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Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:41 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

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Editor-in-Chief
fraey

General Editors
EternalRain
CaptainJack

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Literary Reporter
CaptainJack

Community Reporter
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

New BloodHound
ShadowVyper

Creativity Reporter
nogutsnoglory

Poetry Enchantress
alliyah

Resources Reporter
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

Storybooks Status Reporter
ScarlettFire
Clairia

Writer's World Columnist
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Social Correspondent
EternalRain

Code Master
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General Reporters
neptune
Liberty
Asith
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Ghost Reporters
amelie
BiscuitsLeGuin
Clarity
elysian
Kanome
shaniac
TheWeirdoFromBeyond
writeasmile



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!





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Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:42 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: TGHAM99
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written by Asith < PM: >

@tgham99 joined YWS near the end of December, and was already chosen to be Featured Member by February! She tends to consistently hold a top 3 position on the review leaderboards, and already has 3 review stars! I had the pleasure of interviewing her last week!


Squills: Hi! Congratulations on becoming featured member! Can I ask you a few questions for Squills, our newsletter?

tgham99: Hey! Thanks so much!! Yes, i would be happy to answer some questions for you <3

S: Glad to hear it :). First things first, could you talk us through how it felt when you realized you had become FM?

t: It was definitely a pleasant surprise! I hadn't anticipated becoming FM anytime soon because I'm still a fairly new member, but when I saw in my notifications that I was tagged in the most recent FM announcement, it was very exciting, to say the least. It's basically the same feeling as when you get the Christmas present you've been dying to get!


S: What do you think you did on YWS to have earned such a title?

t: I personally think that it's because of how diligently I participated in Review Day, though this could be incorrect because I know that a ton of people worked really hard and reviewed their butts off! I guess another reason is that I try very hard to be an active member of the community in terms of reviewing, posting in the forums, and publishing my own content; I'm not so much a "silent member", if that makes sense.

S: Well, we do all remember you dominating a certain leaderboard :P. How was your Review Day experience? It was actually your first one, wasn't it?

t: It was indeed my first RD! I joined YWS towards the end of December 2019 so I had never experienced an RD before or even anything remotely similar in other writing communities. It was very fun, and I loved the competitive aspect of it. I feel like there were no negatives; I of course wanted my team (Ruby Reviewers) to win, but regardless of who came out on top, I thought the most fulfilling aspect was that we were able to clear out the green room by so much.

S: Since it may well have been your reviewing that earned you that FM title, tell us, what gives you such a drive to write all those reviews?

t: I feel like feedback from others is crucial to developing better writing abilities. I actually joined YWS with the hopes of getting reviews on my own work, so when I realized that there are so many great members here who take the time to examine and provide feedback on others' works, it inspired me to do the same thing for others. I've been helped so much by others' feedback that I wanted to ensure that others were receiving that same support and feedback from me and my reviews.

S: Good feedback is certainly important! What else do you enjoy doing on YWS? Have you found yourself spending a lot of time here?

t: You might think I have no life but I literally check in on the site multiple times a day. Even if I don't have the time to review something as soon as I read it, I love coming on YWS and reading other young writers' content. There's something very satisfying about being a part of a community that encourages people to write and write, and the forums in particular make this a very well-rounded site to be a part of. I like that there's a balance between writing and the more "fun and games" aspect of this community.

S: I think we all share a bit of that love for YWS! Lastly, do you have any advice you might give to someone who may aspire to become FM one day?

t: Honestly, I feel like the only real advice I have here is to review, review, review! Consistent reviews that provide meaningful feedback mean a lot to every single person whose work you take the time to examine. I feel like being FM has only reinforced the fact that I love giving other people feedback on their work, so I hope that anyone else looking to become FM continues to participate actively in the reviewing process. <3


Thank you once again for taking the time to answer my questions tgham! Your answers were very insightful, and there's a lot of great advice here :D





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Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:43 am
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FEBRUARY POET PERSONALITY QUIZ
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written by alliyah < PM: >

In honor of Valentine's Day this last week, we are featuring a Poetry Personality Quiz to find out which poet you should bring with on a Valentine's Day date based on your personality! If you aren't having much success writing your own poetry for the subject of your affection, maybe try out some of the verses of one of the poets below? Try it out and answer the questions to find out which famous poet is for you! Each option corresponds to the style or poetry of a particular poet, so your answers will reveal your ideal poet!

Question 1 What sort of movie would you like to go to?
* A. Something educational like a political or social documentary.
* B. Definitely horror with ghosts, gore, and suspense. I love surprise endings!
* C. I like a film that tells a story that I can relate to.
* D. Something unexpected, I like my comedy with a bit of tragedy, and my tragedy with a bit of comedy!

Question 2 Which animal would you prefer by your side?
* A. A bumble bee tending flowers
* B. An eager raven
* C. A little horse
* D. A newborn dove

Question 3 You look out the window to check the weather, what are you hoping to see?
* A. Hopefully some sunshine, so we can kick off our shoes and sunbathe.
* B. I love the rain pattering softly against the windowpanes.
* C. There's nothing better than snow falling dreamily as the sun sets.
* D. I'll go with anything dramatic; a thunder storm or some howling wind.

Question 4 What would you like to do on an adventure with your poet?
* A. We'll go on a road trip across the frontier, meet the locals, and watch the scenery.
* B. Nothing like some mystery! We'll tour a haunted house in the middle of the night.
* C. We can discover a new walking trail and take notes on the insects and flowers.
* D. We'll go refined and attend a play at the theater then check out a local museum.

Question 5 Which verses about the night intrigue you the most?
* A. "The earth recedes from me into the night,
I saw that it was beautiful, and I see that what is
not the earth is beautiful." reference
* B. "At midnight, in the month of June,
I stand beneath the mystic moon." reference
* C. "I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light." reference
* D. "When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;" reference

Alright you've made it to the end of the quiz, to find out which poet you need to bring with on your date, add up how many of each letter you got and use the key below. Be sure to share your results over at my Author's Page and let me know if you'd like to see more Personality Quizzes in the future.


Mostly A: Walt Whitman
Mostly B: Edgar Allan Poe
Mostly C: Robert Frost
Mostly D: William Shakespeare





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Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:43 am
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AN ARTIST ANSWERS: ALYTHEBOOKWORM
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written by neptune< PM: >

This issue of An Artist Answers, the column where I interview different artists on the site, we have invited the awesome @AlyTheBookworm! She’s been sharing her artwork back in the Art & Photography forum since September, and her art thread contains digital art, traditional colored pencil drawings, fan art, and even her own comic! In addition, she’s made character drawings in the past for other users on the site. So, I couldn’t wait to sit down and have a conversation with her!

Squills: Hey Aly! I’m a reporter for SquIlls, and I was wondering if I could interview you about your lovely artwork in the Art & Photography forum?

AlyTheBookworm: Hey Neptune! Sure, I'd be up for an interview. :)

S: Great! So when did you first grow an interest for art?

A: I think I've always had an interest in art. One of my earliest memories is showing my dad a really terrible horse drawing as a five year-old and feeling super proud of myself. Growing up, my siblings and I didn't have any technology or many toys to play with, so we had to entertain ourselves. We made our own boardgames, sets of cards, and dolls out of paper and cardboard and I ended up being the one who illustrated everything. This caused me to develop an interest and knack for art, and especially figure art. I became more serious about it when I started taking classes in highschool and got my first commission for book illustrations a few years ago.

S: How has your experience been of being commissioned for book illustrations?

A: At first I was a little shocked that I could make money off of doing something I liked to do for fun haha. It felt good to be making art for someone else and it made me happy to see how happy the commissioner was when I showed her the finished artworks. Illustrations are my favorite thing to do, so I enjoyed working on them.

S: Interesting! And can you tell me about the process of making your comic, and how you got the idea for it?

A: I'm interested in both art and storytelling, and I've always wanted to find a way to combine them. When I discovered webcomics, I immediately thought about how fun it would be to make one of my own and that it would be a great way to improve my art. I was already writing a short fantasy story and realized it would work better in comic format, so that's when I started playing around with the idea.

When I make a page, I typically write out what's going to happen beforehand. Then I do a rough sketch of the page, lines, color, and then finish with shading and speechbubbles. It's a pretty time-consuming process though, so I'm trying to find a better way to do it.

The actual concept of the comic first came from a nightmare I had that stuck with me. As I developed the idea, I drew inspiration from some of my favorite stories, including Spirited Away and Jonathan Stroud's mystery/fantasy/supernatural books.


S: I understand you make digital art and colored pencil drawings - what’s your favorite medium/type of art to make, and why?

A: My favorite medium is actually just plain old graphite! It's the one I'm best at and while I can't always carry my bulky laptop and drawing tablet around with me, it's easy to bring a little sketchbook and pencil wherever I go. Even after nearly seven years of using photoshop for my digital art, I'm not completely fluent in it. On the other hand, I've been sketching with graphite my entire life and know how to create any texture I need. Sketching is less time-consuming and more comfortable for me too. There are pros and cons to each medium, but graphite is my go-to.

S: That’s so cool. Lastly, do you have any advice for other artists/aspiring artists?

A: My advice to other artists is probably what you'd expect... Practice. Consistent and frequent practice is the best way to improve. Not that you need to immediately start devoting two hours every single day to drawing, but it can be incredibly helpful to build a habit of spending just ten minutes a day doing random sketches. It's fine if you can't spend much time on it, but consistency is important.

Another piece of advice I have for artists is a popular phrase I've heard: "Learn the rules before you break them." This relates to realistic vs. stylistic art (especially concerning characters and anatomy). I'm not one of those old-school artists who whine that anime and cartoons aren't "real" art, but the best artists of these styles started out by learning real anatomy. When you know realism very well, you know the best ways to bend and exaggerate and emphasize while staying true to the subject and making your character design look clever and interesting rather than wrong. If you imitate stylized anatomy without understanding what it's based on first, it usually won't come out right. (References can be a very helpful tool)

Lastly, stick with it and don't get demoralized if your art isn't what you want it to be. Aim for improvement, not perfection.


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Some examples of Aly’s art that she has posted.

And that’s all, folks! I had a blast learning about AlyTheBookworm’s art and her experiences with making it, and I hope you did too. Please check out her art thread if you haven’t already! And a big thanks to Aly for allowing me to interview her! :)





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Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:44 am
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WHAT IS CAMP NAPO?
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written by alliyah < PM: >

You may have seen the post on my wall about Camp NaPo on my wall and had a mini-heart-attack as you ripped your calendar from the wall to anxiously figure out if April was on the near horizon, only to find out that we have many weeks until National Poetry Month makes its appearance. Well do not be afraid! Camp NaPo is not National Poetry Month, it's related but it's a whole separate thing! This article will hopefully bring some clarification as to what Camp NaPo is, so that you can decide for yourself if you'd like to participate in the fun.

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What is Camp NaPo?

Camp NaPo will be a small-scale version of National Poetry Month, but packed into a week's time-frame. It will be running March 8 through March 15. People participating in the week will be encouraged to write a poem during that week, but you don't necessarily have to craft a new poem every day or attend every event - it is completely up to you how much you participate. So hopefully that diminishes some of your anxiety, there's no pressure with this event! It's designed to ease us back into poetry before NaPo and to let people who haven't tried NaPo before get a chance to find out if they might like to try to tackle it.

What events and activities will be available?

To be honest, a lot of the plans are still getting settled, so I can't say exactly when every event will happen. But I can say that there will be a Daily Poetry Challenge for each day, and that we have a few people who have committed to running contests, hosting poetry-jams, and even a poetry workshop or two in progress! So there's going to be a lot of options out there to interest all the poets of the site throughout the week.

How do I participate?

If any of this sounds interesting to you go ahead and join The Camp NaPo Campsite Club and make a thread for your logbook, the Campsite will have all the information for the events as they come out. And if you would like to read more about Camp NaPo, the main information post for it is right here .

Lastly, if you've been looking for an opportunity to host a poetry workshop, contest, or write-in (whether you are a regular user or moderator) this is an excellent opportunity to do so because all the poetry-hype will already be going on. If you're interested in hosting any of those things send me a PM and we'll figure it out, I'm willing to co-host with you, offer tips, or just cheer you on and attend your event.





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Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:44 am
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WRITING PROMPTS: NIGHT TIME AND NATURE
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written by EternalRain < PM: >

Hello! I’ve decided to create another round of writing prompts which hopefully bring inspiration to a new poem, a short story, or what should happen next in your novel or script. If you write a poem or a very short story, feel free to PM me for a feature in next week’s publication! Or, feel free to publish it in the YWS publishing center to receive some feedback.

This week’s writing prompts were inspired with a “night time” and “nature” vibe. Feel free to disregard the tone completely or embrace it entirely!

Prompt 1: First Sentence Prompt


Use this sentence as the first sentence of your story. Or, you can break it up and use it as the first line(s) of your poem!

The lavender stalks were calling her name.


Prompt 2: Picture Prompt


Use this picture to inspire a poem or short story.

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Prompt 3: Three Words


A “three words” prompt is a writing prompt where you write a poem or short story based off the given three words. The three words must be present inside your work. You can get creative!

lantern, juice, firefly





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Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:45 am
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DIGITAL WORDS: LOOKING FOR ALASKA
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written by fraey < PM: >

Hello Squills! Welcome to my new column where I will go over various adaptations of written works, going from plays to novels to short stories, into something that's a little more visual, so either a show, movie, maybe even a music video. I hope this little introduction reels you in, and I shall start with the first creation to analyze: Looking for Alaska by John Green.

This was written in 2005, and was Green's first novel. I myself did not read Looking until high school, but I definitely heard all about it from my friends for years. Alaska Young is the title character, but the main character and narrator is named Miles Halter, but is known as Pudge by everyone at the Culver Creek Preparatory High School that the story is based in.

The book has had plenty of criticism and praise from young adult readers, mostly over some stereotypes about teenagers, school, cultures, ethnicities, and other similar ideas. Is there alcohol - meaning underage drinking? Yes. Is there sexual content? Yes. Is there smoking? Yes to the max, judging by the book cover alone. However, a lot of this can be attributed to the idea that this is what teenagers do, or at least hope to do. Have fun with fellow kids, probably do things they shouldn't be doing, but at least they are all in trouble together.

It has admittedly been a few years since I last read this book, but it's a funny trip reading from Pudge's perspective and being cut off from anything that doesn't happen to him or isn't spoken to him. We don't get insight into the Colonel or Takumi or even Alaska without a biased view, and that can frustrate some readers or make them delighted that we have to navigate this ship fairly alone.

In comparison to the book, the Hulu show has adapted quite a lot of smaller characteristics to build this academy world that looks to be in the middle of nowhere. One thing I absolutely adore are the songs that are featured from the beginning - starting with the gem that is Mr. Brightside by the Killers, and the viewer can fully ingrain themselves in this mystical mid-2000 timeline.

Plus there are so many more pieces of context and interesting developments going on! It was a pleasant surprise to see how the actors portrayed their characters and definitely brought new life to each of their albeit, limited personalities from the novel. One nice aspect was to see more of each person, including the side characters of Lara, Takumi, and the Colonel since we don't get too much information truly from their lives in the book.

What I enjoyed about the show was of course to go over the surroundings of this fancy boarding school, (in a sense) employed with its own killer swan that might try to attack our beloved characters, being able to see the side stories such as the Colonel and the Eagle, otherwise known as the Headmaster of sorts, at the house. Actually, all of the Eagle scenes were awesome, and he might have been one of my favorite characters.

The funny thing with watching this show was that I did forget a lot of the weird sexual content conversations, all of the smoking that it seemed like every main character was involved with, and that there were so many pranks. At least one episode expanded on basically every kind of prank that could ever happen in a short amount of time.

I think that the show was very well done, and that every actor seemed to really expand on how that characters were portrayed in the book. I really enjoyed reading the book and watching the show. Well, that about wraps up this first article for Digital Words, but I hope you liked this new column! ^^





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Tue Feb 18, 2020 5:47 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!


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Welcome to the Universe



Do you want to participate in a universe with other YWSers? Would you like to create a diverse universe and mold it as you write? Do you want to write a deep story in an interconnected universe? Do you like writing with others, or just worldbuild for stories? Young Writers Universe is always open and inviting!


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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@deleted5@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@Omnom@Morrigan@AfterTheStorm@AstralHunter@Arcticus@Wolfical@Pamplemousse@Sassafras@gia2505@ExOmelas@SkyeWalker@Noelle@elysian@TinkerTwaggy@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@BluesClues • @hermione315@Steggy@willachilles@tintomara138@AmatuerWritings@TheLittlePrince@TheForgottenKing@Shoneja123 • @Jaybird • @Mea@klennon14@fandomsNmusic@Meerkat@HolographicLadybug@Sevro@DragonWriter22@RippleGylf@amelie@Morrigun@Megrim@Kazumi@inktopus@OreosAreLife@Saruka@rosette@PastelSlushie@Strident@darklady@Jashael@TheBlueCat@Thundahguy@ZeldaIsSheik@Lives4Christ24@manilla@Danni88@Elinor@fishsashimi@TheWeirdoFromBeyond@shaniac@neptune@Storybraniac@WritingPrincess@Traves@JosephHGeorge@Amabilia@Fantascifi66@paperforest@alliyah@Liberty@Dossereana@AtlasW@EverLight@AlyTheBookworm

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!








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