WD Poetic Form Challenge: Lai

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Are you ready for the next poetic form challenge? I hope you are.

This time, we'll be writing the lai, a nine-line French form that utilizes the following "a" and "b" rhyme scheme: aabaabaab. The "a" rhyme lines have five syllables, the "b" lines offer two. Click here to read more about the lai.

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Workshop your poetry!

Get feedback on your poetry and connect with other poets serious about the craft. Plus, do it all online--so you don't have to deal with traffic, being on time, or getting dressed. Click to continue.

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Here are the WD Poetic Form Challenge guidelines:

  • Challenge is free. There is no entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer's Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline: 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on October 6, 2013.
  • Poets can enter as many lai (lais?) as they wish. Feel free to pummel me with them.
  • Also, I'll allow poets to string together as many as three lai together if they wish. This is NOT a suggestion--just as an allowance for poets who like to string things together. I'm totally fine with poets who stop at nine lines.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, e-mail me at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new lai.
  • I will only consider lai shared in the comments for this post. It gets too complicated trying to hunt them down elsewhere.
  • Speaking of posting, if it's your first time commenting on this site, it might take a day or three for your comment to be manually approved by me (or another WD editor). So hang tight. If it starts to drag out or is super close to the deadline, just shoot me an e-mail to confirm receipt.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don't, I'll be forced to use your screen name (which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker). WD has a healthy circulation, so be sure to make it easy for me to get your byline right.
  • Finally--and most importantly--have fun!

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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 a guy who loves traditional forms, especially French forms. He edits books, creates blog posts, writes a poetry column for Writer's Digest magazine, edits a free weekly newsletter on getting published, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff. Voted Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere in 2010, Brewer recently celebrated the release of his debut full-length collection of poems, Solving the World's Problems (Press 53). He also curates an Insta-poetry series for Virginia Quarterly Review. He's married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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