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Welcome to Squills, the official news bulletin of the Young Writers Society!
What will you find here? Tons of interesting news about YWS, including but not limited to: articles about writing, art, and the world of humanities; interviews with YWS members; shameless plugs; link round-ups; and opinionated columns.
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Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:38 am
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NAPO INTERVIEW: NEW NAPO GOERS
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written by alliyah < PM: >

While some YWSers have been doing NaPoWriMo since the beginning of time! There are still a few folks who are joining for the very first time, I reached out to a few New NaPo Goers to see what their experience has been like so far. Here's what @Liberty, @EthanHoover, @mckaylaam, @EverLight, and @MeherazulAzim16 had to say.

alliyah: So it's your very first time doing NaPo right? What made you decide to jump into NaPo this year?

Liberty: Ha, half the reason I decided to join was because you and so many others were being so hyped about it. So I thought I'd check out all the threads that explained what NaPo was and what I had to do. It all looked fun (especially that part where I would get badges if I did certain things) and so I joined. The other half was because I had joined Camp NaPo! I liked that and all the challenges/activities there were and I assumed NaPo wouldn't be too different - and it really isn't!

EthanHoover: So recently I've been pushing myself to be less private about my creative work, because I know I need feedback to improve, and my nature is to keep everything private. As part of this endeavor, I came on to the site for the first time in at least a year to share a poem I wrote, and saw the poll about NaPo. I was feeling kind of drunk with power after making myself publish the poem, so I just threw my usual caution to the wind and signed up for the Poem a Day challenge then and there. It's funny, because I know it's a small thing, but it's been transformative for me as a writer.

mckaylaam: Correct, this is my very first time doing NaPo! I think what made me decide to participate in it this year was the fact that I just joined the website about 10 days before the beginning of April and I kept seeing a lot of people talk about it. I’ve heard of NaNoWriMo before, but I had never heard of NaPo so I looked more into it and it seemed like a really fun thing to do! At first I was intimidated by the thought of writing poetry every single day since that is something I haven’t done in years, but I wanted to give it a go and see what I could accomplish.

EverLight: What made you decide to jump into NaPo this year? Yes that's correct-this is my first time doing NaPo. I chose to join NaPow mostly because wanted to be more involved in the Y.W.S community. Making a name for myself you know? Besides that, I understood that a majority of Y.W.S top poets such as @alliyah, @Arcticus, and @AvantCoffee were participating and I really didn't want to miss their poems. Finally I (of course!) wanted to show off some of my own poetry, as well as inprove upon my writing skills.

MeherazulAzim16 : Yes, very first NaPo. I think I had just been inactive during the previous ones. I jumped right in because I realized I haven’t written a lot of poetry recently and NaPo seemed like a strong incentive. I’ve also read more poems this month, so that’s great.

A: Have there been any challenges in the first week?

L: I procrastinate a lot so I guess you could say the only challenge was trying to write poems and polishing them up so I could post them on my thread. :p

EH: It's been overall pretty smooth, but for the last few day's I've felt uninspired in the mornings(I write a lot of poetry at midnight), and I keep worrying that I won't be able to put out a poem that day. What's been helping me is just to make myself sit in the poetry jams until I crank something out, and that seems to do wonders!

MC: I think some challenges I came across first week involved me having to find some inspiration for my writing, since I’m not used to actively writing something every day. I also wanted to try to fit most, if not all, of my poems within my theme of “3am thoughts”. Another challenge I’ve faced is having to learn how to be okay with my writing and recognize that some of my poems will be better than others, so that I don’t keep scrapping a poem over and over again before I publish it in my thread.

EL: Just one word-M O T I V A T I O N. Finding both the energy and inspiration to write a poem has been really difficult for me. I have dozens of ideas running around in my head but they they're hard to catch and express in words if that makes sense.

MA:Yes, actually. I set sail with an intention to write a poetry a day. Things went according to plan for three days and then burnout happened. The other big challenge was sticking to the theme.

A: How do you feel like your thread is progressing? What are you hoping your poetry communicates this month?

L: I think my thread is doing okay so far. Six poems isn't too bad. I think. I mean, I'm done six poems in seven days, and then I have my goal of 15 poems in 30 days, so I'm good! And I don't exactly have a theme for my poems. >.< But most of them revolve around me being anxious (but it doesn't show much because I splatter on a bunch of other stuff to hide it) about pretty much everything. Most of the time, I write poems to vent in a twisted way. Other times, though, my poems are lighthearted.

EH: I think it's progressing quite well, and I'm happy with each poem so far. As for what I hope it communicates, I just want people to know what kind of poet I am-- That's what I'm trying to figure out, too.

MC: I feel like I’m actually doing great with my thread’s progress so far! I’ve managed to write something every day, and I definitely think that they largely reflect what I’m thinking about on those nights where I stay up far later than I should. I’m hoping that my poetry shows the struggles that I’ve been through but I’ve managed to come out of on the other side, or even stuff that I continue to struggle with but that there is hope for the future.

EL: Well...my threads progressing :D I'm hoping my poetry communicates my soul, my world views, and my values. I mean, what is poetry but an expression of ones heart?

MA: It’s not progressing too well right now. I haven’t posted anything in a few days, but I intend to get back to it. As for what I want my poetry to communicate… well, in the thread, the protagonist is stuck, in a way, in his ship. I see the sea as a metaphor for the internet.

"Stranded on this man-of-war
That takes me anywhere I want to go,
Which is hardly where I need to be,
For my wants are malicious."

The man-of-war represents a device or the browser. The struggle to choose/be chosen by — a question of control — the realm of gods and the realm of men may be interpreted as the difficulty to balance out your virtual life and real life, maybe that's what I mean to explore.


That last quotation from Merherazul is an epic way to end the interview, thanks everyone for your answers! I appreciate it! Readers, be sure to check out these poets' own threads over in the NaPoWriMo forum. I've been following along with these threads this month, and would say that it might be their first NaPo, but they're doing an excellent job. I have really enjoyed having a chance to read them so I hope you all have a chance to check out some of their poetry. Tune in to Squills next week to read some prompts that they were able to share with me!





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Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:38 am
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: NECROMANCER14
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written by Liberty < PM: >

Salutations!

On the 4th of April, @Necromancer14 became a Featured Member! He joined the site back in early September 2019. He’s even participated in a lot of the Randomosity section of the site. He’s done 71 thoughtful and thorough reviews and most of them were from the Green Room.

Anyways, I got the honor of interviewing him for this Squills issue!

Squills: Heya Necromancer14! I'm a reporter for Squills and I was wondering if it's okay with you if I interviewed you about your experiences as FM?

Necromancer14: Sure!

S: What was your reaction when you learned that you had become FM?

N: My first reaction? Well, it was probably shock. I was not particularly expecting to get FM, you see. I was just sort of like, going through my notifications when I saw one of them was "Lavvie mentioned you in a comment." So, I clicked on that and read the thing and I was like :shock: ... :D

S: I can only imagine, hah. What do you think you did to become FM?

N: I dunno. Lots of reviews maybe? I mean, I also do stuff in the forums fairly often too. It was probably a mix of stuff.

S: Very likely! You've done a lot of reviews - do you have any reviewing tips that you'd like to share?

N: Well, when I do reviews I generally look for several things: How good the description, dialogue, grammar, and plot was. "The descriptions were good, but you had a plot hole." is more helpful than "I liked it, but there was something that I didn't like about it." (Common sense, I know, but I'm just explaining how I write reviews.)

After that I just quote parts that either I exceptionally liked, or parts I thought were confusing or didn't quite work with the story, and if it's the later case then I explain how I personally would fix said thing if it were my piece of writing. If it's the former, I say what I liked about it.

I don't know if this is really helpful for anyone, but that's my reviewing process.


S: Nice! Do you have a favorite part of the site? If you do, why?

N: I like the whole site a lot. If I had to pick an absolute favorite, I'd say the storybook section.

S: That's great! Do you have any advice for anyone who would want to be FM in the future?

N: Easy. Be active, and write lots of reviews.

S: Awesome! Lastly, do you have any quick shoutouts that you'd like to make?

N: Well, I'd like to say thanks to all the people who reviewed my projects, which helped me learn how to both write good reviews and improve my writing, so thank you. :)

S: Lovely! Thanks again for taking time out for this interview, and congrats on FM!

N: Thanks! :D

Thanks once again, Necromancer! If you haven’t already, feel free to go congratulate him on his wall.





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Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:39 am
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NAPO SHOUTOUT: CROWD SHOUTS
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written by alliyah < PM: >

I've shared my shout-outs, but decided to ask for some help from some of the new napo-goers in what their favorite poems in their own and other threads have been Here's the shout-outs from @Liberty, @EthanHoover, @mckaylaam, @EverLight, and @MeherazulAzim16.

alliyah: What are your favorite lines from your own poems?


Liberty: My favorite poem from my thread is probably the one about me being anxious about making food for someone else for the first time.
maybe i should spill the soup on purpose.
maybe i should do something
so they won't eat it.
have to do something.


EthanHoover: My favorite lines from my own poem would probably be from day 7, Silver Dreams:
I wonder why I returned to this waste
When all that awaits me are silken lies
I spun long ago to keep my heart sane.


mckaylaam As for my own thread, my favorite poem so far would probably be my second one, a letter to an old flame, with my favorite lines being:
What I thought was your love for me felt like an exoskeleton,
a safe haven from an unsympathetic world.


EverLight: I do have some favorite lines from my own poems! first poem
that's right-you shattered my heart to near oblivion
and the pieces that remained
i gave away to a star and as far as I know
that star is still shining

To understand what those lines truly mean you'd have to understand the thoughts, and emotions, that were really behind them secound poem
From ash, and stardust you were made
To forever dance through sky and space
To see humanity rise to future light


MeherazulAzim16: Favorite lines from my thread... I'm not sure, but I think the stanza I just quoted from I: LOST is interesting

alliyah: Do you have a favorite poem from a friend's thread you'd like to give a shout-out?


Liberty:: From someone else's thread... okay, well, this is tricky. There're so many great poets and I haven't looked through many threads, I admit, but a poem that really stood out to me was Quarantine , by @Rin321 is one of my favorites. The last bit was especially nice because it's so full of hope. <3

EthanHoover: My favorite lines from someone else's poem comes from @MiniGem26's poem, Soul:
Something nie bright as day nor black as night yet somewhere in between
Of our world yet it still creates a spectral scene
Utmost fear is held of its holy regime
Lest fear of death or black of night shall thy come in between


mckaylaam @Jaybird, one of my NaPo buddies this month, wrote a poem titled alive and these are the lines that particularly touched me:
i want the rain to
wet my hair,
soak my
old, faded t-shirt,
tickle my skin,
and make me feel
truly alive.


Finally, @Katteex, my other NaPo buddy this month, wrote a poem titled Drinking Lies, Split truth that I also thought was lovely and worth mentioning here. My favorite lines from that poem would be:
And before I know it, it’s already a part of me.
A tiny puzzle piece that fits right below the tip of my tongue.
Nude like the droplets. Bare like rain. It is freedom.
But it remains subtle (half seen) until it works its way,
Into sheer camouflage.


MeherazulAzim16:[i] Here's some lines from @sheyren's thread that I loved:
sweet dreams are
j e l l y f i s h
in a sea of
heartfelt sobs and
unspiced rosemary
chicken.


Thanks for the shout-outs poets! Those are some great poems, and I'm so glad you could share them with us. Readers, if there are some poems you'd like to give a little more attention to, and give a shout-out to yourself, there's a thread for that this year in the lounge, NaPoWriMo Shout-Out Thread . Be sure to check it out!





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NATIONAL PET DAY INTERVIEWS - PART ONE
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written by Asith < PM: >

April the 11th was officially National Pet Day! Of course, with most of us being stuck indoors lately, there couldn't be a better time to appreciate our furry (and scaley, slimey, etc) friends no matter where we live. This article is basically just a pet appreciation post :P

This week, I went around and spoke to members of YWS who have animal companions of their own, and found out a little bit about the bond between pet and owner.


@Jaybird's cats: Leo, Dante and Violet!
Spoiler! :

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"Our cats are like a mini family - Violet's the tired older sister, Dante's the still cute middle child and Leo's the wild little one that decided Dante is the coolest sibling in the entire world."


"Dante is two, and Leo's turning one in late April - we think his birthday is around the 19th, but we're not really sure. Dante's been with us since November of 2017 (I think?) and Leo's been with us since July of 2019.

We also have another cat! I haven't ever really posted about her because she likes to spend her time on her own, but she was technically supposed to be my first cat. Her name is Violet. She turned eleven a little over a week ago, and we've had her since May of 2011."

Squills: Where do the names come from? Any special reasons?

J: I picked Violet's name when I was eight, so her name doesn't really have any meaning - I just thought a flower would be a cute name for a cat. (Her full name was technically supposed to be Violet Daisy + my last name, but Daisy and her last name were both dropped when I got older.)

Dante was originally named Mufasa when we got him, but my dad didn't think it was fitting name for him. He eventually settled on Dante because of Dante's Inferno - at least, I
think that's where the meaning came from! I'm not entirely sure, but it definitely fits him.

Leo's name is a little more complicated. I was really torn on what I wanted to call him, and I eventually settled on Leo because it had so many meanings that fit him. The Leo constellation is a lion, and Leo has the same colors as one. Leo's also the go-to alias of my oc Maahes, who's based on an Egyptian god that had a lion as a sacred animal.
And I was reminded of Leo Valdez and his flames in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus. Out of all of his namesakes, Leo's definitely lived up to that last one with all the chaos he causes! :P

S: Can you tell us about the day you first got them?

t: I don't really remember the first days that we got Violet and Dante, but Leo's first day was pretty memorable. I was actually at a friend's house. My mom and brother @sheyren were just supposed to be meeting Leo at the shelter, but they ended up being able to take him home. My mom picked me up earlier than usual without giving a reason why, and asked me what I was thinking of naming our kitten. It wasn't until I got home and my dad mentioned having to rearrange my room for something else that I realized Leo was in there. :P

I just remember him being
very small. He's still a little guy, but he's grown a lot since then! I also remember being a little upset that my dad sacrificed one of my Pikachu plush to him, but it was hard to stay upset when he started cuddling with it.

I took a lot of pictures of him on that first day, so here's a glimpse into Leo's first day in the Jaybird household:

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S: Are there any interesting stories or anecdotes you'd like to tell us about? Anything notably funny or cute that they've done over the years?

t: They've all had their cute moments, but one of the cutest things I've seen is how Dante and Leo spend time together. They love giving each other baths - Dante used to start them, but now Leo starts bath time, too.

Bath time, of course, always leads to play time. One moment, Leo's cleaning Dante's ear. The next, he's biting it. :P

But they're really close, so it's adorable seeing them be so comfortable with each other no matter if they're roughhousing or cuddling.


Thanks for giving me an excuse to gush about my cats!


@mellifera's puppy: Pippin!
Spoiler! :

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"Fool of a Took! ;)"


"Pippin is nine months old now, and we got him back at the end of September!"

S: Where does the name come from?

m: From Lord of the Rings, actually! I suggested Prometheus and "Theo" for short, which was originally what my mum and I were going to go with, but then I left her alone for a while and she wanted to go with Pippin or Gimli, and I was resolute on Pippin then. He has lived up to his name very well.

Can you tell us about the day you first got them?

m: I was kinda tired! We drove three states away to go pick him up, but it was (obviously) worth it. We got to meet two of his siblings and they were all very small, as well as his parents. One of the other puppies was going to a family relatively close to where we lived, so for the ride back home and the next several days we got to play with two puppies <3


How have they reacted to you being home so much more these days?

m: One of us is always home with us unless we all leave the apartment, in which case he comes with us. He's definitely happier with people around because I'm pretty sure he's got some separation anxiety, so I'm sure especially now he's very happy to have people home a lot!


Are there any interesting stories or anecdotes you'd like to tell us about? Anything notably funny or cute that they've done over the years?

m: One of my favourite things about him is that when you leave the apartment and then come back, he's always waiting for you at the top of the stairs (or sometimes, if he sees you, he'll run down to greet you as you walk in!). It's very sweet and he always grins and it's super cute?? It makes me feel very warm and fuzzy!

@AvantCoffee's cats: Prince and Topaz!
Spoiler! :

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"Prince bolts into my bedroom at night in a blur of grey fluff as if charging headfirst into the unknown will somehow inspire a better outcome, while Topaz spends most of his mature days slow-blinking in the shifting sunrays of my deck overlooking the garden."


"I have two sons cats: a precious Siberian boy (8), and a seal point Birman, who's an old sensei boy (13). They are both very fluffy. I've had them both from when they were wee kittens."

S: Can you tell us about the days you first got them?

A: Oh wow, that takes me back. I got the older boy when I was about eight, which would have been way back in 2006. Or rather, he came to me, because I waited on the front steps outside my house until my mum brought him home after school that day. I actually thought to write a poem this NaPo based on a memory later that evening!

The younger boy was my younger sister's birthday present from our parents when she turned eleven. Neither of us saw it coming in the slightest, but I learnt afterwards that it was a diversion to delay getting her a smartphone for another year, before she was sucked into the Gen Z technology craze that loomed inevitably. I can confirm that both of us are very okay with the diversion.


S: Where do the names come from? Any special reasons?

A: My mum named both of them (she likes naming things), but in hindsight I probably would have given them different names if I had any power. The eldest is Topaz, because of the blue topaz colour of his eyes—which I don't mind as a name. The youngest is Prince, which makes enough sense when you factor in his need for lounging on important looking chairs. I've joked that I now would have named them Owo (youngest) and Uwu (oldest), after the owo and uwu emoticons, because those are absolutely a summary of their respective personalities.

S: Are there any interesting stories or anecdotes you'd like to tell us about? Anything notably funny or cute that they've done over the years?

A: When the surface of the dining table is occasionally polished, Prince will leap from the top of the adjacent lounge onto the table and slide right off in one smooth, chaotic glide because of the fluff under his paws. When he isn't sitting with his front legs folded like a loaf of bread, or cuddling (or asleep), he looks mildly perplexed at everything he encounters.

Topaz purrs just by being in close proximity to a person, like he can sense that pets are coming but he's already enjoying them. Either that, or he receives love through thermal radiation. He may be older, but he will always be my sleepy baby.


Okay! That should be all of them. c: Thanks for interviewing me!


I hope you Squills readers love these adorable pictures and anecdotes as much as I do, and if so, you'll be glad to know that that's not all, folks. This post is a bit too long, but I've talked to more members about their adorable pets (including @EverLight and @Carlito), so this article will continue in the next edition of Squills :)

Until then, stay safe! (and pls feel free to send me an unlimited amount of cute pet pics kthx)





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NAPO SHOUTOUTS: WEEK ONE
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written by alliyah < PM: >

One of my favorite parts of NaPo is reading the poetry that everyone turns out. One of my favorite things to notice while waundering through the NaPo threads is that people seem to gravitate towards similar themes and imagery sometimes - in these first weeks I noticed a lot of pieces about rain -grief in the sky, reflections on memories and time passing, and longing for or claiming a sense of strength, hope, and normalcy - also ghosts! If you noticed any themes either in these snippets or in all the threads, let me know over at my Author's Corner . I'd love to hear how your NaPo reading or writing is going! Here's some snippets of my favorites from the first ten days!
____________________________________



and in the storm i wonder
if i will ever find the kind of love
that laughs at the idea
that a little lightning could break it.

@niteowl a fragment on love



don't you wish the way you're feeling
would become the sky?
so that when it rained,
I could know that you're grieving?

@Arcticus don't you wish?



we are lilypads and sunshine
when we see the stars
we sparkle in the moonlight
hiding all our scars

@MiniGem26 The Laughing Dancers



i’m the remnant
of a time long gone.
i’m a wild anomaly
in a perfect, digital world.
i’m a girl who never
will exist outside of the context
of my house
and weekend mornings
spent working
underneath the gray sky
and the hot, hot sun.

@Jaybird remnants



(She has told them
of the woman who has broken
through the window of her life
and she has kept her secret; she
is an open book and
a liar.)

@Lauren2010 Ten of coins



You must realise I miss you,
But you must also realise why I stay away.

Grey dawn lamented your passing
And promised your return.
You healed the moon,
But the sky still grieves.

Seek me by the weeping stars.

@AstralHunter I am lost.



i am not a star—
not the universe, either.
fusion and expansion is a
foreign process to me (and please:
don’t make me feel
smaller than i feel now—

@PrincessInk there is nowhere to hide in the universe

____________________________________

Those are the first shout-outs of the month! These are just snippets of larger poems, so make sure to check out whole poem on their thread if you liked one of the poems and even leave a comment in their thread ot a note in the NaPoWriMo Shout-Out Thread to help encourage the poets. See you all next week!





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POETRY PERSPECTIVE: NAPO COLLABORATION WITH ARCTICUS
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written by alliyah < PM: >

While over 50 poets have started up their own individual National Poetry Month Threads this April, that doesn't mean that everyone is writing alone! In fact, @Arcticus has been posting collaborative poems regularally in the first chunk of the month. I reached out the poet himself, to see what I could find out about these collaborations going on!

Squills: Hey Arcticus, thanks for agreeing to the interview! We're trying to get a lot of poet voices into Squills this week. First off how do you think your own NaPo thread is progressing?


Arcticus: Thank you for considering me for the interview! My NaPo thread is on track, I haven't missed any days yet (not sure about the future, lol) and I'm also enjoying the process of writing the poems, which is good because writing can sometimes be a joyless act if you don't really feel like doing it - something that all writers experience from time to time.

S: It seems like it's going really well! So, I've noticed you've been doing a lot of collaboration during NaPo in addition to the poetry in your thread - how did this get started? What prompted it?


A: It started a few years ago, @Apricity and I would jam/collaborate during NaPo (I think it was 2016-17) and I realized how fun it was! The idea of witnessing your own stream of consciousness merge with some other poet's, the occasional conflict of imagery, and the occasional reinforcement of strengths, watching that unfold - it was not only fun but also a fulfilling experience. It was also an act of writerly bonding, I'll go as far as to say that you don't truly know a writer unless you sit down and write with them at least once. So yeah, that's when I started taking interest in WFPs.

S: Do you have a favorite collab poem that you've written so far?


Arcticus: I love all of my recent collab poems, especially the ones I wrote with @soundofmind, @AvantCoffee, @ScarlettFire, @Apricity and @fraey - they're all my favorites. My latest one with @alliyah, @Meshugenah, @Lavvie and @Holysocks is my current favorite!

S: That was such a fun one to write! How is writing poetry with others different than writing poetry alone? Does the poetry itself turn out differently?


Arcticus: It is different in many ways! You see, its not just one mind thinking, it's many minds thinking, churning out ideas all at once onto the same page, there are many different streams of thought, many different threads of imagery - sometimes they clash and become absurd, other times, they coalesce and blend and become something beautiful.

Writing alone involves only you. Collaborating, however involves allowing others to trespass into your headspace and trespassing their headspaces, engaging with them through friendly compromises and poetic bargaining to adjust the pieces and create a cohesive collaborative poem in its finished form. If each of you does it right, the end-product ends up being a pretty mosaic.


S: That's a beautiful way to phrase it I think! Now that you've written quite a few collaborative pieces, do you have any recommendation or tips for people who want to try poetry collaboration but haven't before, or are hesitant to collab?


Arcticus: If you're too shy to start, you should try to writing in pairs first rather than as a team. Collaborate with someone you're comfortable with, your best friend, for instance. Start as a team of two, get familiar with how it works, you'll slowly come to know the dynamics of writing on a shared slate. Once you get used to that, you can collaborate as a team. It's simple, you don't need to feel intimidated or be hesitant. However, if you feel that it's just not your thing, that's okay too.

Thanks for sharing your insights Arcticus! Readers, if you're interested in following Arc's collaborative writing, you can watch for the hashtag, "#arcwrites" and to follow his own NaPo thread, you can subscribe to the names of all things . I've been following his poetry this month, and really recommend checking it out if you haven't. There are ellegant religious themes woven into personal narrative and memories that are just as striking as all of Arcticus' poetry.

Also I hope to see all of you poetry writers in some collaborations soon! These are two good places to watch for write-ins The Poetry Jam Club , and I'm Writing, Come Join Me Thread . Let me know your thoughts on collaboration over at My Author's Corner . Happy writing!





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