I found a poem in my clothes hamper yesterday

So maybe you’ve heard that it’s National Poetry Month. To celebrate I’ve committed to writing a poem a day in April. This is the first time I’ve ever blocked out a specific time every day in which to write, and it’s totally the first time I’ve ever written poetry on a regular basis. I have told the very few people who asked me that I can only write poetry when I’m “in the right mood.” And I honestly thought that was true. During college, of course, the mood always thunderstruck me about 20 minutes before I had to leave for class. (Fun fact: I have an insanely useful B.A. degree in Creative Writing—Poetry. My parents wept.) After college, a poem-y phrase would enter my head once every six months or so, and I’d acquiesce to its whim and write it down, give it some friends, call it a poem. 

But with this writing daily thing, I get it. I’m inspired more often, and when I’m not inspired I find that subject matter and words are waiting for me anyway. I have learned that I can get a crappy first draft poem out of me in 35 minutes. Have you tried writing daily? What did you learn from it?

April ‘Poetry’ Slam: Microprose

Charles Dickens was paid by the word, and it shows. I mean, if you’ve ever read Oliver Twist, we bet you found yourself wondering if all those words were really necessary to move the story forward. It’s a question we should all face every day while editing our own work, to be honest: why all these words? How can we tell our story without forcing the reader to slog through a whole bunch of extra text and without losing the essence or the voice? This month, instead of looking for ways to flesh out your writing, we’ll be talking about ways to trim it down. Learn more from Christine here, and submit your microprose to the nonfiction or fiction|poetry grids!

Prompt Up!

Prompt Up is our optional weekly writing prompt for the fiction|poetry challenge! Here’s how it works: we choose a sentence prompt from last week’s winning nonfiction post and announce it in the kickoff. It’s your job to use that prompt in your poem or story and then run with it. The prompt is just a springboard, though: feel free to use it as your first sentence, move it, change it, or float it down to other territories.

Rowan told us a secret about herself, kind of, in her essay Schadenfriends. The prompt taken from her work is: “I’ve peed on cars.”

How to submit and fully participate in the challenge:

Basic YeahWrite guidelines: 750 word limit; your entry can be dated no earlier than this past Sunday; fiction or poetry only.

1. In the sidebar of this week’s post, please grab the code beneath the fiction|poetry badge and paste it into the HTML view of your entry;
2. Follow the Inlinkz instructions after clicking “add your link” to upload your entry to this week’s challenge grid;
3. Your entry should appear immediately on the grid if you don’t receive an error message;
4. Please make the rounds to read all the entries in this week’s challenge; and
5. Consider turning off moderated comments and CAPTCHA on your own blog.

Submissions for this week’s challenges will close on Wednesday at 10pm ET. Voting will then open immediately thereafter and close on Thursday at 10pm ET. The winners, as always, will be celebrated on Friday.

Thank you for sharing with us your hard work! Good luck in the challenge…

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About the author:

As a professional editor and writer, Nate has published his work in numerous English and history textbooks and in on-line reading programs. In February 2014, he found his way back to creative writing and began submitting to YeahWrite. Soon after, he became an editor of the Fiction|Poetry challenge. You can read his work at The Relative Cartographer, a blog that has been recognized by WordPress, Five Star Mix-tape, Genealogy á la Cart, and BlogHer’s Voice of the Year. He lives in Chicago with his partner, a French princess, and a jungle explorer.

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