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Squills 2/17/19 - 2/24/19



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Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:11 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!

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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.

You can apply to become a Squillian Journalist by submitting a sample article to Squillsbot today!

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





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Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:14 pm
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ROMANTIC POETRY HIGHLIGHT
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written by alliyah < PM: >

This week brought the holiday of love - St. Valentine's Day. Along with the candy hearts, roses, and cards another staple of Valentine's day is romantic poetry. Romantic poetry has been around probably as old as poetry has existed - Shakespeare had his love sonnets, the Bible even features a few love verses, and it's continued to be a popular subject even today. I should clarify now, that this article is not referring to Romantic Era poetry (which began in the late 18th century), but poetry that tackles the subject of romance.

Romance seems to be one of the more popular subjects of poetry on Young Writers Society too. I have to admit as a poet myself, relationships are certainly one of my favorite subjects to write poetry about and fuel a lot of my inspiration. Despite the popularity of romance poetry a phrase that I've come to read a lot around YWS and off-site poetry conversations is, "I don't really like romance poetry". I think the reason for this is likely three-fold. 1) Not everyone legitimately enjoys reading or observing romance. 2) There is a lot of bad romance poetry out there - since it is so abundant - so people judge the whole genre off of the worst pieces they've read. 3) Many people have a misconception of what romance poetry is; that it's not complicated, or as thoughtful, or is mushy reused-imagery.

Anyways, I think romance poetry is great, and wanted to offer a few samples from our very own YWS writers to hopefully break some of those misconceptions of romance poetry, win over a few more fans of the genre, and to celebrate the season. Without further ado, here are the YWS Romantic Poetry Highlights with just a few snippets from some of my favorite recent romance poems.


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@Swetachowdhury0 Two hearts .
Sweta considers herself a poet-beginner on YWS, and can often be seen reviewing and giving advice around the site, especially in the poetry section. As well as having experience in writing romantic poetry, also writes romantic fan-fiction on the site. The poem snippet above comes from a poem about the strains of emotions and experiences between two people in a long distance relationship - it takes these little concrete moments and weaves them together to create a narrative of the character's experience.



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@Cloudkid Elizabeth (#2) .
This piece is part of a series of poems, and I would highly recommend checking out Elizabeth (#1) too. Ollie's poetry plays with a creative use of white-space, with the traditional tools of poignant imagery and figurative language running through the piece. This particular poem is totally unique, and will challenge those who say all love poems sound the same. Be sure to check out the rest of their portfolio after you've had a chance to read this one.



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@Charm nesting .
Charm has a couple poems featured in the Literary Spotlight: Top 100 - a feat that not many have accomplished, she has also has quite a complete collection of poems in her portfolio, many of which deal with romantic themes. Her poetry often touches the difficult emotional sides that people experience going through a relationship - and this highlighted poem deals with some of those bittersweet themes that pull at the heartstrings of readers. The full poem is striking so click on the link, and browse through her portfolio.



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@Arcticus If I were to draw a map of Time .
I was going to say that Arcticus' poetry has a "timeless quality" to it, but that would also be a pun on the theme of this poem. Truly though, Arcticus is one of YWS's most talented poets, and writes about love and life in a way that is very readable and yet has philosophical edges. His poetry illustrates emotions in just absolutely beautiful reflections that feel authentic. Many of his poems fit in the romance poetry category, and recently he's been sharing his poetry paired with fitting images too - you can also follow Arc's poetry with the hashtag #arcwrites.

And those are the romance poem highlights! These are all really enjoyable reads, so I hope you get to click a few of these and read read some of their other work. You'll notice there's also quite a bit of variety in subjects, images, and narratives too in all of these poems. There are many ways to approach the subject of romance in poetry writing. To learn more about each of these poets' individual approaches to writing romantic poetry, turn to the next section of this article below in the Poet Spotlight . And if you'd like to see more Poetry Highlights, let me know over on my Author's Page .





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Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:15 pm
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NEW MEMBER INTERVIEW: LADYJACKALOPE
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written by EternalRain < PM: >

This week, I got the chance to talk to @LadyJackalope, a fairly new member here on YWS! She joined on January 25 and already has her first review star, as well. She has her own Will Review for Food Thread, Will Review for theoretical Brownie Points! and has had a presence on the Roleplay Realm forum. I asked her a few questions about YWS and writing!


Squills: Hi there LadyJackalope. I was wondering if you'd be up to answering a few questions for a new member interview for Squills, the YWS news?

LadyJackalope: Hi! Of course, I'd love to!

S: Wonderful! The first question is, why did you join YWS?

L: I joined YWS because I was looking for a writing community to help get me back into writing. I've been having trouble getting motivation to write and I hoped joining could help!

S: I definitely think YWS can help you out there! What kind of things do you like to write?

L: Pretty much only fantasy. Within that, I tend to stick to lighthearted YA type stuff. My current big project is a series of vignettes about a war between witches and wizards but I got a bit less enthusiastic about it since joining and realizing how bland my characters are XD

S: Aw! That sounds like a really interesting concept, though! What is your favorite part about YWS so far?

L: I really like the reviewing system! I feel like it encourages people to be a bit more honest and critical than they normally would (In a good way!). All the people seem pretty friendly too!

S: Is there a work that you’ve read and particularly enjoyed? And why?

L: On here? I haven't read much yet but I really enjoyed @arielpaiement1's Catarina . Even though it wasn't perfect, it was a really interesting concept and I can't wait to see where it goes! Overall, my favorite book is probably Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings or one of his other Cosmere novels because he's an amazing author and everything he writes is really thoughtful and just well-written overall!

S:Cool! And one last question: how did you come up with your username?

L: I wanted something that involved Jackalopes because I'd been thinking about how awesome they were recently and LadyJackalope sounded pretty cool XD

Thank you so much to LadyJackalope for her time! And if you’re interested in a review from her, don’t forget to check out her Will Review for Food thread.





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Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:17 pm
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ROMANTIC POETRY: POET SPOTLIGHT
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written by alliyah < PM: >

You've read the Romance Poetry Highlights , now it's time to hear a word from the authors. I was able to catch @Swetachowdhury0, @Cloudkid, @Charm, and @Arcticus who shared a little about their own writing process as well as few tricks of the trade. Some consider themselves beginners, while some have been at it for a long while, check out what they had to say!

alliyah: What do you think is the most difficult part of writing Romantic Poetry?


Swetachowdhury0: I am new to writing and I am learning a lot thanks to YWS. Happy that I get to know about YWS. For me, I think we couldn't exactly write how we feel or what we do because it will make it look very different.

Cloudkid: Probably finding good imagery, to be honest. Trying not to fall into cliches or be too over-dramatic. You have to find a balance, a balance between raw honesty and beauty, I think.

Charm: I don't have a lot of romantic experience to be honest so I don't write about things that I don't know about. I also try to stay away from things that I wouldn't want my parents reading. I tend to write about crushes or feelings the most. Also not all my romantic poems are about crushes. Most of them are about my rocky relationships with friends. When I do end up having a romantic experience which I could write about, I worry too much about whether or not people I know in real life will know what the poem is about. I'm trying to work on this and be more confident. These are my stories and my art. I don't need to be quiet if I don't want to.

Arcticus: I think the most difficult part of writing romantic poetry is how easily it can go wrong, and how vulnerable it is to being judged and dismissed as too mushy, too sentimental. This is understandable, because you see, romantic poetry is a genre perhaps as old as poetry itself. Which means that a lot has already been said about Love, Lovers and Loving. So, what happens is that even a straightforward romantic poem can easily come off as cliche and lovey-dovey. This makes you overthink as a writer: "am I doing this right?, is it too sappy?" and so on and so forth. So yeah, this can prove to be quite a hurdle and perhaps the most difficult hurdle to get past when in this genre.

alliyah: A lot of Romantic Poetry writers end up falling into the issue of writing cliches, what has been your strategy to avoid this?


Sw: I try to ignore writing cliches but the emotions we get from them. I try to avoid writing it. I haven't written many romantic poem yet so I still have to try to come up with ideas to avoid it.

Cl: Probably trying to think about romance and poetry as an abstract. I try to use a lot of imagery that one wouldn't really think of in the context of romance - storms, stars, that kind of thing. I like to go as far as I can to push those limits and boundaries and again, find that balance. I think a lot of romance poets try too hard to make it over-the-top beautiful and shocking, whereas I try mainly to just write a stream of consciousness and what comes into the thinkbox.

Ch: I don't really have a strategy and I'm sure I have written a bunch of cliche phrases before. I think the reason why I stay away from cliches is that I just find them cheesy or gross. I also like to write genuinely and about personal feelings and experiences, so I don't start off with many cliche ideas. I can't write a good poem just about anything. I have to have deep feelings and emotions behind it. That's why I haven't written much poetry lately. My life is a lot less emotional and chaotic now. I think that will change in a few months as I leave high school and move onto university. I do want to get better at writing poetry at quiet moments in my life though.

Ar: My fix for this issue is simple: try your very best to say something new. What that means is: say something that hasn't been said before, or say it in a different way, and if not, then find new ways to say the same old thing, but do so in a way that brings out an erstwhile unexplored dimension, something that is unique to you and your ideas of and experiences with love. Instead of talking about "how beautiful her eyes are" like the good old poets of yore, try to bring something fresh to the table. There's no need to confine yourself to these stock phrases worn out by overuse.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that its a crime to use old themes and expressions on occasion - sometimes the cliche can be useful, but it is also important to note that romantic poetry touches upon some very immediate emotions: love, attraction and all that jazz; it's really close to you, which means that you can always find something new to say about it if you meditate upon your feelings well enough; and that is what I do, or try to do.


alliyah: There's a difficulty in writing romantic poetry, in balancing drawing from personal emotions, and also making something that is readable for others - what's your experience with finding this balance?


Sw: I wrote a poem once and I had to made many changes to it and at the end what came out was completely different from what I wanted to show. I think we have to put personal emotion on the side, or try to write it in a different way to show more personal emotions too.

Cl: I try to block out the thought of my readers when I make any sort of poetry. There's a tactic I learned in acting class of having these different levels of focus - having a circle that includes the whole room, a circle that includes you and the audience, and a circle that includes just you and your fellow actors. So I translate that to my poetry - I try to keep the focus on myself and my writing without worrying about my 'audience'. I feel that when I do that things tend to flow a lot more naturally and the poetry itself seems more real and authentic to me.

Ch: There are people I know in real life on YWS and when I write my poetry, I try to focus on making it as vague as it needs to be so they don't know who it is about. Of course, they can guess and most of the time get it right, but I feel more comfortable this way. I wish I could be more raw actually, but I have faced consequences in the past when I was too open.

Ar: This balance is important, but I don't think it should involve a trade-off of any sort. It shouldn't be about sacrificing sincerity for readability or vice versa. It should rather be more a question of how to present your personal experience as something readable for others. There's no quick fix formula for doing it the right way, and everyone has to find their own way to perform this translation from the raw to the comprehensible.

I usually begin by collecting ideas and thoughts in my mind, writing them down and then drawing from this pool and then adding to it what makes poetry poetry - stardust, pathos and expressiveness, as much as I can in my capacity as a writer. While doing this, I try to be as less vague as possible, and as close to my reader as I can. That is my experience with this.


alliyah: Anything else you'd like to share about your writing process while you're here?


Cl: Of course my relationship has helped with being able to write romance poetry, but I also like to keep in mind that romance can have a lot of different meanings and be applied to a lot of different things. You can be in love with nature and with your higher power and with yourself, and I think translating those experiences into your writing, poetry and otherwise, in authentic and raw means makes that piece of writing good and real, no matter your skill level as a writer. When I'm writing I try to be as honest as I can about myself and my experiences, and the littlest thing can be a spark for my next piece.

Ar: Hmmm. There's not much to be shared. Except maybe that, as of late, I've been trying to be more sincere and unrestrained while writing. As in: just taking all that raw emotion and put it out there.

Among poets, and among writers in general, there's often this tendency to withhold certain parts of how we really feel - we hide behind characters, we veil our deepest insecurities to create this whole protective fiction around ourselves with our work. It's based on a very natural fear of exposing ourselves too much to our reader, but lately I've been trying to be as bare and naked as possible in my writing. I think sincerity makes writing more truthful, and actually endears us to our readers. So, yeah, try that sometime.


And that wraps up our interview! Thank you to all the poets who took the time to share a few gems of their process and tips. I know I'll be taking away some of the wisdom from each of these talented writers. Writing about love can be daunting, because of its personal and emotional nature, and also because so much has been said on the subject already - but there are certainly fresh ways to approach the subject from a new and meaningful angle. So readers, did anything surprise you about their answers? What wisdom do you plan on applying to our own writing? Let me know over in my Author's Page .





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Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:18 pm
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QUEER VOICES: A JOURNEY TO STORIES WORTH TELLING - VOLUME ONE
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written by Cloudkid< PM: >

Hello distinguished readers! Oliver here to bring you exciting news of my new column. Queer Voices: A Journey to Stories Worth Telling is a weekly article column aiming to answer questions like: how has queer representation changed, both in our own works and in general media, throughout the years? How does being queer affect our writing? What kind of queer stories are we, queer writers, telling? Moreover, this column plans to educate readers (queer or not) about different aspects of queer history that often go overlooked. To do this, the column will be reviewing different queer works and will run interviews of queer creators.

For this week, since I've seen so many people wanting to write trans characters but not being sure where to start, I introduce you to: Enby/Trans Education Hour , a newly-formed club that aims to be a resource for everything trans and nonbinary when it comes to writing. Already there's an introductary thread , where users can introduce themselves by name, pronoun, and what kind of information they're looking for; a general questions thread where users can ask their questions regarding writing trans/enby characters; and a thread where users can talk about how they discovered they were queer! Thanks to founder @Ladybird, there's going to be a slew of resources available for queer and non-queer writers alike to be able to correctly write trans/nonbinary characters!

If there's anything particular you want to see in this column, feel free to drop questions/comments/concerns at my author's page ! For next week, look forward to a review of one of my favorite books, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. This is a column made by queer people for queer people, so please don't hesitate to let me know what you want out of it. See you next week!





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Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:21 pm
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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.

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Place advertisement here. Make sure you include a title!

And now for this week's Shameless Plugs!



Review Rampage

Do you like competitions? Do you like easy ways to make extra points? Then read on!

The #ReviewRampage is a competition hosted by @ShadowVyper and @Kirkiln that is a Go-At-Your-Own-Pace review challenge. You set your own review goals and wagers, then race against time to see if you can get done in time. Or, for the more competitive spirits out there, you can also duel against your fellow Rampagers.

Go check out the Q&A Forum for more information and then head on over to the Entry Forum to claim your place as a Rampager.

Get your Rampage on!


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Want to be a part of Squills, the YWS newsletter? Perfect! We want you. You can find more information here, and you can apply now by sending a sample article to SquillsBot's PM.

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Calling All Knights of the Green Room!


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Our Building Permit for completing Challenge Four: Restoring the Library expires May 2019. The Commander is requesting all available Knights to head to the Green Room to help. To find out more, check out the Commander's post in the Great Hall .

- The Commander

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Do YOU want to join
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The Knights of the Green Room are looking for some new recruits!

If you enjoy reviewing this may be the group for you!

For more information: KotGR Information
To declare you interest: Declare in the Great Hall .
If you have questions: Send a PM to Lieutenant Lizz (@LadyBird) or Knight Alliyah (@alliyah).


That's all folks~ Now send us yours.





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Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:22 pm
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SUBSCRIBERS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

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"In my contact with people I find that, as a rule, it is only the little, narrow people who live for themselves, who never read good books, who do not travel, who never open up their souls in a way to permit them to come into contact with other souls -- with the great outside world."
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