2015 April PAD Challenge: Next Steps

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “What a poetry challenge!”

Here are some numbers for 2015:

  • 30 days
  • 34 prompts (including 4 “Two for Tuesday” prompts)
  • 26,000+ comments (and counting)
  • 30 guest judges
  • 1 incredible month!

So, what’s next?

First off, there’s a lot of poetry and poeming that happens around the Poetic Asides blog throughout the year. I’ll share more on that in a moment (see below), but I’m sure at least a few of you are wondering about how the judging will happen, when results will be posted, and so on.

The “official” cut off for Day 30 prompt is 11:59 p.m. EST on May 5, 2015. However, I’ve only copied over poems for the first 15 days so far (hint, hint). That means Days 16-30 are still “live,” though I plan to start copying over other days very soon.

I’ve already started the process of going through the earlier prompts and narrowing down “finalist” lists for the guest judges. This process will include sending poems to screening readers, who will return them to me. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll hand off a finalist list to each of the guest judges around the end of May. Then, they will give me their winners in June.

If all goes to plan, I will announce all the winners and finalists on July 4, 2015. The announcement will be on the Poetic Asides blog.

And then?

The winning poems will be collected in the second volume of the amazing anthology/prompt/work book titled Poem Your Heart Out that will be published by Words Dance Publishing. Click here to order a copy, because it’s going to be filled with 30 incredible poems, space for you to add your own, and even if you make it into the anthology–you’ll want a copy to give your mom, right?

Yes, the 30 winners will receive a copy of the anthology. Sweet!


national_poetry_monthGet the National Poetry Month Collection!

Time is running out to celebrate National Poetry Month with a super poetic collection of poetry-related products with the National Poetry Month Collection!

This super-sized kit includes 4 e-books, 3 paperback books, 7 tutorials, and much more! In fact, this kit covers everything from prompts to poetic forms and from revising poems to getting them published.

Click to continue.


So that’s it?

Well, no, of course not. There’s a lot of poetry-related mischief happening at Poetic Asides throughout the year. I’m probably going to take a long weekend off, but this is what you can expect:

  • Wednesday Poetry Prompts. Yeah, we get together to poem on hump day throughout the year.
  • Poet Interviews. I’ve interviewed more than 100 poets on here over the years. In fact, maybe even more than 200. I don’t keep count, but each and every interview is a snapshot into another poet’s poetic outlook, process, and more.
  • Poetic Forms. Every month or so, I share a new poetic form I’ve found. And that leads to…
  • WD Poetic Form Challenges. These free challenges are devoted to a poetic form, and the winning poem/poet is featured as an example of the form in Writer’s Digest magazine.
  • November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. It’s like April, but it gets even more involved, because the ultimate goal is to produce an amazing chapbook of poems.
  • And more! I don’t know what yet, but I’ve had some great guest post pitches, and I get bored easy–so who knows what tricks I’ve got up my sleeve?!? Seriously, because I don’t.

Still got questions? That’s cool. Drop them in the comments below, or send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com.


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community. He’s also the author of Solving the World’s Problems, an incredible collection of poetry that stirs the soul. Okay, Robert wrote that, but Sandra Beasley called the book, “Compassionate, challenging, and filled with slinky swerves of phrase,” while Patricia Fargnolia said, “The poems are brim-full of surprises and delights, twists in language, double-meanings of words, leaps of thought and imagination, interesting line-breaks. … I will go back to them often.” So that’s means you’re going to buy it, right? Click here to make it happen.


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73 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Next Steps

  1. steveervin

    Another joining is in the history books! This opposition and gathering of steady journalists has unquestionably turned into a delicate spot to arrive. Much obliged to you, Robert, for your kind and steady direction and electric nudging. Much obliged to you, judges, for facilitating the heap and including your own particular exceptional voices. Much obliged to you, Anders, for making it less demanding for every one of us to reflect and become mixed up in the perusing with your own particular GPS framework awesome Poem Search. This was one extraordinary experience; thank you such a great amount for getting it going. And if anyone who want to hire australia essay writing online academic service please visit our website.

  2. Hannah

    Sending gratitude to all of the peeps deeply involved in making this happen and to all of the poets that showed up this year!

    It was a lot of fun – I always, always enjoy April PAD!

    Thank you and BIG smiles to all!! 🙂

  3. Sibella

    I have been feeling adrift the past few days, and I was just reminded of why…no daily prompt! But that’s what makes April special.

    Thanks, Robert, for creating a space for this poetry to happen. Viva poetry!

  4. Patricia A. Hawkenson

    Another convergence is in the history books! This competition and group of supportive writers has definitely become a soft place to land. Thank you, Robert, for your kind and supportive guidance and electric prodding. Thank you, judges, for easing the load and adding your own unique voices. Thank you, Anders, for making it easier for us all to reflect and get lost in the reading with your own GPS system. (Great Poem Search) 🙂

  5. js0000

    thank you- this was my first challenge and a delight. as many know, writing every day only helps.

    how do the numbers from 2015 compare to other years? is there any cumulative data on the challenge as a whole? i would imagine the writer’s digest site has lots of logs, but maybe no one to understand them, or no one to spend time on the poetry logs [imagine that].

    congrats to all participants!

    1. PKP

      Welcome js0000 – given the large numbers of participants and wonderful poetry to read – this year I found it overwhelming to do justice in commenting. As far as comparison of numbers I have been involved with the challenge just about from the outset and this year the numbers were at an all time high. It is a wonderful event and it is no surprise to any of us who have been returning year after year that our numbers are growing. Apologies that we did not “meet” during the challenge and delighted as one simple veteran poet to share in your delight.

  6. SFagan12

    Dear Robert,
    It’s marathon day here in my city today, and I feel as if I’ve run a lovely poetry marathon again this year. Your prompts inspired so many poems, last year and this year. Normally, it’s very challenging for me to write at all during a school year, so I greatly look forward to this April PAD challenge. And thanks for providing the impetus and the structure that inspires me to write, even when faced with piles of student papers to grade!! It was exciting to read so many others strong poems! Happy summer to you. Sharon

  7. Thedeb

    Dear Robert,
    Thank you so much!
    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your challenge. My “confession poem” should have been a poem detailing the fact that I’ve been so focused on each day’s prompt that I almost missed the Bigger picture!
    Thanks to your Poem a Day Challenge, I now have THIRTY new poems under my belt!
    That is super!
    If I was given the daunting task of sitting down to write thirty new poems in a month, I may have balked a bit. However your challenge made it a lot of fun, and I’m so proud of myself for keeping up.
    So thank you again, I’ll be looking for the Wednesday challenges! 🙂
    Debbie Cerrito

  8. ReathaThomasOakley

    Robert, and everyone involved in this fantastic month, thank you, thank you. Every single day was amazing, and right now I’m counting down the days (hours?) to Wednesday. Some years ago I was part of a poetry group that challenged, encouraged, and nurtured each member, but I moved and poetry, and all writing, was put away. Since November I have appreciated the generous community spirit I’ve found here after a long time without that in my life. Did I say, thank you?

    1. PKP

      ReathaThomasOakley – in the huge amount of wonderful poets and poetry it was easy to miss faces – however I am delighted that I did get a chance to meet you – looking forward to seeing you around the Wednesday prompts.

  9. Walt Wojtanik

    Thanks Robert, for your guidance, inspiration and support.

    Thanks to all who were able to contribute even one poem to this outstanding collection.

    This place has been and always will be the best place to post poetry.

    1. PKP

      For any who might not know Walt is a former Poet Laureate of Poetic Asides and an ardent contributor and supporter since Poetic Asides inception. Always a delight !

  10. Jeanne

    This was the first time that I have done this. I usually just write poems for people I love, my church, my Christian family or just to hand out to encourage and lift someones spirit. So when I entered this PAD I did it with a commitment that I would write every pompt about God or His Son Jesus and I was able to complete my promise. Thank you Robert for the opportunity to expand and bless God in the process. Thanks to anyone who commented on my poems the comments were much appreciated God Bless

    1. PKP

      Jeanne- How lovely that you dipped your toe in the pool of Poetic Asides – as I’m sure you found it is a place where whatever moves you to write given parameters of kindness is welcomed.

  11. Kimmy Sophia

    Hey Robert, I didn’t realize there was a poetry challenge in November too, yay! I have to admit I only commented on a few poems submitted around the same time of day as my own. I wish there was a way to compile ALL the poems and read them all, because the ones I did read were so excellent. It was such a great experience to be among so many creative and eager folks, I felt so motivated every morning. I rolled out of bed, turned on my computer and went to WD before I brushed my teeth to get the prompt. I read your poem and then a few more and submitted mine. It was a great routine every day, I miss it already. Blessings to you for your encouragement and contribution, and to the judges you found, and for creating this event. Blessings to you and yours. love love love kimmy

    1. PKP

      Kimmy – welcome and you’ve hit on the only problem I can see with the wonderful outpouring of poetry from all over the world and that is the difficulty in reading and responding to one another. I am confident that given other bumps the poetic community here will figure out a way of dealing with this.

  12. Doakley

    I am absolutely in awe of the poets here. I thank you for your constructive comments on my work and the opportunity to study your brilliant postings. I look forward to the hump day prompts and can hardly wait for the November PAD. So much to learn, so little time… Thank you all.
    Robert, just an incredible neighborhood to play in, thank you.

    1. PKP

      Doakley – I obviously was not able to comment on your poetry as much as I would have liked – but please know that it was a pleasure and that often somehow in the vast amount of poetry and poems your work and name did stand out. A pleasure to meet you, looking forward to seeing you and being able to comment more at quieter times.

  13. LCaramanna

    Thank you, Robert, for providing the prompts and a wonderful site for poeming. April comes and goes way too fast as incredible poems are flying by. I appreciate the opportunity to participate!

    1. PKP

      Trish – sometimes,somehow even in a crowded metropolis a somehow familiar face will shine and eyes will meet. I feel that this happened this year with you and your writing. Looking forward to seeing and reading more of you … and appreciate your comments (hard as it was to find time to comment!) on my poems from time to time.

    1. PKP

      Mark – congratulations and welcome to your first time at the challenge – if you managed to read even many of the poems – that itself is a feat that I admire. Poem on!

  14. carolecole66

    I second all the gratitude expressed here. It’s been a hard month but a great one, too. Thanks so much to everyone but especially, of course, to Robert, who gives us this opportunity every year. See you all in 2016.

  15. SestinaNia

    Robert, I have to add my thanks to the pool–you have created this fantastic, amazing event. You have not only helped champion poetry, but you have woven together lives of poets across the globe! Thank you for having this idea, for being willing to put it out there, and for continuing to support and grow it. I know my poetry (and my soul) are better for participating!

    You rock 🙂


    1. PKP

      Well of course with a name like Sestina you caught my attention – but it was your poetry that sparkled. I too am also amazed with the connection of poets around the globe.

  16. JRSimmang

    It has been such an inspirational month, everyone. Congratulations, poets. It’s time for another PPAD (Personal Poem-A-Day) Challenge. This really is a great community of creatives!

  17. PressOn


    When Robert Lee brews up a prompt,
    my poor muse might feel bruised, even swamped;
    but I write for that day
    then get out of the way
    to avoid being stomped by the prompt.

    I’d like to thank you once again, Robert, and all the judges and readers helping to realize this massive task. This year I had much less opportunity to participate than in the past, mainly owing to matters here but partly owing to the sheer volume of poems and comments offered this time. I’ve said often that I regard this site as a learning place, and that’s especially true when a larger population of poets, with a greater range of styles and points of view, get involved. Those numbers testify to the popularity of the sanctuary you’ve provided here, and I thank you for that most of all.

      1. PressOn

        I spent hours too, and thought I’d caught your work a few times. Thee sheer volume overwhelmed me most of the time. though. I tended to post in the morning, Eastern U.S. time, but even that was limited this year. I enjoyed the experience, nonetheless, and I hope the same was true for you.

    1. PKP

      My dear Will – It was wonderful seeing you here and there during the month – As a personal note I truly wish that you were on Facebook – for a multitude of reasons. Feel free to e-mail me at drpkp@aol.com. I agree with all you’ve said about “our” RLB – truly a wonderful challenge.

  18. De Jackson

    Oh, Brewer of Prompts

    Bubble, bubble, poeming trouble
    fades under Robert’s spell.
    Huddle, Tuesdays seeing double,
    dipping into swirled-word well.

    Thank you for filling our creative tanks.
    Thank you for shooting us many “Blanks.”

    We waxed forth Poetic, and when muses waned,
    you brought us new cues to keep us (in)sane.

    We mattered, we buried, studied history.
    We even tested authority. We played with
    the Bard, and we scribbled the sea.

    Our ink is dry; our veins are tapped.
    And now, it’s time to take a nap.

    Thank you!
    And good luck, to all you amazing poets!

    1. PKP

      Love those tapped veins – although today is Wednesday … wonder-FULL work De – as you can see even in a crowded metropolis you were found by those who know you and those who came to love your work. Bravo on another wonderful challenge.

  19. BJ.Writer

    The Tunnel Nobody Knows – BJ Reiter

    Under the boughs
    Of a Blue Spruce tree
    A Blue Spruce tree
    That’s growing beside
    A White Pine tree
    The tallest pine tree
    In the woods

    Under the boughs
    Of the Blue Spruce tree
    Is a tunnel
    A carefully hidden tunnel
    A tunnel
    That will transform you
    To whatever life you choose

    Crawl under the boughs
    Of the Blue Spruce tree
    And into the tunnel
    The transformation tunnel
    Be sure before you enter
    There’s no going back

    Under the boughs
    Of the Blue Spruce tree
    The transformation tunnel
    Leads you to your chosen life
    The tunnel door will close
    Good bye

  20. Rowdy

    Although I’ve written an occasional poem over the years, I have never considered myself a poet. And while I’m not sure some of the things I’ve produced during this, my first PAD Challenge, qualify as poems, I have thoroughly enjoyed stretching my writing muscles in the genre. I explored poetic forms I never knew existed, like the gwawdodyn, and wrote a sonnet and a sestina for the first time. And I’m making a note on my calendar to give the November chapbook challenge a try. Thank you all for the inspiration.
    Kay Butzin

    1. Linda Voit

      In my book, if you’ve written a sestina, you have overcome a very large poetic hurdle indeed! Welcome to PAD — I look forward to it every April!

  21. Shaziane

    Wow! I’m a poet who was very involved with others, and only wrote when the feeling struck but those items you listed…they got my hearts pounding, tummy tumbling, and cheeks burning (because I’m smiling so hard). The party doesn’t stop.

    I look forward to writing my heart out. Enjoy your weekend, and tank you for making my April awesome.

  22. De Jackson

    THANK YOU, as ever, for all you do. I can’t wait to go back over the next few days and do some reading and commenting (these were a bit more challenging this year, with the new “older posts” format.) 😉

    YOU ROCK! We’re thankful.
    (Sorry, I’m out of words.) 😉


  23. Michelle Hed

    Thank you Robert for another wonderful year! It’s been so life changing and a pleasure to be doing this challenge with you since 2008 – 8 years – WOW! The prompts were excellent! You totally fooled me yesterday – I was expecting a farewell prompt. Thanks again!

  24. strandedmoon

    I am thankful to this challenge. It was something I do for first time. I have written for first time non rhyming poetry in English. I read and learned a lot. It was my pleasure.

  25. BellaNaija

    My first “challenge” and it was so inspiring and motivating. I came to the website this morning just to see if you had a bonus prompt for May 1st! 🙂 Thank you for leading this effort!

  26. LaurelD

    Exciting! This was my first year participating in the challenge, and I had so much fun! It was great to see so many people producing fantastic poetry and encouraging each other. I hope to do this again next year … or maybe even try out the November Chapbook challenge. That sounds interesting!

    1. Kjean

      I absolutely agree!
      And, In case you didn’t catch my comments to you yesterday, I just want to thank you for this awesome opportunity. I have never done the poetry challenge during April or Nov. This was my first time. I have been a teacher of creative writing for over 20 years and every spring my curriculum covers poetry. I wish I had locked on to this sooner… The April PAD will become a part of my spring curriculum every year forward.
      I especially appreciated getting “to know” other poets. Their wonderful comments and amazing encouragement can not go unmentioned. What a community! Thank you again!
      Enjoy your days off!

  27. Linda Voit

    Thanks for another great year of poetic balm Robert, fellow poets, readers and guest judges! I’ve ordered the anthology, as I did last year, and highly recommend it to all!

    Robert – my only question is whether there is a way Writer’s Digest could provide (or support) a search tool that brings readers to poems by the poet’s name. For some reason, the wonderful, wonderful tool Anders Bylund created and that used to do that, seems to be only going to the date of a post now instead of to the post itself, and with the popularity of PAD that makes it too cumbersome.

    1. LizMac

      I second the search tool request. I’m grateful for what was provided. But I do seem to remember that last year it would take you to the specific post itself, rather than to the date of the post as Linda mentions above? This year, I was always concerned that perhaps someone had replied to either a poem or comment I had made, without me realizing it, and it would seem as though I was ignoring them. Yes, I could have searched through pages and pages to see if that had happened, but that becomes too time consuming after a couple of days into the challenge. Sometimes the green “Replies” link did take me directly to the specific post, but this happened only a very few times in 30 days. Most often it just took me to the day itself.

      1. sppeac1987

        I third this request, and glad it’s not just me who had this problem! But any rate, THANK YOU for this, was my first time doing this challenge and it really gave me a bit of initiative and fuelled my creative juices, look forward to doing it again next year 😀

          1. Anders Bylund

            Yikes. The way the comments system worked this year, with multiple pages and whatnot, made it impossible to keep up with ever+changing links. I should be able to nail things down now that the posting volume is falling, direct links to the poems and all. Stay tuned, my friends.

    2. Jean Kay

      I agree with Linda. A search by name option would be useful and helpful. I would not like to miss any replies to my poems and opportunities to thank those replying.

      Robert, thanks for the summary above of how we can participate throughout the year, that’s great.
      I did post a thank you poem for you and the judges on Day 30 at 11:33 am, in case you missed it. I don’t envy you the selection process. There have been some wonderful, thought-provoking poems written this month.

      Enjoy your well-deserved time off.

      1. Jean Kay

        Anders, thank you very much. That has made it so much easier to check back on any replies we received on our poems. Another good example of talent and skills being displayed. You rock!


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