Dear Poet: The 2-Day Poem Contest

The Rejection Project was temporarily back-burnered as three ongoing projects (that I can’t talk about yet) all hit at once. Wish for rain, get a storm. That doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about this bit of motivation I’ve created for myself.

In fact, I’ve picked the first magazine I’m going to submit to: Contemporary Verse 2. CV2 holds the honour of being both in my classic, mail-in rejection pile and my more recent digital rejection pile—with a 14 year gap between.

I’m also breaking one of my rules right off the bat. (Poets. Not so good at rules.) I had said that I won’t pay to submit, and that’s still mostly true. However, CV2 hosts a yearly poetry contest/fundraiser called the 2-Day Poem Contest. They send you a list of ten words and you’ve got to write a poem using those words in 48 hours. The reason I’ll waive my no-cash rule for this is because…well, it’s fun. I’ve done it before (I’m still frustrated by the word furuncle) and I had a blast. I love an assignment. I enjoy writing to a theme. Give me a starting point and I can grow from there.

This rejection-themed challenge I’ve given myself exists because I know I like a framework. It’s something creators with ADHD often find helpful. It’s a way to push past the freeze. A starter pistol for our creativity. Plus I get a subscription with my entry, so that also helps with the project. I’ll be able to read a few issues. See what the current editors dig.

This likely wont be the first submission in The Rejection Project, because the contest doesn’t happen until April. I know it will happen, though, because I’ve already paid my entry fee. If I don’t pay it now, I’ll forget. Pre-planning is not my strong suit. It’s not even a whole suit. It’s just the cummerbund. A weak cummerbund.

So there you have it! Update #1 in The Rejection Project. Let me know if you dig contests, if you eschew them, if they inspire you, if they frustrate you. How do you find inspiration to write?

See you in the rejection pile!
H. E.

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