We are delighted to have Sandi Stromberg back as challenge editor this time. Sandi is also part of our editorial team now at The Ekphrastic Review! We are thrilled to have her on board.
Welcome to the new challenge from The Ekphrastic Review.
I have been a devotee of these prompts since I discovered them in January 2019. For nearly two years after that, I entered every challenge (43), my work sometimes selected, sometimes not. But no matter. The process of living with an artwork—then expressing in poetry whatever it evoked—buoyed me through the pandemic.
Now, it is a distinct honour to offer this challenge in my new role as an editor of The Ekphrastic Review.
Of course, choosing only one artwork is a challenge in itself. As I waffled over my choice, I came across Marsden Hartley’s Winter Chaos, Blizzard, painted somewhere in the Northeast United States, probably Maine, in 1909.
It immediately spoke to me. The words climate change and extreme weather filled my mind. Is there anyone anywhere in the world who isn’t experiencing, or hasn’t experienced, that in some way? But I quickly realized that “blizzards” can also be metaphorical. They may be swirling inside us, as well as outside.
I hope you enjoy exploring what Hartley’s art inspires in you.
Join us for biweekly ekphrastic writing challenges. See why so many writers are hooked on ekphrasis! We feature some of the most accomplished, influential writers working today, and we also welcome emerging or first time writers and those who simply want to experience art in a deeper way or try something creative.
The prompt this time is Winter Chaos, Blizzard, by Marsden Hartley. Deadline is February 3, 2023.
You can submit poetry, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, microfiction, or any other form creative writing you like. 1000 words max please.
1. Use this visual art prompt as a springboard for your writing. It can be a poem or short prose (fiction or nonfiction.) You can research the artwork or artist and use your discoveries to fuel your writing, or you can let the image alone provoke your imagination.
2. Write as many poems and stories as you like. Send only your best works or final draft, not everything you wrote down. (Please note, experimental formats are difficult to publish online. We will consider them but they present technical difficulties with web software that may not be easily resolved.) Please copy and paste your submission into the body of the email, even if you include an attachment such as Word or PDF.
3. There is no mandatory submission fee, but we ask you to consider a voluntary donation to show your support to the time, management, maintenance, and promotion of The Ekphrastic Review. It takes an incredible amount of time to curate the journal, read regular and contest submissions, etc. Paying all expenses out of pocket is also prohibitive. Thank you. A voluntary gift does not affect the selection process in any way.
4. USE THIS EMAIL ONLY.
Send your work to email@example.com. Challenge submissions sent to the other inboxes will most likely be lost as those are read in chronological order of receipt, weeks or longer behind, and are not seen at all by guest editors. They will be discarded. Sorry.
5.Include HARTLEY CHALLENGE in the subject line.
6. Include your name and a brief bio. If you do not include your bio, it will not be included with your work, if accepted. Even if you have already written for The Ekphrastic Review or submitted other works and your bio is "on file" you must include it in your challenge submission. Do not send it after acceptance or later; it will not be added to your piece. Guest editors may not be familiar with your bio or have access to archives. We are sorry about these technicalities, but have found that following up, requesting, adding, and changing later takes too much time and is very confusing.
7. Late submissions will be discarded. Sorry.
8. Deadline is midnight EST, February 3, 2023.
9. Please do not send revisions, corrections, or changes to your poetry or your biography after the fact. If it's not ready yet, hang on to it until it is.
10. Selected submissions will be published together, with the prompt, one week after the deadline.
11. Due to the demands of the increasing volume of submissions, we do not send out sorry notices or yes letters. You will see what poetry and stories have been selected when the responses are posted one week after the deadline. Understand that we value your participation as part of our ekphrastic community, but we can only choose a handful of the many entries we receive.
12. A word on the selection process: we strive for a balance between rewarding regular participants and sharing the voices of writers who are new to our family. We also look for a variety of perspectives and styles, and a range of interesting takes on the painting. It is difficult to reproduce experimental formatting, so unfortunately we won't choose many with unusual spacing or typography.
13. By submitting to The Ekphrastic Review, you are also automatically joining our subscribers' list. Your submission is your permission. We don't send Spam and we don't send many emails- you will not receive forty-four emails a day! Our newsletter occasionally updates you on some of the challenges, news, contests, prize nominations, ekphrastic happenings, prompt ebooks, workshops, and more.
14. Rinse and repeat with upcoming ekphrastic writing challenges!
15. Please share this prompt with your writing groups, Facebook groups, social media circles, and anywhere else you can. The simple act of sharing brings readers to The Ekphrastic Review, and that is the best way to support the poets and writers on our pages!
16. Check this space every Friday for new challenges and selected responses, alternating weekly.