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Written by Prose in portal Prose

White rabbit.

      Austin, 2014. An idea was born into the streets. Two men walking, teeth dry from the ways of liquor. One stares in front. Downtown festival. Talks to the city ahead, but to the one walking next to him.

     I have an idea for an app. 

    Small city, the grey heat. Overcast no match. No hope to burn off the film from the damage last night. Hotel lounge, hair of the dog. The city had grown, and they were strangers now, each waiting to leave there, one by plane, one by car and dog. Talks of Prose., the font. Talks of why it would work, a family the size of a world. Strangers yet not quite. Revolt against apathy. Earned things, lost in paces too fast to retain soul, to keep their light. Drinks and words, the lobby bar turned museum for the old death of the words eaten by technology. A way out through a way back in. 

     We are all here now. 

     Thank you for being here with us. 

     Thank you.  

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Written by Prose in portal Prose
White rabbit.
      Austin, 2014. An idea was born into the streets. Two men walking, teeth dry from the ways of liquor. One stares in front. Downtown festival. Talks to the city ahead, but to the one walking next to him.
     I have an idea for an app. 
    Small city, the grey heat. Overcast no match. No hope to burn off the film from the damage last night. Hotel lounge, hair of the dog. The city had grown, and they were strangers now, each waiting to leave there, one by plane, one by car and dog. Talks of Prose., the font. Talks of why it would work, a family the size of a world. Strangers yet not quite. Revolt against apathy. Earned things, lost in paces too fast to retain soul, to keep their light. Drinks and words, the lobby bar turned museum for the old death of the words eaten by technology. A way out through a way back in. 
     We are all here now. 
     Thank you for being here with us. 
     Thank you.  
#prose  #culture 
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Written by Prose in portal Prose

Estimados Bastardos Magníficas

     It’s true. 

     Shots of bourbon in our coffee lead to reverence for you in the voice of Neruda.

     Where to begin? Does anyone who asks that question not know where to begin?

     We’ll start.

     Swift but graceful changes here at Prose. Our coder, while also knee-deep in slaying dragons and winning digital hills on rendered battlefields, is working on new features as this is being typed. Keep your eyes peeled. In another change, call it a red sun rising, we’re taking the app to 18 and over after the next update. Any young guns existing won’t need to worry, and should anyone under 18 sneak past the doorman and smooth-talk the bartender into a drink with no ID then you probably belong here, anyway. 

    

     Many more things to appear on the horizon.

    

     Stay tuned. Stay hungry.

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Written by Prose in portal Prose
Estimados Bastardos Magníficas
     It’s true. 
     Shots of bourbon in our coffee lead to reverence for you in the voice of Neruda.
     Where to begin? Does anyone who asks that question not know where to begin?
     We’ll start.
     Swift but graceful changes here at Prose. Our coder, while also knee-deep in slaying dragons and winning digital hills on rendered battlefields, is working on new features as this is being typed. Keep your eyes peeled. In another change, call it a red sun rising, we’re taking the app to 18 and over after the next update. Any young guns existing won’t need to worry, and should anyone under 18 sneak past the doorman and smooth-talk the bartender into a drink with no ID then you probably belong here, anyway. 
    
     Many more things to appear on the horizon.
    
     Stay tuned. Stay hungry.
#nonfiction  #prose  #news  #culture 
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Written by Prose in portal Prose

Friday Feature: @AlexWestmore

It’s Friday, ergo, it’s Friday Feature time. This week we get to meet a lovely lady in beautiful Palm Springs who is going to rock your world. Be upstanding for @AlexWestmore

P: What is your given name and your Proser username?

A: Linda Kay Silva is my real name. My pen name is Alex Westmore

P: Where do you live?

A: I live in sunny and often hot Palm Springs, but I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

P: What is your occupation?

A: I am a Professor of Literature and history. I teach American, World, and British Lit. Sci-fi Fantasy, Women's Lit, and Creative Writing. I also teach American and World History

P: What is your relationship with writing and how has it evolved?

A: I have always written. Then a friend said, "Submit something." I did and was rejected multiple times before finally getting my first book published. It has evolved in so many ways. I am a much better writer now. I writer tighter prose and with 6 series, I have learned how to plant seeds and tie off loose ends.

P: What value does reading add to both your personal and professional life?

A: Reading is such a great thing. Reading keeps me sharper.

P: Can you describe your current literary ventures and what can we look forward to in future posts?

A: I just published my first romance. In future posts, I'll be adding snippets from my other series...I'll be adding challenges...I think this is a great place for writers and readers to come together.

P: What do you love about Prose?

A: I love that it's about writing...not selling. Not a constant me me me or I I I. I have read some really well written pieces, and that's been fun. I believe we are all looking for community or a place to belong in these trying times.

P: Is there one book that you would recommend everybody should read before they die?

A: Mine. No lol. Just kidding. I think everyone should read To Kill a Mockingbird.

P: Do you have an unsung hero who got you into reading and/or writing?

A: Rita Mae Brown. I read everything she wrote...then decided I should try. Funny story. A few years ago, we met at a conference, and now we are good friends. That's one of the highlights of my life. She is brilliant, and the best storyteller I have ever listened to.

P: Describe yourself in three words!

A: Fearless, Funny, Fighter

P: Is there one quote, from a writer or otherwise, that sums you up?

A: The question isn't who's going to let me, it's who's going to stop me? Ayn Rand.

P: What is your favourite music, and do you write or read to it?

A: I'm a classic writer, baby! And no, I do not listen to music when writing. I find it alters my mood which may or may not be appropriate to the scene I am writing.

P: You climb out of a time machine into a dystopian future with no books. What do you tell them?

A: Books were WONDERFUL. They were like hot chocolate in your hands as you look out over the snow. They were like the fur of a rabbit or the sound of a waterfall. Books were diamonds; some shone, others had inclusions, but all added to our lives. Books had a distinctive odor, a familiar feel. They were, like each being on earth, special in their own right.

P: Do you have a favourite place to read and write?

A: I have written a number of novels poolside on a cruise ship. Yeah, I have a rough life, but someone has to do it, so I pick me. To be writing as you cruise trough the Panama Canal? Sublime. To be writing a book set in Egypt when you pull into the port in Alexandria? Yeah. Pretty fucking awesome.

P: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you/your work/social media accounts?

A: I write long hand with a fountain pen because I can write anywhere. There is also evidence that the kinesthetic act of writing does something different to our brains. 

Keyboarding is a very sterile activity, but the fluidity of writing opens many other pathways. I love it, and I have some awesome pens!

Thanks so much to Alex. Make sure you follow, like, love, and do the Prose thang! If you have sent your answers back and have yet to feature, fear not. There are a number lined up for future delectation. If you want to be involved, get in touch with an email and we’ll get the questions off to you.

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Written by Prose in portal Prose
Friday Feature: @AlexWestmore
It’s Friday, ergo, it’s Friday Feature time. This week we get to meet a lovely lady in beautiful Palm Springs who is going to rock your world. Be upstanding for @AlexWestmore

P: What is your given name and your Proser username?
A: Linda Kay Silva is my real name. My pen name is Alex Westmore

P: Where do you live?
A: I live in sunny and often hot Palm Springs, but I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

P: What is your occupation?
A: I am a Professor of Literature and history. I teach American, World, and British Lit. Sci-fi Fantasy, Women's Lit, and Creative Writing. I also teach American and World History

P: What is your relationship with writing and how has it evolved?
A: I have always written. Then a friend said, "Submit something." I did and was rejected multiple times before finally getting my first book published. It has evolved in so many ways. I am a much better writer now. I writer tighter prose and with 6 series, I have learned how to plant seeds and tie off loose ends.

P: What value does reading add to both your personal and professional life?
A: Reading is such a great thing. Reading keeps me sharper.

P: Can you describe your current literary ventures and what can we look forward to in future posts?
A: I just published my first romance. In future posts, I'll be adding snippets from my other series...I'll be adding challenges...I think this is a great place for writers and readers to come together.

P: What do you love about Prose?
A: I love that it's about writing...not selling. Not a constant me me me or I I I. I have read some really well written pieces, and that's been fun. I believe we are all looking for community or a place to belong in these trying times.

P: Is there one book that you would recommend everybody should read before they die?
A: Mine. No lol. Just kidding. I think everyone should read To Kill a Mockingbird.

P: Do you have an unsung hero who got you into reading and/or writing?
A: Rita Mae Brown. I read everything she wrote...then decided I should try. Funny story. A few years ago, we met at a conference, and now we are good friends. That's one of the highlights of my life. She is brilliant, and the best storyteller I have ever listened to.

P: Describe yourself in three words!
A: Fearless, Funny, Fighter

P: Is there one quote, from a writer or otherwise, that sums you up?
A: The question isn't who's going to let me, it's who's going to stop me? Ayn Rand.

P: What is your favourite music, and do you write or read to it?
A: I'm a classic writer, baby! And no, I do not listen to music when writing. I find it alters my mood which may or may not be appropriate to the scene I am writing.

P: You climb out of a time machine into a dystopian future with no books. What do you tell them?
A: Books were WONDERFUL. They were like hot chocolate in your hands as you look out over the snow. They were like the fur of a rabbit or the sound of a waterfall. Books were diamonds; some shone, others had inclusions, but all added to our lives. Books had a distinctive odor, a familiar feel. They were, like each being on earth, special in their own right.

P: Do you have a favourite place to read and write?
A: I have written a number of novels poolside on a cruise ship. Yeah, I have a rough life, but someone has to do it, so I pick me. To be writing as you cruise trough the Panama Canal? Sublime. To be writing a book set in Egypt when you pull into the port in Alexandria? Yeah. Pretty fucking awesome.

P: Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you/your work/social media accounts?
A: I write long hand with a fountain pen because I can write anywhere. There is also evidence that the kinesthetic act of writing does something different to our brains. 

Keyboarding is a very sterile activity, but the fluidity of writing opens many other pathways. I love it, and I have some awesome pens!

Thanks so much to Alex. Make sure you follow, like, love, and do the Prose thang! If you have sent your answers back and have yet to feature, fear not. There are a number lined up for future delectation. If you want to be involved, get in touch with an email and we’ll get the questions off to you.
#prose  #FF  #prosers  #FridayFeature 
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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by AlSalehi in portal Simon & Schuster

By and Bye

She showers me from above with falling Spades,

Having then gift-wrapped the stems with little Hearts,

A great public service delivered in shades

Of now Red and Black poison injected darts.

She’s masked as a Queen holding multiple Aces,

Bluffing her bosses under multiple Faces.

Diamonds of wisdom she pretends to display,

When Diamonds to Cut is the truth of her Play.

But if all she believes is no feign then no gain,

My question is this… at what cost and whose pain?

Club members pleased as she slanders, applaud -

The Clubbing of a young man's Heart, oh God - -

Please guide my hand to select flight and not fight,

For I wish not my words to be used in spite,

Against a sinister old maid's wretched plight.

Help me not crush her with your gift of great light,

Instead flip back my dream turned nightmare tonight.

I’m now struggling with this motion to let live or expire

As a resolution that is urgent and morbidly dire-

It was just on the floor, now on the grill, and soon to the fryer,

But a procedural second is needed for trial by fire.

Dust to ashes and ashes to dust,

Cremate this invoice for poison lust.

Lord, make me not one who lays to waste

This old bully from a schoolyard fight.,

Give me purpose and heavenly might

For a cause you deem worthy and chaste.

Consider the nights I’ve spent digging her ditch,

Please honor the time that I've lost to this witch,

Whose rage’s Raised from an emotional glitch,

Of jealousy Folded in a single stitch.

I’m hereby Knocking to Check on slaying this snitch,

Calling Azrael to Push the dumbwaiter switch.

Though a 50/50 Chance is Blindly set by your Crown,

I pray that today, both of the Arrows, for her, point down!

Nay, help make me the hero and this order delay…

Just protect me from Evil as I kneel and I pray:

“Our Horsemen, who art in Heaven, now summoned and nigh--

Pass, by,

Pass, by.”

And now Four Suited Stallions, Flush with Black Hearts

Neigh loudly but voiceless, in front of their carts.

Marking her Players who all vote as One,

To majority Counts of 4 to 1.

Alas I’m human at the end of day

So I ask you, Yahweh, to end this decay.

I wish not to Cash-out on her last sigh,

No reins or noose, to now knot up and Tie.

I’ve good left in me and I wish to try

Asking your Horsemen for a Pass to Buy

A way,

Away,

From this old passerby.

I'll pay her Ante across the River Styx,

Chips sprung from her eye sockets with reaper sticks

And then stuffed in her Pockets with fire picks.

Trotting the Odds at all Even they cry:

‘All Bets are Final to live or let die’!

Swords at the ready and ready to fly,

Riders are Shuffling to Deal upon high,

Sickles now Flopping like hail from the sky,

Turning her tombstone with acid & lye,

The River’s mouth’s Showing halva and rye –

Good night fine Horsemen, hello and goodbye.

Just pardon one last thing,

As a postscript, my King…

Come hell or high purpose in this fog of clear sight,

I beg of your Horsemen, now sincerely tonight - -

Pass her by /

Pass her, bye.

Copyright © 1986-2017

Al Salehi

All Rights Reserved

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Simon & Schuster is one of the world’s leading publishers and we are always looking for fresh new voices. Write a story, chapter, or essay about whatever you like. The 50 best entries will be announced by Prose and read by our editorial staff for consideration.
Written by AlSalehi in portal Simon & Schuster
By and Bye
She showers me from above with falling Spades,
Having then gift-wrapped the stems with little Hearts,
A great public service delivered in shades
Of now Red and Black poison injected darts.

She’s masked as a Queen holding multiple Aces,
Bluffing her bosses under multiple Faces.

Diamonds of wisdom she pretends to display,
When Diamonds to Cut is the truth of her Play.

But if all she believes is no feign then no gain,
My question is this… at what cost and whose pain?

Club members pleased as she slanders, applaud -
The Clubbing of a young man's Heart, oh God - -

Please guide my hand to select flight and not fight,
For I wish not my words to be used in spite,
Against a sinister old maid's wretched plight.

Help me not crush her with your gift of great light,
Instead flip back my dream turned nightmare tonight.

I’m now struggling with this motion to let live or expire
As a resolution that is urgent and morbidly dire-
It was just on the floor, now on the grill, and soon to the fryer,
But a procedural second is needed for trial by fire.

Dust to ashes and ashes to dust,
Cremate this invoice for poison lust.

Lord, make me not one who lays to waste
This old bully from a schoolyard fight.,
Give me purpose and heavenly might
For a cause you deem worthy and chaste.

Consider the nights I’ve spent digging her ditch,
Please honor the time that I've lost to this witch,
Whose rage’s Raised from an emotional glitch,
Of jealousy Folded in a single stitch.

I’m hereby Knocking to Check on slaying this snitch,
Calling Azrael to Push the dumbwaiter switch.

Though a 50/50 Chance is Blindly set by your Crown,
I pray that today, both of the Arrows, for her, point down!

Nay, help make me the hero and this order delay…
Just protect me from Evil as I kneel and I pray:
“Our Horsemen, who art in Heaven, now summoned and nigh--
Pass, by,
Pass, by.”

And now Four Suited Stallions, Flush with Black Hearts
Neigh loudly but voiceless, in front of their carts.

Marking her Players who all vote as One,
To majority Counts of 4 to 1.

Alas I’m human at the end of day
So I ask you, Yahweh, to end this decay.

I wish not to Cash-out on her last sigh,
No reins or noose, to now knot up and Tie.
I’ve good left in me and I wish to try
Asking your Horsemen for a Pass to Buy
A way,
Away,
From this old passerby.

I'll pay her Ante across the River Styx,
Chips sprung from her eye sockets with reaper sticks
And then stuffed in her Pockets with fire picks.

Trotting the Odds at all Even they cry:
‘All Bets are Final to live or let die’!
Swords at the ready and ready to fly,
Riders are Shuffling to Deal upon high,
Sickles now Flopping like hail from the sky,
Turning her tombstone with acid & lye,
The River’s mouth’s Showing halva and rye –

Good night fine Horsemen, hello and goodbye.

Just pardon one last thing,
As a postscript, my King…

Come hell or high purpose in this fog of clear sight,
I beg of your Horsemen, now sincerely tonight - -

Pass her by /
Pass her, bye.


Copyright © 1986-2017
Al Salehi
All Rights Reserved
#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #nonfiction  #romance  #horror  #adventure  #education  #poetry  #science  #philosophy  #mystery  #film  #prose  #challenge  #prosechallenge  #politics  #spirituality  #news  #culture  #war  #lyrics  #opinion  #Itslit  #getlit  #SimonSchuster  #simonandschuster  #poker  #artofwar  #SimonSchusterChallenge 
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ProseChallenge #67: Write a poem about grief.
Written by AlSalehi

Visiting Hours are Over

So muscular and handsome, my boy is.

His hair is so soft and smooth. His legs are

so white and beautiful. The shape of his

feet are identical to my father’s.

My son’s feet were always cold, for his warmth

was always concentrated in his soul.

But I cannot leave…not now, not ever…

The moment I leave I will no longer

have a son. Right here, right now, I have come

to claim his body…I am visiting

my son…I -am his mother. As long as

I hold his flesh beneath my hands, he is

still here, with me, in the room, spending time

together. I love you, son…And even

though I, was your mother, You, were my best

friend. It almost killed me to bring you to

life, and now it is killing me to let

you go. I didn’t leave you then, and I

can’t leave you now. Son, even though you are

lying here motionless and weak to the

eye, give me the strength to Live! I want to

crawl up this refrigerated metal

slab and lie with you. I’ll sing you songs, and

read you bedtime stories like I did when

you were just a boy. Even though you’d sleep,

they were unforgettable times between

both of our souls. But I refuse to leave…

I just won’t do it…not now, not ever.

Copyright © 1986-2017

Al Salehi

All Rights Reserved

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ProseChallenge #67: Write a poem about grief.
Written by AlSalehi
Visiting Hours are Over
So muscular and handsome, my boy is.
His hair is so soft and smooth. His legs are
so white and beautiful. The shape of his
feet are identical to my father’s.
My son’s feet were always cold, for his warmth
was always concentrated in his soul.
But I cannot leave…not now, not ever…
The moment I leave I will no longer
have a son. Right here, right now, I have come
to claim his body…I am visiting
my son…I -am his mother. As long as
I hold his flesh beneath my hands, he is
still here, with me, in the room, spending time
together. I love you, son…And even
though I, was your mother, You, were my best
friend. It almost killed me to bring you to
life, and now it is killing me to let
you go. I didn’t leave you then, and I
can’t leave you now. Son, even though you are
lying here motionless and weak to the
eye, give me the strength to Live! I want to
crawl up this refrigerated metal
slab and lie with you. I’ll sing you songs, and
read you bedtime stories like I did when
you were just a boy. Even though you’d sleep,
they were unforgettable times between
both of our souls. But I refuse to leave…

I just won’t do it…not now, not ever.



Copyright © 1986-2017
Al Salehi
All Rights Reserved
#nonfiction  #romance  #horror  #poetry  #philosophy  #prose  #challenge  #prosechallenge  #love  #heartbreak  #spirituality  #culture  #grief  #loss  #opinion  #mom  #dedication  #melancholy  #forever  #MothersDay  #CotW  #Itslit  #getlit 
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Written by Prose in portal Prose

Let's Talk Prose

Good morning, Prosers.

It’s been quite the week, hasn’t it?

The last seven (ish) days has been a hive of activity here behind the Prose screens. We overhauled the Challenge Stream and we weren’t prepared for some of the concerns you guys laid across our digital desks.

We tried to answer each one of your concerns, but thought it best, now the dust has settled, to write something to each and every one of you.

Over a year ago, we took a vow of transparency and this is one of those times where we feel full transparency is needed.

There are only 4 of us on the team, and two of us have spent a long time in the past 7 days responding to each and every concern of yours, whilst working part-time on all of our Prose duties, and part-time on the PoetsIN duties.

Some of the complaints we received were misconceptions of the team and the company ethos that we have worked so hard at. So, this is us, setting the record straight. We are going to outline the concerns and comments, and put this to bed so we can continue improving Prose.

1) Default minimum word count.

This is set by default at 15. We will not be changing this any time soon. Why? Because when we allowed full flexibility, with no restriction there, our feeds were full with one word challenges. “Sorrow in one word.” “Death in one word.” Not only was this clogging the streams; we were also getting complaints about it. So we found a happy medium. With tens of thousands of users here, we had a couple of complaints about this. Not enough complaints that would make us re-think our stance.

2) Why did we charge for last week’s challenge of the week?

The first week’s charge for the challenge was to test the feature. We can test on our beta server, but know from experience that the second we unleash it on you guys, if there is a bug that we have missed, you will find it within seconds and we can fix it just as quickly.

3) Will we charge for future challenges?

Short answer, yes. Why? We’ll come back to this shortly.

4) What about those that do not have coins?

Those who do not have coins can either, a) head to the website and buy a coin package, b) become a partner and sell books/shorts/chapters, or c) write exceptional pieces that your Proser peers will juice you for. If neither a, b, or c apply to you, sit out the challenge and find one that doesn’t cost to enter.

5) Are we falling foul of “corruption to profit?” 

No. We are most certainly not. We are four people, managing a community tens of thousands larger than our foursome. We work tirelessly on this platform because we love it. This change wasn’t about profit, whatsoever. We’re humble, realistic, and realise that without charging for challenges, and taking a small cut from book sales etc, Prose won’t continue this way.

The above were the main concerns, and comments from people, said in a multitude of ways. All handled in a professional way, sometimes to-the-point, but never abrasive or rude. We are human after all and we’re damn proud of what we have achieved with such a small team and an equally small budget.

Think of how you discovered us. Was that through a large ad campaign? Nope, because we do not do that. We have grown this community organically, by spending time reaching out to people via social media and getting listed on some cool websites, that’s really it in a nutshell. Millions of man-hours go into this and we get paid less than most for the hours we put in.

We have made a tough decision. For the foreseeable, we will be charging for the Challenge of the Week. 50 cents. That’s all. There are challenges out there on the interwebs that charge a shed-load more for entering a challenge. We aren’t charging 50c to make a profit, we are charging 50c to put food on the table.

Over the past 67 weeks, we have given away $6700 in Challenge of the Week funds and have used our funding to pay for it. We haven’t asked you for a cent. The second we do, we have people asking why this “forum” can’t be free. Up until now, we have run Prose from a pool of money from generous investors who believe in what we do as much as we do. We haven’t yet made enough from Prose as a business to be able to pay our bills and such like. 

Prose is still free to use. But, if you want $100, you’ll have to pay 50 cents for the chance. We do not make enough currently to be able to keep giving free money, as much as we’d love to. There are plenty of free-to-enter challenges set by your peers that you can enter.

The more you guys buy coins, spend coins on each other, supporting the words of this amazing community, the more likely we’ll be able to offer a free-to-enter Challenge of the Week again. If we do not make enough to pay ourselves and pay the server charges, there will be no paid or free challenges. Dramatic, maybe, but that is the truth.

This does not mean Prose is failing, it does not mean we are going to ‘shut up shop,’ far from it. It’s us making you aware that these changes, along with your cooperation, will ensure our longevity.

Not all of the comments were comments of concern, and we thank each and every one of you for your continued support and for choosing Prose as your home for words.

We are working hard to tip the scales to benefit the author, and we’ve done this so far by providing numerous ways for each of you to make money with your words, with your royalties far outweighing ours.

Tomorrow we have another exciting opportunity for all of you, too, which has been months in the making. But, in the meantime, let’s recap how you can make a living on Prose.

1) Become a Prose Partner. Head here: theprose.com/p/partner. If you are accepted, you can sell your words on Prose. These can be sold as a single poem or short story, or as a book. Books can be sold per chapter, or as a whole.

2) Get involved in the Prose community, like, comment, share, and write. Write like it’s the last thing you’ll ever write; if Prosers like it, they’ll juice you.

3) Create awesome paid challenges. Prosers can actually make money from doing this.

If you would like some marketing tips from the team here, let us know, we’ll create a book in the bookstore that can help serve as a guide with some very useful tips and tricks in there. As a side-note, due to limitations with our time, we will have to charge for this book. Every little helps us, help you.

We think that’s all for now; if you have any further questions or concerns, please message or email us privately, and bear with us while we respond.

Let’s all get back to being creative, shall we?

Until next time, long live Prose!

Prose.

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Written by Prose in portal Prose
Let's Talk Prose
Good morning, Prosers.

It’s been quite the week, hasn’t it?

The last seven (ish) days has been a hive of activity here behind the Prose screens. We overhauled the Challenge Stream and we weren’t prepared for some of the concerns you guys laid across our digital desks.

We tried to answer each one of your concerns, but thought it best, now the dust has settled, to write something to each and every one of you.

Over a year ago, we took a vow of transparency and this is one of those times where we feel full transparency is needed.

There are only 4 of us on the team, and two of us have spent a long time in the past 7 days responding to each and every concern of yours, whilst working part-time on all of our Prose duties, and part-time on the PoetsIN duties.

Some of the complaints we received were misconceptions of the team and the company ethos that we have worked so hard at. So, this is us, setting the record straight. We are going to outline the concerns and comments, and put this to bed so we can continue improving Prose.

1) Default minimum word count.
This is set by default at 15. We will not be changing this any time soon. Why? Because when we allowed full flexibility, with no restriction there, our feeds were full with one word challenges. “Sorrow in one word.” “Death in one word.” Not only was this clogging the streams; we were also getting complaints about it. So we found a happy medium. With tens of thousands of users here, we had a couple of complaints about this. Not enough complaints that would make us re-think our stance.

2) Why did we charge for last week’s challenge of the week?
The first week’s charge for the challenge was to test the feature. We can test on our beta server, but know from experience that the second we unleash it on you guys, if there is a bug that we have missed, you will find it within seconds and we can fix it just as quickly.

3) Will we charge for future challenges?
Short answer, yes. Why? We’ll come back to this shortly.

4) What about those that do not have coins?
Those who do not have coins can either, a) head to the website and buy a coin package, b) become a partner and sell books/shorts/chapters, or c) write exceptional pieces that your Proser peers will juice you for. If neither a, b, or c apply to you, sit out the challenge and find one that doesn’t cost to enter.

5) Are we falling foul of “corruption to profit?” 
No. We are most certainly not. We are four people, managing a community tens of thousands larger than our foursome. We work tirelessly on this platform because we love it. This change wasn’t about profit, whatsoever. We’re humble, realistic, and realise that without charging for challenges, and taking a small cut from book sales etc, Prose won’t continue this way.

The above were the main concerns, and comments from people, said in a multitude of ways. All handled in a professional way, sometimes to-the-point, but never abrasive or rude. We are human after all and we’re damn proud of what we have achieved with such a small team and an equally small budget.

Think of how you discovered us. Was that through a large ad campaign? Nope, because we do not do that. We have grown this community organically, by spending time reaching out to people via social media and getting listed on some cool websites, that’s really it in a nutshell. Millions of man-hours go into this and we get paid less than most for the hours we put in.

We have made a tough decision. For the foreseeable, we will be charging for the Challenge of the Week. 50 cents. That’s all. There are challenges out there on the interwebs that charge a shed-load more for entering a challenge. We aren’t charging 50c to make a profit, we are charging 50c to put food on the table.

Over the past 67 weeks, we have given away $6700 in Challenge of the Week funds and have used our funding to pay for it. We haven’t asked you for a cent. The second we do, we have people asking why this “forum” can’t be free. Up until now, we have run Prose from a pool of money from generous investors who believe in what we do as much as we do. We haven’t yet made enough from Prose as a business to be able to pay our bills and such like. 

Prose is still free to use. But, if you want $100, you’ll have to pay 50 cents for the chance. We do not make enough currently to be able to keep giving free money, as much as we’d love to. There are plenty of free-to-enter challenges set by your peers that you can enter.

The more you guys buy coins, spend coins on each other, supporting the words of this amazing community, the more likely we’ll be able to offer a free-to-enter Challenge of the Week again. If we do not make enough to pay ourselves and pay the server charges, there will be no paid or free challenges. Dramatic, maybe, but that is the truth.

This does not mean Prose is failing, it does not mean we are going to ‘shut up shop,’ far from it. It’s us making you aware that these changes, along with your cooperation, will ensure our longevity.

Not all of the comments were comments of concern, and we thank each and every one of you for your continued support and for choosing Prose as your home for words.

We are working hard to tip the scales to benefit the author, and we’ve done this so far by providing numerous ways for each of you to make money with your words, with your royalties far outweighing ours.

Tomorrow we have another exciting opportunity for all of you, too, which has been months in the making. But, in the meantime, let’s recap how you can make a living on Prose.

1) Become a Prose Partner. Head here: theprose.com/p/partner. If you are accepted, you can sell your words on Prose. These can be sold as a single poem or short story, or as a book. Books can be sold per chapter, or as a whole.

2) Get involved in the Prose community, like, comment, share, and write. Write like it’s the last thing you’ll ever write; if Prosers like it, they’ll juice you.

3) Create awesome paid challenges. Prosers can actually make money from doing this.

If you would like some marketing tips from the team here, let us know, we’ll create a book in the bookstore that can help serve as a guide with some very useful tips and tricks in there. As a side-note, due to limitations with our time, we will have to charge for this book. Every little helps us, help you.

We think that’s all for now; if you have any further questions or concerns, please message or email us privately, and bear with us while we respond.

Let’s all get back to being creative, shall we?

Until next time, long live Prose!

Prose.

#prose  #transparency  #Itslit  #getlit  #AdminPost 
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Written by Jakethared in portal Simon & Schuster

Headed to Saint Jo's

She told me she’d make it to Saint Jo’s. I sat with this for a bit, must’ve been 10 minutes or so. I couldn’t think of a response that seemed fitting. All the while she had been moving along through her life, same as me, developing and learning who we were when we were alone with only ourselves as company. Estranged, gone, alien, I had no response suitable for this bold statement of determination. All I could muster was a deadpan “ok”. That’s all I had. I had long ago decided that I needed to be free of mind from the delusion of a happy life, one where love can find you seated in anticipation, patient and hoping, ready to travel with a young lady headed to Saint Jo’s.

It felt sad at first, the realization that there were things more powerful than the wanting, the need for companionship in being. After a while, though, I became numb to it all, nothing could bring me down. And so, with my aloof self I carried on, again hoping to move forward, tamped down by the great meat grinder of existence that doesn’t give a shit about you or your little depressive mind.

There are things known and unknown to me that live within my soul-stuff. The known sits undisturbed, a place for established half-truths to dwell in solitude with little contemplation; you think “what is known is known, why should I beat the horse who’s expired? Why should I shake the tree hoping for some long gone fruit?” The unknowns are a problem though. They nag and pry, peel your mind in the pursuit of the everlasting twin lights of knowledge and wisdom.

In my half-hearted “ok” there was still hope, regardless of how hard I wanted to believe that I knew better. Hope is a chain that binds, cutting off circulation to your extremities, making you think that you’ve broken free somehow, yet when you tug to get away it fights back and slams you to the ground hard and flat on your back. No matter how hard I struggle against it, no matter the lengths I go to in an effort to cast of this iron shackling, I cannot overcome it.

Aleksandr Tvardovsky once wrote that “There are still hard times ahead for me, but never shall I be frightened.” I love this quote, it often inspires me to struggle against the abyss of the self, the complacency that grows year by year strangling everything that I hope to pursue and experience in a life that I have always imagined would be more finite than average. But it does not apply to me. I am afraid, so afraid. This girl, who has decided to go to Saint Jo’s will carry with her a luggage of my own making, handcrafted from the finest bark of a shattered self, carved to resemble the high walls that now protect me from the world that engulfs us all. I still carry Tvardovsy’s words, again hoping, hoping that someday they’ll inspire some ember in me to blaze and burn away the fat and sinew of my ongoing, narcissistic self-deprecation. Maybe then I’ll be able to say “Hey wait for me, I’m headed that way too.”

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Written by Jakethared in portal Simon & Schuster
Headed to Saint Jo's
She told me she’d make it to Saint Jo’s. I sat with this for a bit, must’ve been 10 minutes or so. I couldn’t think of a response that seemed fitting. All the while she had been moving along through her life, same as me, developing and learning who we were when we were alone with only ourselves as company. Estranged, gone, alien, I had no response suitable for this bold statement of determination. All I could muster was a deadpan “ok”. That’s all I had. I had long ago decided that I needed to be free of mind from the delusion of a happy life, one where love can find you seated in anticipation, patient and hoping, ready to travel with a young lady headed to Saint Jo’s.
It felt sad at first, the realization that there were things more powerful than the wanting, the need for companionship in being. After a while, though, I became numb to it all, nothing could bring me down. And so, with my aloof self I carried on, again hoping to move forward, tamped down by the great meat grinder of existence that doesn’t give a shit about you or your little depressive mind.
There are things known and unknown to me that live within my soul-stuff. The known sits undisturbed, a place for established half-truths to dwell in solitude with little contemplation; you think “what is known is known, why should I beat the horse who’s expired? Why should I shake the tree hoping for some long gone fruit?” The unknowns are a problem though. They nag and pry, peel your mind in the pursuit of the everlasting twin lights of knowledge and wisdom.
In my half-hearted “ok” there was still hope, regardless of how hard I wanted to believe that I knew better. Hope is a chain that binds, cutting off circulation to your extremities, making you think that you’ve broken free somehow, yet when you tug to get away it fights back and slams you to the ground hard and flat on your back. No matter how hard I struggle against it, no matter the lengths I go to in an effort to cast of this iron shackling, I cannot overcome it.
Aleksandr Tvardovsky once wrote that “There are still hard times ahead for me, but never shall I be frightened.” I love this quote, it often inspires me to struggle against the abyss of the self, the complacency that grows year by year strangling everything that I hope to pursue and experience in a life that I have always imagined would be more finite than average. But it does not apply to me. I am afraid, so afraid. This girl, who has decided to go to Saint Jo’s will carry with her a luggage of my own making, handcrafted from the finest bark of a shattered self, carved to resemble the high walls that now protect me from the world that engulfs us all. I still carry Tvardovsy’s words, again hoping, hoping that someday they’ll inspire some ember in me to blaze and burn away the fat and sinew of my ongoing, narcissistic self-deprecation. Maybe then I’ll be able to say “Hey wait for me, I’m headed that way too.”
#prose  #love  #streamofconsciousness  #hope  #oldmemories 
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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by AlSalehi

Chasing the Dream

I gave it a go, a moment ago, as it was almost so, within my reach…

But it ran in a way, as if to sway, from near to away, with lessons to teach.

As we rolled down the mountain and climbed towards the beach,

I shouted out my promise: “My pact I won’t breach…”

I chased her through alleys, past some trash bins,

Then came to a T, on needles and pins…

I looked both ways, then straight out to the sea,

Fearing that she’d drowned - - drowned ‘cause of me…

Then suddenly she jumped out from our childhood tree,

Looking tired and breathless while taking a knee…

She spread open her arms and welcomed me in,

She asked for a hug with an upside-down grin.

As I wiped off a tear she said, “lend me your ear,”

Breathlessly whispering, “you have nothing to fear.”

She said, “some things in life are simply not meant to be…”

As she let me down gently with this ultimate plea…

“You fought for me with gusto and unparalleled fire,

But all partnerships, love, must eventually expire…”

“You tried and succeeded in never dropping the ball,

But in the end it is I, who will cause us to fall…”

“You protected me throughout this turbulent stream,

Now let me take this one - - this one, for our team.”

And then she made love to me in an absence of time,

In a position of free verse unhindered by rhyme.

Within all my predictions, I never did see…

That at the end of the night, my dream, could leave, me.

Copyright © 1986-2017

Al Salehi

All Rights Reserved

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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by AlSalehi
Chasing the Dream
I gave it a go, a moment ago, as it was almost so, within my reach…
But it ran in a way, as if to sway, from near to away, with lessons to teach.
As we rolled down the mountain and climbed towards the beach,
I shouted out my promise: “My pact I won’t breach…”
I chased her through alleys, past some trash bins,
Then came to a T, on needles and pins…
I looked both ways, then straight out to the sea,
Fearing that she’d drowned - - drowned ‘cause of me…
Then suddenly she jumped out from our childhood tree,
Looking tired and breathless while taking a knee…
She spread open her arms and welcomed me in,
She asked for a hug with an upside-down grin.
As I wiped off a tear she said, “lend me your ear,”
Breathlessly whispering, “you have nothing to fear.”
She said, “some things in life are simply not meant to be…”
As she let me down gently with this ultimate plea…
“You fought for me with gusto and unparalleled fire,
But all partnerships, love, must eventually expire…”
“You tried and succeeded in never dropping the ball,
But in the end it is I, who will cause us to fall…”
“You protected me throughout this turbulent stream,
Now let me take this one - - this one, for our team.”
And then she made love to me in an absence of time,
In a position of free verse unhindered by rhyme.

Within all my predictions, I never did see…
That at the end of the night, my dream, could leave, me.


Copyright © 1986-2017
Al Salehi
All Rights Reserved
#fantasy  #scifi  #fiction  #romance  #horror  #adventure  #education  #poetry  #philosophy  #mystery  #prose  #challenge  #prosechallenge  #dream  #spirituality  #culture  #lyrics  #opinion  #dedication  #CotW  #Itslit  #getlit 
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Written by EBJohnson in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Off

A princess wandered close along the sea one day, draped in ebony and sapphire. Around her neck a row of pearls, sparkling and opulent, fragile and fraught in their design. Footprints scattered behind her as she searched for what was lost to her. Years she floated there, along the wreckage of the coast, but nothing came to her. In the end it was him that found her -- floating amongst the jetsam. Striding the earth like a grey-clad god, he bounded from among the clouds and took her in his arms. 

It was ecstasy. It was peace. It was Nirvana. 

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Written by EBJohnson in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Off
A princess wandered close along the sea one day, draped in ebony and sapphire. Around her neck a row of pearls, sparkling and opulent, fragile and fraught in their design. Footprints scattered behind her as she searched for what was lost to her. Years she floated there, along the wreckage of the coast, but nothing came to her. In the end it was him that found her -- floating amongst the jetsam. Striding the earth like a grey-clad god, he bounded from among the clouds and took her in his arms. 

It was ecstasy. It was peace. It was Nirvana. 
#poetry  #prose  #poem 
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Written by Squeakypeewee01 in portal Letters From Prison

The Saddest Story Ever

With knife in hand, I turned and looked at my victim.


“I’m here to kill you, but I’m not sure why.”


In seconds, my world turned upside down, and it’s never ever going to be right again, because I made a fateful mistake that day; a mistake I’ll have to take to my grave, atone for, but I don’t think it will be enough.


For years I’ve been left to rot, and stew, my victim laughing that I’ll never be free.

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Written by Squeakypeewee01 in portal Letters From Prison
The Saddest Story Ever
With knife in hand, I turned and looked at my victim.

“I’m here to kill you, but I’m not sure why.”

In seconds, my world turned upside down, and it’s never ever going to be right again, because I made a fateful mistake that day; a mistake I’ll have to take to my grave, atone for, but I don’t think it will be enough.

For years I’ve been left to rot, and stew, my victim laughing that I’ll never be free.
#prose  #regrets  #saddeststory  #LettersFromPrison 
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