Skip to main content

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Lai

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.

*****

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.

*****

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  • All poems should be previously unpublished.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!

*****

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.

*****

Find more poetry-related posts:

Choosing Which Movements To Put in Your Fight Scene (FightWrite™)

Choosing Which Movements To Put in Your Fight Scene (FightWrite™)

Trained fighter and author Carla Hoch discusses how much of a fight's details to actually put into a story, and how even with fight scenes sometimes less is more.

5 Research Tips for Writing Historical Fiction, by Piper Huguley

5 Research Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

Author Piper Huguley shares her five research tips for writing historical fiction that readers love and writers love as well.

Announcing 40 More Plot Twist Prompts for Writers!

Announcing 40 More Plot Twist Prompts for Writers!

Learn more about 40 Plot Twist Prompts for Writers, Volume 2: ALL NEW Writing Ideas for Taking Your Stories in New Directions, by Writer's Digest Senior Editor Robert Lee Brewer. Discover fun and interesting ways to move your stories from beginning to end.

Interviewing Tips | Tyler Moss

Interviewing 101: Tips for Writers

Interviewing sources for quotes or research will be part of any writer's job. Here are tips to make the process as smooth and productive as possible.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Eliminate Threat

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Eliminate Threat

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character work to eliminate a threat.

4 Tips for Writing Gothic Horror

4 Tips for Writing Gothic Horror

Gothic horror and its many subgenres continues to increase in popularity. Here, author Ava Reid shares 4 tips on writing gothic horror.

Lucy Clarke: On the Power of Creativity

Lucy Clarke: On the Power of Creativity

Novelist Lucy Clarke discusses how a marathon of writing led to a first draft in just 17 days for her new psychological thriller, One of the Girls.

A Conversation With Jaden Terrell on Writer Expectations, Part 1 (Killer Writers)

A Conversation With Jaden Terrell on Writer Expectations, Part 1 (Killer Writers)

Killer Nashville founder Clay Stafford continues his series of interviews with mystery, thriller, and suspense authors. Here he has a conversation with novelist Jaden Terrell about writer expectations and success.

Connecting the Dots vs. Drawing the Whole Damn Picture: A Veteran Ghostwriter Takes Back His Pen and Finds Something To Say

Connecting the Dots vs. Drawing the Whole Damn Picture: A Veteran Ghostwriter Takes Back His Pen and Finds Something To Say

Writing for oneself after a decades-long career as a ghostwriter is a challenge unto itself. Here, author Daniel Paisner discusses his career as a ghostwriter, how the process differs from writing his own work, and if the two ever intersect.