2013 April PAD Challenge: Results

Okay, results sounds kind of weird for the April PAD Challenge. It’s more of a re-cap, I guess, or a snapshot. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that what happens in the April PAD Challenge continues to ripple out beyond April and the blog.

Poets have shared collections partially written from prompts on the blog; teachers contact me with poems written by their students (from elementary school to college); and poets share their publishing successes with poems that started right here.

I’m happy to be involved in getting things started, but the poets are the ones who take it to the next level. And then there’s the community that fosters that sense of creating and re-creating on here. People like Walt Wojtanik, Marie Elena Good, Bruce Niedt, Jane Shlensky, Nancy Posey, Laurie Kolp, Tracy Davidson, RJ Clarken, De Jackson, Taylor Graham, and so many more, which brings us to our first “result”…

2013 Poetic Asides Poet Laureate

The honor goes to a newer member of the community who came on fast and furious and has continued to offer encouragement beyond April during our weekly Wednesday prompts. I’m, of course, speaking of William Preston.

His writing style is excellent, but the thing I always appreciate the most in a Poet Laureate candidate is his never-ending dedication to offering words of encouragement to other wordsmiths on the blog. As far as I’m concerned, the three best ways to help poetry is to read poetry, write poetry, and encourage other poets. William does all these.

Congratulations, William!


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Top 25 List

I think the number of highlighted poems changes every year, but I chose the number 25 this year for a few reasons. The top reason is that there are 25 weeks between this Friday and the final Friday before the next April PAD Challenge.

Why is that significant? Because I’m planning to run an interview with each member of the top 25 on every Friday between tomorrow and the next April PAD Challenge. What better way to work through the list and get to know other poets.

As far as the list, I had trouble enough getting down to 25 poems/poets; it was nearly impossible to get it ordered. So I didn’t rank these poems. The list is ordered by alphabetical order of the poet’s last name. I loved every poem in the top 25, and I look forward to sharing each one between now and April.

Here’s the Top 25 list:

  1. I am an early bird and I am late, by Bartholomew Barker
  2. and your hands shook, by Ian Chandler
  3. Hold That Football, by Diana Terrill Clark
  4. Posted: No Trespassing, by Carole Cole
  5. Bad Timing, by Taisha Cooke
  6. The Morning After, by Tracy Davidson
  7. In Case of Death, by Ashley Marie Egan
  8. Lexicographer’s Daughter, by Taylor Graham
  9. What I Don’t Know at This Moment, by Rachel Gurevich
  10. Sevenling, by De Jackson
  11. In Case of Contentment, by Pamela Klein
  12. Powerless, by Larry Lawrence
  13. Fire takes care of bad memories, too, by Raina Masters
  14. Grandpa’s autograph, by Annie Newcomer
  15. Work, by Nancy Posey
  16. Dichotomy, by William Preston
  17. The Farmer’s Wife, by Deri Pryor
  18. Holding, by Deborah Purdy
  19. Dying Sea Bird, by Alana Sherman
  20. Storm-taught, by Jane Shlensky
  21. Hotdogs on the Grill, by Linda Simoni-Wastila
  22. Oakland Dawn, by George Smith
  23. Broke, by Sally Valentine
  24. I Love Hats, by Gloria Watts
  25. Sonnet for the Common Man, by Walter J. Wojtanik

Congratulations to everyone who made the Top 25!


Remember: We have another poem-a-day challenge coming up in November (guidelines for that will be posted in the next week or so). Also, I have a $500 re-mix challenge up related to my recent poetry collection (click here for those guidelines).

Also, every Friday between tomorrow and April will feature a poem and interview with the top 25. It’ll be like handing off the torch leading up to the Olympics. I’m so excited!


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Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He writes poetry, edits books, creates blog posts, manages a free weekly newsletter on publishing, speaks at events around the country, writes for Writer’s Digest magazine, judges contests, and lots of other fun writing-related activities. Voted the 2010 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, he’s also a Cub Scout den leader and pre-school room mom. Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five kids (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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28 thoughts on “2013 April PAD Challenge: Results

  1. Linda Voit

    Congratulations to Bill and to everyone in the top 25! I so value the April PAD, and the community it includes, and it’s fun to see the well-deserved recognition of both!

  2. elishevasmom

    Aha. So William Preston and PressOn are one and the same. Duh! Especially looking at the two side by side… and I should have doped it out by the language of the encouragement! Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Anyway. I can’t think of anyone that I’ve come to know here that deserves this honor more!

    1. PressOn

      Thanks, Walt. I appreciate that, especially coming from you, but we ARE a democracy here. Anyway, I am taking my cue from what you and Marie do on your blog, and what Robert does here.

  3. Cin5456

    Congratulations to all the winners.

    William, with all the encouragement and wonderful comments from you I began to feel comfortable with writing poetry again. Your comments always make me happier with a poem, and even small comments give hints at what I’m doing right that impacts my next poems. I’ve revised and fine tuned from that so many times. I can’t tell you how much that has meant to my writing. You deserve the Poet Laureate for all of that and more. On top of that you poetry always touches either a nerve in recognition, or my heart with warmth. Most of the time, I’m speechless, and don’t know what to say other than glowing praise already expressed by another. Thank you, and CONGRATULATIONS. Now celebrate! Go do something fun!… (like poetry out loud at your local poetry society…)

    Since I’m new, so I didn’t get to see the entries. I hope I will have a chance to read everyone’s wonderful winners.

  4. Amy

    Wow, congratulations to an incredibly talented group of people! And William- your encouragement has helped my own poetry grow in confidence and skill here on the blog. You deserve it!

  5. RJ Clarken

    Congratulations to all the winners (and how nice it is to see so many talented friends on this list!!!) Especially, I want to offer my congratulations to William, because I cannot think of a nicer, more supportive, talented poet than he is, to receive this huge accolade. WooHoo!

    Thanks for running a marvelous challenge, Robert, and thanks for the shout-out too. I only wish I could contribute more to this! 😀

  6. drwasy

    Congratulations William! I remember reading several of your poems and going–whoa! who is this new dude? It is super to have you with this PAD group, and your title is so well-deserved.

    Congratulations also to the Top 25. Thank you Robert for including my poem this year.

    And a super congratulations to the nice folks mentioned above–although I posted a poem daily, and tried to read every day, this past April was personally extremely difficult for me. Seeing all the encouragement and care demonstrated here was often the bright light of each day. See you all next Spring! Peace…

  7. drwasy

    Congratulations William! I remember reading several of your poems and going–whoa! who is this new dude? It is super to have you with this PAD group, and your title is so well-deserved.

    Congratulations also to the Top 25. Thank you Robert for including my poem this year.

    And a super congratulations to the nice folks mentioned above–although I posted a poem daily, and tried to read every day, this past April was personally extremely difficult for me. Seeing all the encouragement and care demonstrated here was often the bright light of each day. Peace…

  8. PressOn

    Thank you all for the kind words, and thank you, Robert, for selecting one of my poems for your list and for the “poet laureate” designation. The latter is — I kid you not — humbling; I am not just whistling Dixie when I say I was surprised, because I think so many of the folks who submit their work to this blog are far superior to me in talent and execution. I am glad to be part of all of you; although I do not have a personal blog and do not use social networking tools such as tweeter or face-book, I get the idea: this site is a true community.

    1. Marie Elena

      As I posted at Poetic Bloomings…

      Bill, you came on the scene with a humble demeanor, encouraging heart, and astounding talent. We could not be more proud and pleased for you for this well-deserved honor.

      This response of yours is simply further confirmation. Warm smiles to you…

    2. Julieann

      Bill your talent for both poeming and encouragement is outstanding. Thank you for your encouraging words and Congratulations for a tile well earned and well deserved!

  9. Jane Shlensky

    Way to go, Bill. You’ve been the laureate of our hearts for a while now, offering kindnesses and bingo’s and sneaky fasts to keep us going. I’m so glad to call you my official laureate at PA. Robert, I so appreciate being among this list of fantastic poets and poems. It’s exciting and humbling at once. Thank you.

  10. Linda Hatton

    Yay! I’m so happy to see William as your choice. Though I only pop in now and then, I always smile at the way he takes the time to encourage others.

    A big congrats to the rest of the winners, too! I am often in awe of what I read here and thankful to “know” you all, if even only on line.

    Robert, thank you so much for all your hard work and encouragement!

  11. Julieann

    Congratulations to William (PressOn) for the honor of becoming our Poet Laureate!! What a well deserved honor and gained by your unending encouragement and splendid writing – words of wisdom, insight, thoughtfulness, and, and, the list goes on and on. Congratulations!
    Also, congratulations to each and every one who worked (wrote/commented) tirelessly throughout the month of April. A hearty well-done to each AND especially to the top 25 winners. The efforts it took to be included in the list are amazing, and each of us shall strive ever harder to one day be on that list.
    So for the next 25 weeks, and then we get to do it all over again. Something amazing to look forward to.
    Congratulations, congratulations, and congratulations to all!!

  12. Nancy Posey

    Robert, I am pleased and humbled to be on the list with some of my poet friends, most of whom I met first here on PA! Congratulations to William, not only a fine poet but a kind gentleman. Few people are more consistently encouraging.

  13. Marie Elena

    I second De’s Woooooohooooo!!!!
    First off — BILL!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS … I am SOOO pleased and proud of you!!
    Second — Do I know how to pick ’em, or what?! I “called it” for Walt, Joseph, De, and Bill!
    Third — De you are so sweet. But the time, energy, and thoroughness of Bill’s encouragement of others far surpasses mine. I don’t know how he finds the time and brain power.
    Fourth — Congratulations to our Top 25. You all ROCK!! With the talent displayed year after year here, it is harder than all-get-out to get on that coveted list. You all earned it!
    Fifth — I’m especially pleased to see so many of our Poetic Bloomings regulars in this list. Warm smiles to De, Nancy, Jane, my grand host Bill, and of course my forever poetic partner Walt.
    And last — Robert, this mention by name is incredibly humbling. Thank you so very much for your constant encouragement of all of us who are under your wing. I can’t believe I came “this close” to meeting you, and couldn’t make it. Next time, k?

  14. De Jackson

    Wooohoooo! This Poet Laureate choice makes me soooo happy.
    William (aka PressOn) is one of the most incredible poetic encouragers out there, second only to our sweet Marie Elena. And many of his comments are poems in and of themselves.

    So happy to see names both new and old on the list, as well. CONGRATULATIONS to all! Looking forward to the interviews!

    Thank you, Robert, for all you do to foster this amazing community.



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