Writers Digest “Poetry Month” Poem-A-Day Begins; Also Horror Writers Poetry Showcase

It all appears below, actually, in March 19’s preview post, with the HWA “submittable” link now live, but if you missed it: April is National Poetry Month and, celebrating, Writers Digest Poetry Editor Robert Brewer will be publishing a new poetry prompt every morning for thirty days. Along with this are chapbook and/or contest opportunities . . . you’ll just have to explore Robert’s blog to see for yourself. In my case, I and another poet write poems based on the prompts, gather them up, and have a two-person reading/comparison once a week, thus making it into a sort of competition as well as a chance for semi-instant feedback. From there, who knows? Of course, some of them go to various publications where some do get published –

Medieval Jester playing a lute --  Source: Judith Leyster [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Jester — Judith Leyster (1609-1660)

but possibly even more important is simply the goad to get creative.

Then the Horror Writers Association (no April fools they – sorry, couldn’t resist it) has also decided to celebrate April with their first HWA Poetry Showcase. What’s that, you ask? Here, let them explain it:

“We are looking for more than ‘blood, guts, worms,’ etc. Just being ‘Icky’ isn’t enough. Poetry to fifty lines. Free verse preferred; no forced rhyme or cliches. Unpublished poems only (though previously published poets are, of course, welcome).

“For example, these are some contemporary poets of darkness that we admire: Ann K. Schwader, Wendy Rathbone, Mary Turzillo, Bruce Boston, Gary Clark, Robert Borski.

“Submissions will be accepted via Submittable from April 1-30, 2014 and all rights will remain with the poets.  One poem per poet.

“In addition, at the judge’s discretion, an electronic chapbook of qualifying poems will be considered for publication under the aegis of HWA. Each poem chosen for publication will be paid $5.

“For the 2014 Showcase the judges will be Marge Simon, Peter Adam Salomon, and Jonathan Maberry.”

For the link to submit to the HWA Showcase, poets should press here; to check out the Writers Digest prompt of the day press here.


  1. Thanks for spreading the word, Jim! (HWA poetry showcase, etc.)
    It is interesting to note that painting was originally attributed to Franz Hals in one of my Art book prints (for teaching art). Then I found out it was by a woman — imagine! A woman painting so well –and such a subject in those times!! I’ll have to find the title of the painting again.

  2. Hi Marge, thanks for the lore om Judith Leyster, in turn prompting me to do a quick look-up and streamline the caption on the painting. The title I found was simply “The Jester,” but that sounds sort of like a catalog title, not necessarily what the artist originally gave it. For the bloggie’s purposes, of course, it would be “The April Fool.” (Apparently she and Franz Hals were rather close, she possibly having been a student of his for a time, and even had a lawsuit at one point over one apparently poaching an apprentice from the other).

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