Category Archives: Writing

NaPoWriMo 2022 ~ Day 2

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Prompt from Napo.

Today’s featured participant is The Cat’s Pajam, which gives us a dreamy, sensual, and mysterious poem in response to Day One’s “story about the body” prompt.

Our daily featured online magazine is TYPO, browse. From their newest issue, I’ll point out Jasmine Dream Wagner’s “Fallen Angels,”.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words. Will you choose a word like “aprosexia,” which means “an inability to concentrate”? Or maybe something like “greenout,” which is “the relief a person who has worked or lived in a snowy area for a long time feels on seeing something fresh and green for the first time”?


As always, I started chronologically with the featured site.

If she were a dog she would have been able to smell her disease and its cure, but she was an ignorant woman, and crushed herself into soda shop booths already overcrowded with Gods and Philosophy. 

Reading the comments I wasn’t the only one tugged by these lines. Next I visited Typo. I found Wagner’s Fallen Angels to be a particularly lingering read. I browsed the current issue (and know I will go back to past issues), I particularly liked: OUT OF TOWN NORA ALMEIDA.

And finally, I explored the Twitter account for a word. Initially I was drawn to: @HaggardHawks

Word of the Day: VERNALITY (n.) the spring, a spring-like quality; the greenness and freshness of springtime [1600s]

but I learnt many years ago not to go with the first thought, dig deeper.

To PUPILLATE is to cry like a peacock. // Newborn babies’ birthmarks were once known as LONGING-MARKS, because they were said to take on the shape of something desired by the mother. // A GLISK is a brief glimpse of warm sunshine. // To DARKLE is to hide in the dark. // To be CRAMPLE-HAMMED is to have stiff, sore legs after a long walk. // The floating matter that becomes visible in bright beams of light is known as SUNDUST.

I spent ages sifting through the Tweets (and only went back a couple of weeks), I decided to use Longing-Marks.


I thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing towards today’s prompt. For a while I was lost in the world of cattle and Zodiac, but I managed to resurface to write a poem about my Longing-mark. Famously only mentioned when I am in a situation where you have to disclose something about yourself that no-one knows!

I have several pages of notes on Etymology, Terminology and Usage as currency. My ideas grew as I researched and I had 4 strands of scaffold to enter this poem before I started writing. I also started to gather the additional resources. In the future I plan to come back to this prompt and use more of these words as starting points for poems. And created a word doc. to house all NaPo poems.

Working title: The Shape of Something Desired by Mother

—————– This unnamed house cow

fades as it ages, or as my mother’s needs

become my own.

Photo by Cup of Couple on Pexels.com

NaPoWriMo Nina’s Challenge #Day 1

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Everyday throughout April I am posting an image for you to use as a writing prompt. Feel free to post links to the resulting work in the comments.

Please be aware by sharing your work digitally, it is considered published and may prevent you from submitting it to journals and anthologies.

Day #1

© Chris Pagan

Nina’s NaPoWriMo Challenge

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Photo by Allan Mas on Pexels.com

Don’t worry – it has nothing to do with rock climbing!

Although intense generative writing practice feels like a workout. I have been participating in Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo since I discovered it (2014). The following year I discovered the PAD challenge – A Poem a Day over on Writer’s Digest and did both, generating over 60 poems in April.

Over the years many poets in the UK (and probably around the world) have offered their own course of prompts or groups for April. I have taken part in these too, memorably a series of prompts from Carrie Etter and a Napowrimo group during Lockdown with Caleb Parkin. The most poems I ever wrote from April’s Poetry Month was 99!

All this extra writing has been fun (if not a bit exhausting)…

This year I decided to add my own additional challenge into the mix: Nina’s NaPoWriMo Challenge! Feel free to spread the word.

I’m keeping it simple (and FREE):

Every day I will post a new picture prompt and you go away and create whatever you want.

Get yourselves ready for an extra splash in the fountain this April!

WPD 2022 ~ My World Poetry Day

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Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

World Poetry Day – that sacred day when poetry gets mentioned on Radio Channels beyond Radio 2 and Radio 4, the day when a frame is held around words… it was World Frog Day yesterday, but I saved my leaping around for today!

I always mark WPD by making sure I read some poems and either organise or attend an event. Today I am going on a magical tour and then following up the starter with a main, with Apples & Snakes. I will skip dessert… or eat a real one for dinner, as cooking is out of the question this evening!

Photo by u041 on Pexels.com

I hope you have all managed to plan something sweet… if not and you have some time to spare, go and find your favourite spot to relax in, take a book of poems or your phone and read.

Or take advantage of this list of pieces and poems from the world today.


Some poetry I collected from the web this evening:

From Outlook.com (please note there is a trigger warning/ suitability poem listed part way through the first poem).

outlookindia.comworld-poetry-day-two-poems-on-ukraine-and-one-on-peace-during-wartime-


Caleb Parkin


This article was news from before WPD – but let’s share it now:

Anjum Malik Manchester’s first Multi-cultural City Poets

Anjum Malik performing at University-held mushaira in 2018

© 2022 Manchester Metropolitan University


MMU Marks World Poetry Day

Manchester Metropolitan University is well known for strong creative writing courses. Today they marked WPD in a myriad of ways.

Malika Booker has read An Alternative History of Stones for World Poetry Day

© 2022 Manchester Metropolitan University

Hit Play – it will work.



Khalil Gibran
“Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.”

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/resources/download-words-burn-resources


A review of my magical night of poetry

I love poetry and I love a mystery – put them together and you have the wonder of my first event!

World Poetry Day: Poetry with a View – Mystery Location at Golden Hour!

About this event

I am excited to announce that Monday 21 March 2022 is World Poetry Day. Escape with me to a mystery location to experience a selection of poetry readings with a beautiful view!

© 2022 Eventbrite/ Sarah

I had no idea when I booked weeks ago where we would even be situated in the world… there really were no clues before I joined the livestream…

to my delight – the North West of England, Lancashire. It was hosted on heygo – which was a perfect platform for WPD.

My first experience of heygo was fabulous – you can capture postcards! Sarah was a fabulous guide, we were treated to 6 poems, lots of factual snippets (including some new ones for me), a beautiful sunset, a walk along the Leeds to Liverpool canal and we even saw some ducks! It was fun to guess the poets. There’s also a navigational map in the top corner too.

We heard:

Warning by Jenny Joseph – this poem was voted Britain’s favourite modern poem (2006) and Nation’s favourite (10 years before), this poem inspired a whole society.

Daffodils – By William Wordsworth. One of England’s most famous nature poets – William Wordsworth – Nation’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.

A Subaltern’s Love Song by Sir John Betjeman. Classic English Poet – one of the all time well known poets… saved St Pancras Station from demolition!

The Quangle Wangle’s Hat by Edward Lear – born into a middle class family – middle child of 21 children – known for literary nonsense…. died aged 29.

If by Rudyard Kipling – one of the most well known writers of his time, won a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907. I listed ‘If’ as my favourite poem at the start of the tour!

And we finished with the sun going down to Yes, I’ll Marry You by Pam Ayres!


Later I joined Apples + Snakes for the World Poetry Day Mini Break with Lorna Zita.

About this event

For World Poetry Day this year, Apples and Snakes want to bring a little bit of sunshine and fun with Mozambican poet, cultural projects manager and international Slam Champion Lorna Zita.

More about Lorna:

Lorna Zita is black, spoken word poet, cultural projects manager and international Slam Champion. She represented Mozambique on Digipoem ‘’Zimbabwe’’ and BBC Contains Strong Language in the UK.

She was the second-place winner of the Maputo-Katembe literary contest “The bridge that connects lives” organized by the CCMA and the German Embassy.

In 2020 she was considered the most influential voice of Voices of African Women by I, Africa and currently has two Digipoems Published in partnership with Page Poetry Alive and the British Council.

In 2018 she won the literary contest, organized by Revista Literária Inversos in honor of the International Children’s Day at Feira de Santana in Brazil.

© 2022 Eventbrite/ A+S

This workshop had limited places and I lucky to get one!

It was great to meet Lorna and to see some familiar faces in the group. I admire anyone who can produce a workshop in their 2nd language and I am so glad that we were treated to a poem in Portuguese at the end to hear first hand why Lorna is the SLAM champion that she is!

It was a great way to spend World Poetry Day and I now have a little stash of ideas to write from, some prompts, one incredibly concise poem and have had a good refresher on the use of voice in performance.

WPD 2022

Happy World Poetry Day 2022

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UNESCO first adopted 21 March as World Poetry Day in 1999.

Find out more about the history of WPD here.

poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for dialogue and peace.

World Poetry Day is the occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media. As poetry continues to bring people together across continents, all are invited to join in. © UNESCO 2021


The pandemic saw a surge in people returning to writing or trying it for the first time. These writing communities were of great benefit to thousands of people as Covid changed our world.

I thank all the poets who have become part of my world and helped me through challenging times since 2020.

And of course all the poets who have been part of me doing this, since 2014.


Let’s make some poems!

Here’s a little exercise for you to try which is a patchwork of several different ideas I have used in workshops and in my own writing.

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com

  • Take a walk with your notebook (or phone), make observations of nature, write some down – remember to include sensory details.

  • Return home and find a spot you never write in.

  • Write longhand and freewrite from your collected lines/ a key word/ phrase or a lingering feeling (the words on your walk weren’t wasted – they got you to here).

  • Explore your freewrite – circle some words and phrases.

  • If you normally write in form try free verse/ if you normally write in free verse choose a form.

  • This is a great site for learning form, for any level of writer and includes 15 different forms and includes some PDF templates.

  • Enjoy your new constraints and WRITE!

LINKS TO POEMS:

Luke Kennard
Helen Overell
Maggie Wang
Kayo Chingonyi

Have a wonderful World Poetry Day – write some words and for more inspiration (and a video poem from me) check out the WLFF website: Video Poetry for World Poetry Day ~ Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe

Published: Thumbnail Nature ~ London Wildlife Trust

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Nature, Framed – an anthology of nature writing

This is a collection of ultra-short Thumbnail Nature pieces from a February workshop ‘Nature Writing Through the Window’ which Amanda Tuke co led with Helen Jones, an inspirational disabled nature writer.

It was a great workshop and the last from this particular Arts Council funded project. It has been a pleasure to get to know Amanda and delve into thumbnail nature. I am delighted to have pieces in all the anthologies of workshops I was able to attend.

Angi Holden also attended the workshops and been published in the anthologies. It is always a great delight when you see friends sign up for the same events. An extra delight in February was spotting Elizabeth Uter in attendance. Liz and I met at the Poetry in Motion classes 2020/21 with CelenaDiana Bumpus, Liz still attends classes with Inlandia. Her poem is above mine, it’s so lovely to share the virtual page with her again.

Thanks again to Amanda Tuke for these incredible workshops and for giving my first thumbnails a home.

Amanda Tuke – workshop co-leader and Great North Wood nature-writer-in-residence in partnership with London Wildlife Trust.  Once covering a large area of south London, today the Great North Wood consists of a series of small green spaces – all of which provide a home for nature within a modern urban landscape. The workshop was made possible thanks to public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

https://suburbanwild.wordpress.com/

https://freelancenaturewriter.com/author/rockinmumma/

On Editing

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The idea behind this post came from my inbox, from an email from Writer’s Digest. I read an article from 2011 by BRIAN A. KLEMS on editing. Check out his version of the Lesser Known Editing Symbols and put some fun back into editing!

Many of us enjoy the editorial process, you don’t have to be a writer for very long before you realise editing needs a whole different headspace to the writer brain!

As I fell through the rabbit hole of articles on editing, I realised it has been a while since I posted a technical post to AWF, so mostly with thanks to Writer’s Digest, (I have added my own pearls of experience too), here we go!

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

MY QUICK GUIDE:

  1. As we all know: GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to write a bad first draft. Don’t expect it not to be.
  2. Let it rest, leave it to marinate, don’t be tempted to lift the lid for a peep. Drawers are good places for printed m/s to take a break. Leave it for at least a couple of weeks if you can, months even.
  3. Return to read it (out loud) with fresh eyes.
  4. By reading aloud you will discover any areas which don’t make sense or trip you up. Mark/Highlight these. Spell checked homophones. Tenses.
  5. Spot any inconsistences with character/setting.
  6. Choose your favourite colour/pen and explore, re-read, seek out golden nuggets. They may still need editorial development – but these parts work (for now*) and you don’t want to lose them yet.

*By draft 3 or 9 these golden parts may no longer fit – if they truly are amazing make note of them and file them to be embedded into future work.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

GO DEEPER

Read this article by guest columnist Laura Toffler-Corrie. Revisions: What Every Writer Should Know.


GET SERIOUS!

The Revision Process: How I Prepared My Book for Publication

This article was written by Madeline Sharples. She is the author of Leaving the Hall Light On (Lucky Press, May 2011).

Madeline Sharples delves into her editing process and encourages us to write an editing schedule. This is not something I have done, but then the longest m/s I edited was Novella length. I probably did a schedule if I glued together all the individual To Do Lists which were part of my process.

There are 7 Top Tips covered in this article.

  1. Create a revision plan
  2. Don’t edit as you write
  3. Use a hardcopy
  4. Have others review your work
  5. The subjectivity of reviews
  6. Create a schedule with Milestones and STICK TO IT
  7. Keep going until you are satisfied.
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

My practise does include some of her 7 Top Tips: I tend to recarpet in m/s pages rather than using a wall. Mainly because there is less free wall space available to us at 5’4! My work is often peer reviewed, I am part of several editing groups and another opinion is always valuable (but remember, also subjective).

I do create schedules and action plans. Often they are bitesize, by week or monthly overview of action. I forgive myself when I don’t stick to them.


So enjoy the writing process and take a deep breath before you begin editing. Like your writing ability, editorial skills will develop with experience. Remember to repeat what works for you, find a system of editing that you can enjoy and keep a copy of that first draft so you can see how far the m/s has come!

Maureen Thorson ~ Share The Wealth

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Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

Maureen Thorson is both humble and selfless in her annual encouragement of poetry. One thing which struck me when I discovered NaPoWriMo (2014) was how generous Maureen was with her time and Napo prompts. She wasn’t after any awards or even a mailing list, she was just giving.

So I am delighted this year to be able to give something back. I feel Maureen truly deserves it!

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.com

National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

This website (napowrimo.net) is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month), she started writing a poem a day for the month of April back in 2003, posting the poems on her blog. When other people started writing poems for April, and posting them on their own blogs, Maureen linked to them. After a few years, so many people were doing NaPoWriMo that Maureen decided to launch an independent website for the project.

This site was designed by the very nice people at 2the9design, who know waaaaayyyyy more about back-end coding stuff than Maureen does. But this site isn’t meant to be “official,” or to indicate ownership or authority over the idea of writing 30 poems in April. There is no corporate sponsorship of this project. No money is intended to change hands anywhere. Maureen just likes poems and wants to encourage people to write them. The site doesn’t ask for your email address, or any other personal information. Heck, you don’t even have to give your name.

© 2011-2022 NaPoWriMo

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

The first official post of 2022 shares this information, https://www.napowrimo.net/coming-soon-na-glopowrimo-2022/ but I wanted to share it over here in AWF. I know there are some people who love to read poetry over here and thought you might like this.

Maureen has a new poetry collection out, sadly I missed the Book Launch but found a reading from the new book from earlier in the year.

https://www.maureenthorson.com/share-the-wealth

Share the Wealth is my third full-length collection of poetry, published by Veliz Books on March 1, 2022.

Previously Maureen Thorson published two collections of poetry, My Resignation (Shearsman Books 2014) and Applies to Oranges (Ugly Duckling Press 2011).

Some poems from her NEW book can be found here.

And from the blurb…

Maureen Thorson’s collection Share the Wealth combines playful persona poems and satires with beautiful lyrics about life in the woods. One can’t move to Maine without channeling the ghost of James Schuyler, so it’s not surprising that his careful and sly observational style informs Thorson’s most grounded lyrics. “Bliss is relative,” says a frog in one of her poems, and I’m grateful to these poems for reminding us to look for bliss, however relative it may be.

— Joanna Fuhrman, author of To a New Era

And here you can find a reading from February 2022 – Boog City festival.

Congratulations Maureen!

Maureen Thorson is the author of Share the Wealth (Veliz Books, 2022), On Dreams (Bloof Books 2021), My Resignation (Shearsman 2014), and Applies to Oranges (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011), as well as the chapbook Mayport, which won the Poetry Society of America’s national chapbook fellowship for 2006. She lives in Falmouth, Maine.

Projects in the Poetry World which keep longevity are to be praised, heartfelt gratitude to Maureen for keeping NaPoWriMo part of our lives every April!

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

NaPoWriMo is COMING ~ Warm Up Here

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NaPoWriMo certainly gets to the heart of things. I enjoy April every year for the gifts of words and focus on poetry. I give myself permission to write a lot of rubbish, but every year there are a handful of poems created with a glow, many of these go on to be published in magazines, anthologies and my own collections.

(2016)

Buy a copy here.

(2019)

Buy a copy here or from my website here.


I have collated this post to link to previous NaPo posts on the blog. So you won’t have to wait until tomorrow to warm up!

Last year’s warm up post – including some of the history of NaPoWriMo (rebranded GloPoWriMo – as it is now (and has been for a while) a Global phenomenon. I just can’t switch to calling it GloPo).

NaPoWriMo Warming Up

There will be some 2022 Early Bird posts arriving at the NaPo site over the next couple of days. I know they start live posting on the 15th March. Here’s a link to the 2020 Early Bird writing prompts.

NaPoWriMo Early Birds 2020

No Napping from 2019 NaPoWriMo (please note not all video links work).

Preparing for the Event of NaPoWriMo from 2018.

You can always search for more – my NaPoWriMo posts go back to 2014 and include a daily thread for every year.

I wish you well with your writing and look forward to the 15th, when the REAL magic starts!

Enjoy x

NaPoWriMo is COMING!

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And I LOVE the vibrant ‘WAKE UP’ turquoise of this year’s banners!

Every year since 2014 I have participated in Napowrimo and many other affiliated poetry groups for the month of April. National Poetry Month (US). And this year I have some plans of my own… watch this space.

So with that Christmas Eve excited feeling I have added AWF to participating sites as I do every year, I have saved my tags and dreamt up the pre-Napo posts for this site. For now head on over to Maureen Thorson’s site and get excited yourselves!

https://www.napowrimo.net/