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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:22 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
Iggy

General Editors
ShadowVyper
KnightTeen

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Friendly Neighborhood Cow
CowLogic

Literary Reporter
Vacant - PM SquillsBot if interested

Community Reporter
Sapi

Storybook Reporter
AfterTheStorm

Link Cowgirl
megsug

Poetry Enchantress
Clarity

Quibbles Columnist
Vacant - PM SquillsBot if interested

Social Correspondent
Iggy

Associate of Pruno
Blackwood

Media Critic[b]
Kanome

[b]General Reporters

ArcticMonkey
Messenger
OliveDreams
KittyCatMeow
whitewolfpuppy
BloodinkSeesFootage
Paracosm

Past Editors-in-Chief
GriffinKeeper
AlfredSymon
Hannah


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.

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





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:25 am
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INTERNET SAFETY!
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written by Iggy < PM: >

Stop! I already know what you're thinking! "Oh lord, not this again. She sounds like my mom. Why am I reading this?" Well, I'll tell you why -- it's the most important thing on YWS! It really is.

The Internet is a scary place because of the secrecy that comes with social websites. You never know who someone really is. All they have to do is put on a fake profile picture, a fake name, and bam! You may never be the wiser.

As you all hopefully know, things do happen. There are bad people in this world. They want to hurt you, to steal from you, to ruin you, etc. There are so many things that can happen. This is why every single one of you need to be cautious. We want you to be as safe as possible.

Please make sure you revise the Internet Safety topic.
It's there for a reason! Rereading it every now and then will remind you of what is and isn't allowed here, so it could save you (and the mods!) some trouble.

Watch how many pictures you post in the Post Your Pic topic.
We all enjoy seeing each others' lovely faces! But there are some pictures you shouldn't post. For instance, all photos should not show anything illegal, or any nudity. They should not have your address in them and should not link to or lead to someone finding your school or hometown. You should also refrain from posting photos of yourself with other people, especially if you don't have their permission.

No Facebook links.
Facebook is a social site primarily based on sharing personal information, more than which you might not be willing to share. For that reason, any links that lead to Facebook is not allowed here and will be removed/deleted by staff.

Think twice when it comes to Instagram links.
Especially if your account is unprotected. Instagram is a social website for sharing pictures of your personal life. If it's open to the eyes of everyone, anyone can see the picture of your mom, or your siblings, or you in your band outfit that proudly declares your school name. Someone could easily find where you live if you have an unprotected Instagram.

Be careful with personal information.
Phone numbers. Skype usernames. Emails. Real names. All of it. Be careful. You should consider who you're sharing it with and why they want it, and then take note of how well you know them. Are they good friends? Do they give off a weird vibe? More importantly, are they persistently asking for offsite contact information? Think twice before you give out personal information and never do it publicly.

Let me reiterate: does this person make you feel uncomfortable?
If the answer is yes, don't give them anything. If you hesitated, don't give them anything. If you're getting any sort of weird or strange vibe from them, don't give them anything. Chances are, your gut is trying to tell you not to trust this person. Maybe you're just being overcautious. Maybe you're just paranoid. Or maybe this person really isn't what they seem and makes you uncomfortable. If that's the case, please think twice. And if someone is persistently bugging you for information, report it to a moderator immediately. Because if they're bugging you, they're most likely bugging other people, people who may be giving them their information and putting themselves in potential danger.

Please remember that, above all else, your safety is the most important thing.
Think twice. Ask yourself once, wait a few minutes, then ask yourself again: Do I trust this person? If there is even one ounce of doubt in your mind, I highly suggest you refuse any information.

Please also revise the How To Report topic in case you ever need to report something (here's to hoping you don't!)

Thanks for reading, and stay safe, darlings. <3





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:26 am
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SITE UPDATES
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written by Sapi < pm: >

I was looking through recent blog entries a few days ago and came across an entry from our awesome admin @Nate about his plans for site updates in the future.

In the more recent past, Nate has been doing minor and major updates as they come, and when they are needed. Soon, he'll be starting to put updates into one major package all at once, so as to avoid headaches and confusion.

This next update will not include much in the way of visual changes:



There will be some minor visual changes such as a more organized footer area, but the look of YWS won't be changing. I also highly doubt it will ever change in the future...I like YWS how it looks now. It's a distinctive look that is fairly well organized, and I think that's an increasing rarity these days.



And for any of you who have had any troubles with the Publishing Center, it looks like that will get some big changes too, such as the ability to add cover art and an updated system of portfolios.



There's also new features on the way such as a Word Wars game, along with a few generators such as a name generator and a poetry generator. Long-time members will remember the latter from 2007-2009.



You may have also had difficulties at some point with YWS on a mobile device. Although a new mobile site will not be included in the next update, as it is a lot of work, Nate is planning on it at some point:



What won't be included, but is increasingly necessary, is a mobile-optimized site. I'm going to start work on that following the release of the new update, and it's necessary because more than a quarter of all visits now come from mobile devices. Designing a better mobile site could substantially increase activity overnight.



You can read the full blog entry here . Happy YWS!





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:27 am
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AJT IN THE SPOTLIGHT, WHOOT WHOOT
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written by BloodinkSeesFootage < PM: >

At the tail end of the week, a recent addition to the featured list was A Pandemonium Extravaganza by @567ajt. I asked a few questions to see what inspired this work and for his ideas on what makes works special enough to be featured.


BloodinkSeesFootage: What was the inspiration behind this piece?


567ajt: Well the inspiration was my girlfriend’s teddy bear; who is called Monium, which is a pun on pandemonium. He is very cuddly. I have met him in the fur once and he was really nice. Not to mention he’s incredibly cute.


BSF: It is quite different from some of your other featured works such as International Tearducts on Parade, which had a more political message, what made you write such a different work?


567ajt: Well I kind of like to add variety, because once... I don’t want my style to be pinpointed to just one issue. I want to talk about other things as well; which includes incredibly light -hearted and rather sweet things. I’ve often got this idea, that most of what I write is dark, but obviously I am capable of writing love songs, nice poems about nature, that kind of thing. I don’t consider myself a “dark, deep” writer all the time. I think the term lighter is more accurate.


BSF: It received several likes in a very short space of time, including your own like. What makes you like your own work?


567ajt: I don’t often like my own work, but when I do it’s often reserved for pieces that I actually really like and I hope gets in the spotlight.


BSF: My final question, why do you think certain works get featured? Is there an ingredient ‘X’ or is it favoured randomly?


567ajt: I think a lot of it’s to do with time and circumstance, for example, if there is a certain event going on and it’s about that event, they will probably get featured: because it’s relatable. It could be argued it’s favoured randomly, like with a piece from months ago and suddenly someone started liking and reviewing it. Or by writers who have been on the site longer than I’ve been, and have been known how to write featured works at the drop of a hat. Hard to say really, depends on the circumstances, how many people online at the time it’s posted. And I don’t really know how they do it; it seems insane to be that prolific all the time!





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:28 am
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FUN LITERARY FACTS
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written by OliveDreams < PM: >

I'm feeling wonderfully cheerful this week, so I thought I'd give you all something a little more fun and perky for your pretty eyes to skim over.

Now, who else out there loves a fun fact? I do! And what better way to find a few out about our best authors and their books!

1. Roald Dahl was a spy and a WWII pilot!
That's right, the man who created Matilda and those tiny orange men, was a national hero who enjoyed watching the wildlife of Kenya during his RAF flights!

2. Carolyn Keene is not a real person!
Yeah! I didn't know this either! The creator of the mystery stories of Nancy Drew is actually a pseudonym for many authors who did the writing! Their contracts required them to keep confidentiality.

3. H.A Rey escaped the Nazis!
The author of Curious George, built two bicycles for himself and his wife and they managed to flee Paris with the Curious George manuscript hours before their home was taken over by the Nazis!

4. Victor Hugo likes you to run out of breath!
In his hugely successful novel, Les Miserable, there is a sentence that is a whopping 823 words long!

5. Ever listened to a Dan Brown hit?
Before writing the mind boggling, The Davinci Code, Dan Brown was a pop singer and song writer with singles such as, '967-Love' and 'If You Believe in Love'!

Well, you learn something new everyday! :D





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:29 am
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KANOME'S RANT OF MEDIA
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Written by Kanome < PM: >

Hello, my good people of YWS!

Kanome here with another review on another popular anime that I have recently watched: Acchi Kocchi.

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Acchi Kocchi (Place to Place) is a comedy-filled anime full of adventure between the best of friends during their high school lives. Acchi Kocchi is about a group of friends who hang out playing school games, working at cafes, and going out on adventures! There is romance in the air! Acchi Kocchi’s main female character, Tsumiki Miniwa, has a crush on her best friend and classmate, Io Otonashi. She expresses her feelings with cat-like characteristics that are down-right adorable!

This show is mainly popular due to the cuteness and humor. When I watched this, I enjoyed the show and become fond with all the characters in the show. I personally like one of the characters named Mayoi Katase. Mayoi is the show’s “class clown” due to her pranking and her ridiculous ideas. She will make you laugh as you never laughed before!
Honestly, this show is somewhat like the other popular anime, Lucky Star! The only difference is that there is the hint of romance, as I mentioned before.

All in all, this is a show I definitely recommend for anime-lovers or people who love watching shows with comedy. This show will leave you smiling in the end!





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:30 am
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COW SAYS JANUARY 19th, 2014
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written by CowLogic < PM: >

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The Parable of the Singing Cat


The Cat loved to sing. So much so, in fact, that she was training to be a professional singer. She would wake up every morning at 4:00 while other cats would sleep through the day and belt out operatic phrases into the city air. The sonorous quality of her voice could move any decent cat to tears, but because of the urban social contracts in place, she was shunned by her cat peers. Her unsupportive uncle said it bluntly. "A true cat," he proclaimed, "is not supposed to sing. They are supposed to purr, growl, fight, be sneaky, and eat things. Singing is not in our DNA."

But they could not deterr her from her dream. She continued to practice for hours every day, constantly improving and improving. Then a golden opportunity lined up. "Looking for replacement for lead singer in 'Phantom of the Opera' Production," said the poster on the door of the local theater. When she applied for the part, however, they turned her down. They would not have a cat in their production, as they did not believe cats could actually sing. They didn't even give her a chance to try out.

Infuriated, the Cat wrote an anngry letter to her Representative asking for legislation that would require to let the theater try her out despite her being a cat. The Representative didn't respond for a week or so until one day, several men in suits appeared at her doorway. "We're here to help you," the men said. "Can we hear you sing?" The cat was overjoyed and serenaded them with the most heartfelt musical tirade she had ever mustered. When she was done, she looked at the men, panting, who in turn looked shocked. "That was incredible," they said. "A cat that can sing?"

So they tagged and bagged her and carried her off in a cage to a nearby government facility, where they surgically removed her voicebox for testing and performed other experiments on her to find out who this phenomenon was possible.

Moral: Choose your battles.





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:32 am
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ASKPRUNO
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written by Blackwood < PM: >

Welcome to Ask Pruno, the advice column in which has not been around for a while.
Pruno will answer any questions you throw at him, be it advice, personal opinion, solutions or philosophy.
Please note, this is the advice of Pruno, and it is his opinion alone. Nothing he says can be considered incorrect or factual, even if you disagree with him.

The real deal!



Dearest Pruno,

I've heard that you haven't been receiving many questions lately. This greatly troubles me, as I am an avid fan of your column...My question is this: How much wood could my pet woodchuck chuck if I fed him a peanut butter sandwich?
-Pet Troubles


Dear Pet Troubles
That depends on how your woodchuck reacts toward peanut butter. If your woodchuck finds the vile paste a delicacy to his diet, he may be inspired to gain a surplus of energy and thus be able to chuck wood at a greater rate than the normal rate. However your woodchuck also runs the risk of being severely allergic to peanuts, which in that case, he may swell up, explode and die, and you will see a permanent halt in your wood-chucking production.
-Pruno


~~~


Dear Big-P Prunicus,
Hey bro, how you been? Is the recent YWS user "Pruno" you, or an impostor, as Blackwood claims?
-Mysterion


Dear Mysterion.
The second Pruno is indeed an imposter, and the situation has reached a critical level. It is suspected that unlike Pruno, the second 'Pruno' kills without mercy and leaves no survivors. It is recommended that anyone who wishes to survive; do not let 'Pruno' know who you are.
-Pruno


~~~


Dear Pruno
If unicorns were made of sour worms, would you shift to the moon and do the chicken dance?
-I LOVE UNICORNS:)

Dear ILU
If unicorns were made of sour worms, I would most likely eat them. That is assuming when you say sour worms you mean the lollies, and not literally sour worms. I would not shift to the moon because I lack the funds and materials in order to reach the moon. I doubt that NASA would care to fund me whether unicorns were made of sour worms or not.
-Pruno


~~~


To my beloved purple-clad friend,

How do you rock the color purple so well? It seems to wash me out, and I can never find a suitable store with decent lavender attire. How do you look so dashingly handsome in that color?
---Juste A. Wondering

Dear Juste A. Wondering.
It seems you are managing this quite competently without my advice. *Cough cough*
-Pruno


~~~



Would you like to ask Pruno a question and get a slice of his interpretations? You can ask him anything you want! It could be a personal problem, or writing advice and tips, even your calculus homework or something else ridiculous! Just follow this link to go to the submission form and fill it out. One submission per person per week.





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:38 am
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NEW ARRIVALS
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written by OliveDreams < PM: >

As @KnightTeen is away this week, hang in there with me as I ask you to take a moment to welcome this week’s newest members to the site!

@Shayla joined us only a week ago, and she's already given us a great insight into the type of writer she is right here! I'm excited to see her first portfolio posts!

@LordGreenleaf - a self confessed Lord of the Rings fan - joined us 5 days ago and has burst onto the scene with lots of forum activity, especially in the storybook section! He has also posted a beautiful poem which you can find here: Listening to a heartbeat

@AEChronicle has also contributed huge amounts to the forum, his portfolio and written 29 fabulous reviews in his first few days as a member!! I'm especially interested in reading his novel, The Fallen - Book the First

AEChronicle has written a brief description about himself here:


I sit around all day and write. When I'm not writing, I'm wishing I was writing. When I'm not wishing I was writing, I'm dreaming about it because I'm asleep. One could say I have an addiction. Which explains why I'm on here.



You've definitely come to the right place! :D

Other members who haven't had a chance to be as active, but are no less a member of our family are...







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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:39 am
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THIS WEEK'S ROUNDUP – 1/19
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written by: megsug <PM: >
Four link served with a side of commentary for your enjoyment.


As long as I don't have to figure them out. If you're curious about the number of visits, page views, and unique visitors to YWS, this is the club you need to check out. If you check out the club wall often, you even find cool notes like this one from the 15th:



This now marks the 12th day in a row that visits to the site have exceeded 1,900. By comparison, this happened only 11 times throughout all of 2013.



Get educated on some YWS numbers!


@SparkToFlame has a bunch of questions about this subject for a paper:



I was wondering what your experiences with mental illness is? Have you or a friend ever been met with things like "You're just in a phase" or "Seeking attention"? Have you ever come into contact with people who didn't believe you or someone you know had/have a mental illness?



@Tenyo makes a good point that ignoring or denying mental illness can be very harmful for the one who has the disability and those around him/her while accepting it and teaching him/her to function with the illness is often much more helpful. @Zolen added a personal comment about how people treat him. Do you have something to add to the conversation?


Or a map maker. Why is that useful, you ask? Well, as wonderful as geography is, I'm not talking about that right now. I want to make a plot map! These are useful just going into a project and trying to organize your thoughts, in the middle when you hit that road block to try to visualize the next plot step, or at the end where you're trying to make sure you've covered everything. @Rydia talks about another use: organizing side plots.



It's rare to have only one side plot developing at a time and you're far more likely to have two or three short term plots and as many as ten or twenty long term plots. Mapping these out allows you to see if you're kicking off too many at once or resolving such a large group all together that they lose their individual meanings.



Rydia has so many other reasons to draw a plot map. Not only will you be able to discover those, but you'll be able to find out how to make one! Check it out!


Here is the time old dilemma. Which is more important, character or plot? A lot of people side with characters, but many agree with @Hightop:



I think it's like yin and yang. Two amazing things that need each other to exists.



@CowLogic seems to be the only one who thinks plot is more important than characters at this point. Go share your opinion! …Did I mention the Hunger Games popped up in the discussion?





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:47 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!


Come Into My Parlour!


The darling @PenguinAttack is dying for a brand new star, so come help her out by requesting a review in her Will Review For Food topic! She'll review anything so go help her out.

speaking of PenguinAttack...


How much do you love her?


Come show her your love here ! <3


That's all folks~ Now send us yours.





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Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:49 am
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SUBSCRIBERS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

Find enspoiler-ed a list of our subscribers!

Spoiler! :
@SquillsBot@Carina@ShadowVyper@ArcticMonkey@Hannah@Dante • @Baal • @VeerenVKS • @megsug • @BlackNether12 • @thewritersdream • @Letiki • @Aley@Rydia@Alpha@skorlir@KnightTeen • @AriaAdams • @neko@Aquila90@DudeMcGuy@kayfortnight@Cole@Blackwood@manisha@fortis • @HighTop • @cgirl1118@KittyCatMeow • @Strange • @ChocoCookie@carbonCore@Auxiira@Iggy@Blues@Paracosm@Sparkle@FireFox@Dakushau • @AlexSushiDog • @wizkid515@yubbies21


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!








The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.
— Samuel Johnson