If you’re looking for a new challenge and a way to get your poetry chops greased, this writing challenge is the one for you!
$ Escapril$ is a poetry challenge where you write a poem every day of April!
Although the challenge is for poetry, other types of short fiction (such as prose or flash fiction) are also welcome. The idea is just to get new words down, challenge yourself, and end up with a little content bank.
Escapril was created by $ Savannah Brown$ , a poet herself, to encourage participation in National Poetry Month! Savannah Brown has three poetry collections out, including her newest addition, closer baby closer, and has also written novels—which you can find on her $ website$ . In an interview with $ Obscur magazine$ , Brown insists that, "I was absolutely not the first person to come up with the idea of writing a poem every day in April, but I wanted to create a sort of centralized and curated community space and reliable hashtags people could use to connect with others participating." The $ @letsescapril$ Instagram account releases prompts every day in April. You write your poem based on the prompt (or freestyle!), then you can post it online to share with other participants, usually on Instagram or Twitter. Be sure to tag it on social media with the hashtag #escapril. That way others can find your content, and you can find other like-minded writers and their writing!
1. write a poem
2. post it online
3. tag your work
Here's all you need to know about getting the most from the writing challenge.
When writing the first draft of anything, you have to remember it doesn’t have to be perfect—it just has to be written. Then you can worry about making it good. So turn your brain off and word-splurge onto the page. Be a bad writer, but a good editor!
This one helps me tremendously. Sometimes a prompt just won’t click for me, so I take a piece of paper and just write anything I associate with the prompt. Doesn’t matter what, but everything gets put on that piece of paper. Once I’m done, I have a little bank of ideas that I can cherry-pick to incorporate in my poem.
Make mistakes. Try something new. Who knows, maybe this new method is actually helpful or creates a new effect that you like; I know I’ve found writing techniques like that once or twice. Don’t get so caught up in being ‘good’ that you forget to experiment a little. Maybe you’ve never tried different poetic forms or meters—this is the time to challenge yourself!
You don’t need to explain, or even understand, every little aspect of your poem. Sometimes a poem is vague, and that’s okay. It might actually be really cool, because people can read and analyze it in their own way, and that could be a fascinating and new experience.
Don't worry about taking the prompts too literally, either. If the words spark unrelated inspiration, roll with that!
This is a kind of half tip, because it goes hand-in-hand with Tip 1, but just… don’t do that thing. You know, that thing that writers do where they have to know what type of designs handkerchiefs had in 1645 or whatever. Just write it first, fact-check later. Accuracy is not your number one priority on your first draft, and it will only slow you down.
Look, if you can’t do one day no matter how hard you try, save your energy. Burning yourself out won’t help you in the long run in this challenge, and no one is going to revoke your Escapril card. This is a challenge, not a chore—pick your battles. But if you can even write a bad poem, it’s better than no poem.
Sometimes just brain-dumping random sentences that the prompt brings to mind can later reveal something useful. Often, you'll find art in the messiest places.
Escapril is meant to be FUN! It’s a new way to challenge yourself, it’s the opportunity to experiment and make mistakes. You don’t have to write well right now,—you just have to write.
Now, get out there and write some poems!