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Writing for Healing 30 Day Poetry Challenge

April is National Poetry Month. Let's use this time to heal and create, with the "Writing for Healing" 30 Day Poetry Challenge.

Most of us who are creative writers have to work in other fields or areas to support ourselves financially. In addition, we may even struggle with creating a healthy work-life balance. This struggle can be one of many factors that sabotage our mental and personal health.

With this in mind, I have decided to create a 30-day challenge based around "Writing for Healing" and the creative inspiration created by poetry writing prompts. For National Poetry Month 2023, let's focus on healing and recovery through the creative outlet of prose poetry.

Table of Contents:

Rules & Structure of the Challenge

Prose Poetry: Definition & Example

Poetry Prompt: Definition & Example

How to Join the Challenge

Rules & Structure of the Poetry Writing Challenge

Here is a quick itemized list explaining this challenge:

  • The prompts are based on the 12 Steps to Recovery or Overcoming Trauma

  • The challenge takes place over four weeks.

  • Each week's theme is related to a portion of the 12 steps

  • Every day, a new prompt will be posted, related to the weekly theme.

  • The poetry genre used is prose poetry.

  • There is no focus on rhyme schemes or meter.

  • NOTE: Poetry is a great way to write in "code" if you feel anxiety over other people discovering and reading your personal thoughts and issues. You can also use a journal that you keep in a safe space.

  • Some prompts will be posted as "optional."

  • This is a consideration for those who may be overwhelmed by 30 days of prompts.

Prose Poetry: Definition & Example

What is Prose Poetry?

  • Prose Poetry is a hybrid of prose and poetry

  • Prose: contains a narrative, does not follow a set rhythm

  • Poetry: rhythmic, based on imagery (metaphors, similes)

  • Prose Poetry combines these elements into a single piece of writing

Features of Prose Poetry:

  • Uses ordinary language, similar to what is used in speaking or writing

  • Is informal: no repetitious patterns of rhythm or meter

  • Continuous writing without line breaks:

  • May be divided into paragraphs

  • Can be any length

  • Includes traits of poetry, such:

  • Alliteration

  • Repetition, or

  • Imagery.

  • But you don't have to use all three. In fact, prose poetry does not feature all three elements in one poem.

  • Expresses thoughts in a compressed way that can feel intense

  • Can be a single sentence or several paragraphs

  • One of the most "free" feeling forms of poetry writing

Poetry Prompt: Definition & Example

What is a poetry prompt?

  • A poetry prompt asks a question or gives a direction meant to inspire you creatively.

  • This inspiration should help you write a unique poem.

  • The fun in prompts is that every writer comes up with something unique

What is an Example of a Poetry Prompt?

  • "Describe your profession or hobby, without explicitly stating what it is until the very end."

Here is the poem I wrote following that prompt:


by Alison M. Caddell

I don't want to empty their vessels, just to fill them with agenda items. I want them to know they aren't simply vessels, they are soil. Rich earth that can grow beautiful and fruitful things. They don't need me to fill them up as vessels. I'm a gardener, a guide, looking for the seeds that fit their earth, aiming to be the water and nourishment that encourages them to bloom with all forms of life. Teaching should not be indoctrination. Teaching is empowerment.

How to Join the Challenge

Joining this challenge is pretty simple and easy.

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