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Squills 5/15/23



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Tue May 16, 2023 2:17 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
Shady
(they/them)

General Editor
Omni
(she/her)

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot
(beep/boop)

Literary Reporter
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

Community Reporters
looseleaf
(she/her)
alliyah
(she/her)

Creativity Reporter
FruityBickel
(he/him)

Poetry Enchantress
alliyah
(she/her)

Resources Reporter
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

Roleplay Reporters
winterwolf0100
(he/she/they)
Shady
(they/them)

Code Master
Spearmint
(she/her)

General Reporters
Available - PM Squillsbot if interested

Ghost Reporter
IcyFlame
(she/her)

Of course, our content can’t come only from our staff -- we also depend on you to help keep Squills successful. If you’re interested in submitting to Squills, you can apply to become a journalist by submitting a sample article to SquillsBot today!




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:19 am
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THE CHIEFLIEST OF EDITORS
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written by Shady < PM: >

Hi everyone! Welcome to the newest iteration of Squills -- your beloved YWS newsletter! As you may have noticed, we haven't had an edition in a while. Unfortunately, real-life got in the way of the lovely editorial team that was previously managing Squills and they had to step away. They've handed the reins over to @Omni and I to get the ball rolling once again, so I wanted to do a quick introduction!

Many of you know me, but many of you don't. So, hi! My name is Shady (previously ShadowVyper) and I've been on the site for a little over 11 years now. I started my Squills journey on February 2nd, 2013 when I contributed an article about overcoming writer's block. A few days later, I was recruited by @AlfredSymon as a Community Reporter and started the New Arrivals Column to welcome the new members on the site and highlight their activity.

By mid-July I was still regularly contributing to Squills and had taken on the role of a General Editor -- a role which I served in until October 2014, when I stepped up as the Editor-in-Chief (EIC). I was honored to serve as the EIC until March 2015, at which time I ended up taking a hiatus from YWS entirely due to overcommitting myself in uni.

I popped in here and there throughout the years and occasionally contributed to Squills, but didn't resume my YWS career in earnest until sometime in the fall of 2017. Since then, I've had my fingers in many different pots spread across the site. I became a junior moderator in January 2019 and then a global moderator in July 2020. I've helped lead the General Literature Crew in the past, and currently co-lead the Resources and Community Crew and Roleplay Crew.

I've helped out with NaNoWriMo, RPMo, RevMo, Social Month, KotGR, Review Days, Workshops, and more. And, finally, I've made it full circle back to my beloved Squills as the Editor-in-Chief once again <3

And I am, once again, honored and excited to be at the helm of this wonderful publication. But, of course, all of that means nothing without all of the wonderful writers and readers (like you!) who make Squills a successful ezine. So, thank you for reading! Please like and share with all of your friends, and if you'd like to be added to the tag list so you'll be notified each time there is a new publication, reach out to @SquillsBot and we'll add you!

Best Fishes,
Shady




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:19 am
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WANT TO WRITE FOR SQUILLS?
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written by Shady < PM: >

Well, today's your lucky day -- because we want that, too ;)

That's right, folks! Squills is recruiting. Read on to see what exciting new opportunities may await you:

Literary Reporter - are you a literary whiz? Would you like to interview YWS (or other!) authors about their works? Would you like to review popular media? Highlight your favorite literary works on the site? Encourage writing and critiques in general? Then this position may be for you!

Community Reporter - do you love having your finger on the pulse of YWS? Do you frequently find yourself camping out on the People Tab or following site events closely? Would you love to make sure everyone else is as connected to the site as you are? Then consider becoming a Community Reporter! This role is extremely flexible and you can tailor it to your interests!

Resources Reporter - are you a Knowledge Base Wizard? Are you constantly linking to resources or wishing people would love that section of the site as much as you do? Then apply to be a Resources Reporter! We would love to recruit a (or several!) Resources Reporters to highlight all the hidden gems tucked away in that section of the site.

General Reporter - Are you excited about the prospects of joining the Squills team but overwhelmed by trying to decide what to report on? Are you a free soul that gets bored of writing about one topic quickly? Then becoming a General Reporter might be just what you need! General Reporters aren't tied to any specific area and are free to claim articles that strike their fancy at any given time.

Create Your Own Column! - You heard me right -- let's chat about you developing a column of your very own! All the Squills columns you know and love once started as someone's pipe dream that they poured their love and sweat into making a reality. We want your ideas to enhance the good thing we already have going!

Note: committing to a column doesn't mean you are necessarily limiting yourself. Choosing a title helps classify your interests in general, but you are allowed and encouraged to branch out and explore different topics as they strike your fancy. Further, if you join under one title and after writing for a bit realize your interests lie somewhere else, you are allowed to shift titles and roles. Squills is a dynamic publication that grows with its writers, and you should feel free to speak to your editorial team about any questions, concerns, or ideas that you have <3

What are the next steps?

1) Reach out to SquillsBot or Shady with what role you'd like to assume as well as a writing sample. Try to polish it as much as possible to let your content shine, but don't worry about formatting it like a Squills article -- that'll come later.

2) Once we receive your writing sample, we will consider if it is a good fit for Squills. If it is, you will receive an invitation to join our team and gain access to our behind-the-scenes areas where we brainstorm and collaborate. If it's not quite what we're looking for, we will give you thorough feedback and you will be invited to revise and resubmit. Our goal is inclusivity, and we will work with you as much as we can to bring you onboard if you're interested in writing with us. The more, the merrier!

3) Start writing for Squills! Currently, we are aiming for a biweekly publishing schedule. Ideally, we'd love if you could submit an article for each publication, but if you can't commit to that, we totally understand! Simply ensuring you submit at least one article per month would be wonderful!

Please reach out to if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you soon! <><




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:20 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: ACEASSINOFTHEMOON
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written by Liminality < PM: >

This FM has been a wonderful presence on YWS for nearly two years. In the recent round of LSS, they were the captain of the runner-up team. They are a creative and avid roleplayer, as well as an active People’s-Tab-poster. That’s right -- we had the chance to interview @AceassinOfTheMoon, who was the FM from July 15th to July 19th!

Squills: Hi there Ace!

I'm a Squills reporter, and Squills does a column interviewing Featured Members. Would you be cool with answering a few questions? c:


AceassinOfTheMoon: Absolutely!!

S: That's great to hear! What was your reaction when you first found out you were FM?


A: Oh god XD honestly? Very nearly broke down in tears (which would've sucked as I was in a public place).

I was actually at a church youth conference at the time and I was super stressed because I didn't know anyone there and I just generally hate being around a lot of people and my anxiety was kicking in and then I got a DM from my wonderful friend SilverNight telling me that I was FM and I legitimately almost started crying. So, shoutout to Silver for being the absolute best and shoutout to everyone who decided to make me FM with perfect timing because I needed that confidence boost :)
That got long and slightly personal, wow, sorry XD


S: Aww, that's so sweet! Did you have a guess after that as to what earned you FM?

A: Well, I don't know for certain, but I really hope it was for my epic captaining during LSS II and not just because I was stressed and my friends wanted to cheer me up, because that would make it a very hollow victory (for legal reasons that was a joke and I very much appreciate being FM no matter the reason) XD


S: Captaining in LSS is certainly a great achievement! Would you say roleplaying is your favourite part of the site?

A: Roleplaying is what brought me to yws, actually! I did some roleplaying on a different online forum, but it wasn't dedicated to writing and the quality was considerably lower than on yws, so I wanted to find somewhere with people more serious about writing, and here I am! So yes, roleplaying is definitely my favourite thing about yws~

S: Awesome, thanks for sharing! What kinds or genres of roleplay do you like to participate in?

A: I can't resist a good fantasy storybook. Whether it's full-on high fantasy or just has a few elements of it, magic will always catch my eye. All four storybooks (and one off-yws roleplay) I'm in right now are fantasy but different flavours of fantasy, if that makes sense? It's such a versatile genre and I love it.


S: Fantasy really is wonderful. Lastly, what would you say to a YWSer aspiring to become FM?

A: You don't need to be FM to be an awesome member of the site, but being an awesome member of the site with certainly help with becoming FM, so keep being amazing and don't stress about it! You're cool either way c:


S: That's great advice! Thank you so much for doing this interview!

A: No problem!

If you’ve yet to congratulate Ace on FM, you can do that on their FM thread or on their wall!




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:21 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: KELISOT
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written by Liminality < PM: >

Our FM from July 21st to August 4th was @Kelisot! Kelisot has been a YWSer for a year now, and we’ve known them to be a creative poet and worldbuilder. They are usually seen in Writing Activities, especially the Haiku Train. They were a participant in Camp NaNo this year and are now participating in LMS.

Squills: Hiya Kelisot!

I'm a reporter for Squills, the YWS Newsletter. We do a column where we interview Featured Members. Would it be okay if I asked you a few questions? :D

Kelisot: Sure!!!

S: That's great to hear! What was your reaction when you first found out you were FM?

K: Well, I was actually during on vacation that day so
I was quite surprised, I guess. I just woke up in the morning to discover that I'm a featured member. N O I C E


S: That must have been quite surprising! Do you have any idea on what might have earned you Featured Member?

K: Dunno, maybe just writing a lot in the Haiku Train (which currently is quiet) and I also think I wrote a bit more and published more that time, too.

S: You definitely do a lot to keep the Haiku Train going! Would you say Writing Activities are your favourite part of the site? Or would that be something else?

K: I personally find writing activities enjoyable! I find it somewhat fun.

S: That's awesome! c: My next question is . . . what are your favourite kinds of things to write?

K: Okay, there are a various types of things I like to write... Such as making pseudo-scientific documents (such as the SCP Foundation) or writing poetries with serious topics (I will not be publishing here but you can find them on the Internet if you look carefully enough), etc.

Also this is sorta embarrassing but... I personally like writing fanfiction, although I am terrible at writing them it sounds more like a child explaining a dream about riding unicorns lmao.


S: Ah, fanfiction is fun! That sounds like a good variety of writing interests :D Lastly, is there any advice you would like to give to a YWSer who might want to become FM?

K: I honestly suck at advices and I really have no idea how the *heck* I even became FM... I don't really have a good advice but maybe

Try writing something than usual? If it goes well, it might catch the attention of several people??? I really have no idea if this is a good advice (sobs)


S: Do you mean writing something that's a little out of your comfort zone? If so, that sounds like good advice to me! :D

K: Yeah! I mean something like that ^^

S: Awesome! Thank you so much for doing this interview, Kelisot! It's been a pleasure :D

K: Me too!

If you have yet to congratulate Kelisot, join us in doing so on their FM thread or on their wall!




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:23 am
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CAMP NANOWRIMO IN APRIL
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written by Liminality < PM: >

April is over, everyone, and the highlights from Camp NaNoWriMo are in! Read on to find out more about the challenges, creativity and Camp shenanigans that happened this April.

Wait, what is Camp NaNo?

I’m glad you asked! Camp NaNoWriMo is a version of NaNoWriMo that lets writers set their own personalised goals for the month and work on them together. In April we had just over 10 YWSers participating. Camp NaNo has its own designated sub-forum which you can see here

PlanMo

PlanMo goes hand-in-hand with Camp NaNo, and it stands for ‘Planning Month’. Before Camp begins, a set of journal prompts magically appear in the Camp subforum courtesy of @PlanBot. By answering these prompts in their threads, Campers outline the ins and outs of their story in preparation for their writing in April.

This Camp, two new challenges entered the fray. One of them was based on the recent Gen Lit Clinic asking participants to discuss the story arc of their novels. The second one challenged Campers to identify the stakes in their story. There was a good deal of participation in the PlanMo journal challenges. Notably, @Lael, @BluesClues, @RandomTalks and @EternalRain all did at least eight of them – congrats!

Rewards and Badges

Something else exciting was @Spearmint’s character art thread. They offered to draw art for the first five people to complete the PlanMo character questionnaire. The character questionnaire is long and can be rather intimidating, but the chance of getting some stylish character art was a great motivator. Many gave the questionnaire a try!

PlanMo journals are also rewarded through badges. @IcyFlame designed these wonderful badges for people who completed various challenges during Camp NaNo. This includes not just the PlanMo journal challenge, but also challenges to leave encouraging comments on other Campers’ threads, or to reflect on Camp experiences.

Campers’ Thoughts and Wrap-up

Towards the end of April, I asked this year’s Camp NaNo participants about how they’ve felt about this year’s event. People were generally feeling optimistic about their writing this month and had interesting insights and ideas to share about doing Camp NaNo. Here is the short interview, including responses by @EternalRain, @looseleaf, @Spearmint and @RandomTalks.

Squills: How do you feel about this April’s Camp NaNo so far? Is there anything you wish you knew at the start of the event?


EternalRain: I'm actually feeling pretty good about this April's Camp NaNo so far! The project I'm working on this camp is a continuation of my project from last NaNoWriMo in November, so I think that's made the process a lot easier. I've been at the exciting part of my novel (climax and relationships at their peak!) and I've also had pretty much everything planned out, so I feel like I came in pretty prepared. The preparation is definitely something that helps me get going, because my stagnancy and lack of motivation sometimes derives from the feeling of "UGH, I don't know what to write about next." So having an outline really helps me out.

So far, I've been on track! My goal is set at around 25,000 words, but my overarching goal is to get my draft completely finished! I'm REALLY excited to finish it.

As far as anything I wish I knew at the start of the event--honestly, I felt pretty prepped for the event itself because I've done Camp in the past. However, I feel like I could've benefitted from skimming over what I had written in November because... I may or may not have forgotten some plot lines. That's okay--that can be a problem for future me, haha.


looseleaf: I'm feeling good about Camp NaNo so far! I've made some great progress on my goal, mostly because I have to write a thousand words for LMS every week, but I'm still pretty proud of it. Honestly, I wish I would have known that sticking to 200 words a day would be kind of daunting. Like, 200 words on its own isn't very daunting but keeping up with it every day with school and stuff (and me just being a procrastinator) has been kind of hard!

Spearmint: I think Camp NaNo's been going well so far! It's really been helping me stay on track with revising my novel, and if I can stick it out until the end of the month, it'll be my first completed Camp NaNo (exciting!). :]

If there's anything I wish I knew... Well, there were some days when I just didn't have the energy to do anything. I think making a list of reasons why I want to revise my novel could've helped motivate me on those days. Although, like I did this year, building in some buffer days helped as well.

Happy Camp NaNo! <3


RandomTalks: Pretty good, actually! This time for Camp, I started writing a novella from scratch and because its a much shorter project, I was really able to experiment and expand on different plot points. There is no pressure to meet any deadlines or goals like during NaNoWriMo (where you have to hit a target of 50k words) and I was able to take things at my own pace. I feel really good about where my work is right now and writing with everyone else, following their updates has only inspired me to write more. And I know if I can stick to my current pace, I might have a rough first draft by the end of the month!

Usually, I have very set goals for NaNo, but this time I didn't have any and I think I struggled a little in the middle for a while because of that. At the start of Camp, I just wanted to see how much I could cover in a month but because I had no goal and nothing to push me forward, I dragged for a few days and was running low on inspiration. But when I picked up the pace and decided my goal was to finish my novella, my progress each day was much more consistent.


Overall, it looks like the value of planning and setting good goals seems to be the main top tip. Writing every day has been hard for a lot of us, but we also managed to each make some progress towards our goals: something to celebrate!




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:27 am
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NAPO RECAP: SQUILLS EXCLUSIVE
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written by alliyah < PM: >

April's National Poetry Month of 2023 has concluded and though I may be extremely biased - I'd have to say it was an absolutely fabulous year! I'm here with your Squills-Exclusive recap, but if you'd like to read my full recap of NaP you can over here in the poetry discussion forums .

This year by numbers: we had 55 participants, 57 threads (meaning @rida and @tatteredbones were ambitious enough to try out two threads) and between those 55 poets we had 956 poems written and around 230 poetry comments. Those are some pretty wonderful results! There was high participation at every level - some folks shooting for just a handful of poems during the month, and 18 poets managing what we called the "Complete Harvest" with 30+ poems - those were @Snoink, @winterwolf0100, @LadySpark, @Dossereana, @FireEyes, @TheSilverFox, @Liminality, @Elinor, @Meshugenah, @figmoon, @LuxLuthor, @Rook, @tatteredbones, @alliyah, @Spearmint, @Quillfeather, @TheBlueCat, and @Ventomology. Among those poets, 13 were able to even complete Poem A Day. tatteredbones wrote the most poems with 54 by the end of the month, and I managed 70+ comments (still not entirely sure how!) Poetry Crew did a fabulous job leading up to the many aspects of the month.

I did a little reflection on themes over in the Poem A Week club - where I identified some themes that popped up this year in the threads - chickens, funerals, letters (especially to mothers), butterflies, stars, travel-logs, sonnets, and travel-logs - do any of those themes surprise you to see? Any other ones that you notice?

Along with the traditional events, prompts, and challenges - Poetry Crew brought in a few new things this year too! We had The Orchard organized by LadySpark with different highlights, interviews, and tips along the way. I've always thought it would be cool to have a poetry-focused version of Squills, so I really loved this addition and I think it brought in some cool insights we wouldn't usually get to read.

This year we also brought a new element in terms of highlighting some of our favorite poems. Poetry Crew organized a daily "#PCrew Pick" which culminated in the Poetry Crew Pick Hall of Fame by the end of the month - and I have to say when my day to pick came around every week I had a lot of trouble picking just ONE poem to highlight, there were so many great poems this year. If you only get a chance to dig into a few poems from the NaPo threads, the Hall of Fame is an awesome place to start. We also wanted to hear what everyone else was loving reading too so we also encouraged users to participate in "The Peoples Picks" which I think was a wonderful way for people to highlight some of the poems they were enjoying and spread some encouragement.

And on that subject - I have to say I think one of the things that makes NaPo on YWS so uniquely special is that aspect of encouragement - which is why I think those who did 20+ comments maybe deserve another special shoutout here - @momonster, @Euphory, @Spearmint, @LadySpark, & @Hijinks all succeeded in writing at least 20 comments in the NaPo threads this year - which on top of keeping up with their own poetry goals I think is truly commendable. While not everyone has time to do 20+ comments, the fact that YWSers aren't just sticking to their threads but jumping in one another's leaving likes and comments and sending out shout-outs makes NaPo a truly community-centered event - where it really feels like we're all participating in the event together. We had a really great turn-out of comments, shoutouts, and encouragement this year and I hope we continue to maybe see some of that energy spill out into the Literary Center too - with people not only reviewing but just trying to encourage each other's writing.

The last thing I want to leave you with in terms of NaPo reflections is actually something I wrote in what I thought would be my final Squills article ever... which interestingly was a year ago this week on the subject of "ADIEU TO NAPO | HOW TO SAY GOODBYE TO A WRITING PROJECT"

"In writing, my own advice on the ends of chapters (or ends of NaPos as it were) is when you come to a definitive "end" of a project like this...

1) don't forget to take stock of what you've accomplished! it's much easier to jot down a few notes right now about your feelings on the good and bad when you've just written then 3 months down the road when you start editing - if you plan on returning to this project to read or edit wouldn't it be nice to remember what emotions or thoughts accompanied your writing with it? It might even give you a jumping-off point when it comes to editing and knowing what the "heart" of your project is.

2) My second piece of advice for coming to an end of a writing project is to SAVE what you have right now in a file and don't touch that file again. If you decide to edit, put that in a new file! This lets you remember what the first draft felt like in all its honesty, hasty typos, and beautiful first steps and gives you permission when you get around to editing to delete stuff in a new file. When I got around to a third or fourth round of editing some things from one of my previous years one of my big regrets was to realize I'd actually deleted some of my poems right out of the thread and my files rather than simply leaving them be. Now I can't exactly remember what I had before but I often wish I had them - to compare or return to now. So even if you're not "in love" with what you ended up with, before you say "goodbye for now" to this thread / this season / this project, consider saving your project as it is somewhere and marking it "draft 1" you never know when maybe you'd like to return.
"


If you have other thoughts on how to close up a project or reflections on this year's Poetry Month I'd love to hear them over in my Squills author corner or by PM. Thanks for reading!




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:29 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: PAIGEFANTASY
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written by looseleaf < PM: >

From August 7 to the 29th, @PaigeFantasy was YWS's Featured Member. She's an avid people's tab poster and can almost always be found playing in the Randomosity forum. Paige has also dedicated herself to participating in RevMo, but that shouldn't be too hard because of her already constant reviewing. I had the pleasure of interviewing her recently and you can read it below!

Squills: Hey Paige! I'm a reporter with Squills and was wondering if you would like to do an interview about your time as FM!

PaigeFantasy: hi, sure!

S: great! first off, how did you feel when you logged on and found out you were the featured member?

P: i had just woken up, so i didn’t really process at first. i was like, whA, then i went and ate my breakfast lol. i also got a pm about it and i glimpsed that and it scared me for a second, cause i thought it was about a copied review of mine. but nope.
let’s just say my reaction was sleepy, stunned, and excited. a very interesting morning. :D


S: sometimes getting a pm is scary xD. what do you think you did to be FM?

P: to be honest i have no idea, since i’ve only been truly active since April. i guess perhaps the fact that i may have been a bit active, lol. (actually maybe the right word is overly active…)

S: So, what is your favorite part of YWS since you joined?

P: i spend a lot of time in the people's tab, but i think my favorite is the forums. randomosity and the lounge are fun to browse in. :)

S: cool! are you planning on participating in LMS and/or Review Month?

P: not LMS, but i'll definitely participate in review month!

S: awesome! what's your review goal? going to go for those colored usernames?

P: i’m going for around 20 reviews, and since i’m going for 20 i guess the pink username :)

S: good luck! do you have anything else to see/any advice for people who want to become FM?

P: thank you! not sure. maybe just to be kind and respectful on this site. :)

While PaigeFantasy is no longer featured member, you can wish her a belated congratulations on her wall or in her FM thread !




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:36 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: LADYBUG
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written by Lib < PM: >

On September 13th, a very special member of YWS who joined in 2019 (how has it already been three years?) made the spotlight! She does all sorts of things, from reviewing to writing late-night poems to posting on her wall. In September, during RevMo, she participated and reviewed every day for Team Tortoise as well. Lately, her poems have been on the Literary Spotlight on the home page. If you get the chance, do check them out!

If you haven’t already figured it out… This was @LadyBug! And I got the chance to interview her!

Squills: Hey there! I’m a reporter for Squills and was wondering if you’d like to do an interview regarding your experiences as Featured Member?

LadyBug: Sure! Thanks for reaching out :)

S: Great! We’ll start off with the classic question, how did you feel when you realized you were FM?

L: I was in shock! I was super happy to receive the honor, and i ran around telling everyone. I was super proud

S: Sounds like it must have been exciting! If I’m remembering correctly… this is the second time you’ve gotten the position of FM. How does that make you feel?

L: Like a girlboss

S: Haha, that’s wonderful! How did you achieve the girlboss-ness the first time and again a second time?

L: haha, well the first time I believed I was just welcoming. I was new myself, so I knew how it felt to be overwhelmed with everything YWS had to offer, so I tried to be a kind resource to new people. The second, well, i think it was my consistent reviewing and dumb wall posts! I was just being myself and people could relate and enjoyed talking to me

S: Personally, I would agree! No wonder the High Court of Mods chose you. You’ve been active recently with all that’s been happening during RevMo; how’s that going?

L: The High Court of Mods sounds terrifying!! RevMo has been such an interesting experience! I’ve been completing Team Tortoise, reading works from so many talented authors, and honing my own skill. I read through your whole book, Fairy Diaries, actually!

S: Fear not! They are quite friends and I promise they don’t bite! It’s amazing that you’ve been so into reviewing, it’s a great opportunity that YWSers get to have. :)

Haha let’s not bring up that story…

I have a question, though! How do you keep up with reviewing for Team Tortoise every day?


L: Tru, everyone on YWS is super nice, especially the mods… idk about that Lib person tho. I love reading people’s stories, it normally introduces others to them as well!

Oof, sometimes I remember at 11pm, but most days I schedule time to read, think about, and draft a review. Whether it’s 17,000 characters long or just 800, I try to find positives AND help improve on at least one thing.


S: That’s a super responsible thing to do, to schedule a time for when you can sit down and review/read! Haha, you are pretty well known for your long reviews, I must say.

Regarding reviewing, what would you say are the more important aspects of it? And what’s your favorite part?

L: Yes, thank you!!

Reviewing-wise, the most important aspect to me is building someone’s self-esteem in a review, not scaring them. Even if we’re going to pick it apart, I want to make sure I complement everything I can and let them know that their writing is unique and creative.

My favorite part is just getting to read what people spend countless hours pouring their souls into! I’ve never read anything bad, because everyone on here is so passionate


S: Sounds amazing! We’re getting close to the end of the interview, so we’ll start wrapping up. But before that: what would you say is your favorite part of YWS?

L: Oh wow, that went by quickly! My favorite part of YWS is the people, there are so many awesome writers on here with amazing personalities. You for example! We’ve been friends for 4 years now and I still love harassing you with memes!

And that’s it - thanks so much for participating, LadyBug. :) And a belated congratulations once again! <3




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:37 am
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POETRY THROUGHOUT THE AGES: SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS
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written by Liminality < PM: >

Note: the link to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust takes you to a resource discussing several of Shakespeare’s works besides the one this article is about. It includes works that discuss mature and potentially distressing topics. More information below the article.
Shakespeare’s sonnets may also occasionally lean towards a mature bent, including themes such as sexuality. No lines graphically describing this are quoted in the article.


In the poetry world, Shakespeare is well-known for his sonnets. He wrote many memorable lines, including the famous “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” from Sonnet 18. He was also an innovator who created his own sonnet form.

According to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust the Shakespearean sonnet involves three alternating rhyme patterns for three stanzas and then a final couplet that uses a different rhyme. In other words, ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. It was made that way to cope with the lack of end-rhymes in English in comparison to languages like Italian, where previous versions of the sonnet, like the Petrarchan sonnet, were founded. The sonnet form is generally known to convey an argument or observation. Here we discuss a posthumously published collection of Shakespeare’s sonnets which is called . . . ‘Shakespeare’s Sonnets’.

The History

Shakespeare’s beginnings in poetry generally are thought to have happened around 1593 up to 1603, while the theatres he usually worked in were closed due to plague. Others estimate that Shakespeare began writing his sonnets in 1592. According to Kay, Shakespeare’s poems were the first pieces of published work that he put his name on. However, unlike his other poems, we have no idea if Shakespeare ever intended to publish his Sonnets, because they were published posthumously by the publisher Thomas Thorpe.

The publication included 154 sonnets. The numbering of the sonnets comes from the way they were presented in this publication. For instance, the first 126 sonnets appear to be addressing a young man. This includes the famous Sonnet 18. However, interpretation of the addressee’s gender is often open in individual sonnets and controversial across the sonnets since it is unknown if Shakespeare would have ordered them this way himself.

The ideas: Irony

If you’ve ever read a piece of literary criticism about Shakespeare, you’ve probably come across the term ‘irony’. The way ‘irony’ is used by critics is a bit different than what we’re used to in everyday speech. It is also really complicated.

Poetry Foundation describes irony as saying one thing and meaning the other.
Weiser (1983) talks about three kinds of irony that appear in the Sonnets.

    1. Cosmic irony: this comes closest to what we might think of as ‘ironic’ in everyday speech. In Sonnets 1-17, Shakespeare uses imagery to contrast the beauty of something with the ugliness of its inevitable decay. For example, in Sonnet 2, he writes that “forty winters” will “dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field”.

    2. Rhetorical irony: the speaker describes two contrasting perspectives and then persuades the reader to accept one. The example that comes to mind for me is one of my favourite Shakespeare sonnets, Sonnet 130. In this sonnet, the speaker contrasts the person they love with traditional descriptors of beauty, saying for instance, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” and “Coral is far more red than her lips’ red”. However, the turn of the poem in the final couplet says the preceding lines are “false compare” because the woman is beautiful anyway.

    3. Dramatic irony: the speaker is, as said by Weiser, “the object of his own irony”. Marrotti (1982) produced an interesting yet potentially controversial interpretation of Shakespeare’s sonnets that I think involves this. In Sonnet 29, the speaker describes their state in life with phrases like “curse my fate” and “Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,” but closes by saying that the love they have for the addressee is richer than the wealth that they initially claim to crave. Marrotti suggests based on the hyperbole of the first lines, that the final claim to the sufficiency of love is disingenuous.

These examples show that the structure of the Shakespearean sonnet is often heavily involved in conveying the irony.

The Sum-up

People have been discussing and writing about Shakespeare for centuries, and this article barely nicks the surface. However, it hopefully has given you something to think about and stirred your curiosity. Do you think irony is an important element in Shakespeare’s poetry? Do you see irony in the poems of today? And what do you think makes the Shakespearean sonnet form appealing – or not? Do you think Marrotti is right about Sonnet 29? Talk to me about it on my Author’s Page, or write us an article with your opinions.

Spoiler! :
Note, continued: If you scroll down on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website, you will see a discussion of Shakespeare’s narrative poems. One of them deals with the theme of sexual assault and suicide, while the other is about sexual desire and a rather gory death. So don’t scroll down on that website if you’d prefer to avoid reading about those topics!


References

Academy of American Poets. Sonnet. https://poets.org/glossary/sonnet

Kay, Dennis. William Shakespeare: His Life and Times. (1995). https://archive.org/details/williamshak ... 0/mode/2up

Marotti, Arthur F. “‘Love Is Not Love’: Elizabethan Sonnet Sequences and the Social Order.” ELH 49, no. 2 (1982): 396–428. https://doi.org/10.2307/2872989.

Poetry Foundation. Irony. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/ ... erms/irony

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Shakespeare’s Poems. https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore- ... res-poems/

Weiser, David K. “SHAKESPEAREAN IRONY: The ‘Sonnets.’” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 84, no. 4 (1983): 456–69. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43343552.




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:42 am
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GREEN ROOM GALLERY

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written by IcyFlame < PM: >

This week, I'm bringing back the Green Room Gallery to share some green room works that could use some love. It's so important to take the time to review work from our new members as well as our oldie but goldies because that's what will make them keep on coming back for more.

As we gear up for our annual Team Tortoise event in June, here are some great works that you can review to get yourself back in the swing of things! An important feature was also added recently by our fearless leader, and you can now see how long (on average) a work will take you to read!

For extra points, you can also review some older works by clicking this link and sorting works by the oldest ones posted.

At the time of writing, there are currently 172 works in the Green Room, so there's plenty to go around. Of those, 92 works have 0 reviews and 80 works have 1 review - and the oldest work has been waiting for a second review since the 12th of January! That's lots of points up for grabs.

For those that don't have loads of time, we've rounded up a couple of under ten-minute reads to get you started:

The Adventures of Poppy Verosisca by @vampricone6783
Part Six of the Poppy McLain series. If you're looking for chapter one, you can start reading that here .
This series takes place in the wonderous world that vampricone has curated through many of their stories on the site. It's a little spooky, a little fun and full of the most colourful characters you could imagine! They also share a lot of character imagery on their wall, so don't forget to check that out too!
[Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence and mature content.]

The Mystery to Address by @Harray
A poem using a repetitive style in which the poet revisits their relationship with an ex
[Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for mature content.]

For those who have a little bit more time, here are some other works that could use your love this month:

Face to Face Chapter One by @shima
There are a couple of chapters of this in the Green Room so if you like chapter one there will be more for you to read! The start of this novel throws us into some action right off the bat and will be great for lovers of fantasy and adventure!
[Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and violence.]

Senior Year with an AL. by @Lexus2017RX350
A teen fiction short story about some new kids in school and navigating the teen world.

Hideout- A Star Wars Story by @RazorSharpPencil
A non-canon short story set in the Star Wars universe, featuring some of the locations from the series. You don't need to be a Star Wars fan to read this one, but it certainly helps!
[Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.]

There are plenty more pieces of work in the Green Room waiting for your reviews, so be sure to check them out!

If you're a bit out of practice, feel free to check out this Review Resource: Avoiding Review Spam - an important and helpful article that shows you what *not* to do when writing a review!

Reviewing is not only important for those receiving the review, but can be really helpful for you (the reviewer) too! When we review we engage in a process of analysis and evaluation which can enhance our own critical thinking skills, allowing us to assess strengths and weaknesses objectively. This is super helpful for improving your own work. It's often said that if you want to improve your writing, you should do more reading but taking that even further is to review what you're reading!




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:45 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: FIGMOON
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written by looseleaf < PM: >

@Figmoon was YWS's featured member from April 17th to May 5th, and you may have seen her in the NaPo forums and leaving kind and informative reviews on people's poetry om April. She is also extremely positive and brightens everybody's day when she is online. Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing her about her experience as Featured Member and why she loves YWS.

Squills: First off, how did you feel when you logged on and found out you were the featured member?

figmoon: I was so surprised! I’ve had so many things going on in my real life and have just been focusing on staying consistent with my NaPo progress that I didn’t expect it when logging in!

S: What do you think you did to be FM?

F: I’m not really sure, haha XD I’ve definitely been more involved in the community here just this month with NaPo and all the corresponding events, so that probably played a part.

S: You were really consistent with NaPo! What is your favorite part of YWS?

F: Right now, I definitely spend the most time in the NaPo forum! I loved spending my time reading people’s poetry and sharing my own; this month has really been a greater motivator in my writing journey. But aside from that, I also enjoy spending time on the People tab getting informed of site wide events, etc.

S: The people's tab is a great place to learn about new things and talk with members! So, why do you like NaPo? What's your favorite poem that you've written so far?

F: I love NaPo because it’s been a great way to churn out a bunch of poetry without overthinking too much about “perfecting” my writing. I think I’m generally pretty hard on myself when it comes to my own writing, and NaPo has helped me focus more on consistency in writing rather than getting everything “right”. As for a favorite poem I’ve written so far, it might be my haibun or my poem on the five stages of grief .

S: Those are amazing poems! Do you have any advice for people who want to be FM?

F: I’d say just be yourself and be involved in the events and activities of the community that appeal to you!!

While figmoon isn't featured member anymore, you can congratulate her on her wall or in her featured member thread !




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:49 am
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APRIL FOOLS ROUNDUP
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written by Omni < PM: >

April Fools 2023 was a wild ride, wasn't it! There were quite a few things going on that day, and maybe a few things that you missed! So, here's a round-up of what all happened on that day.

A mysterious set of buttons appeared on the site...

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courtesy of @Quillfeather


And thus, a mock rivalry was born as YWSers chose sides.



i hate how my first thought was to immediately click on the do not click button even before i saw the click me instead one.





click click



And when enough people clicked the buttons, letters were put in front of their usernames so everyone knew what side people were on.



now I can see all the rule breakers on this website.



Even @Nate himself commented on the irony of this:



The irony of buttonism is that those who click on "click me instead" are the rulebreakers, and thus non-buttonists. They are represented by the red B with a line through it. The buttonists click on "do not click" and are represented by a blue B.

Not everyone is a buttonist or non-buttonist. Many are All, represented by a green A.



You can check to see who won out on the Button here!


However, this was just the beginning of the shenanigans!

The Egg got Featured for a whole year

Some spooky things were going on...



thank you @SantaYWS for liking my spooky avatars thread xD



Apparently, SantaYWS is a fan of bats!



why is yewis in halloween mode is this an early april fools joke.



With the battle of the buttons and things getting spooky, some shenanigans might have gone under people's radars. Like, well, the mod forums getting leaked ! (Fun fact, you can still look into these threads and interact if you so wish!)

This predicament was especially concerning to our own @Big Brother, who had this to say:



People, creatures, and otherly beings,

There has been some slight forum and people tab glitches this morning as things have gotten moved for NaPo getting started, please report in the Report Classified Concerns thread if you notice anything of yours that appears out of the ordinary.

-BB.



At the height of April Fool's chaos, the site got a little poultry-themed...

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And there were some interesting reactions.



I DIDN'T EVEN SEE THE CHICKEN IN THE LOGO IT WAS HIDDEN BY THE BACKGROUND.





YWS has reached its peak form. Happy National Poultry Month everyone! I am loving this day.





ok this chicken and penguin background is so CUTEEE can this pLEaSe be the permanent background



and I'll leave this round-up with a post from our resident YWS Clown @Carina that I think we can all agree with:



the button war, the egg being featured member, and santa necro-liking halloween-esque works are the reasons i love yws.



April Fools is certainly a special time for YWS!

See anything we missed? Did you miss anything? The shenanigans were definitely all over the place, but PM us to let us know if there were some April Foolsin' going on that we didn't cover here!

Onwards to next year's April Fools! Can't wait to see who Rick Rolls us next time...




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Tue May 16, 2023 2:50 am
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WUZZLES PUZZLES
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written by Spearmint < PM: >

Hello hello, and welcome to the activity section of Squills! ^-^ Here we'll be covering codes, ciphers, and puzzles. This edition's topic is: wuzzles.

What are wuzzles? Well, their name comes from "word" and "puzzles" smashed together. And they're exactly that! Wuzzles typically involve words with clever placements and/or fonts that indicate a common word or phrase.

storm
th

For example, the wuzzle above would represent "thunderstorm." Notice that the "th" is under the "storm"!

Here are a few more:

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Can you figure them out? ;) Answers are in the spoiler.

Spoiler! :
1. Falling temperature
2. 2 under par
3. Fat chance
4. Broken heart
5. Hot under the collar
6. Head in the sand


If you enjoyed these, feel free to search up "wuzzles puzzles" for more! And make sure to tune back in next edition for more fun activities. Click that PM icon if you have any suggestions for codes/ciphers/puzzles!







Gravity was a mistake.
— Till Nowak