Announcing The Winners Of The 4th Yakezie Writing Contest!

by in Writing Contest on Jul 10th, 2012

First of all, I want to congratulate everyone who entered the latest Yakezie Writing Contest.  Making an effort is far better than sitting on the sidelines.  Although not everybody can win, it’s guaranteed “you will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” said hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.  From each loss comes a lesson which can be utilized for the next attempt.

The race was pretty close until the last couple days when Tyler of “Definitions Of Wealth” went into marketing overdrive to ensure a victory.  He reached out to family and friends, wrote on his blog, participated in forums and directly asked for votes.  I even had a close relative e-mail me telling him how hard he worked!

Congratulations to Tyler for winning the 4th Yakezie Writing Contest with a first place prize of $500!  You did well to understand that producing good work is only one part of the equation.  The other part is marketing yourself effectively.  This is a lesson that all of us learn at work, when writing a book, or starting a business.

Second place goes to Brian, author of “Please Believe In The Man I May Become.”  Brian pens a visceral post that discusses his frustration with a critical father.  He reminded me of my own relatively strict upbringing and many of the comments said the same.  I’m sure you’re going to do great Brian.  Our parents just want what’s best for us!  In 10 years time, you can give your dad a hard time in his older age.  Congrats on your second place prize of $300!

Third place goes to Erinn, author of “Doey.”  Doey is a heart-felt story of a brother who disappointed the family when he was younger but grew up to be a responsible man, father, and brother.  What a fantastic story about hope and love.  Congrats on your third place prize of $200!

Finalists, please send your Paypal address or respective full names and addresses to the ywc AT yakezie DOT com e-mail address.  Please also promise to use the funds for educational purposes only in your e-mail.  Congratulations again to all the winners and thank you Yakezie Members for your contributions!  The next Yakezie Writing Contest will be in early 2013.

We’ll now be reverting back to our normal posting schedule on personal finance, lifestyle, and blogging!


The Yakezie Writing Contest Committee

The Yakezie Writing Contest is the Yakezie Network’s charitable initiative to support the education of people everywhere.  We believe education is one of the most valuable assets a person can have.  To learn more about the Yakezie Writing Contest, please click the link.  All funds are raised from Yakezie Members and donated directly to the winning contestants.  We are not a non-profit organization.  

Please Believe In The Man I May Become

2012 Yakezie Writing Contest Finalist

You’re not good enough!

I hate these words.

I hate these words because my father says them to me all the time.  When I got cut from the high school varsity basketball team, my father looked at the floor and said, “Guess you’re just not good enough,” and walked away.  At six foot five inches tall, my father towers over me by six inches.  I knew every time he saw me, he was ashamed that I wasn’t at least his height.

Stand up straight, damnit!  Eat your vegetables!

Every single admonition related to the fact that I was a failure.  My friends came over after dinner one evening and I told them of my situation.  Like all good friends do, they picked me up, literally one by my hands and the other by my feet and started to pull.

We’re going to stretch you until you’re taller!  Don’t worry!

They spent 15 minutes contorting my body into a taught rope.  All I could feel were my shoulder sockets burn from the pull.  “Grab my head and pull instead!“, I told one friend who had my hands.  POP, POP, POP went the vertebrae in my neck like a chiropractic adjustment.

Afterward, my friends eagerly placed a book above my head and drew a line to see whether I had grown.  No such luck.  I’ll always just be five feet eleven inches tall.

Friendship Is Blind Read More

The Social Outcast Network

Facebook Profile

Name: James Solely

Birthday: September 15, 1991

Sex: Male

Interested In: Women

Religious Views: Atheist

Political Views: Other

Favourite Quotation: “I don’t like being out of the crowd. It’s lonely within a group.” – Julie Walters

Friends: 986

Read More


2012 Yakezie Writing Contest Finalist

She’ll never really know how she changed him because she didn’t know him before. But I did. And I didn’t like him. I loved him, but I didn’t like him.

When we were kids I called him “Doey” because I couldn’t say his name right yet. And it drove him crazy. Of course he got me back a couple years later when “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” came out. He would sing it to me constantly and I’d always yell back, “That song isn’t me! I can be wrong! I can be wrong!”

He was a social butterfly, anywhere we went, even a hotel for one night, and he’d make friends. I preferred to practice handstands in the hotel pool alone, while him and his new friends would splash around with a Nerf football in the other end. But I always knew that I was more special to Joey than all his new friends. Him and I had an impenetrable bond, glued together by years of playing “Ginger Alert!” with our dog outside, rolling down the stairs in the bottom of sleeping bags, or avoiding dad when he was inevitably drunk again. Read More

Definitions Of Wealth

2012 Yakezie Writing Contest Finalist

Ever since I was introduced to the world of blogging, and by extension, Yakezie, I have identified myself as a poor student. In declaring this I am correct. The first definition of poor is “having little or no money, goods, or other means of support”. This is relative of course, I have more money than all but the luckiest people in Sudan, but by North American standards I am poor. The government takes my money and then at tax time they see how little I have and actually give it back.  Tax time is one of my favourite times of the year.  I get money back for which I worked hard.  Like when checking your pants’ pocket after they have been through the wash and you find your $20 bill is still in good enough condition to use.

Dictionaries list words and their definitions.  My Complete Word Finder comes in very handy when I am up late doing my readings, without it I would retain much less information from the complex material  I study.  But I do not use my dictionary to look up words I know. I realize that the thing under my chair is a floor. I do not need to know that a floor is “that part of a room, hallway, or the like, that forms its lower enclosing surface and upon which one walks”. I have always loved what Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography, “I know it when I see it”. I know what a floor is, and I could teach somebody what a floor is, but if I were asked to define it I would be stumbling over my words. Read More

The Fourth Yakezie Writing Contest: Voting Rules and Regulations

by in Writing Contest on Jun 24th, 2012

The 4th Yakezie Writing Contest finalists have been chosen! All essays will be published on within 7 days after the first essay is published.  We will leave the voting open for 10 days after the final essay and tally the votes to announce the three winners in a future post.

We are going to vote the old school way by leaving a comment indicating a score between 1-3, with 3 being the highest number of votes per individual voter.  You must register to vote by clicking the top right corner button so we can keep track.  Non registered user votes will not count.   Voters who do not leave a score of 1, 2, or 3 will count as a default vote of 1.  A vote of 1 is greater than no vote.

You can either vote as the essays are published, or wait until the end to make a comparison.

There will be three winners based on the number of votes with the following prizes:

1st Place: $500
2nd Place: $300
3rd Place: $200

Bloggers are free to campaign for their favorite essays.  Writers are also free to campaign for votes.  Part of getting ahead is not only showing up, but making an argument for why you are the best.  In a world where there are more qualified applicants for spots available, it’s usually the one with not only the best product, but the best marketing effort that wins.

All winners must pledge to use the prize money strictly for educational purposes only.  Educational purposes is narrowly defined as tuition, books, student activities fees, student health fees, room and board, and all other education related fees such as the college application fee.

For those Yakezie Members who would like to contribute to the YWC Fund, please sign up under the “YWC 1H2012 Contributions” tab in our Google Docs spreadsheet.  If you are a non Yakezie Member and would like to contribute, you are very welcome to help support the cause as well.

Any questions feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Best of luck to all finalists!  Let the competition begin!


The Yakezie Writing Committee

The Fourth Yakezie Writing Contest For Education

1H2012 Yakezie Writing Contest

by in Writing Contest on May 16th, 2012

Dear Contestants and Contributors,

We’re excited to once again launch another edition of the Yakezie Writing Contest!  The YWC’s goal is to award money to deserving contestants who will use the funds to further their education.  The money can go towards tuition, books, application fees, and other costs which make furthering one’s education cumbersome at times.

Although you cannot touch education, we believe education is critical to success.  It’s often hard to see the value of that which we cannot see, but we can promise that education is fundamental in getting a job in a field you like, building a business, and giving you the optionality to do more!

As a community of bloggers, every week we put thoughts to words for the world to see.  Sometimes we write about a fear that debilitates our every move.  Other times, we seek advice on which fork to take.  Often we share with readers our own experiences so you will be better prepared when your turn comes.  Through these words, we’ve made friends and found support in areas we thought never existed.  Communication is wonderful, and we hope you can share your wonder with us.

At the Yakezie Network’s very core is the culture of giving back, and we cannot be more honored to support educational endeavors through this process.  Recently, I had the privilege of working with a FS Online Services client and would like to commit $500 of the earnings towards the YWC.  The Yakezie Network as a whole will be raising more than $1,000 in educational money for at least three winning contestants in a $500, $300, and $200 ratio.  Depending on contributions, we’d like to award two more contestants $100 each for a total of five winners.


Announcing The Yakezie Writing Contest Winners!

by in Writing Contest on Jul 8th, 2011

The Yakezie Writing Contest Committee is pleased to announce the winners of The Yakezie Writing Contest!  All together, we had a total of roughly 50 applicants of which 9 finalists were selected to be featured on’s Writing Contest vertical.

Each finalist told us a story, many of which were quite personal in nature.  It takes guts to admit mistakes and revisit dark places, but that’s exactly what many of the candidates did.  The best essays are always ones which made the reader feel the way you felt.  It’s the connection that compels us to vote five stars.

Without further ado, may we announce the winners of The Yakezie Writing Contest! Read More

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