The idea is to use Sue’s haiku as inspiration for your own syllabic poetry. Remember, in this challenge we can use any of the following poetry forms: Haiku, Senryu, Haiga, Tanka, Gogyohka, Renga, Solo-Renga, Haibun, Tanka Prose, Cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, Nonet, and Shadorma
The current standards for creating Haiku in English suggest a form with three lines and syllables of 3/5/3 (11 syllables). Even the more abbreviated haiku version with three lines and syllables of 2/3/2 (7 syllables) is now thought of more favorably than the traditional 5/7/5 format. Hybrid haiku are written with seventeen-syllables in one or more lines.
Most haiku are written about nature, the seasons, a beautiful moment in nature, an emotional experience while in nature, or change. A haiku should share a special moment of awareness with the reader.
mist meets earth
shrouding streets in gloom
by Marsha Ingrao 2020
Revival of Colleen Chesebro’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writer’s Challenge
Colleen Chesebro invited me to reinstate the #WQWWC challenge she used to host with her blogger friend, Ronovan. They eventually chose to focus on poetry and so she opened it up to me to take up the challenge.
#WQWWC will start this Wednesday, December 2nd. Stay tuned for the first theme.
Blog Challenge Interview Series
Do you host or participate in blog challenges? It’s a lot of work. The enjoyment I get from blogging is to promote other hobby bloggers. So if you want to write a guest post or have an interview about the Challenge experience, please contact me. I’d love to feature you and your challenge on Always Write.
A BRAND NEW service to promote hobby bloggers is Story Chat. Your unpublished short story premieres on Always Write. My readers have a chance to chat about the story with you and their friends over a cup of coffee or glass of wine in front of a fire. Later, I will compile all of our thoughts into a summary post giving your story an encore.
Your comments and conversations are the best part of the day. I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂
Maybe you’ve thought about hosting a writing challenge. Before you do, read this post to find out some of the ins and outs. If you love poetry, you’ll love learning about this challenge.
Longer Running Than Most Netflix Series
Today I want to introduce my blogging friend Colleen Cheesebro. She’s helped me with many practical blogging tips that I’ve been able to apply instantly. She’s not only a wealth of blogging tips, but a renowned author, and she hosts a long-running poetry challenge. Read on to find out how she does it.
What prompted you to begin to host a writing challenge?
The first challenge I hosted on my blog included another writer, Ronovan from Ronovan Writes.com, which we called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. We took turns and traded off weeks because we were both writing a book. Each week we named a theme, and the participants could write flash fiction, poetry, or pretty much anything if they included a relevant quote. It was a fun meet and greet type of challenge, purely for fun. I met so many wonderful bloggers this way.
But what I really wanted to do was to write syllabic poetry. Ronovan already hosted a haiku challenge and I didn’t want to copy his idea. Writing haiku for Ronovan’s challenge led me to Tanka Tuesday.
Anyway, I retired Writer’s Quote Wednesday on September 21, 2016, and the following Tuesday, I began the Tanka Tuesday challenge.
The challenge has blossomed into a syllabic poetry community that I am so proud to be a part of. Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry is an uplifting community where poets can learn the basics of writing Japanese and American syllabic poetry by sharing their own poetic inspiration within a weekly poetry challenge called Tanka Tuesday. Participants submit their poetry written in one of the eleven forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, tanka prose, cinquain, and its variations, Etheree, nonet, and/or shadorma. Poets receive positive feedback from peers who inspire each other to stretch their creativity. Participants and readers return each week to celebrate the weekly poetry stars and to buy books from the Tanka Tuesday Book Store.
I began the challenge by providing the two prompt words that were required in the tanka poem. Eventually, everyone’s poetry sounded the same. I decided that we should use synonyms for the prompt words. I thought that idea was brilliant! I’m not aware of another poetry challenge that does that.
Each week, I copy the template post from the editor and create a new post. Easy peasy!
How much time does it take? Is it all-consuming so that you don’t blog about anything else?
This challenge can be all-consuming if you let it rule your life. I’ve figured out a few shortcuts, like making template posts for the challenge posts that I copy and paste into a new post each week. The same goes for the Weekly Poetry Star post I share on Monday, where I list out everyone who joined in. The addition of the Mr. Linky linkup tool has saved so much time and effort.
I used to spend hours copying all the poet’s blog links into the recap so that people could visit and comment on everyone’s poetry.
I do visit everyone’s poetry who participants in the challenge and leave comments. I also share the posts to social media. I love it when I see poetry posts in Twitter and Facebook getting reshared numerous times.
How did you determine the genre?
We started out with tanka poetry first. After the first year we added haiku and haibun poetry. After that, we added senryu, haiga, gogyohka, tanka prose, Etheree, nonet, cinquain, and shadorma poetry. I always worry that the challenge will get stale, so I enjoy the variety. I think the poets like to have a choice in the poetry forms, as well.
Here is a link to the poetry challenge guidelines. This year, I changed it up again. Each week we have a different challenge. Week one is Poet’s Choice. Poets can pick any syllabic poetry form for their poem.
On the second week, whoever I picked from the previous month’s synonyms only challenge, selects the two synonyms for us all to use.
The third week is a photo prompt. Whoever I chose from the previous month’s photo prompt challenge, selects the photo for us to use as the inspiration for our poetry.
The fourth week of the month is a theme prompt. This can be a quote, a named theme, or a piece of poetry that contains a theme. Whoever I chose from the previous month’s theme prompt challenge, selects the theme for us to use as the inspiration for our poetry.
If we have a fifth week, I select a specific form for us to work with from the eleven forms we use in the challenge. I try to concentrate on the rules of the form so that we can all learn together by writing a poem in that specific form.
What steps do you take to get your challenge ready?
I created five weeks’ worth of template challenge posts in January dedicated to each week’s prompt.
Each week, I copy the template post from the editor and create a new post. Easy peasy!
How did you attract people to participate? / How do people usually find out about your challenge?
I wrote a blog post to announce the challenge and shared the information on Facebook and Twitter. It took off by word of mouth more than anything.
Is your challenge like a club where you put a widget on your website or embed something on your post?
I do have a widget that poets can use but mostly we use the header of each week’s challenge post to keep track of the different challenges. Everyone is welcome to join in my syllabic poetry challenge.
Do you have help reading all the entries?
No. I take care of that myself. I want writers to be inspired by poetry and encourage everyone to reach for the stars and try something new. As the host of the challenge, I want to interact with the poets. Their creativity pushes me to learn more about these forms, as well. We all learn from each other.
What do you do with the entries – like do you ever publish anthologies, award widget certificates?
On my blog at colleenchesebro.com I’ve created the Tanka Tuesday Book Store where I list the poetry books for sale written by my challenge participants. Here is the link: Tanka Tuesday Book Store. It’s just another way to help support our poetry community.
This year, I’ve written a book called “Word Craft – Prose & Poetry, the Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry” which should be ready to publish in the next month or so. I researched how to write the eleven syllabic poetry forms from my challenge. The Japanese forms: haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, haibun, and tanka prose, along with the American forms: Etheree, nonet, and shadorma with instructions and examples. At the end of each chapter I added poetry examples from the challenge participants with a citation to credit the poet’s work.
This book is written for the beginning poet, or someone who’s never written syllabic poetry before but would like to learn how. I think it will also be a great reference for poets who are writing poetry and submitting to contests and journals.
Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves writing paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical, which may mean she is experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing poetry and storytelling.
Colleen sponsors a Syllabic Poetry Challenge on her blog where participants can learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.
Colleen won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community in November 2017. In 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. In 2019, she placed second for the Three Act Story category, with her piece called “The Game.”
Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path in her writing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and black cat, Freyja. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.