#FoDiByLi Poetry Marathon: A Race for the Crown

What is a Poetry Marathon?

A Poetry Marathon is a creative endurance test. Writers from all around the world are invited to take part writing at the same time, to the same creative prompts, which are posted once per hour throughout the event.

Inspired by The Poetry Marathon, run by Caitlin Thomson and Jacob Jans ‘A Race for the Crown’ is an adaption of this same event format.


Why take part?

The primary reason to take part in this event is to write poetry. Whether you write often or haven’t tried before this event is a chance for any and all writers to try their hands at something new, and to write alongside a community of creative individuals who are all doing the same thing at the same time.

At the end of the first stage you will have twelve new poems to be proud of and many people go on to publish some of these poems in literary magazines or other publications. Some even use their marathon poems to create a collection of their own. At the end of stage two, for those that go on to complete it, you will have created something quite outstanding that you could showcase in any collection of work you may go on to create.

A Crown of Sonnets is a significant body of work and something many writers would be nervous about attempting; but, doing so with the support of other writers all doing the same thing can often help us overcome those creative worries getting us to the end of a first draft that can be celebrated and improved upon.

There is no one way showcase your work and even if you just write one or two new poems throughout the day, you get a chance to read other writers work and network with them throughout the day and beyond. Creativity itself is rewarding, and though challenging, the rewards are returned the more we all invest as a community of creative minds.


The Prize

As this is the first event ever run by Forever Distracted by Life we felt it was important to mark that occasion by doing something extra special and so the first three poets to cross the line and complete a full first draft of their crown will receive a ‘Forever Distracted By Life’ 2022 calendar which will be mailed out to you at the end of the month. 

If less than three poets complete the second stage of the event, then the unclaimed prizes will be added to a random prize draw along with an additional two calendars which could be won by anyone who completes the first stage of the event. All five calendars will be won, so take part and you might just get one of these extremely limited edition prizes donated by the #FoDiByLi Lead Writer and Editor DS Coremans.


Once the Marathon is complete there will be an opportunity for everyone to edit their work before a submission window opens for anyone who took part to submit their work to be included in an anthology collection of the poems written during the event.

Whether you write one poem, or twelve, or go on to complete the full crown of Sonnets your work will be eligible for submission; so take part and give yourself a chance to be creative, to network with other writers and even showcase your work in a publication to be released later in the year.


Before the Marathon

The hourly prompts will be available on the Friends of #FoDiByLi Facebook group. To take part you should join the Friends of #FoDiByLi group before 12pm on Friday 21st January 2022. Applications to join the group after this time may not be processed until after the event has been completed.

#FoDiByLi is run voluntarily by only one person and the administration necessary to run this event means that on the day there will likely not be anyone available to process requests to join the page or help with technical requests, but all efforts will be made to make this event accessible to anyone who wants to take part.


During the Marathon

The poetry marathon begins at 12pm GMT on Saturday 22nd January 2022.

Stage 1 – The Marathon

Begins at 12pm GMT (Saturday 22 January)

12 Prompts, 12 Hours, One Prompt Per Hour

Write one poem per hour, using the prompt given as inspiration.

You can post your poems as a comment under the hourly prompts, but this is not mandatory. Sharing your work this way is a valuable way to engage with the other writers taking part in the event and by sharing your own work and commenting on the work of other writers there is an opportunity to gain feedback on your writing that may help you during the editing and submission phase of writing as well as being part of the networking experience of the event itself.

Poems can be any style, length or topic. However, if you are taking part in the second stage of the marathon at least three of your poems should be sonnets, of any style or rhyme scheme preferred. The only strict rule for Sonnets is that they should each have 14 lines and 10 syllables per line.

Poets who fall behind can catch up, but should not write ahead of the next hourly prompt. During stage one only one poem per hour is required but of course you are free to write more for any one prompt if you feel so inspired.

Everyone should aim to finish stage one by midnight on Sunday the 23rd January.

Stage 2 – The Race Begins

Begins at 12am GMT (Sunday 23 January)

1 Prompt, One Fully Finished Crown of Sonnets

Using the template provided; you should craft a fully finished first draft of a crown of sonnets: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qo8oWCME4VxC6ZM08YhZJvgWiGU2xbijQfwVrIdKAS4/edit?usp=sharing 

(To save confusion during the marathon it is recommended that all participants look at and add their name to the participants list on the spreadsheet before the event begins.)

A Crown of Sonnets is 15 individual linked sonnets where each successive sonnet start with a line from the 15th sonnet which you will have written during the first stage of the marathon. The first line of Sonnet 1 starts with line 1, and ends with line 2 of Sonnet 15; The first line of Sonnet 2 starts with line 2, and ends with line 3 of Sonnet 15…The first line of Sonnet 14 starts with line 14, and ends with line 1 of Sonnet 15.

There will be a full explanation of the style on the Friends of #FoDiByLi group page before the event as well as an example of a full draft of a Crown of Sonnets in the online template.

All participants will have one full week to work on their crown of sonnets, and the event will close at midnight on Sunday 30th January 2022.


After the Marathon

All participants who took part in the first stage of the marathon should email their work in an attached document to DS Coremans to verify completion of the event by 12pm Sunday 23rd January 2022. These poems will not count as submissions, but poets who write all twelve poems will be entered into the random prize draw for the #FoDiByLi 2022 calendar prizes. Even if you don’t write all twelve poems, send confirmation of your work as all prizes will be given away, and if less than five people complete the marathon, you may still be added to the prize draw.

All participants taking part in the second stage of the marathon will have one week to finish their Crown of Sonnets. To be eligible for one of the three prizes your completed first draft of your Crown should be added to the shared Google Spreadsheet before 12am on Sunday 30th January 2022. Prizes will be given to the first three participants to submit their finished crown of sonnets. Any unclaimed Crown prizes will be added to the random prize draw which all stage one participants will be added to when they complete their poems. 

If for any reason you have trouble accessing or using the spreadsheet, completed crowns can be sent via email, please note the date and time you completed your work to be eligible to claim one of the three #FoDiByLi 2022 calendar prizes.

Contact DS Coremans at dsc@fodibyli.com for any help in accessing the event resources or if you have any questions about the event before it begins.


Anthology Collection

Dependant on the final number of participants, there may be an opportunity to submit your work for publication in an anthology collection to commemorate the Race for the Crown event. If the anthology goes ahead the submission window will be announced a little later in the year, giving participants enough time to edit their work to ensure it is of the highest standard before submission.

All participants will be welcome to submit their work, wether you wrote one poem, twelve or the full crown of sonnets. The Anthology will be open to everyone to celebrate the effort you have put into your work and give you a chance to see your work on the page alongside the work of everyone else who takes part.


Participants should join the ‘Friends of #FoDiByLi’ Facebook group before the event begins: https://www.facebook.com/groups/891980424800372

Alva Glens, Clackmannonshire, Scotland (May 2018) ©DSCoremans

Recent Writing Prompts from #FoDiByLi

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Happy Writing. Stay Safe. Stay Distracted.

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