WD Poetic Form Challenge: Curtal Sonnet Winner

Here are the results of the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for curtal sonnet. There was a lot of great verse, but only 10 can be finalists and just one can win.

Read all of them here.

Here is the winning poem:

Under the Rainbow, by Jane Shlensky

I watch a child at play after a rain—
galoshes red, cap blue, umbrella black—
the puddles like small mirrors beckoning.
His mother calls him but he can’t restrain
himself from handsome splashes, calling back
“Just watch me!” My, his joy has made him king
of puddles, lord of rainscapes, rainbow knight.
He celebrates mudlushiousness, each track
enveloped by sky’s spectrum hovering.
We lift our eyes delighted by the sight
and sing.


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Congratulations, Jane! There are few things better than a poem about splashing in puddles and singing—though reading the word “mudlushiousness” comes pretty close.

Here’s a complete look at my Top 10 list:

  1. Under the Rainbow, by Jane Shlensky
  2. Boom!, by RJ Clarken
  3. Craving Cool, by Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming
  4. After the Fireworks, by William Preston
  5. He Baptizes With Water, by Walter J Wojtanik
  6. Kicking Back, by John Hanson
  7. Gerard Manley Hopkins, by James Von Hendy
  8. The Eternal Struggle, by J.T. Lake
  9. Legacy, by Jane Shlensky
  10. Homeland, by Marie Elena Good

Congratulations to everyone in the Top 10! And to everyone who wrote curtal sonnets!


Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff.

He loves learning new (to him) poetic forms and trying out new poetic challenges. He is also the author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.


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10 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Curtal Sonnet Winner

  1. Marie Elena

    Thanks for the Facebook heads up, RJ! My goodness is it ever humbling to be in such great company. Added an abundance of sunshine to my rainy gray day! Thank you, Robert! And speaking of rainy days, JANE!!! I’m a puddle lover myself, and your poem is a “wish I’d written this.” To. The. Max. Wonderful stuff here! Congratulations to you and all who wrote a Curtal Sonnet. That post is filled to the brim with wonder.

  2. Asha1000

    Congratulations, Jane. Great poem – well written with nicely-painted images. Congratulations also to the other top tenners!. I am so proud to be among you.

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Thanks for the kind words. I just read through all the poems sent and have to say that Robert is better at choosing than I would be. Such good poems in there and so many great ones on that top ten list. This sure did make my point my day in a positive direction. Thanks to ee and Robert.

  4. PressOn

    Congratulations, Jane, and I agree with Robert about “mudlushiousnes”; the poem and the word are delightful and treats to the ear. Congratulations also to everybody else in the top ten.


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