Prolific Writers Life is excited to announce a collaboration with the Seattle Poetics Lab, also known as SPLAB. At PWL, we want to introduce as many writing opportunities as possible to our members. SPLAB poetry events are a great way to connect with published writers while also growing your writing community. Their annual Postcard Poetry Fest is in full swing and you still have time to sign up online for this amazing event. Details about the poetry event are below.
by Julie A. Fast and Keiko O’Leary, PWL Staff Writers
What is the SPLAB Poetry Postcard Fest?
The Poetry Postcard Fest is an annual event where writers create a daily, spontaneous poem on the back of a postcard that is then mailed to a fellow poet. At the same time, the sender will also receive a postcard with a poem from a fellow participant.
The sign up process is simple. Participants register online through the Prolific Writers Life for a nominal fee. Starting July 4, 2021 participants receive a list of 31 registered poets. Throughout the month of August, participants agree to compose and send to another poet on the list an original poem composed on a postcard that is delivered by regular mail.
Why Should You Sign up for The SPLAB Poetry Postcard Fest?
Here is how she described the event to her fellow writers:
Poetry. Postcards. Poetry on Postcards!
Let’s join hundreds of other enthusiastic writers for the Poetry Postcard Fest. Here’s how it works:
- Sign up by July 18, 2021 to get a list of participants.
- Make, buy, or use your current stash of 31 postcards and 31 stamps. It’s best to have these ready before the Fest starts.
- Every day in August, you will compose a new poem directly on a postcard and mail it to a new person on your participant list. (Yes, that’s 31 poems on 31 postcards, one per day!)
- In return, you get 31 poetry postcards—one each from 31 other participants. Getting a postcard in the mail is pretty exciting!
P.S. I made you a handwritten postcard about postcards.
The SPLAB Poetry Postcard Fest is a great way to meet new people and share your love of writing with the world!
But I’m not a poet! Can I still participate in this event?
Yes! Writers who already create poetry will naturally gravitate towards poetry events and contests, but what about writers who have never written a poem? This event is for you as well.
We encourage all writers to expand their genre and try something new. Writers often wonder…
- Am I a poet?
- What defines a poem, and can I write poetry!?
- Does a poem have to rhyme?
These are natural questions and we hope you will also consider these questions…
- Do I love to write?
- How can I share my love of writing with other writers?
- What online and in person opportunities are there for me to get my work to the world?
Discovery the Joy of Poetry Writing
SPLAB encourages the love of poetry and gives writers the opportunity to finish a project. Short form writing is invigorating, fun, and life changing. Think of how much joy the receiver will get when your poem arrives in the mail. Then, think of what it will feel like to finish a poem and release it to the world. This is truly the writer’s life.
PWL member Sophia Falco, poet and published author of the poetry collection Farewell Clay Dove (UnCollected Press, 2021) says, “It was fate that I found poetry because now words are my saviors on paper.”
We encourage all writers to at least try poetry. It’s such an expressive form of writing. Whether you like rhythm and rhyme, or you prefer to write prose poems or free verse, poetry expands our writing craft—and who knows, you might discover an inner poet you never knew existed.
Where Can You Find the Postcards?
People buy, create, or use postcards from past vacations to share the poems. Think of a postcard from a vacation you never sent or a postcard of your favorite artist from a museum trip.
The best places to buy postcards are bookstores and art supply stores. You can often find a set of postcards with beautiful photographs or images by an artist you love. Art supply stores also usually sell blank postcards that you can paint or draw on.
Other places to find postcards include post offices and mailing centers such as FedEx and UPS, museums, gift shops, and any store near a tourist attraction. Online shops such as Etsy and Amazon Handmade are a great choice as are office supply stores.
What about Making Your Own Postcards?
If you have a paper cutter, the easiest, most cost-effective way to make postcards is to get some cardstock in letter or A4 size, and cut it into quarters.
You can get postcards with your own images printed by a local print shop, or a mail order printer such as PrintPapa. Blank postcards are also available, with lines to write the address printed on the back. And finally, most photographs can also be sent as postcards—print them on your home printer or at a photo shop.
Some writers love to look for new postcards that fit the theme of the poems they plan to write. Postcard images can also be used as a prompt for the poetry, and many poets use this as an opportunity to create art and poetry at the same time.
Maybe a haiku about your dream trip to Thailand or a sonnet for a relationship you loved and lost. The possibilities are endless.
It’s also exciting to see what kind of postcards you receive from a fellow poet!
How Writing Events Help You Get Published
Our goal at PWL is helping you create the writing life that fits your style. If publishing is a goal, getting your work to new people is a great way to increase visibility. The more you release your writing to the world, the more chance you have of someone seeing your work and asking you to be a part of the publishing world. This can lead to a collaboration, a request to use your work in an anthology, a guest post, or even a book!
Whether you’re interested in increasing your writing output, polishing your work for publication, or you just love sharing your writing with the world, the SPLAB Poetry Postcard Fest is a great way to share your work and at the same time receive poetry and amazing postcards from fellow writers. We hope you will join the thousands of people who have participated in the Poetry Fest over the past 14 years and spread the love of writing and postcards to the world!
Writing Poetry on Postcards in a Social Media World
I asked SPLAB founder and Poetry Fest creator Paul E. Nelson about writing a poem on paper and if this would appeal to teens and young adults as a retro way of entering the writing world. He replied, “I think they would find the retro aspect interesting. Also, if Marshall McLuhan was right and the medium is the message, then postcard poems have a great deal more potency and vitality than social media, which seems to have had a huge effect on the current polarization of the United States. Click here to read his essay on this interesting topic.”
We Look forward to Seeing Your Poems
Whether you’re interested in publishing online, in a book, or you simply want to share your work with fellow writers, the Poetry Postcard Fest is a great way to jump-start or enhance your writing career. A postcard saves your work. It announces to the world, “I am a poet. I am a writer, and I love what I do!”
I leave you with a poem that shows what powerful writing can fit on a postcard. Let’s challenge ourselves and share our love of words with our writing community.
“A Poppy Blooms”
by Katsushika Hokusai
I write, erase, rewrite
Erase again, and then
A poppy blooms.
We look foward to seeing your postcards!
Julie A. Fast is an international bestselling self help author of eight books with over 500,000 copies sold. She was the first person to sell a self help ebook online and taught digital marketing at writing conferences for ten years. She is regularly interviewed for TV, radio, print and podcasts.