if you wanted to save a work you really liked to read for later. Right now, there's no way to bookmark either lit works or threads, aside from the browser bookmarks, which isn't an option for keeping track of things if you use multiple computers.

I also really miss the ability to put spoilers in lit works. I used to use them all the time for hiding author's notes and chapter summaries because not everyone wants/likes to read those, and spoilers make for a convenient way to have those available without cluttering up the work itself.


Nate: I miss certain members most of all. The community has always been what makes YWS great, and there are a lot of great people from previous years who contributed a lot to this site.

Squills: If you've explored the YWS enough to tell so far, what is or was your favorite section, and if you once had it, is it still so (and if not, what is it now and why)?


Baesch: I doubt I've seen even a third of what goes on at YWS. I've stumbled through some of the forums and had a very intimate acquaintance with the 'bug report' thread; I've reviewed and uploaded. All the same, I'm quite sure that there's a thriving underground that I've yet to fall through the rabbit-hole to find. Storybooks? Still don't know what that is. Blogs? Can't say that I've taken too close a look at those yet, either. And the Clubs remain a mystery. All in time.

Kyll: Resources will forever be my favorite section. <3 As I said earlier, the thing I liked best about YWS is how everyone in the community is working together to figure out how to write better, and Resources is the place to go for writing tips, advice, and feedback on ideas and publishing opportunities, as well as being a place to collect all the best tips and advice and request reviews. For the longest time though, it was just @Rosey%20Unicorn and me taking care of that section, and it's so nice to see that Resources is no longer the always forgotten section of the forums that only a few curious souls venture into.

Nate: I miss Fred's chatroom! In fact, I miss Fred so much that the YWS database is actually named YWSFred. I'd bring him back, but alas, he tends to cripple the server with his diva-esque demands.

Literary wise, my favorite section is sci-fi short stories. As they're not exposed as much to whatever is currently trendy in literature, young authors tend to show a lot more creativity in their writing, and that shows up a lot in the sci-fi area. Reading through the short stories there is often more entertaining and edifying than reading Fantasy and Science Fiction Monthly.



Squills: Do you have one or a few memories which you'd choose as the most awesome - or strangest - in your YWS past? It can be a site-wide event or something you did or a review you got or whatever.


Kyll: As for my most awesome memory, there isn't just one. It's more a series of memories that will forever amuse me, and they all have to do with the mystery that is my gender. ;P To be perfectly honest, YWS is the first online community I've ever invested myself into, and so it caught me by surprise how obsessed people were over which gender I am. The first time someone asked me my gender in chat, I asked "Why does it matter?" because this is the internet, and when your only interaction with a person is through text on a screen, things like appearance don't really matter unless you make them matter since whatever they tell you can be (and often was in the early days of the internet) a lie.

Well, that one little question was the catalyst for the Gender Wars in which pretty much everyone in chat went on a years-long (doomed) quest to determine my gender, doing everything they could to prove that I was one or the other and harassing me to reveal which one I was. I don't use harassment lightly either; it really was harassment, since every time I went into chat, the barrage began, and it even invaded my PMs and the threads I posted in. Pretty much the only reason I find the entire mess amusing was how ridiculous the entire situation was. There were actual flame wars over the subject of my gender, and there were a few YWS friendships that were broken in part because one side was certain I was a boy while the other was equally certain I was a girl.

I'm still wondering why which gender I am matters, for the record.


Baesch: Finally, there remains but one question to be answered: the query after my most confunding experience on YWS so far. *screen wobbles and dissolves into flashback*

I, your trusty newbie, was filled with an optimistic naiveté, a bubbling and gushing as needed to be expressed. I had reviewed and commented, had received welcome from complete strangers - the time had come, I felt, to raise the stakes and upload my first work.

Long story short, I developed a very confidential relationship with the 'bug report' thread, and after an anguishing period that will go down in history as "the time of no uploads" was at last able to post my first work.


Nate: I think the relaunch of YWS in late July 2006 is my favorite memory. At the time, YWS had been closed for two months as the hosting costs for the site had simply become too expensive for me to pay for, and I was very worried that no matter what I tried to bring it back, it would never again take off. However, that turned out not to be the case, and in some ways, I think the downtime actually turned out to be a good thing; it brought about a renewed focus on the community and on the literary areas. From that point on, YWS has been able to do well even through very difficult times.

Squills: Do you remember the first work you read/reviewed?


Nate: Heh, that's almost half a lifetime ago now for me! Try as I might, I can't even recall if it was a poem or a short story.

Squills: And finally, how do you feel seeing so many new members joining, and YWS changing and growing so much over the years?


Kyll: I'm not around much anymore, so I haven't had a chance to meet the newer folks, but considering YWS is still a nice place to drop by, I'd say the community is doing just fine.

Nate: It's difficult to imagine it now, but back when YWS first started, there was actually a fair amount of opposition to encouraging new members to join. That seems odd (and it struck many of us as odd at the time too) when you recall that the members saying such things were themselves relatively new members. But in many writing communities, there's this pervasive xenophobia against new members.

From the start, I've set out YWS to be different. Without a constant influx of new members, a community decays and becomes embittered. Eventually, it collapses. That this has not happened on YWS and that so many people every day actually want to join is a constant source of joy.

Of course, that does bring about a lot of change, but what's interesting to me is just how much hasn't changed. The atmosphere is still warm and welcoming, the reviews remain many notches above any other young writers site (and most adult writers sites as well), and you still have that intriguing mix of people that makes YWS such a unique community. In large part, I think this is due to the initial mix of people from November and December 2004, who took it upon themselves to create a community that is friendly, helpful, and welcoming. It is thanks to them and to everyone who followed that YWS was, is, and shall forever be the greatest online community of young writers.



Thank you all!

After hearing how they feel about it now, I poked a bit more and asked Nate a few more questions:

Squills: When did you create YWS, and what made/inspired you to do it?


Nate: I created YWS in mid-November 2004 -- almost ten years ago now. That was during my senior year in college, and it happened about a month after I had noticed that a creative writing site I was a member of back in high-school was more or less dead (The Young Writers Club or TYWC for short). I thought that was a shame, and I emailed the creator of TYWC about it. However, after receiving no response, I decided to try and create my own since I think creative writing is a valuable skill to hone and since there were no good sites dedicated to it for young writers.

Just as a quick aside, it's not surprising that I never received a response. The creator (David) had made the site in 1996 for his teenage daughter, who ended up only being an active member for about a year. Despite that, he continued to run and maintain the site for several years, and I'm just glad that I was able to continue to do what he started.


Squills: How did you feel when the first people joined?


Nate: Excited! It's always a good feeling when people take notice of something that you created. It was also (and remains) quite humbling once you begin to realize the amount of work other people invest in creating the actual community. Anyone who creates a product or service that other people use owes a lot to those people.

Squills: What were your expectations? Did you ever dream of reaching 30k+ and counting members?


Nate: My expectations were low. At the time, I did not expect it to achieve much, especially since I had seen similar sites rise and fall (such as PoetsQuill.com, which is another spiritual successor to TYWC and predates YWS by a few years).

More surprising to me, though, is that YWS still exists. Back in 2004, popular sites came and went a lot. It was not uncommon for even very large sites to have their entire membership move on to something new virtually overnight. At this point, though, I see no reason why YWS couldn't last another ten years.


Here's to hoping it most definitely does! I'm sure I'm not the only one whose life was influenced a lot by this place, and I would love to stick around and see it happen for those who now might be just little future writers only learning to spell their names. Wouldn't that be adorable?

As conclusion, allow me to quote you what @Lumi said when I asked for his input. Instead of answering the questions, he kept it short and effective, summarizing to no more than one line:



YWS has, over several years, evolved from a forum for teenage Caulfields into the premiere Writers' Social Network.




Next week, join me as I explore the old and new face of our dear Lounge in the forum section - you might find some findings surprising, and I'm certainly amused already!





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Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:56 pm
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW WITH JAMESHUNT
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written by Defyingravity01 < PM: >

Good day to you! (or night depending on the time zone)

This week’s featured member is none other than the legendary @JamesHunt. You’ve seen him in his reviews, you saw him participate in the YWS Hunger Games. And now ladies and gentlemen, You see him as the YWS featured member. So without further ado, here is his interview!

Squills: Hey James, can I grab you for an interview for Squills?


JamesHunt: Sure! I’m always happy to help out a fellow Squillsian.

S: How does it feel to be FM?


J:Being the Featured Member is an intensely gratifying experience, but it is also very humbling. Everytime somebody congratulated me on being featured, I would blush furiously, and just as my skin regained its normal colouring, someone else would congratulate me and the blushing would begin anew. I cannot say how much I appreciate all of the positive commentary I have been given.

S: Well you definitely deserve it! You’re a fairly new member. Were you surprised when you were chosen to be the featured member?


J: Oh, I was very surprised. When first I saw the notification, I thought Iggy was pranking me, but a quick glance at the homepage confirmed what she said.

S: What kinds of things did you do around YWS that you think contributed to you earning the title of FM?


J: I attempt to make my reviews as thorough and useful as possible by not only pointing out the technicalities of grammar, but also trying to make helpful suggestions considering the authour's style and plot. Keeping the review positive is also very important, so if I read something I like, I say as much and explain why.

What I think brought me to most people's attention, however, is not my reviews, but my participation in and enthusiasm concerning the first ever YWS Hunger Games. Had I not been a part of it, I would most likely still just be another face in the crowd.

Nevertheless, I always try to be friendly and supportive, and I believe it is all of these elements combined which led to my being featured. I am very pleased that my contributions towards this great society are much appreciated.


S: Can you think of another YWSer who you feel is worthy of this title?


J: Definitely Wolfie36. She is very supportive and fiercely loyal, and not only is she an excellent writer, but I value her reviews and literary advice greatly. She has reviewed every single one of my works, and we have even earned our Knights of the Green Room "Fellows in Arms" badge together. A kind, considerate, competitive, devout and devoted friend, she is everything good a wolf embodies.

S: I’m sure she is. I’m really glad to hear that you have such a supportive friend on YWS! I’m afraid that’s all the time I have left, but thank you for your interview!


J: No problem. Good luck with your article.

@Wolfie36, I think we all know how lucky you are to be friends with our FM. James, you have been fabulous and I’m sure we all can’t wait to see what other contributions you will make on YWS. Once again, Congratulations.

XOXO,
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ADVENTURES IN WRITING
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written by BlueAfrica < PM: >

Last week, as an introduction to writing Strong Female Characters, we discussed common misconceptions about the SFC. This week, we’ll look at three traits that your female character should have to be considered an SFC.

For examples of these traits, let’s study a female character who, despite being the love interest in her franchise rather than the main character, is an excellent example of a strong female: Princess Fiona, from the “Shrek” series. I choose to use her because she’s a total boss yet also an eventual wife and mother, proving that the Strong Female Character can be or have a love interest and still kick butt.

Note: There will be some spoilers for the franchise in the article. But these movies have been out forever, so it’s your own fault if you haven’t seen them yet. Read at your own risk.

The Strong Female Character is motivated. Your female character needs to have a reason for being in the story. Often, female characters are used for the sole purpose of motivating male characters by dying or getting kidnapped—which is fine, but what is her motivation? Why is she in a position to be killed or abducted in the first place?

Fiona is not a scantily clad, gun-slinging sex object who shows up for no reason and provides wish fulfillment more than representation. (Admittedly, that has a lot to do with the fact that the franchise is meant for children.) Rather, she has strong motives for joining in the adventure. Here are some of her motives, in order of movie:

1. Lifting the curse that turns her into an ogre each night.
2. Getting Shrek and her dad to accept each other as part of the same family.
3. Foiling Prince Charming’s plot to take over her kingdom.
4. Freeing Far Far Away from the rule of Rumpelstiltskin.

Although Fiona is the love interest of the main character of this franchise, notice that attracting and keeping a man have little to do with her reasons for getting involved. The only one that comes close is the first one, because true love’s kiss is the only way to break her curse—and as far as love-related motives go, I think we can agree that’s a pretty good one.

In some situations, it’s unavoidable to have a female character who is motivated by attracting a male: romance novels, for example. However, this is not the only motivation a Strong Female Character will have. The Strong Female Character wants things for herself as well as her love interest. It helps if the love interest in question is a full and interesting character himself, someone we want your SFC to love, rather than a good-looking jerk with no personality whom she falls for anyway.

The Strong Female Character takes action. Fiona starts off the first “Shrek” movie trapped in a dragon-guarded castle, a classic damsel in distress. We soon see, however, that she is not a typical fairytale princess who awaits a prince quietly, somehow maintaining a perfect figure without doing anything remotely physical.

(Cough cough Sleeping Beauty cough cough.)

Instead, Fiona spends her time in the castle learning karate that comes in handy many times throughout the series, such as when she rescues Shrek from Robin Hood and his Merry Men in the first movie. Or when she knocks out Prince Charming after he kisses her in “Shrek 2.” When Charming captures her and the classic fairytale princesses in “Shrek the Third,” she (with the help of her equally boss mother) busts them out and breaks into the palace to find out what he’s up to, all while empowering the princesses to take fate into their own hands rather than waiting to be rescued.

Furthermore, we find out in “Shrek Forever After” (an odd cross between “Shrek,” “Braveheart,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”) that, had she had to wait much longer for rescue from the dragon’s keep, she would have escaped the tower on her own and headed an army of ogres. If there was ever a female character who takes action rather than waiting around for a man to save her, it’s Fiona.

The Strong Female Character is more than a damsel in distress. This is not to say that your SFC can never be in distress, nor is she forbidden from rescue by male characters. Fiona ends up in dire straits toward the end of each movie, resulting in an attempted rescue by Shrek.

The important things to note, however, are that a) Fiona has usually rescued herself several times from other situations by this point in the movie and b) Shrek usually ends up trapped in the climactic danger with her. Rather than a heroic male saving a helpless damsel, they escape either through teamwork or the intervention of a third party (who might be Dragon, Fiona’s father, or a skinny boy named Arthur).

In other words, a man can give the Strong Female Character help or an outright rescue in your story, but at some point we need to see that the SFC can take care of herself, too, and that the man in question does not overshadow her abilities in every way.

To figure out if your female character meets these three criteria, ask yourself these questions:

1. Does my character have her own reasons for being in the story? Do these reasons have to do solely with attracting a man, or do they go deeper?
2. Does my character do anything, or does she spend the story sitting around (either in wait of rescue by a male character or to welcome him back/reward him after his adventure)? If she is not the main character, does she help the hero or add to the plot in any significant way?
3. When my character does run into trouble, does she lose all ability to use the skills and strengths I previously gave her? In other words, does she at least try to get herself out of a bad situation (even if her attempts are ultimately ineffectual), or does she become a helpless and/or bumbling damsel in distress who must be rescued by the superior male?

If your female character has a motive for joining in the adventure, does something useful in the story, and is not ultimately saved by a male character who makes her look utterly pathetic in comparison, then congratulations! You are on the path to having a Strong Female Character.

Come back next week for part 3: false SFCs and how to avoid them.

Who are some of your favorite females? Join the discussion here.





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HOW TO WRITE A CINQUAIN POEM
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written by Defyingravity01 < PM: >

I’m sure you all remember at least some forms of poetry you were forced to write in kindergarten and elementary school. Acrostic poems, those eraser poems that nobody knows the name of… And Cinquain poems? You may not remember them, but they were those funky little poems that were always in the shape of a diamond.

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That’s just a really popular example.

Cinquains, like Haikus, Sonnets, etc. etc. follow a specific pattern. Depending on the kind of Cinquain or what you’re instructed to write, this pattern can be a number of words or syllables. Each poem differs, but only slightly. Here’s the pattern.

Line 1:One word, (a noun)
Line 2: Two Words (sometimes four syllables). These two words are often adjectives.
Line 3: Three Words, most commonly three adverbs.
Line 4: A Phrase. Sometimes the pattern is six syllables, other times it’s four words. Sometimes both.
Line 5: One Word that pertains to or describes the noun.

See! It’s easy enough! I tried to include the different rules that could possibly be used for a Cinquain poem. Cinquain poems are great because they are typically simple and refreshing. They don’t typically describe anything too complicated or dark, and typically take on the theme of something you would associate from your childhood. Like a triangle, simple math, or even a fairytale. I hope to see your poems on YWS!

XOXO,
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THE CODE BREAKER CHALLENGE
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written by Avalon < PM: >

Welcome one and all to Avalon’s Code Breaker Challenge, here I provide weekly challenges that steadily grow harder though out the year. This is a weekly mind game meant to challenge those at varying ages and intellects, and make them use their head (or you know, Google.)

What’s to be expected in the challenge? Well it’ll eventually expand into mathematics such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and even division. It will also include foreign languages and proper English. Each of my puzzles have varying point rewards (points from me) that will be shown next to each code. The problems will be difficult, I can assure you, but those who keep at it and persevere will find themselves well-rewarded for their efforts.

Rules for the Code Breaker Challenge

- Teams will not be allowed. You will be required to explain or show your work when you submit your answers.
- If you do not solve a Code before next week’s edition, then your answers will not be accepted.
- There’s nothing to stop you from using Google if you wish, but the purpose of this column is to get you to use your mind to solve each puzzle. We’re watching you.
- Top scorers will be featured every week.

Top Scorers
@BlueAfrica – 200 points
@Auxiira: - 150 points
Unknown - 150 points
Unknown – 125 points
@Lava: - 125 points

THE EASY CODE
Point Reward: 25
A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
Lao Tzu

Hint: Backwards mathematical in multiplication.
THE MEDIUM CODE
Point Reward: 50
RING LATE

COCOA RIND (9)

ROAM CHINA (9)

PORCH RADISH (11)

NIL TRACE (8)

NICER CANTO (10)

MILAN DON (8)

GROAN (5)

NO AXE SHOP (9)

TUBA IN ROME (10)

TENOR MOB (8)

THE HARD CODE
Point Reward: 100
Five People were all taking a vacation in Shriekville, unfortunately all their vacations were cut short by a terrifying encounter with a resident ghost.

Can you determine the type of accommodation, its name and the name of the resident ghost?
Archibald stayed at St George's, he was not frightened off by Macabre Malcolm.

The pub was the home of Chilling Charlie, who frequently turned down the thermostat and then let out gruesome shrieks, chilling everyone to the bone.

Lucas or Archibald's vacation was at the castle - was Terrifying Tony the resident ghost there?

Charlie went to stay with friends, this was in a bungalow, but it did not have the name Briar Hill. He was not terrified by Bloodcurdling Brian, the ghost that left bloodstained footprints behind.

Billy vacationed at a place named Rosedale, which was not a hotel.

Creepy Craig really did scare Gary, as he was settling down to sleep, by scraping his fingernails on the bedroom window, this was not at a hotel and it wasn't a place named Avalon.

The bed and breakfast accommodation was not High Lodge, which was also not the castle where Macabre Malcolm was resident.






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Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:58 pm
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SquillsBot says...



LANGUAGE QUEST IN YWS
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written by Defyingravity01 < PM: >

Hola! Bonjour! Aloha! Gutentag!
This week I'm feeling international. So I decided to embark on a quest. That's right, a quest with dragons and princes and a freakishly tall towers. This quest would not be like any other though, it would be the quest of a lifetime. The quest to discover the languages of YWS. Instead of a tall tower, I conquered the chat rooms and searched the deepest corners of the website to bring you the full scoop.

I interviewed a handful of people, and ended up finding some really cool languages I'd never heard of. This may surprise you, but @fortis is learning Spanish and wrote an entire essay in this language. @megsug dabbles in French and so do I. @Unconsoled speaks Bangla as their original language. Bangla is also known as Bengali and is over 1,000 years. Its spoken in the region of Bengal which includes Bangladesh, and three Indian states (West Bengal, Tripura and southern Assam). Last but not least is @Pompadour who speaks and writes in Urdu. Urdu is most often spoken in India and Pakistan.

I asked these lovely people 3 basic questions about their languages. To save time, I won't include every single answer for every question. Here goes...

Do you write in your foreign language often?

Megsug (French):



No. Only for class and when I'm writing nasty notes in my math notebook I don't want anyone to understand



Unconsoled (Bangla):



Pretty much. When I am writing something that I find is local and wouldn't be that much interesting if it is in "English", I go for Bangla. It's my first language, so I am more adept in the whole framework of it than I am in English.



Is this the language you grew up speaking?

Unconsoled (Bangla):



Yes. At all times. I had to speak English at school, but apart from that, it was always "Bangla".



Pompadour (Urdu):



Yes, it is.



Do you intend to keep writing in this language?

Fortis (Spanish):



Yes! A foreign language is always helpful to know!



Megsug (French):



No. I've found I'm terrible at languages. I'm gonna give up after I reach the required amount of classes



Pompadour (Urdu):



I do, mainly because it's a beautiful language, full of expression, colour, and the script just flows. But I think I'm actually guilty that I feel more comfortable--and confident--writing in English than in Urdu, which is something I intend to work on. Your language, your roots, right? It's the one thing that strikes closest to home



Unconsoled (Bangla):



Of course, I do. Actually, I find it easier.



@Pompadour and @Unconsoled really surprised me. They write in English so well I had no idea it wasn't their first language. I had always known that @fortis is learning Spanish and that @megsug knows some French but I had no idea Megsug used the language for nasty notes during math class. I'd hate to get on her bad side. French is a beautiful language but I'd rather not be the one insulted in her notebook, haha.

I think having gathered the info and interviewing all of these great people, this quest has come to a successful close. I invite you all to explore different languages and learn more about them. They can be so fulfilling if you really dedicate yourself to learning them. Thanks again for all of the YWSers who participated!

XOXO,
Gravity
Last edited by SquillsBot on Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.





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ASK GRUNO
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written by Gruno < PM: >

Welcome to Ask Gruno, the advice column in which stuff happens. Gruno will answer any questions you throw at him, be it advice, personal opinion, solutions or philosophy. My cousin Pruno has been busy at the wonderful school for Pruno people, so I will be taking over the column. Every now and again, Pruno may make an appearance, so never fear! May the question answering commence!


Gruno,
Do you know how to get out of a grave? I've been stuck here and can't seem to find the door. My pet rat, Scabbers, is the only thing keeping me company and he smells awful! He needs a bath.
-Gravy


Gravy,
I do believe you have gotten yourself into a kind of predicament. Lucky for you, I am well rounded in grave digging, coffin building, and the art of escaping graves. So never fear! First, look around for a string. Numerous times during the middle ages, strings were put in graves in case someone was buried when they weren’t dead, just unconscious. The people then weren’t aware of how to check for actual well… deadness. If you woke up finding yourself in a grave, you pulled the string, ringing the bell and hoped that they dug you out fast enough. If one of these bells is not present in your particular grave, push up on the top of the coffin. It should give just enough for you to slide it open. Then use your saliva to moisten the dirt and dig yourself out. You and your pet Scabbers will be extremely filthy, in which case, I would advise a bath.
-Gruno


Gruno,
Do you think I will ever become famous?
-Itwashernotme


Itwashernotme,
Not more famous than I. Nobody could ever be more famous than I.
-Gruno


Gruno,
If Shakespeare didn't have to go to college, why do I have to go to get a writing degree?

-Disheartened English Major


DEM,
Shakespeare actually may have gone to college. There is no proof or record of this, but his father held a high position at the Stratford grammar school where he is believed to have attended until the age of 13. Historians aren’t quite sure whether he pursued schooling from there but state that it’s very possible.
-Gruno

My fellow Grunians. I am afraid that this is all I have. I ask you to actually ask me questions. No matter how ridiculous, absurd, or serious, I shall find an answer! Just make sure it’s a legitimate question. Without you, I cannot survive. Plus I made a bet with my manager @defyingravity01, If I get 4+ of you to ask me a question, she has to ask me a question as well. And as she is madly in love with me, I’m expecting a proposal. So please! Ask! To ask me your questions, click this link





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THIS WEEK'S ROUNDUP – 7/6
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written by megsug < PM: >

Feeling tired or depressed? Just lacking the energy to get through the day? Four links will turn that frown upside down!


@Avalon has created a club to get people interested in storybooks all over YWS! Not much is going on right now, but I'm sure people will be talking about Storybooks soon. @TakeThatYouFiend suggests a slightly different use for the club:



Also we can nag other people here about sbs! Huzzah!




Whether you're joining to find a new storybook or to nag members of your storybook, join this club today.


America's Indepence day was two days ago, and Americans had celebrations across the company. @Lava wants to know not only what Americans did, but how everyone celebrates their country's Independence or national day. I think @Carina may have had the most exciting night.



… my boyfriend decided to take a shortcut that got us completely lost. We had no GPS, phones, or any way to find our way back. It was seriously our worst nightmare, and if we didn't pull up to a conveniently placed McDonalds to leech off their wifi and activate a GPS map, I think I would have eventually break down and start crying. It took like 40 min to find our way around, oh gosh.




What did you do for the Fourth? Or, if you don't live in America, how do you celebrate your own country's Independence day?


@fortis wants to know everyone's favorite font. @MaryEvans let her know:



Nyala for fancy stuff, and Georgia for more common writing.




There are all kinds of fonts. What's your favorite?


@mephistophelesangel is conflicted about something that happened in their story. They let us know what's going on:



There's this trouble that occurred many years ago, and three people were involved in it. But by attack/suicide/murder, they are now all dead. So that means that the trouble would never be resolved and have a solution. Should I leave it at that? Wouldn't people want the conflict to see its end?



Does a story have to settle all conflicts? Or can some threads be left untied? Let them know what you think.





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SHAMELESS PLUGS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

We love to run articles and questions, but we also love to advertise for you. Let people know about your new blog, a poem or story you’re looking for reviews on, or a forum thread you’d like more traffic on through Squills’ Shameless Plugs. PM @SquillsBot with the exact formatting of your advertisement, contained in the following code.

Code: Select all
Place advertisement here. Make sure you include a title!


And now for this week's Shameless Plugs!


YWS Camp


Ever want to go to summer camp, but hate the thought of spending so much time outdoors with the bugs, dirt, and other people irl?

The Camp YWS is the camp for you!


This week runs from the 7th to the 13th, but we accept cabin participants who might not be able to make it to all the fun. Not only can you avoid outside, but you can create something fun an unique for YWS with the time left for a cabin activity. These activities will be completely your own creation, so it could be anything!

For more information, please check out the YWS Camp Main Cabin and the introduction thread announcement here.


That's all folks~ Now send us yours.





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SUBSCRIBERS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

Find enspoiler-ed a list of our subscribers!

Spoiler! :
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Do you, too, want to be enspoiler-ed and receive a personal weekly notification when the Squills newsletter is posted? Shoot a PM over to SquillsBot to let him know, and you'll be pinged along with the next issue!








I'll show my defiance through ironic obedience!
— AstralHunter