sharing a poetic LIFELINE with the world

Archive for the ‘Contest’ Category

"UFOs"

UFOswrite-pic

They call them UFOs,
unfinished objects.

Is there anything sadder
than projects left half-done?

Maybe its projects planned, not started?
The kits still enclosed in plastic,
paints unopened, canvas untouched.

Even sadder, projects brought this close
to completion, but never quite finished.

With a bottom drawer of neglected manuscripts,
fishing tackle box containing pastels barely used,
containers of unopened Mod Podge,
the aforementioned Christmas cross-stitch kits,
never to be stitched, at least by me.

Who am I to talk?
Who am I to talk?

 

 

~~~

 

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"Crayola"

Thoughts while shopping online.write-pic

Crayola

I read reviews for Crayola washable
markers, just want to color, not all that
creative.

I find out kids these days
color themselves, their clothes, their friends,
the walls.

If we’d tried that, my generation,
we would have been smacked all the way
into next week.

But things change. Things change.

 

(1st Poetic Muselings Summer Poetry Challenge)

 

 

~~~

An Invitation to our Readers

festival colors...

festival colors… (Photo credit: jmtimages)

As Anne mentioned in a previous post, we are having an internal contest. The Museling who writes and posts the most poems between July 15, 2014 and September 1, 2014 wins a writing book of their choice from Amazon.com. Expect the blog to be a crazy place, as posts will be unscheduled. We are posting whenever the inspiration strikes.

One of our main inspirations was returning to the joy of writing. We’re hoping this will lift the pressure of structured posts, and get our poetry springs flowing again.

You can join in on the fun! Here’s how you can help us keep the flow:

 

  • Cheer us on.
  • Comment on our poetry.
  • Share your own poems in the comments.
  • Feel free to challenge us with themes, forms, prompts. You can challenge an individual member or the group as a whole.

 What do you do to keep the writing wells from drying up?

We hope to see you around during this poetry fest. Back to poeming, everyone!

mary-sig2

 

 

 

"Only Traces"

More rhymes.write-pic

Only Traces

To find your dreams
within the pages of a magazine
would seem impossible
if not obscene.

Cut out words and pictures, they say
that represent your future
come what may, anything
to keep the fear at bay.

To peruse the air-brushed faces
and wish for far off places,
I languish here still, looking for illumination,
finding only traces.

 

(1st Poetic Muselings Summer Poetry Challenge

The Poetic Muselings (Michele Graf, Margaret Fieland, Mary Jensen and Anne Westlund) are having a poetry contest to see which one of us can write and post the most poems between July 15th, 2014 and September 1st, 2014. The author who writes and posts the most new poems on the Poetic Muselings Group Blog will win a writing book of their choice from Amazon.com.

There will be opportunities for reader participation. So watch this space!)

 

 

 

Poetry Month: Book Spine Poetry

If you’re not aware, April is National Poetry Month. Next week is also National Library Week. AtYourLibrary.org is celebrating both with a contest. Use the books from your library to compose a Book Spine Poem telling why the library matters to you (deadline April 20). I haven’t made it out to my library yet, but wanted to make my own book spine poem. This isn’t themed about the library, and was made using my personal library.

A book spine poem is made by stacking book spines so the titles make a free verse poem.

book-spine-poem-e1365800953188

Mary’s Book Spine Poem

In case that’s hard to read, or the image doesn’t load, it reads:

The Shadow Warrior
Exile

Out of Avalon
Through Stone and Sea
Too Stubborn to Die

It was a fun challenge going through all my books, pulling and mixing and shifting trying to find something I liked and that told a story. I’d lvoe to see what you come up with from your own libraries.

mary-sig2 (1)

Remembering 9-11

WTC pre WFC 1984 from boat Hudson NYC

WTC pre WFC 1984 from boat Hudson NYC (Photo credit: Ibfraz)

I spent the last several days watching TV specials on the tragedy of 9/11. Some were new, some old, but all touched my heart strings. It gave me hope for humanity to see the EMT’s, doctors and nurses, Police Officers, Firemen and ordinary people rising to greater heights caring for the injured and getting them out of harm’s way. It reminds me that good can come from horrible events, but some memories will be with us forever. The survivors and the slain will always be in my heart.

I thought it might be healing to write poems about that day. You can write on any aspect of the events or people and post it as a comment.  Here is mine:

 

All Fall Down

Shining towers in early morning sun,
So strong, so beautiful, something meant
to last a hundred years
All fall down, vanishing in hours.
Clouds of destruction
roar down the street
An American Pyroclastic flow
Choking throats and sealing eyelids.
Screams, prayers, curses
Sounds and images of people
Running or walking or crawling, others in ambulances
Race toward what they hoped will be safety.
So much heroism, bravery, compassion
So much loss, so much pain.
Raw grief of survivors mingles with our own
What happened? Who did this?
Looking for someone to blame.
Fighting the inclination to condemn
A whole religion for the acts of a few.
Every year we honor those we lost
Pray that the families could put
Their lives back together with time
And that there is enough
Healing to go around.
©2012 Lin Neiswender

 

 

 

To Market, to Market- Sending Out Your Poetic Babies

Marketing Plan

So you’ve written a poem. Congratulations and job well done! But now what?

Time to polish your work till it gleams like a new copper penny, and send it out into the world.

Editing is important, as there is always a better, fresher way to word your thoughts,  fix up a place where the rhythm is off or a rhyme could be improved, add this or remove that, or rearrange some lines. Get feedback from people you trust and work until the poem feels right. Then you’re ready for phase three: marketing.

Some markets or contests require you to pay a reading fee, or buy the book of poetry if they publish your poem. My personal preference is not to send to them. Here’s why: they may not be reputable. If it’s a big, well-known market, perhaps it is worth a shot. But if not, you have just given money to someone who will just pocket it and could care less about publishing your poetry, even if it is excellent. That said, time to look at some markets.

“Where?” you cry, “I don’t know any writing markets!” Believe me, there are plenty. I recommend you sign up at Duotrope to get their weekly fiction and poetry market listings. I also recommend you join CRWROPPS Creative Writers Opportunities List at Yahoo Groups, as well as join a local poetry group. You can find some near your area in Meetup.

Read the listing you pick to submit to thoroughly and make sure they accept your kind of poetry. Look for their submissions page and be sure you follow it to the letter. Nothing will get your poem tossed in File 13 faster than thinking their rules don’t apply to you. They have to read a lot of submissions so don’t give them a reason to eliminate you from the get-go.

So what do you need besides a market listing?

First, you need a Bio. Make it a 50-or-so word biography that tells something about you –  something quirky or intriguing is good, funny is even better, as well as any relevant publishing credits. You can go the online ezine route- easier to break into than a print venue- to help you get  enough poems published to give you a good bio.

Second, you need a cover letter or email that you can modify to fit the particular market you are submitting to. Be polite and professional. Try to find out the editor’s name if you can, if not, “Dear Editor” will do.

Be brief and mention the title of the poem you are submitting for consideration and any relevent information about it. End by thanking them for their time. If they asked for contact information, give it. Then include your poem in the format they requested, which may require you to use a certain font or type of document. Sometimes this is in the body of the email, sometimes as an attached WORD or other format document. If they request a typed snail mail submission, be sure your name and email are on the poem unless they tell you otherwise- envelopes and submission letters can get lost.

Last, keep a record of what poem you sent to what venue and when. Also make a note of how soon to expect a reply from the publisher, if given in their submissions page. If you don’t hear by that time, or 3 months if no deadline is given, a polite inquiry is in order.

When it sells, make a note of the publication date and go celebrate! If it gets rejected, make a note of the date and send it right out again to your second choice. Continue till you make a sale or use up all your markets. But remember, new markets come out every month!

So here’s to your first sale! I’d love to hear about it.

 

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