Pick Up a Pen: Spring into Poetry Contest – Poetry Prompt, Final Week

Blossoming cherry tree limbs in front of the blurred greenery of a park beyond.

Writing poetry for some doesn't come as natural as it does for others. So, for the duration of our first-ever Spring into Poetry Contest, running now until May 9, 2021, we will be posting a helpful prompt to inspire your own writing. If anything, think of these prompts as exercises that focus on the process of writing, rather than the final product. It may be that a poem comes into being after such an exercise, but it's also completely OK if it doesn't. The act of exercising builds up those poetry writing and thinking muscles that will make the creation process that much smoother.

Final Push!

This is your last chance to enter into our Spring into Poetry Contest! We are accepting submissions through 11:59 PM (PDT) on Sunday May 9, 2021. You can enter your submission either through our online submission form or by emailing your poem as a Word attachment or into the body of the email to shortstories@sjlibrary.org.

Prizes Update!

New to share with everyone: we have confirmed the prizes we will be awarding for first, second, and third place for each of our 5 age groups. Prizes will include gift certificates to local bookseller, Hicklebee's, as well as a mix of other surprise goodies. The gift certificate amounts will be $75 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd, and $25 for 3rd, for each age group. Winners will be announced on the SJPL Blog on Friday May 21, 2021.

Quite the incentives, right? Let's get to the inspiration!

Our Last Prompt

We've made it to the end our first every poetry contest. Congratulations to everyone to has tried their hand at poetry and we cannot wait to read the submissions we've received. If you haven't already submitted your delightful limerick or magnum opus already, you have until the end of the weekend, May 9, 2021, to get into our inbox and into our brains.

Our final prompt comes from our friends at National Poetry Writing Month (or NaPoWriMo):

Taking a leaf from our video resource, I’d like you to try your hand at a minimalist poem. What’s that? Well, a poem that is quite short, and that doesn’t really try to tell a story, but to quickly and simply capture an image or emotion. Haiku are probably the most familiar and traditional form of minimalist poetry, but there are plenty of very short poems out there that do not use the haiku form. There’s even an extreme style of minimalism in the form of one-word and other “highly compressed” poems. You don’t have to go that far, but you might think of your own poem for the day as a form of gesture drawing. Perhaps you might start from a concrete noun with a lot of sensory connotations, like “Butter” or “Sandpaper,” or “Raindrop” and
– quickly, lightly – go from there.

So. Take a breath. Pick up your pen. And start writing.

Then, Enter Our Poetry Contest!

SJPL's inaugural Spring into Poetry Contest is happening now through our new EXTENDED deadline May 9, 2021. Our contest is open to folks anywhere of all ages. Our submission guidelines will explain what will be considered, how to submit, and prize structure. Submit your poem virtually!

Need More Inspiration?

Head over to our Recommended Reading section and this staff-picked list of Poetry that is sure to inspire you and encourage you to write.