W3 ~ Wea’ve Written Weekly
Friends, not so long ago, when we were marking 5,000 subscribers at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, I mentioned that I would be launching a new poetry prompt. I had intended to launch it at the beginning of April, but life got in the way… So, as of now, I am planning to post the very first W3 prompt in early May, after NaPoWriMo ’22 has ended.
The W3 concept
This new prompt is a little bit different than others I’ve come across, but the concept is simple. Every week, there will be a new ‘Poet of the Week’ (PoW) who will run the prompt, thereby taking the prompt itself out of my hands after the first week.
The ‘Poet of the Week’ (PoW) will be selected by the previous PoW, as will be explained further below.
Every week, the prompt will be comprised of two components:
- A poem by the PoW, provided as inspiration; and
- One or two (at most) guidelines provided by the PoW.
“Wea’ve Written Weekly” is not just a weekly poetry prompt – it is, ultimately, a “weave” of poems, which “we’ve” written together, week after week.
For the very first prompt, I will be publishing a poem of mine, along with one or two guidelines for W3 participants, as mentioned above.
Participants will write poems inspired by (/ in response to) my poem, according to the guidelines I set. After several days, the prompt will be closed to further submissions, at which point I will select one poem from among that week’s participants. The poet whose poem I’ve selected will become the PoW; and that very poem will become the prompt for the following week.
Selecting the PoW for the following week
The selection of the next PoW is 100% in the hands of the current PoW.
The PoW should read all the poetry submissions that were written in response to their own poem (i.e., that week’s prompt), and provide feedback to all participants. Then, the PoW selects one of the poetry submissions and informs me of their decision.
Criteria for which submission the PoW should select do not exist; the decision-making process is entirely personal. That said, the PoW is encouraged to give stronger consideration to poets who have not been (or have not recently been) the PoW… However, the PoW has the ultimate choice; I will not be providing the PoW with any input.
What sorts of guidelines?
Guidelines are decided exclusively by the PoW. The PoW can require participants to employ a certain poetic form, include a particular word or phrase in their submissions, or limit themselves to a particular word count. The list of potential guidelines is endless – but no more than two per week.
The only thing that is out of the PoW’s hands is the poem for that week’s prompt, which MUST be the PoW’s poetry submission from the previous week. That’s why this is a “weave” – because every subsequent weekly poem, which gets woven into W3 will have been written in response to the previous week’s poem.
Therefore, by participating in W3, poets are knowingly allowing for the possibility that they and their poetry submissions may be selected to host W3 the following week.