Poetry Challenge Week: Day Three

It’s Poetry Challenge Week on Figment, and each day we’re featuring a different writing prompt from one of The Lemons. Today’s prompt is brought to you by Ada Limón, author of Sharks in the Rivers.

Day Three: Your Word

When I was a fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, I was in desperate need of ideas for poems. I took down my beautiful large blue dictionary and vowed to write a poem about the first interesting word I found. That’s how the poem, “Echo Sounder,” came into being.

So, my prompt would be: open your dictionary (the real hardbound book kind, c’mon you know you have one!) and flip to find the first interesting word (ignore the easy ones) and write a poem with that word not only as the subject, but the title of the poem. Stretch and change the meaning as much as you can until the word evolves into something entirely your own. Add one road sign, one street name, and one weather event.

How to enter:

1) Create a new book on Figment.

2) Each day, read the prompt from one of The Lemons.

3) Write a poem inspired by the prompt.

4) Add your poem as a new chapter in your book.

5) Tag your book “lemonsweek”.

Challenge yourself to do at least four prompts. At the end of the week, all books tagged “lemonsweek” containing four or more chapters will be put into a pool. The Mods will randomly select three winners, who will each receive a copy of Sharks in the Riversand Fancy Beasts, Figment totes, and stickers!

Want to see yesterday’s prompt?

1. One entry per person, please.
2. The promotion of your contest entry is not allowed on Figment. This includes self-promotion and the promotion of other users’ contest entries in the Figment forums, the comments and reviews of stories, and the Figment Facebook page. Independent promotion on sites unrelated to Figment, like personal Facebook or Twitter accounts, is fine.
3. Works must be submitted according to the instructions above between the announcement of the contest and the closure of the contest. This means a new piece must be created for the contest; adapting an old Figment piece published before the start of the contest will make the entry ineligible to win.
4. The rules of the contest are both strict and open to interpretation by a moderator.
5. The creation of multiple accounts to heart or otherwise vote for your contest entry on Figment is prohibited, and may result in the disqualification of that entry, the deletion of your Figment account, and/or the blocking of your IP address permanently from the site, at the moderator’s discretion.



10 thoughts on “Poetry Challenge Week: Day Three

  1. Hi

    I have a question;
    What happens if you don’t actually have a Dictionary? Are we allowed to use online Dictionaries?

    ‘Add one road sign, one street name, and one weather event.’ Do they have to be existing streets? Or just anything made up?

    • Hey Abigail-
      If you don’t have a real dictionary, you can use an online word generator. RandomWord.net gives you a random word and its definition, just like flipping a dictionary open.

      The street names can be made up, though it might be cool to work in a street name near you. Kind of like a wink to your hometown! Let me know if you have any other questions: esteele at figment.com

  2. For “road sign”, is that basically like “stop sign” and stuff? And for weather event, does it have to be specific, like “hurricane Earl” or can it just be like “tornado”?

    • Hi Violet,
      Sure! You can use a stop sign, street sign, yield sign- your choice. As for the weather event, I don’t think you need to get too specific as long as it’s severe enough to be called “an event”. I think tornado definitely qualifies. Rainstorm, hurricane, lightning strike…

  3. Do you have to do the Road signs, Street names, Weather events? ‘Cause I’ve already written mine and I forgot to do it …. :/

  4. Pingback: Poetry Challenge Week: Day Four | Figment Blog

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