Monday, March 30, 2009

 

Calling All Poets for the April PAD Challenge

By Jill Earl

"Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks." - Plutarch

April is National Poetry Month and if you’re looking for a way to develop or sharpen your skills, take a look at the Poem-A-Day (PAD) Challenge. Writer’sMarket.com editor Robert Lee Brewer issued this challenge for the first time last November on his Poetic Asides blog and selected participants saw their work featured in a chapbook.

For 2009, besides receiving a certificate of completion and online badge to display on their blog or website, writers of the top 50 poems of the month will see their work published as a free ebook. Even better, some well-known poets including Mark Doty, Patricia Smith, S.A. Griffin, and Dorianne Laux will serve as judges. And like last year, participation is free.

More details can be found at http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/

The Poem-A-Day Challenge. April 1st through 30th at Poetic Asides.

Check it out, sign up--and get to writing!

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

 

A Thought (or Two) on ‘Top 10 Fears of Writers’

By Jill Earl

Last week, fellow WOW! woman Marcia Peterson’s encouraging post, ‘Top 10 Fears of Writers’, couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Allow me to elaborate.

Recently, a writing site sent out an announcement that they would be conducting a week of daily challenges for its members to tackle, where the winner would receive writing software as the prize offered for a specific day. Entrants had to become a member of the site and only had 24 hours to submit their pieces.

I got over to the site to sign up and read through the guidelines for my chosen challenge. Then I got to work on my 150-word entry.

The result? I tied for runner-up with another person and we were told that there was only one point separating us from first place. The next day, Marcia’s post appeared online and I chuckled as I read through and paused at number four: that I'll get stuck and nothing will come out. This time around, that certainly wasn’t the case as I saw the words jump to the screen!

Some opportunities for writers to challenge themselves appear below:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is the most familiar, with participants writing a 175-page, 50,000-word novel during November.

With Script Frenzy, you write 100 pages of scripted material (including screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, radio, graphic novels, etc.) in the month of April.

There's even National November Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), where bloggers post every day for a month, no word limit. This one's year round, and in November, participants can look forward to a random prize drawing.

I may not have won the contest I entered, but I rose to the challenge. That’s what we writers must do to overcome our fears, and meet our goals. It’s all part of the process to become a better writer.

Just a thought---or two.

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