Announcing the results of our 2017 contest!

We are absolutely thrilled to share the results of our 2017 chapbook contest with you.

Please click here to view the full announcement. Warm congrats to our honorees, and tremendous thanks to our readers and our final judge, Judith Vollmer.

We can’t wait to publish these incredible books!!

Updates from Ann & Anu

We and our team of readers are in the process of finalizing the 2017 chapbook contest entries and narrowing down this year’s finalists. Sorry for the delay in the process, but we are all set to announce the finalists by the end of April, after which they will be read and judged by the phenomenal Judith Vollmer.

We are honored to be spending time with your work and promise to get back to you soon! At that time, we will also be announcing the names of the poets selected for the 50/50 Anthology.

We thank you for your patience and really appreciate you being part of our vibrant community of poets.

In poetry,
Ann & Anu

One more day!

Hello friends, just checking in with a quick reminder that there’s one more day remaining in our third annual chapbook contest! The deadline for this year’s contest, “In Transition,” is Monday, January 15th, at 11:59 PM. Full guidelines are here, or you can go straight to our Submittable page to enter your manuscript. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s already submitted.

Also, if you are one of the few remaining submitters to the anthology who haven’t heard back, your poems are still under consideration for the handful of selections that remain. You will be hearing from us very soon. Thank you SO much for your patience as we agonize over all your incredible poetry. (This is the best of tasks, this is the worst of tasks… We aren’t complaining, believe us.)

Huge appreciation to each of you for being part of our community.

2017 Chapbook Contest Update

Hello dear subscribers and submitters!

We hope everyone is enjoying these last few days of the holiday season and gearing up for the start of a new year.

We understand that the holidays can be extremely hectic for most of you, and a New Year’s Day deadline can be hard to meet, so in the spirit of all things new, we have extended our Chapbook Contest deadline to January 15, 2018. We hope this will give you all a chance to relax and take a deep breath, look over your submissions, and submit your best work to us! We look forward to your work, and we promise to give it our best attention!

Wish you all a very happy 2018!

Anthology update

We’ve been getting gentle inquiries from submitters to our first anthology, wondering when the heck you’ll be getting a response. Fair question – and please know that we’re so grateful for both your submission and your patience.

If you’re subscribed to our newsletter, you’ve already heard that we were extremely fortunate to receive three times the number of expected submissions. (Personally, this definitely makes the top five list of the most wonderful “problems” I’ve ever had.) It is, of course, vital to us that we give each submitted poem our full attention and consideration, so the reading process has taken longer than anticipated. We apologize for the delay, and hope everyone can understand not wanting to rush through your poems.

The good news is that we’re now moving towards finalizing our selections. We’re working hard to respond to everyone by the end of the year – while administering our third annual chapbook contest, and putting the finishing touches on Vivian Faith Prescott’s gorgeous chapbook, Our Tents Are Small Volcanoes (intensely beautiful/beautifully intense inside and out), in order to get it to our printer posthaste.

So, if you’ve submitted to the anthology, please know that we have not disappeared into the ether – we’ve disappeared into your poems, and we love it there. You’ll hear from us soon.

Again, thanks for your patience and support! We are so lucky to share this community with you.

Yay! Thank you!

Just a quick post to say hello, welcome, and THANK YOU to all our new blog followers and everyone else who’s connected with us recently! We’re so glad you’ve joined our community. It’s fantastic to know we’re not alone in wanting to celebrate the powerful, vibrant, and much-needed writing of women over 50. 

And if you’ve been supporting us for years, please know we appreciate you too! We’re thrilled about what the future can hold for all of us, all of you, together. 

Sooooooo… Have you submitted your entry for the anthology yet?? Don’t forget, the reading period closes at midnight on September 22nd – guidelines here.

And if you have submitted already, we hope you’re preparing your chapbook for this year’s contest, which opens on October 1st! More details to follow… 

Write on, sisters. 💜 

Writing Prompt 12

Welcome to the twelfth day of our 30/30!

Your prompt today is:


Write a poem from the perspective of
your totem animal



Image credit
Guidelines, if you want them:

  • Posting your response is not required
  • Feel free to post your response   🙂
  • This is not meant to be the perfect first draft – respond without hesitation for 5-7 minutes, then keep going if you want to
  • While our prompts are geared towards poetry, we welcome all kinds of artists
  • Tips & encouragement are here

Get ready for 30/30!

It’s the eve of National Poetry Month, and we’re gearing up for an intense but fulfilling challenge: 30/30, responding to a writing prompt each day in April. We’ll be posting prompts here, or you might find a list you love elsewhere in a writing book or on the Internet.

Have you done a 30/30 before? They’re wonderful, but can seem a bit daunting when you’re peering over the edge, wondering if that bridge is as close as it looks. Never fear! We have a few secrets to help us all make that marvelous journey across the ravine that is Not Making Enough Time for Your Writing.

Secret #1: This is a dedicated No Judging Zone.

That means no judging anything that comes out of your pen in response to a prompt. By you, by us, by anyone. The name of the game is not 30 [Poems] in 30 Days. It’s 30 Prompts in 30 Days. So relax: perfection isn’t the goal. Showing up is absolutely enough to make this achievement real.

Which brings me to the next thing we don’t judge: if you miss on day 3, or day 8, or day 23, or even day 1, guess what? No judging. Just show up the next day. And if you miss that day? Still okay. Yes, it’s a 30/30. Good news: writing 25 days out of 30 is still an amazing accomplishment. So is writing 10 days out of 30. Stop giving yourself a hard time. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt, instead, and another chance tomorrow.

Secret #2: Better five minutes now than an hour “later.”

Time. We’re surrounded by it and yet it’s a constant paucity. One of the reasons I don’t write as much as I’d like is that it’s so rarely a good time to write. I’ll do it after this chore, or that meeting, or the other obligation, I promise myself. And then the day is over and I’m barely able to summon the energy to browse Netflix, let alone do anything creative. If you don’t have this problem, bless you, I am overjoyed for you. If you’re like me, let’s agree that the mythical ‘good time to write’ is the unicorn we’re going to cherish as a well-loved myth, even as we put our hands to the reins of the next five minutes. Yes, this five minutes, right now. Even if you think you’re in an environment where you can’t concentrate, just try and see what happens. Even if you just end up jotting down a note or two towards a poem that’s been hovering around the edges of your mind, you’ve succeeded in setting something down that you can return to later. It’s so often easier to edit than to create; your future self will be singing your praises when she picks those notes back up again.

And who knows? Maybe with that spark of momentum from this imperfect five minutes will give you the energy you need to delve into that quiet hour later.

Let’s agree that the mythical ‘good time to write’
is the unicorn we’re going to cherish
as a well-loved myth, even as we put our hands
to the reins of the next five minutes.

Secret #3: We love you just the way you are.

See also: Secret #1. Can we all agree that perfection must be extremely boring? If I could tell my younger self one thing, it would be to revel in the mess of creation. Get paint on your clothes. Write on your face accidentally as you try to tug the right word out of your mind. Find yourself with 20 semi-relevant browser tabs open after writing a blog post. Laugh at your fabulous flaws and keep on going. Have you now used the same 50-cent word in four prompts responses in a row? No worries, maybe that’s the theme of your next chapbook. No worries, you can edit it out if you need to in later drafts. No worries, maybe that’s the word you should use as your next prompt for tomorrow.

To that end, I want to say this: structure can be a good and beautiful thing. It can also stifle. If you usually sit down to visit our page and respond to the prompt at 3 o’clock, but at 8:30 a.m. you see something out the window that sparks a line, grab a pen and write it down. You’re allowed to use prompts from different sources. You’re allowed to write down lines that popped randomly into your head apropos of nothing. You’re allowed to use anything you want as a prompt, and any words you put together seeking beauty or meaning on a page count towards your 30/30.

So, what are your favorite tips and tricks for making time to write? Where do you like to find prompts? We’d love to hear your ideas; please feel free to share in the comments. And please do stop by each day in April, if you need prompts for your 30/30. We look forward to writing with you!