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Squills 2/24/20 - 3/8/20



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Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:55 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
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General Editors
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Friendly Neighborhood Robot
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Literary Reporter
CaptainJack

Community Reporter
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Creativity Reporter
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Poetry Enchantress
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Resources Reporter
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Storybooks Status Reporter
ScarlettFire
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Writer's World Columnist
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Social Correspondent
EternalRain

Code Master
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General Reporters
neptune
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Ghost Reporters
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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!





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Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:59 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: WRITERKITTY
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written by LZPianogirl < PM: >

For my first Squills Article, I was honored to interview @writerkitty about her experience being featured member. Although she joined YWS in 2016, she has been very active recently and has done 20 reviews this month. She has some interesting things to say about being FM, Review Day, and just YWS in general in the following interview.

Squills: Hey writerkitty! I'm a reporter for Squills and I was hoping I could interview you for our next installment!

Writerkitty: Hi! ^^ Of course, I'd be glad to answer your questions.


S: First of all, how were you feeling when you logged on and found out you were the featured member?

W: I was shocked at first...But then I was felt really excited and happy! I never thought I would be featured member. I've been on this site for quite a while, but I kind of left the site a few years ago. I came back hoping to be a more active member of this site, so this was a really pleasant and wonderful surprise! :D


S: Cool beans! What do you think you did to become featured member?

W: Hmm... I think it's most probably the reviews I've written this year. Because I haven't really joined in any storybooks or posted much on the forums yet :D I found a lot of interesting works to read here, so I thought to give my best effort to write helpful and positive reviews. ^-^


S: That's great! Did you participate in last month's review day? What did you think of it?

W: ^-^ Yes, I did! But I didn't get to write a lot of reviews because I was busy with uni work...I think I wrote about 3, but still participating was really fun. I think Review day was great! It's wonderful to see how people would join in to write so many reviews in one day. It was a great experience.


S: I totally agree. What is your favorite part of YWS?

W: ^-^ It's actually kinda hard to pick a favourite part because everything about YWS is pretty amazing, but I guess the storybook section is pretty neat. I haven't joined any yet, but I'm hoping to, once I get more free time.


S: Storybooks is one of my favorites, too! Last question. Do you have any advice for people who want to be FM?

W: ^_^ Hmm...well, be friendly and helpful to everyone and be an active member on the site. :D Oh, and don't forget to review! Writing reviews is a major part of this site. ^^ And writing helpful, encouraging reviews on peoples works will surely put a smile on their face and encourage them to keep writing. :D


S: Neat! Thanks for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!

W: My pleasure! :D





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Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:00 am
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GREEN ROOM GALLERY
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written by Hedwiggle < PM: >

The Green Room has a total of 70 works (last time I checked); 15 with 0 reviews and 55 with 1 review each. There’s poems, short stories, articles and bits of chapters from a couple of YWSers’ novels/novellas. There’s every genre you could possibly want here—romance, action, mystery, supernatural, sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction, the like.

Now, if I scroll down to the very bottom of the Green Room… Ah, the oldest work there as by @Panikos, called Foxglove Road - Chapter 6 . Speaking of “oldest work”, did you know that if you reviewed one of the oldest works in the Green Room, you’d get 25 extra points along with the other 25 extra points that you already get with only doing a Green Room review? I apologize if that’s confusing. But it’s a very interesting way to encourage writers to review, because the more points you get, the more works you can post! Or, if you’re talking about Review Day, then it’s more points for your Review Day team, which makes everything all the better. ;)

Soul Cutters Chapter 19 by @Gnomish is a fantasy and action/adventure chapter in which the main character eavesdrops, makes a new enemy (always the worst) and follows two people to Artona.

The Successor, The Fall of Morrow (2) by @Moalex is also another chapter which contains fantasy and action/adventure. It’s a story of mankind struggling to survive against both the forces of Heaven and Hell.
Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.

The city of the lost by @2Stareyes is a fan-fiction and science-fiction. A story about and for all the misfits in this world trying to find their place.

Sognore 5.0 by @Anamel is a humorous chapter where the characters are exploring a so-called haunted school.
Warning: This work has been rated 18+.

Children with Stars in their Viens (Chapter 14.2) by @mellifera is a fantastical chapter in which I’m assuming the main characters visit Lady Sylvania and, there’s an ominous weather prediction.

Well, that’s it for now. There’s so many interesting things hanging around in the Green Room.

Also, there’s always the Knights of the Green Room (or KotGR for short)! It’s a nice way to encourage YWSers to review. The more you review, the more badges you get. There’s more information here if you’re interested! :)





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Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:01 am
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CREATING A COLLABORATIVE UNIVERSE
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written by Omnom < PM: >

Part 1: The Beginnings


Back in 2016, @Holysocks came to YWS staff with an idea: to create a collaborative universe for YWS. This was something where characters could interact, or not interact, but live in the same universe. Their actions could affect the universe, and they could build the lore together. That was the beginning of the YWU, but its roots goes much deeper.

Young Writers Society has had the Storybooks sections for as early as 2007, but it also had a forum called Sanctum, which was like a large Storybook, where people could create stories within the same universe, but it was never a solid hit, as not many people really participated, nor did it gain traction. Sanctum then went dormant for years, only to be revived once again in 2013, for it to not gain any traction once again. It was around for a bit before it was hidden, never to be revealed again.

However, the premise and idea of Sanctum still lived in some of those who remembered it, and Omnom was one of them. So, when Holysocks brought the idea to the staff, Omnom was all on board, and so were many of the other staff members, so we all got to work.

However, it was definitely hard work, and started a lot of discussion. How would this universe work? Who would run it? Could anyone add whatever they liked to the lore and story? What genres would this be? Could this be managed? At the beginning, there were so many questions and not enough answers, so progress halted and people got dispassionate. This was perhaps too large a task to manage, just for the possibility it will fail. So, when I took a look back on our discussion, six months later, I decided to take it slow. One of the major hurdles that had to be addressed was the aspect of adding lore to the collaborative universe, and how to keep a potential avalanche of lore organized. An idea pitched early on was a sort of tier system that gated what kind of lore inputs could go through by people, depending on the severity of the lore. This system adapted into what the system is now, the tiers of lore and lorekeepers.

Another early major roadblock was which genre the universe would inhabit, and what stories the universe would support. Pretty early on, we collectively agreed a medieval, magical universe could support the most type of genres at same time, while also allowing expansion in the future, when more people are participating and adding lore.

However, this collaborative universe idea hit roadblock after roadblock, and there came a point in time when no one was working on it, and it fell through the cracks for a couple of years, but it was still in the back of my mind. So, at the start of 2019, I took one last crack at developing it again. If I couldn't finish it then, it would probably be the last time. Maybe the idea of a collaborative universe just was too large a concept to tackle, or took too much time to create with not enough payoff. One of the major things I was missing at that point was a coherent enough idea to be a foundation for this universe to launch off of. However, with the huge amount of work that the collaborative universe, I had completely fumbled with an actual story and lore (and a name!)

However, when a certain @ScarlettFire, who had helped with the project at certain points in its ideation, announced a dragon Storybook in a fantasy setting, I had an idea. So I proposed that her Storybook help create a foundation for the universe, and we build from there in private at the beginning, then launch the universe and two Storybooks (her dragon one and an adapted idea of mine) that each highlighted one country within the universe. This would act as a soft launch to get people into the idea as a sort of Storybook of Storybooks, and build from there to an official opening once more people got interested. So, we worked for the better part of two months on the yet unnamed collaborative universe to set a foundation for a country named Asturia and Synilas, to expand on three different magic systems that branch from something called the Aether, and figure out ways to prepare for the future of what came to be called the Young Writers Universe.

And so, not knowing what we were about to do, Scarlett and I launched YWU and dove into the unknown head first.





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Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:02 am
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SOME SUPER SERIOUS BUSINESS
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Written by CaptainJack < PM: >

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BOJACK HORSEMAN AND THE IMPORTANCE OF TELLING AUTHENTIC STORIES
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written by nogutsnoglory< PM: >

Who is Bojack Horseman?

When we first meet him, he is a lying, manipulative, needy, self-absorbed, self-sabotaging alcoholic drug addict; at the close of his story, as we’ve been told, we see nothing but a man trying his best to rectify his mistakes, stay sober, recover from his trauma and not only find out who he is, but become okay with who that is - a man that evolves into his authentic self, his narrative, and his purpose.

We all know the idea of a ‘perfect’ story: beginning, conflict, resolution, end. But...life isn’t always that way. And that’s why we romanticize those kinds of stories; we glorify what we will never, ever be able to achieve. We long for stories with uncomplicated plots because when we gaze into the mirror, the real-life narratives that are reflected are just greasy fingerprints on the glass; unkempt, unbeautiful, difficult, like our uncombed hair or the pajamas we haven’t changed out of in three days or the screw-up at work; the gritty, edgy reality of death and grief and self-doubt, of shaking hands and chain-smoking cigarettes and bare twin mattresses on the floor.

That is what life is. It’s not glamorous or romantic or good or bad, it’s just… life. Mundane, little moments, mostly waiting in lines - grocery store, gas station, traffic, always waiting our turn - passing time by, trying to minimize how much we hurt others, trying to survive getting hurt ourselves, wondering what it means, if it means anything at all. Life isn’t some majestic beast that we conquer or universal question we answer; it’s just something humans do. It’s picking up the newspaper and getting coffee before therapy and trying your best not to be crappy.

And Bojack Horseman encapsulates that perfectly; Bojack, at the end of the day, has no end game, no grand scheme, no greater universal purpose. At the end of the day, Bojack Horseman is a man struggling with trauma and alcohol abuse issues and unhealthy relationships most often sabotaged by himself; he’s just a guy, living life one day at a time, and that’s why this story, the story of Bojack Horseman - and thereby, the stories it reflects, our stories, our lives - the rollercoaster of good and bad, getting kicked when you’re down, finding no one in your corner and forgiving them anyway because you were the one to push them out of the damn corner to begin with - is an honest one. An authentic one, who gazes into the abyss of what it means to be human, unflinching, who accepts us for what we are far before we realize what we even are ourselves.

So, why do authentic stories matter? Besides the fact of showing everyday people that these moments they experience, these overwhelming epiphanies or all-consuming yearning, these moments when things align just right, when you feel the Universe inside you, when it feels divine - besides showing us that we aren’t alone in these isolating feelings, stories like Bojack’s preach perseverance, self-introspection and reflection, and in their desire to reflect the authentic lives of society, they personify it. They take you to rock bottom, and they take the ladder when they leave; and in Bojack’s resulting struggle, we are reminded of ourselves.

Authentic stories not only show us that we matter, perfectly and wholly as we are, but (in a sense of optimistic nihilism) that even when you do your best to play it safe, and do everything by the book, and be exactly who you think you’re ‘supposed’ to be, life can still end up like crap. You can still be taking the same licks each day and landing on your feet - you’re already struggling for survival, so why make yourself more miserable by wasting time denying your authentic self?

As Youtuber and trans activist Miles McKenna put it, “people already don’t like me, and I’m not being my true self”. In that sense, and as Bojack, among many other shows in the same genre/vein, so accurately remind us - we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t, so why not take every chance we can? Why not dye your hair orange or change your name or explore your gender identity (and/or sexuality)? At the end of the day, when all that matters sometimes is survival, why not do everything in your power you possibly can in order to achieve those small, fleeting moments of thriving? Why not do everything you can to chase that existential high?

But I think, at the end of the day, we’re attracted to stories that reflect our suffering because we don’t crave that happy ending; we don’t crave an ending at all. When we enter into the narrative as an audience, we’re merely, a lot of the time, only watching different, universal versions of who we are play the part; we’re witnessing a chapter, and when the narrative ends - when the chapter ends, and the turmoil dissolves, when we finally hit rock bottom and get to catch our breath - and the story ends not with a cliffhanger, or a climactic finale; but a soft, gentle whisper, a murmured ‘thank you’; when we watch series’ like Bojack come to a somewhat unresolved end, with no clear direction of where the characters are going - it is in that moment, above all else, that we see ourselves, and our lives; because that story, those lives, are just like ours - they are real, they are painful, they are joyous, and beautiful - and no matter what happens, they go on.





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Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:03 am
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FRAEY'S BOOK PLACE: THE RAVEN BOYS

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written by fraey < PM: >

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of my book review column! I have looked forward to The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater for the longest time, mostly because I made the mistake of never finishing this first book. The series, titled The Raven Cycle is quite popular and only recently finished, ending on The Raven King. That one I will end up probably a lot later in the year.

This book and series has some curious themes and blend a few genres in a fun mixture to read. These characters face a multitude of problems, both realistic and fantastical, and I appreciate their honest responses to these stimuli.

Within the first chapter, the reader learns that Blue Sargent is the sole non-psychic in her entirely psychic family, (all women members in one home) and she has been told her whole life that kissing her soulmate would result in his death. That cannot be a happy thing to live with, yet she is a mature teenager who wants to know about her father and know about these dudes who frequent her work and attend a rich academy - Aglionby. What are these four boys called? Raven boys of course.

In fact, these four boys - Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Gansey all have stories of their own, histories that are both explained yet contain so many curious details. Of course Blue meets them and of course she might be pulled along into their adventure on ley lines and awakening the ghost of Glendower, an infamous Welsh leader that Gansey wishes to awaken.

The genres are everything from realistic fiction, young adult, and fantasy! And I absolutely adore this book, as you could probably tell. What probably draws me most to this whole story is the unapologetic teenage angst and adult angst all at once. There are some hilarious lines in here that really appeal to the still young adult that I am, let alone that I have always enjoyed slightly ridiculous plots and miscommunications.

My overall thoughts are mostly "read this, please," and "I can't wait to read the sequel." So, I give this book five stars, (surprising I know), which I admit is biased, but I love it dearly. Until the next book!





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Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:04 am
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POP CULTURE CORNER: ANOTHER LOOK AT THE BIRDCAGE
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Written by CaptainJack < PM: >

In the course of my time at Squills, I've written about The Birdcage (1996) multiple times as a movie that has guided me through my queer journey. I often think about this film in my daily life as I embrace more and more of my identity of being a Butch and a dyke. This film came further into my mind as I watched this video from 92Y with a conversation between Richie Jackson and Antoni Porowski .

This interview and The Birdcage are two pieces of media that give LGBTQ+ youth a look into what the generations before us had to experience - mainly the AIDS crisis. While we still talk about that issue now, we don't live in the fear of watching our friends die and risking sickness just by being queer. There are so many risks and dangers for queer youth who are not educated, and seeking out a proper education is all part of the journey.

I attempted to write this article before Valentine's Day, which is an especially tumultuous for queer folx. Around all of the major holidays the queer population certainly suffers but just think about this particular holiday for a moment. A holiday where you're supposed to celebrate your love for a partner but in many regions and countries you can be arrested (or worse) for being "gay" in public.

And this is true for the United States as well. There is so much violence against people who are visibly queer, especially trans fem folks of color. This is something that's noted in the video and an important part of queer history.

All of the dark part of our history aside, to be saved for the articles that I write during pride month, it's couples like Armand and Albert that give us hope. This is a movie that became successful without relying on tropes like kill our gays. Their pain is not used for humor - their pain is used to achieve their happy ending. They have to go on their journey of finding out how much they trust each other through a major crisis in their life.

In this time in our world where the queer community has to suffer so much, we have to find hope in every place that we can find it. The Birdcage teaches us not to lie about our identities - not to ourselves and not to each other. Being your true self is often the key to happiness but there are often hurdles in our life. If you're a teenager, there's certainly a lot of them.

Good luck darlings on all of your journeys, and keep the spirit of Albert and Armand in mind.

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Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:05 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.

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Place advertisement here. Make sure you include a title!

And now for this week's Shameless Plugs!


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YWS Advertising Post


Need more advertisements in your life?
Or maybe you just want to keep up with the latest events on YWS?

Join the YWS Advertising Post so you don't miss any of the upcoming events and feel free to share your own news too!

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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!
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@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 • @Hedwiggle • @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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