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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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