About the Poetry Marathon

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.

The Date: The Poetry Marathon starts at 9 AM EDT on Saturday August 13th, 2016 and goes till 9 AM EDT on Sunday the 14th of August. Those who are interested in doing a half marathon start at 9 AM EDT on the 13th of August  and go till 9 PM.

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…

The Details: Sign up will start soon so keep an eye on this website, or follow our official Facebook page here.

The History of the Poetry Marathon

The Poetry Marathon is a yearly event that challenges participants to write 24 poems in 24 hours. The Poetry Marathon is run by Caitlin Jans (Thomson) and Jacob Jans, two writers and web publishers living in the Pacific Northwest. This year, for the first time, we have additional help from several wonderful volunteers.

We run the Poetry Marathon because we think that writing 24 poems in 24 hours is a great challenge to writers, and to do the challenge as part of a community can be particularly fulfilling. Great poems have been written and wonderful friendships formed because of the Marathon and we are grateful for that.

We cover all the costs of the marathon ourselves and we have never charged participants or received any outside funding.

The first poetry marathon occurred in 2011. Caitlin Jans (Thomson) came up with the idea as a way to challenge herself to write new and different poetry. When she told her husband and friends about it several were also interested in participating.

The first poetry marathon was a small but intense experience with only a few individuals involved, and the second one was very similar. The third marathon in 2014 was the first proper poetry marathon in many ways. It involved over 100 participants from all over the globe. The 2015 marathon had over 300 participants. There were people participating on every continent except Antarctica.