Every year The Poetry Marathon is a little different. This year we are figuring out how it will be different.
Last year, as some of you may know, we had more people start the Marathon than every before, but the completion rate was much lower than the year before. 500 people signed up, about 250 for the full marathon, and 250 for the half marathon. Only around 100 completed the full marathon. The success rate for the half marathon was much higher, but still not as good as the previous year.
So this year instead on focusing on growing, we are going to focus on completion rates. We want the majority of the participants to have a complete the marathon, or half marathon – whatever they have committed to.
To that end we are going to make the application sheet ask more specific questions of potential participants. We will also stress on the sign up sheet how much work the marathon is.
The majority of the people we talked to, who had dropped out of the marathon, did so because they did not realize how much time and effort it would involve. It is called a marathon for a reason. So we will also send out emails regarding how to plan for the marathon in the week proceeding it.
If you have any ideas about how we can make it clear how much effort the poetry marathon involves, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are hoping for the first time to have fewer initial participants but a much higher completion rate.
The Poetry Marathon continues to grow every year. Every year the diversity of the participants increase. In 2015 individuals living on 6 different continents participated. There were several mother daughter teams. The oldest poet was in their 80s, the youngest was in their teens. Experienced poets who had published books participated as did several people who had never really written poetry before.
During the marathon friendships and communities are formed that last much longer than the marathon itself.
However, what continues to surprise and impress me the most about the Marathon is the quality of work that it produces. By that I don’t mean edited and polished work. (One person dropped out this year because they hated looking at others typo riddled poems.) I mean the quality of the raw material, the poems before polishing.
This year the basics of the marathon will stay the same.
The marathon will take place on August 5th. It will start at 9 AM ET and it will conclude at 9 AM ET on the 6th for full marathoners. The half marathon will run from 9 AM to 9 PM on August 5th. Each poet must write and publish on the blog one poem per hour.
We will have one central Facebook group where poets can meet and encourage each other, before, after, and during the event.
All of the poems will still have to be posted on the central website (although you can remove them as soon as the marathon is over).
Everyone has to register before the marathon in order to participate in the marathon.
Everyone who completes the half or whole marathon will receive a digital certificate to mark their participation.
This is still largely a two person operation. Jacob Jans handles most of the technical aspects of the Marathon and Caitlin Jans handles almost everything else. Keep this in mind when we make mistakes or cannot manage to do everything that we want to do. This is not a large non-profit, this is two poets (with a baby, a dog, and jobs) who try their best.
There will still be a prompt published every hour.
We will again have volunteer commenters after the marathon. This was one of the really great improvements last year. I am very grateful for everyone who volunteered.
However there will be some changes.
The anthology is still up in the air, but it will most likely happen again, with hopefully an August submission period this time. Thus anthology may be different from the other anthologies. It will most likely not include the work of everyone that submits and we would not be able to offer complimentary physical copies to all the contributors (however they would probably be available at cost and digital copies would be available for free). If you want another anthology to happen, even with these conditions in place, please encourage us in that direction.
We will be accepting prompt submissions.
As mentioned before we will really stress the amount of time and work the marathon requires and we may be posting a series of blog posts by past marathoners, to that end.
If you can think of any other changes we should or could make, please email us at email@example.com