April PAD Challenge 2009: Rules & Blah-blah-blah

I’m so excited (and I just can’t hide it)–tomorrow is when April begins, which means tomorrow is when the Poetic Asides April PAD Challenge begins! (Oh yeah!)

Last night, I gathered some rules and answers to some frequently asked questions. Here they are:

The low down on the April PAD Challenge:

  • The Challenge starts with the Day 1 prompt on April 1, 2009, and ends at midnight (EST) on April 30, 2009.

  • To be eligible for the eBook, poems must be posted in the Comments for the correct prompt. (So, if you’re writing a poem for a prompt on rainy day poems, you need to paste your rainy day poem in the comments for that prompt.)

  • Each poem entered with the appropriate prompt will be eligible for the eBook; it doesn’t matter if you participate on one day, 10 days, or all 30 days. The eBook is completely separate of the completion certificate and badge.

  • You must post a poem for all 30 prompts to receive the completion certificate and badge.

  • Please do not email poems to me. This includes sending them to me through social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. It’s not that I don’t like hearing from you (because I love communicating with y’all), but poems that aren’t posted directly to the blog won’t count for the challenge or the eBook. I just know I won’t have the time this April to sort them all out.

  • During the month of April, you can fall behind and catch up at any point for both the eBook and the completion certificate and badge; that is, until midnight (EST) on April 30, 2009.

  • To be eligible for the 2009 Poetic Asides Poet Laureate honor, you must participate throughout the month. (No payment for this post, but also no concrete responsibilities.)

  • I advise that you save a copy of your poem somewhere other than on the blog. While it doesn’t happen frequently, there have been times when the blog has dropped Comments; so please be safer than sorrier.

  • Participation is free.

  • No special registration is required; just show up and post a poem for the appropriate prompt. (I’ll go through and figure it out later on.)

  • Poets keep copyright to their work—even if selected for the eBook.

  • Poems should be previously unpublished and written during the month of April 2009; that’s kind of the point of the whole thing, you know.

  • There will be “Two for Tuesday” prompts on Tuesdays again this year. You only have to do one of the prompts, though I know some of you are overachievers and will write poems for both.

  • Unfortunately, I won’t be able to highlight poems during the month of April (as I at least partially did last year), because I’m going to be super busy this month with getting Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market together.

  • However, I encourage everyone to give shout outs to fellow poets who write poems you particularly like. It not only helps that particular poet feel good, but I think it benefits everyone.

Judging for the eBook will work this way:

  • On May 1, I (and possibly my wife Tammy) will begin narrowing down the April poems to 5 finalists for each day.

  • Then sometime around the middle of May, we’ll give our list of Top 5’s to the guest judges.

  • Then, the guest judges will pick their favorite poem for their specific day.

  • Then, I’ll look at the remaining 120 poems and pick my favorite 20 of those.

  • This will result in 50 poems making it into the eBook, which will hopefully be ready for FREE distribution sometime during the summer.

  • Remember: Judging is very subjective and making it into the eBook is meant to be an extra bonus. Don’t get upset or worry that you’re not writing good stuff if your poems don’t make it in the eBook.

How to add a poem to the Comments:

  • Click on the Comments link for the particular day’s post (you can practice with this post).

  • Scroll to bottom of the page and enter your name and email (so that I can contact you, if needed).

  • Paste your poem into the Comments box.

  • Enter the code shown.

  • Click Save Comment.

(Note: Always check to make sure your poem posted; sometimes, you need to enter the code a few times before your comment posts.)


Hopefully, this covers most of the bases. I’ll add any revisions if I’ve forgotten to address a question or two.


I can’t wait to see y’all tomorrow morning!

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177 thoughts on “April PAD Challenge 2009: Rules & Blah-blah-blah

  1. Alexis Akesson

    There is a little place where ideas bloom wildly,
    That is where the plans lie in wait.
    However, there are other things blooming wildly there too,
    also waiting…….
    Proberbly proportionate, proportionally.

  2. Ron Pavellas

    As pre-game practice, here is the song of Johnny Dooit, a character in the Book by L. Frank Baum, The Road to OZ:

    The only way to do a thing
    Is do it when you can,
    And do it cheerfully, and sing
    And work and think and plan.

    The only real unhappy one
    Is he who dares to shirk;
    The only really happy one
    Is he who cares to work.

  3. Carrie Covell

    Daddy’s going to come and play
    And write a prompted poem a day.
    Very disciplined is he,
    In contrast to his daughter, me.
    Can a poet in good conscience
    Accept such unruly nonsense
    As that inspired by prompt alone
    With little thought to meter, tone?
    Is it possible that free-form verse,
    Might actually a poem disburse
    Or must a poem be defined,
    Only by stanza an rhythm of line.
    Epic, sonnet, palindrome,
    Measured as by metronome
    Haiku, and even limericks meet
    The requirements of poetic feat.
    This question to the judges pose:
    Is free verse poetry or prose?

  4. Walt Wojtanik

    Poem-a-Day, what a concept! I am anxious to read the many fine works from our contemporaries. Competition, support, constructive critique, and camaraderie will make better poets of us all!

  5. Vanessa

    I was so excited to hear about this, and did, just in the nick of time! …and then I read thru all the wonderful comments and got even more excited! Yes thanks for putting this awesome fun blog together and sharing it with the world!

  6. caroline

    In the words of Rumi….

    "Today, like any other day, we wake up lonely and frightened..".

    come in from the rain,
    let your loss guide your hand,
    then take out your pen and
    write your life into the new day.


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