guidelines for inclusion in the read write poem napowrimo challenge anthology

by Nathan Moore and Dana Guthrie Martin

This year, in addition to the joy of writing a poem every day as part of the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Challenge, we are offering to include one poem from every person who completes the challenge in the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Challenge Anthology.

Below are the guidelines for inclusion. You can also refer to the announcement post about the anthology for more details.

Those who will be included in the anthology must:

  1. Take the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Challenge pledge by or on April 1.
  2. Write a poem each day during the month of April (or one or more longer poems with different sections drafted and posted each day).
  3. Post new work each day. There are two options for this: If you have a blog, post the work there and leave a link here in the comments section of each day’s prompt. If you don’t have a blog, post the poems themselves in the comments section of each day’s prompt.
  4. To be included in the anthology, you must post each poem on the correct day of the month. *

    * Note: We will give you some leeway based on where you live. Read Write Poem is administered from two U.S. time zones — Pacific Time and Eastern Time, but we know others are in various places around the world and will take that into account when determining if your poem was written on the appropriate day.

  5. On May 1, we will publish a post in which people can let us know they finished the challenge. That post will include a deadline and an email where completers can send their top three poems from the challenge. *

    * Note: You can edit the poems you submit if you like — and we encourage taking another look (or looks) at the work — but they have to somewhat resemble the drafts you write during the challenge. That is, don’t write new poems for the anthology. That’s a no-no.

  6. We will review the top three poems everyone sends in and select one from each person for inclusion in the anthology. *

    * Note: If a poem is long, we will work with the author on an excerpt. Participants will have a lot of poems to share, and we need to give each poet equal “time” in the collection.

  7. The final document will be edited, designed and shared as an electronic file at, and it will be a glorious record of everyone’s work, creativity, commitment and achievement.
  8. Collaboration is cool! If you choose to write collaboratively authored poems, that’s great. And if you write with someone else, you can both use the poem as that day’s submission.
  9. Contributors must write at least half their poems in response to daily, member-authored Read Write Poem prompts. You can get fancy and write a single poem that merges two or more prompts from various communities — which could be an amazing challenge in itself — and that’s OK, too. Any poem that responds to Read Write Poem prompts, even if it is in addition to another community’s prompt, will count toward your 50-percent threshold. *

    * Note: For purposes of inclusion in the anthology, the poems you write to our prompts can be shared any day of the month — not necessarily on the day we post them. We’re tying to make inclusion in the anthology as fun, and easy, on you as possible.

We have included this last guideline because some have asked if they can post their poems to more than one challenge. That’s fine, to a certain extent. What we don’t want to see are people simply dropping off their links on as many NaPoWriMo sites as they can find. We could easily end up with an anthology that has more than 2,000 contributors, and that would not make for an editable — or readable — anthology.

And remember — if you miss a day (or two or three), you are not out of luck! Though you will not qualify for the anthology, we are also raffling off a few “gently used” poetry books from our own poetry collections. Every person who takes the pledge on or before April 1 — and at least attempts to write a poem each day during April — will be included in that raffle.

nathan mooreCommunity director Nathan Moore found The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and left the academy. He once lived in a house with three walls. Nathan shares his writing at Exhaust Fumes and French Fries.

Dana Guthrie Martin founded Read Write Poem in 2007 as an extension of her work as co-founder of the Poetry Thursday site. She writes poetry and prose, and lives in the Seattle area with her husband, her robot and her two hermit crabs.

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25 comments to guidelines for inclusion in the read write poem napowrimo challenge anthology

  • hosking

    Who decides what the best three poems are. The poet, herself. Or should we go by how many people complimented a poem?

    Dana Guthrie Martin replied:

    You decide, using whatever metric feels right to you.

  • No 4 seems to be at odds with the last comment that you can post to a prompt on any day. I’m a little confused.
    As to the timing – no prompts here yet, though it’s April 1st in New Zealand. So, I assume the prompt will appear tonight, which means I will write it tomorrow, which is OK – I can do April 2nd to May 1st – but then I will be posting late instead of early, as by the time I get home from work to post it, it will be the next day in the US. (Though – it will still be the correct day in Hawaii!).
    My blog is dated in New Zealand time so it will look as if I have posted a day late.
    Or, I could just grab one of your old wordles to work on today. (Maybe I will even do 31 poems)

  • Catherine, feel free to write to any given prompt on any given day. But when you post your links here, post them on the prompt post corresponding to the day of the week. And since you are in New Zealand, we’ll take into account where you are in your time zone. No worries. Why don’t you do a free day today, and then use the prompts a day off the rest of the month?

  • Dana, I’m still confused. If I write to your day one prompt, I should post the link to that poem on your day one post, right?
    I think last year sometimes I doubled up eg my day two poem was for the day one prompt, so I posted the link in both places just to be sure. (I have already done a day one poem. Just about to post it, but I have no place to put the link yet :) . New Zealand is backward in some things but in time zones we are number one!)

  • Catherine, you don’t have to. You could post on the prompt that corresponds with “today” wherever you are. Whatever system you choose, just do it consistently.

    When we put out the call for the anthology submissions, if you tell us your system, we’ll use that system in determining your eligibility. We’re not going to bar anyone from being included if they chose a system, used it consistently and clearly wrote every day. If you want to post both days, that’s fine, too.

    Yes, you all are very forward where time is concerned.

  • Do we have to follow the prompt word for word? For example, can I write a poem based on song titles instead of Album titles?

    Nathan replied:

    Stefanie, sure. The prompt is a springboard for your ideas.

  • Where can I find the prompts?

    Nathan replied:

    Kagerrr, this should answer your question (from the sticky post at the top of the site):

    “Each post will be labeled “NaPoWriMo” with a number (1, 2, 3, etc.) that indicates the day of the month. That post is both your prompt for the day, and the place where you will leave your link that day. Each post will show up just below this one — scroll down and you will see those posts. For example, today is April 1, and the “NaPoWriMo #1″ post appears just below this post.”

  • Well, I didn’t follow the rules (because I didn’t read them closely when I signed up) on the very first day of this! Hahaha. But I did write a poem and post it on my blog. Oh well, despite not being eligible for “inclusion” already, I still intend to write a poem a day and post it on my blog. As my friend said yesterday – I’m an outlaw!

  • I have poems from April 1st and 2nd on my site –

  • Hmmm…my previous comments seems to not be anywhere in sight…OK…I have poems from April 1st and 2nd on my site –

    Tim Keeton

  • Dang! I was all set to do this and missed the challenge challenge sign up deadline. So I’ll so it anyway, poems for prompts 1 & 2 are already posted at

    Nathan replied:

    Vanessa, you’ll want to post links in the comments sections of the appropriate prompts so everyone can find them.

  • For april 3rd

    glass world

    Nathan replied:

    Kushal, post your link in the comments for the prompt.

  • I´d like to be included but I missed the two first entries (although I included them today) I missed the info because I checked the info during the morning (GMT time zone). Is not too late? Thanks!

    Nathan replied:

    Stilleto, you can still challenge yourself to write everyday this month!

    Stiletto replied:

    Thanks Nathan, I will! :D

  • Please see my poem for April 3rd at

    Tim Keeton

  • I enjoy writing poetry. I am just not up to the challenge of writing one a day for a whole month, not this year any way. But, if you check out my blog: you will find a poem now and then mixed in with other stuff.

    I think the challenge is a great idea and fun to read everyday. A healthy snack for the heart and mind…read poetry!

  • I love the challenge. I am teaching a Cr. Wr. class in our local men’s penitentiary. It is a great motivation to write.

    I missed saying I would sign up, despite achieving the goal of writing one poem for each prompt last year.

    I have had adult children visiting for Easter! We were incredibly busy with a 2-yr. old toddler, is it too late to commit?!

  • Ooops, since I’m reading this on April 7 looks like I’m out of luck. I like the prompts though. I never could follow rules, but will continue to write poems and hope they find their way to the right reader anyway.

  • angelatopping

    I’ve been posting on my wire, but will now add them to my blog as well

read write poem news

  • read write poem napowrimo anthology
    June 20, 2010 | 1:36 pm

    The Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Anthology is still in production. Selection, placement, layout and copyediting are taking longer than anticipated. Thank you for your patience. I hope to have the piece completed in July. For those who have emailed asking if they can be included, the May 7 deadline for submission of work stands. Those who met that deadline will be included. Please check the post on this site listing who I received submissions from by that date. If you submitted your work by the May 7 deadline in accordance with our guidelines and your name is not listed, send an email to info (at) readwritepoem (dot) org.

  • read write poem napowrimo anthology
    May 5, 2010 | 3:09 pm

    Remember that Friday* is the deadline for submitting work to the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Anthology. Check out the guidelines for submission in the main column (to the left). On May 8, we’ll post a news item listing everyone we’ve received work from. If you submitted work and your name is not on that list, please let us know. Thanks!

    *I initially said “tomorrow,” but I meant to say “Friday.”

  • napowrimo congratulations, and a reminder
    April 24, 2010 | 12:05 pm

    It’s the final week of the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Challenge! Just 7 days left. With that, a reminder that Read Write Poem will culminate with the anthology featuring work from those who complete the challenge. A post with details for submitting to the anthology will be published May 1. Be sure you remove any information from the site that you want preserved — such as group content and personal messages. Those elements of the site will be removed May 1 as well. The main site will remain up as an archive.

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    April 20, 2010 | 8:11 pm

    January Gill O’Neil’s virtual book tour has moved to her site and is underway now. Check out the lineup at Poet Mom.

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