The Poetry Marathon

24 Poems. 24 Hours.

The Goal: Write one poem every hour, for twenty-four hours, straight.

The Reward: In one day you will write a chapbook worth of poems. An admirable achievement. You also get the satisfaction and bragging rights that comes with completing a challenge, as well as the Official Marathon Writer’s Certificate (This will be digital).

The Date: The Poetry Marathon starts at 9 AM ET on Saturday June 26th, 2021 and goes till 9 AM ET on Sunday the 27th of June. The first half-marathon starts at 9 AM ET on the 26th The second half-marathon starts at 9PM ET on the 26th.

How It Will Work: Every hour you must write and post a poem on this site. The length and content of this poem is up to you. There will be prompts posted on the official website, every hour on the hour. You can choose to follow these prompts or ignore them. What you do with the rest of the hour is up to you. You can write the whole time, you can sleep, cook, eat, edit, run….

How to Participate: Just fill out the short application form linked to below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do the poems have to be?

They can be as long or as short as you want them to be. Every single one of them could be one line long or you can write a series of sonnets, or the length can vary from a few lines to two pages.

How should I prepare for the Marathon?

Everyone goes about this in a different way. I am stocking up on food and caffeine, ensuring that we don’t have to leave the house unless we want to leave the house. I am also going to try and get at least two good nights of sleep before the marathon. Some people are planning to do the evening portion with friends. So that they can help each other stay awake and motivated, also it will be a lot of fun. Some are planning to spend some of the downtime in Skype. You can do the marathon however you want to do the marathon.

I am going to be away from my laptop/the internet for part of the day? Can I just write the poems down every hour and put them up later?

Yes, it’s not always possible to access a computer or the internet. Besides, we believe in the honor system. After all, if you cheat during The Poetry Marathon you are only really cheating yourself. But you cannot schedule posts in advance. This means you can't write all your poems in the first hour and schedule them. The goal is to write one poem each hour, not 24 poems in less than 24 hours. You can add poems you wrote during the marathon after the marathon is completed, if you could not post them at the time, but you cannot do them in advance.

What if I can’t think of what to write about?

There will be prompts on the website, posted every hour, that may help. Also phone or skype a friend or fellow Marathoner. You can also start a discussion on the Facebook group.

What happens after the Marathon to the poems I write?

All the poems you write belong to you, both during the marathon and after it. You have the right and ability to remove the poems at any time. It is best to keep them up for at least a day after the marathon. I generally keep them up for at least a week so that fellow marathoners get a chance to read them.

Why do I have to fill out an application?

Filling out the very short application is a great way to start thinking and start committing to the marathon. When you sign up for a marathon in running, or any long organized running race, you have to fill out a form and pay a fee to run, it is a way of committing to prepare and participate in the race. This form works in the same way, except we're completely free.

What happens after I apply?

Once we've recieved your application, we will read it and contact you within a few days. We will set you up with a Wordpress account, so you can post your poems. We will also help you get oriented, to make sure you are comfortable using the technology. We'll also connect you with the community of other participants, and help you with any other questions you might have.