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Squills 8/18/19 - 8/25/19



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Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:59 am
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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! :


Editor-in-Chief
fraey

General Editors
EternalRain
LordWolf

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Literary Reporter
LordWolf

Community Reporter
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

New BloodHound
ShadowVyper

Creativity Reporter
LordStar

Poetry Enchantress
alliyah

Resources Reporter
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

Storybooks Status Reporter
fraey

Writer's World Columnist
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

Social Correspondent
EternalRain

Code Master
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

General Reporters
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

Ghost Reporters
amelie
BiscuitsLeGuin
Clarity
elysian
Kanome
neptune
shaniac
TheWeirdoFromBeyond



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 Aug 19, 2019 5:00 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: LIBERTY
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written by EternalRain < PM: >

YWS’s current featured member, @Liberty, became FM on August 9th! She joined the site at the end of 2018, has written over 230 reviews, and has even posted a lot of her own work. You can also find her hanging around in the forums and WriterFeedPads. Anyway, I had the chance to talk to Liberty and ask her a few questions about her experience as FM.

Squills: Hello Liberty! Another congratulations on FM. I'm a reporter at Squills and I was wondering if I could ask a few questions to you for a featured member interview?

Liberty: Hey! Sure, I'd be glad to. :D

S: Awesome! First of all, what did it feel like to get FM? How did you react?

L: Um, it was just a casual day... And then I logged on, and as usual - this has become a habit - I looked at the "Relax in the lounge", "Leaderboards summary" and "Featured member" section on the home page. I saw my name and I gasped. I asked everyone in my family - my mum, dad and sisters - what it said. They all gave me the same reply and congratulated me. Then when I came to the last person and asked her, and she gave me the same answer as well, I screamed. Yes, I screamed and started jumping around.

And I felt very happy and special, ya know? I was very excited, as you can see, lol. :p


S: Yeah! Featured member is quite exciting. What did you do around the site that you think helped you to become FM?

L: I'm not that sure, but probably because I did reviews, helped out (I think??), and was friendly (I guess...). And most importantly: active!

S: I would agree on all of those! What advice do you have for other members who are looking to be FM one day?

L: Huh. I'd probably just say to be active around the site, be friendly to everyone, and engage yourself in things going around YWS. And also, one last thing: be who you are. ;)


S: Nice advice! Now, is there anyone who you think deserves FM after you? Who would you nominate?

L: Interesting question you have there... I actually don't know, to be honest. There's a lot of people who I'd nominate. So it's quite hard to choose.

S: Fair enough! My last question for you is: what's your favorite part of the site?

L: Probably the Forums and People section.

S: Great choices. Thank you so much for your time!


I had a lovely time talking to Liberty! If you’d like to congratulate her on becoming FM, here is the FM thread . Or you can take a stop on her wall! Another thank you to Liberty for sharing her thoughts and experiences as FM.





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Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:01 am
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SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW - ASITH
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written by fraey < PM: >

Hello everyone and welcome to the possible reappearance of the Spotlight Interview, where we pick at least one work that had been featured recently! This week I had the privilege of talking to @Asith about their short story The Trees ! This story had taken over YWS with plenty of users encouraging others to read the tale about the link between people and trees, in a more literal sense than perhaps thought before.

Squills: What inspired The Trees? Do you have anywhere you got this idea from?

Asith: There's a cartoon miniseries called Over The Garden Wall. (If you haven't seen it and you're into those sorts of cartoons, it's a must watch.) Anyway, a big part of that story involves people being turned into Edelwood trees. There's a scene with a character sitting down at the stump of a tree with branches wrapping around him and leaves growing out of him. I thought it was an incredible image. My story involves people nourishing the tree more so than becoming trees themselves, but the imagery of the boy under the Edelwood tree definitely kickstarted the whole thing. Something about mighty trees invading and absorbing the human form is really interesting to me.

S: What was your writing process like?

A: Ideas-wise, like I said, the ending came first. I knew what I wanted the ending scene to be - a man being "injested" by a great tree while he sat at the trunk. Unable to think of an action-packed plot in the middle of world-building as is my usual go-to, I decided to focus on world-building entirely. The first real idea was a village of people in which each person would succumb to the same fate of the trees. Exploring this, I wrote the first paragraph - a sort of prologue. It then hit me that following the life of one villager would be the simplest way to make this idea come to life, so I sat down and wrote. Everything came to me on-the-fly; all the village traditions were just me trying to make whatever I'd just written about one character seem more cyclic and relevant to the whole village. The fragments of ideas soon developed into sound ones. I had a beginning and an end - I just needed to flesh out the middle as best I could.

S: Did you expect this amount of attention and likes for Trees?

A: Absolutely not. I posted it specifically because I was unsure if people would like it. I thought it was a good enough concept, but the storytelling of purely extended narration with little actual plot until the very end felt really risky. It's not how I usually tell stories, and my biggest fear was that it dragged on so long that readers would never get to the exciting bit. I was almost going to rewrite the whole thing until it turned out that people liked it.

S: Do you typically write short stories? Have you ever attempted poetry or novels?

A: I write a tonne of short stories, yes. It's great to have an idea and then write a concise, few thousand word story with it that you can call complete in a few days.
Poetry - nope! I'm one of those people that doesn't get poetry. There are poems I like and poems I don't like, but I can never explain why. As a result, I don't really write poetry. (Aside from the few edgy poems I penned as an angsty 12/13 year old :p)
Novels - sure, albeit not many. A few years ago, I wrote a fantasy novel. I actually posted some extracts on yws (my account is older than you'd think :p) which have since been deleted, as I don't much like the story anymore. I'm also working on a novel right now - an urban fantasy adventure/thriller with a dash of dryly humorous narration and religious commentary - which genuinely looks like it'll be written to completion. Still debating posting it on yws though :p


S: Is there a topic you'd eventually like to write about?

A: Well, sure, don't we all have those? I've always flirted with ideas of writing about lgbtq+ rights, and writing about domestic abuse. I suppose the main thing that kept me from these is my lack of direct experience with either of them. But hey, the more people that talk about them the better, so we'll see.

S: Lastly, are there any works you'd like to give a shout out to for being excellent?

A: I presume you mean on yws, and I've only been back here for a short while so I don't have a very big list, although I'm sure there are tonnes of brilliant pieces here that I've missed. A favourite that comes to mind is @Corvus' In the Life of a God . It's a great short story of speculative fiction - exactly the type of thing I like reading. @Arfa's Heavenly is also a brilliant beginning to a story and is a very interesting concept as a whole. Additionally, I recently read @MoonlightForest's short story Cup's Cradle and was blown away by how good it was!

Thank you very much Asith for your answers! Overall, this Spotlight Interview was able to really dive into some of the inspiration for the fascinating tale of The Trees and learn more about this amazing writer in general. If you haven't already and are interested in reading this short story, please click the link at the top of this article. Until next time readers!





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Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:02 am
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PRODUCTIVITY TIPS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL
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written by alliyah < PM: >

I hate to even say it friends, but for many of us school is starting up again and the summer is drawing to a close. If you're like me one of the toughest parts about getting back into the school groove again is just transitioning back into productivity after having more free-time or a different type of job during the summer. This article will have some of my tips for getting back into being productive. Everyone works a little differently so not all of these tips might work for you, but if you have some tips of your own feel free to share over on my Squills Author Page .

1. Use a Planner or Agenda Book
Whether you're moving up to high school from middle school, college from HS, or even like me and working on your Master's degree - I think there's a lot of value in having a designated place to write down what you need to do. A designated calendar, agenda book, planner, or even a bullet-journal helps you to know all of what you need to do for the day, and also helps your prioritize because you can see immediately what needs to be done daily, weekly, and monthly. Taking some time at the beginning of the semester to decide how you're going to stay intentionally organized - maybe by color-coding assignments or developing a way to organize your responsibilities and check-lists is a nice way to start with a fresh-clean-slate!

2. Plan Ahead
Along with keeping all of your tasks together in one designated place, planning ahead can really take away some of the stress of school and can eliminate the "putting everything together at the last second" issue. I like to write all my tests in my agenda book as soon as I know about them in a bright bold writing so I can tell well in advance that I need to start studying.

3. Know Where You're Putting Your Time
This is my personal favorite tip for productivity. At some point I was in a leadership course and was given a chart with a blank for every half-hour for a whole week. We were supposed to mark in how we spent our time for the entire week. It was a bit of a pain going into it, I was sure that I'd see all the blocks filled up with homework and classwork - what I found out is that there were important gaps in my schedule I was just wasting! The 45 minutes I tended to spend on my phone between class and lunch on Tuesdays/Thursdays, the 2 hours of procrastination after my Monday afternoons, etc. all those little blocks of time add up! It's okay to have breaks and procrastination in your schedule, but taking the time to actually chart where it's all going to see if you'd rather spend it a different way. Any time I'm feeling stressed in my life schedule I like to do this chart activity for a week, and then try to re-adjust if I see I'm investing my time in places I don't want to.

4. Un-plug For Homework and Studying
If you're finding it's taking you hours to get studying or get started with the homework, it might seem pretty intuitive, but try un-plugging from technology or turning off your phone until the work is done! It actually can save a lot of time. I personally have started getting into the habit of turning my phone on to "airplane mode" when I'm writing an essay - it's easy for procrastination to just eat up all of your time, and those quick phone-checks end up adding up! Using an App like "Cold Turkey" which sets a timer on your computer to block designated social media sites for scheduled times can also help you if you need to work on your computer for your homework but keep getting distracted by other websites.

5. Plan-In Breaks!
Don't forget to give yourself a break while you're being productive! Taking a little break to eat, grab a snack, stretch, or just rest your mind can help you stay motivated and re-energize you too.

Good luck staying productive and knocking out that school work!





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Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:02 am
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GREEN ROOM GALLERY
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written by fraey < PM: >

Hello everyone to another Green Room Gallery! There are currently 68 works in total, 8 works with no reviews, and a whole 60 with 1 review. The oldest work is from May 12th which is absolutely no fun! This round is going to be filled with all old, novel/chapter works, as the back part of the Green Room is comprised entirely of these! Please do not be discouraged by the numbers of people still waiting for reviews - just use that to motivate your reviewing powers.

Lohikarmen: A tale of humans and dragons (Chapter 3: The dragons' refuge) by @RandomVanGloboii
This story is a fantasy, action-packed novel following a tale that flips the normal script. In this novel, the dragon is the main character and fleeing from the human race that attacked him and his family.
The first chapter can be found here

Servant of the White Sun - Chapter 4 - Shelter of the Sun by @papillote
Here we have another fantasy novel, with a mysterious or suspenseful undertone. Our main character is named Ciel Sarven who is suddenly stalked by a vampire despite being from a small town.
The first chapter can be found with this link

State to State - 4.1 by @LordWolf
This story is written from multiple perspectives and a blend of supernatural elements and mysterious or suspenseful ones. Follow Emily and Sherlock as they navigate a complicated world and possibly not get noticed by the government.
The first chapter is linked here
There is an 18+ warning.

GlowPeak Academy - Chapter Twelve by @SubSubLibrarian
This story is another action-y adventure that is also set in a sci-fi world. As stated by the title, there appear a few characters at this academy that hides quite a few secrets - by multiple aspects and people of all ages.
If interested, check out the first chapter

Too Much Blank Space Not Enough Vomit - Ch. 8.2 by @LordStar
Last but not least, here comes a narrative-style teen fiction story. Rhys Hartman is trying to get through his complicated personal life while dealing with addiction, family, and strangers - he has too many obstacles and not enough solutions.
This story’s first chapter shows up here
There is an 18+ warning.

That’s a wrap-up of the gallery for now! I hope at least one of these works catches your eye and inspires you to get out there and spread some review-loving. Perhaps by the end of this month’s Review Day we can get the Green Room cleared for the first time in a very long while. Good luck everyone!





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Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:03 am
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BEING CREATIVE VOLUME TWO: FEARS, MYTHS AND TIPS FOR PUBLICATION
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written by LordStar< PM: >

Hello Squills readers! This week as part of the Being Creative column I thought I'd interview our very own @BlueAfrica for some tips and tricks when it comes to submitting your work for publication!

Squills: How does one go about submitting work for consideration for publication? Any tips?

BlueAfrica: The first thing to do is research! You need to find lit mags that fit what you're looking for - do they allow simultaneous submissions, do they accept previously published works, do they pay, are they online or print, what rights do they ask for and which do you retain - and find out what their submission guidelines are. Every magazine is different.

You also need to
read the magazines to see which of your pieces fit. Usually lit mags are looking for something in particular. They may be asking for pieces that fit a particular theme, or they may prefer a darker tone, etc. You can also get an idea of the editors' tastes by reading prior issues.

Once you've got a list of which magazines you want to submit to, you'll need your pieces, some author bios, and a basic cover letter. Like I said, every magazine is different. If you have a collection of different pieces to choose from, bios of different lengths, and a cover letter that's easy to tweak for different magazines, it'll simplify the submission process.

How you go about submitting from there depends on the magazine! Most submissions are through email, so you'd email the editor(s) your cover letter, a bio if they ask for one, and your pieces for submission - usually as an attachment, but some magazines do ask for the pieces to be pasted into the body of the email. Make sure you pay attention!


S: What would you say the most important thing to remember is when it comes to submitting your work for the first time?

B: Read! the! lit mags! Don't submit at random. You need to find lit mags that you think fit your style/tone/voice and then choose the pieces that fit those magazines best. Follow all the submission guidelines and tailor your cover letter for each submission.

Not to be a downer, but also remember that rejection is part of being a writer. Don't get disheartened when you receive a rejection - just keep submitting!


S: What was the top myth you found out not to be true when it comes to publication?

B: I think there's a lingering stigma against online-only lit mags, that they're lower quality or less picky than print magazines. But the fact of the matter is, most lit mags are online-only these days. That's not to say you don't want to be selective about where you submit: you can get a feel for a magazine based on how professional their website looks, how many pieces you find published in each issue, and the quality of the pieces. But don't dismiss online-only lit mags out of hand - they're definitely worth a look.

S: What were/are some of your fears regarding submitting your works for consideration?

B: I really want to make sure I'm submitting to magazines that I can feel proud to have my work in, so I poke around their websites extensively before adding them to my list of potential submissions. I'm concerned with rights and simultaneous submissions: I want to make sure I retain rights that allow me to submit my works to other magazines later on if they're accepted by this magazine now, and I want to be able to submit the same poem to multiple magazines at once rather than waiting three months to be rejected by one before I can submit to another.

I'm also super terrified that I'll get *something* wrong when I go to submit, so I take detailed notes of the submission guidelines for each lit mag and reread them about ten times each while submitting. Did I include all the information they asked for in my cover letter? Did I choose an author bio of the right length? Are my poems actually as done as they could be? I thought they were but now that I'm actually submitting I'm sure they could be better but I'm also sure *I* can't make them better?????????


S: As an editor for our zine, what do you think makes a submission stand out among others?

B: A strong voice! This goes for anything I read, whether as an editor or a reader. If I don't connect to the voice, it doesn't matter how technically good a poem or story is or how strong the plot or message or theme. You might be writing about something millions of other people have written about, but you should write about it in your own authentic way.

And there's that! Now that we've dispelled some myths and fears about submitting for publication, as well as given you some tips, it's time for you to go out there and write! And remember - Stephen King grew up with a stack of rejection letters nailed to his wall. Rejection isn't the end of everything, and it's important that you keep trying!





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THE RETURN OF WEEKLY QUESTIONS
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written by fraey < PM: >

Hiya there, readers! I figured that with the return of Squills and regular updates, I would try to bring in another past event I tried getting to be active - Weekly Questions! A couple of lovely peeps answered an admittedly late post - found here on the Squills Fan Club forum page. As thus, I figure I can provide any feedback to the question, then answer it with my own opinion.

The question this week was: Since school is getting back into session, what would be your dream class (if middle/high school) or lecture (if college) to take? Or, if you don't have one, what is your most dreaded subject?

@Magestorrow had this to say:



In high school, I think my dream classes were all ones that I took my senior year - creative writing, forensics, and environmental science. I love all of those topics dearly, and it was great getting to sit in a classroom and learn about them every week.

For the future? I'd love to take the paleontology course that my college offers. It's one of the classes I can take to fulfill my degree's requirements. I don't know if I'd actually use it for that or take it as an elective, but I've always been a big fan of paleontology and would love to return to that childhood love with a more developed and knowledge brain.



All of those classes sound quite fun! I unfortunately could not have taken any of those three courses in high school, but they certainly do seem interesting, and I can understand the draw for them. Especially that of creative writing and environmental science, which the latter I did debate on being my major for college.

@Liberty also answered my question with this:



Middle school/Favorite subject: English, English, English! The type of English were you get to read books and answer questions to them and make essays. I'm the essay type of girl, lol. :P

Middle school/Dreaded subject: History, Science, Social Studies. Note that I didn't say Math. I might be even starting to like Math, ya know? Don't tell my dad. He might make me do more.

For High school/Favorite subject and High school/Dreaded subject: It's all the same!

And for college, hehe. I can't really think that far into the future. I have like a literal half-decade to wait for. Doesn't sound like much, but it's gonna be pretty long. ;)



I must agree with you on the English portion, as I always had a lot of fun in those writing classes. Essays are certainly enjoyable as well. But oh no, history! And science! D: Perhaps you’ll grow to like those subjects as you did with math. Here’s to hoping you have fun in school and eventually figure out what you would want to major in.

As for me, I am currently in college, but I’m pretty limited on what I can take since science classes are quite long endeavors. Honestly, though, my dream lecture and lab for this next semester are two biology classes - both zoology and microbiology as I’ve been looking forward to these for months! I hadn’t taken a biology class since tenth grade which was quite a while ago.

Least favorite would be if I had to take another physics class as I absolutely dreaded every moment of those last year. I can only hope that there is nothing more I need to do in that field once I transfer to a university.

Thanks to the two of you for participating in my mini questionnaire, and please keep a lookout for when I’ll post next week’s question! Good luck with school everyone! ^^





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Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:06 am
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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!


Submit to Queer as In F*** You!

QAIFY is an alternative compzine that is going to be published physically and digitally every month starting in August, and is currently accepting submissions. August's theme is Exit, Kindly, although submissions can range anywhere in topic from feminism, punk, identity, queerness, womanhood, social justice, or just experimental. QAIFY accepts poetry, short essays, serialized novels and short stories, articles and art such as collages, drawings, paintings, and photography.

Send submissions as a word document, .jpg, or .pdf file to queerasineffyou.zine@gmail.com........ before August 31 to be considered for publication in August's issue. While you're at it, follow the zine on twitter and tumblr and look out for the official website soon!


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 @Omnom 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!


~~~



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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Notice to All Knights of the Green Room


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Due to extra paper-work from building permits, the Great Hall is closed until Main Challenge Four: Restoring the Library Tower is completed - please help us complete the challenge by clearing the rubble. To participate Knights can submit Green Room reviews to fellow Knights and bring the links to the Main Challenge Thread. Help us finish this challenge and re-open the Great Hall!

For questions please contact LordWolf (Captain of the Guard) or Knight alliyah (Court Magician).

For complaints regarding construction noise or inconveniences please contact a nearby Office Squire.

- The Commander

~~~


Do YOU want to join
the Knights of the Green Room?


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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 Captain of the Guard Jack (@LordWolf) or Knight Alliyah (@alliyah).


That's all folks~ Now send us yours.





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SUBSCRIBERS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

Find an enspoiler-ed a list of our subscribers!
Spoiler! :

@SquillsBot@Carina@ShadowVyper@ArcticMonkey@Hannah@KingLucifer@Caesar@Veeren@megsug@StoneHeart@Skydreamer@Love@Aley@Rydia@Alpha@skorlir@KnightTeen@ChildOfNowhere@neko@Aquila90@DudeMcGuy@kayfortnight@Cole@Blackwood@manisha@fortis@Gardevite@cgirl1118@KittyCatMeow@Willard@ChocoCookie@carbonCore@Auxiira@Iggy@Blues@Paracosm@Sparkle@FireFox@Dakushau • @AlexSushiDog • @wizkid515@yubbies21@PiesAreSquared@FatCowsSis@CelticaNoir@BenFranks@TimmyJake@whitewolfpuppy@WallFlower@Magenta@BrittanyNicole@GoldFlame@Messenger@ThereseCricket@TriSARAHtops@Ventomology@Evander@WillowPaw1@Laure@TakeThatYouFiend@RoseAndThorn@Cheetah@NicoleBri@Pompadour@Zontafer@QueenOfWords@Crimsona@vluvswriting@GreenTulip@Audy@EllaBliss@eldEr@Deanie@lostthought@CesareBorgia • @Kirkiln • @Morrigan@AfterTheStorm • @BrumalHunter • @Arcticus@Wolfical@Pamplemousse@Sassafras@gia2505 • @BiscuitsLeGuin • @SkyeWalker@Noelle@elysian • @Tortwag • @kingofeli@SpiritedWolfe@malachitear@GeeLyria@AdmiralKat@Clickduncake@yellow@Seraphinaxx@Pretzelstick@WritingWolf@EternalRain@Tuesday@Dragongirl@JKHatt@Lucia@donizback@Querencia@BlueSunset@artybirdy@IncohesiveScribbles@cleverclogs@MLanders@ClackFlip@PickledChrissy@racket@Lorelie@Gravity • @BlueAfrica • @hermione315@Steggy@willachilles@tintomara138@AmatuerWritings • @Ithaca • @TheForgottenKing@Shoneja123 • @Magestorrow • @Mea@klennon14@fandomsNmusic@Meerkat@HolographicLadybug@Sevro@DragonWriter22@RippleGylf@amelie@Morrigun@Megrim • @outvaders • @inktopus@OreosAreLife@Saruka@rosette@PastelSlushie@Strident@darklady@Jashael@TheBlueCat@Thundahguy • @ZeldaIsShiek • @Lives4Christ24@manilla@Danni88@Elinor@fishsashimi@TheWeirdoFromBeyond • @GodHatesShane • @shaniac@neptune@Storybraniac@WritingPrincess@Traves@JosephHGeorge@Amabilia@Fantascifi66@paperforest@alliyah

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!








You're going to go through tough times - that's life. But I say, "Nothing happens to you, it happens for you." See the positive in negative events.
— Joel Osteen