NaPoWriMo 2020 ~ National Poetry Writing Month

NaPoWriMo 2020, Rocky Coast Wide, Oregon Coast Highway, Oregon, United States of America

It’s that time of year again: NaPoWriMo!!! National Poetry Writing Month (optionally GloPoWriMo ~ Global Poetry Writing Month) comes every April and challenges poets (and anyone else who wants to take a shot at it) to write (and post) a poem every day through all of April. That’s 30 poems in 30 days.

Learn more on the semi-official NaPoWriMo website, where you’ll  find other participants and their posts, daily prompts to help you along, and links to other poetry writing resources. You can announce your own posts there each day, as well.

You can also announce on the NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2020 Facebook Group.

This year, with all this self-isolation time on my hands, I’m going to double-down on the challenge and attempt to write two poems a day. Anyone out there  with me?

My first NaPoWriMo challenge response of 2020 is “Breathing the Sea“, appears on my blog Pix to Words. I also announce all my blog posts through the Pix to Words Facebook page and my twitter feed.

Come on! Join in!  Read lots of poems! What else are you going to do with all this time?

#stayhome #washyourhands #writepoetry

16 Themed Submission Calls for Writers in June

The themes for these anthologies/websites/magazines include stories on LGBTQ lives, the invisible world, corporate shadows (inspired by the net neutrality rulings), anthropomorphic fiction, holiday crime and crime by bumbling sidekicks, work and play, deadly bargains, curiosity and the curious, addiction, and talking to strangers. Some of these also accept nonfiction and poetry. Many of them pay writers. Also see this list for some more deadlines coming up.

Paying markets for your writing

Picture It and Write!

New West Writers – here are some paying markets for your writing, courtesy of Chloe.

  1. 11 Magazines that Pay Writers $200 Per Short Story
    Next Show All These calls for submissions accept fiction and pay up to $200; a few pay considerably more. They are currently open for submissions or have submission windows ending soon. Also see this list for short story markets that pay $300; some deadlines are coming up. — S. Kalekar Pulp Literature They want any… Keep reading…
  2. 7 Magazines that Pay Writers $150 Per Article
    Next Show All The following is a list of seven magazines that pay writers at least $150 for some of the articles they publish. We’ve done our best to do accurate research. However, keep in mind that you may need to negotiate payment — and that rates do change. Included is variety of magazines, covering… Keep reading…
  3. $3,000 Short Story Contest from the American Bar Association Journal
    The ABA Journal is currently hosting the The Ross Writing Contest for Legal Short Fiction. The contest offers a $3,000 prize for “original works of fiction of no more than 5,000 words that illuminate the role of the law and/or lawyers in modern society.” According to their submission guidelines: Contest entries will be judged by… Keep reading…
  4. 79 Travel Magazines, Websites, and Blogs that Pay Writers
    Next Show All There are so many websites, magazines, and blogs that publish travel writing. Here is a list of 79 such publications. According to our research, all of these magazines accept pitches/submissions directly from freelance writers — and all of these publications pay for the writing they publish.We’ve researched the payment rates, when available…. Keep reading…
  5. 14 Paying Anthology Markets for Spring 2018
    Next Show All The competition may be stiff for some of the well known anthologies, but getting one of your short stories published can open up numerous other publishing opportunities for you, including book deals. But that does not mean you should skim over the lesser known anthologies. There are just as many benefits to… Keep reading…
  6. 53 Magazines, Websites, and Blogs that Pay Writers
    Next Show All The following is a huge list of magazines, websites, and blogs that pay writers. We’ve done a lot of research to put this list together, with contributions from Tatiana Claudy and S. Kalekar. Keep in mind that the payment information listed here could be out of date or not correct. While we… Keep reading…
  7. $10,000 Short Story Contest (Free)
    The Story Shares organization has officially launched their 2018 Story of the Year writing contest, with the goal of creating more “just-right” book choices for the millions of teens and adults around the world who struggle with reading. This year’s writing contest includes total prizes of $10,000 USD. The prizes are, as follows: $3,000 Diversity… Keep reading…

Ruining Bethlehem and Mince Pies

Enough time has passed for me to look dispassionately at the date, December 23rd—the day I found myself in the office of my family doctor—a life changing day.

To back-up a bit, he’s a man I’d had a pleasant professional relationship with for years. Even so, I didn’t think he’d be calling me in the wish me the compliments of the season. I’d had a blood test days before. I’d been purposefully called—no  ‘if your passing just drop in.’ And let’s be realistic, no busy doctor calls you in two days before Christmas to chat casually about the excellent state of your health. Some sword belonging to Damocles hovered.

Who knows, maybe it was test-result nerves that made me greet the doctor with a mini-book report. The bestseller I’d been reading as he came into the room, had among other things, debunked the myth Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem. Instead, the author argued, the main event took place in Nazareth. Hence the title, ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’  I yammered before he got properly seated.

He nodded. “So, no stable. No star. No, ‘no room at the inn’? No little drummer boy?”

I didn’t notice the enthusiasm-dip in his voice, another side effect of the nerves I suspect. I prattled on. “Nope,’”I said. And with no hint of seasonal diplomacy, I gave him the title of the book so he could put it on his Christmas wish list.

The moment arrived, further evasion became futile. We were after all working on his dime. He looked solemnly at the computer screen and moved onto the test results. In a word, my glucose management was ‘crapola’—not his word. This came as tragic news, since I had, freshly baked at home, enough mince pies to send an entire city block into a coma. I could almost taste the deliciousness. I felt a sharp pain cross my forehead as their sugary promise faded.

Then there was the prescription, and the referral to diabetic school. At the door, we looked at each other, knowing life had for ever changed.

“Sorry about the mince pies,” he said.

“That’s okay. Sorry about Bethlehem.”

We managed a laugh but only just. We had entered his tiny consulting room, neither of us suspecting Christmas would be forever altered.


Ecuadorian Squirrel Hawk

The Ecuadorian Squirrel Hawk

During the evolution of the hawk species, one particular branch, the males of the Ecuadorian Squirrel Hawk, started attacking animals purely to satisfy their own vanity.

The male Ecuadorian Squirrel Hawk would build a nest in the traditional manner. Then It would try to attract a mate. The unusual method of attraction used by this bird was not a display of hunting prowess or an elaborate dance. The male hawk would clinically remove the tail from any mammal it could find and then hang these tails from the nest to try and attract a female hawk. Over the years, the squirrel hawk must have deduced that squirrel tails worked the best and so decided it could hunt rats, mice, and other rodents for food, but squirrels should be left alone as their tails were more important than their meat for the preservation of this hawk species.

The male hawk would place the squirrel tails in fetching arrangements designed to impress the female hawk. Some hawks would drape the tails over the sticks in the nest to make the nest more comfortable for their potential partners. Other hawks would hang the tails from the nest, where they would sway in the wind and catch the eye of any passing females.

The unusual behaviour of these birds has also led to a change in the appearance of Ecuadorian squirrels, whose tails are, on average, 65% shorter than in other squirrel species. These squirrels also sit on their tails when at rest unlike other squirrels whose tails stick out behind them when they are sitting still eating a nut. It’s also believed the Ecuadorian  Ground Squirrel may have evolved from particular families of Ecuadorian Squirrels who lived close to hawk’s nests and who were attacked more than other squirrels.

These squirrels confused early explorers who would see a squirrel that had been attacked by an Ecuadorian Squirrel Hawk and conclude they had found the squirrel equivalent of the Manx Cat.  Once the explanation was discovered, some Victorian explorers even began to explore the Isle of Man, looking for a Manx Cat Hawk, a potential distant relation of the Ecuadorian Squirrel Hawk, but no evidence of this bird was ever found.  

NWW Photo Prompt ~ Alien Places

Alien Places
Alien Places

Welcome to the September 15th, 2015 edition of the NWW Photo Prompt!

The New West Writers Photo Prompt is a twice-monthly challenge for writers of all genres. It’s easy to participate — and we encourage everyone to do so. Just spend a moment with the image above and write whatever comes to mind. A couple of lines, or a couple thousand words. Prose, non-fiction, poetry, even a six word story, if you like.

There are no winners (we’re all writers sharing our words) and no rules. Well, one — be respectful with your words.

You can announce your post with a link in a comment below, or if you link to this page from your post, we’ll publish the trackback link in the comment section of this page. Add an “nww photo prompt” tag to your post and we’ll also provide a link to your response in the next challenge. This post outlines these few simple steps.

To get you going, one of our writing group’s members will have the first go at the prompt. Base your post on theirs or go a completely different way.

Alien Places
by Patrick Jennings


In the beginning
I traveled to alien places
Where I learned a lot
About the world

Until I realized
I was the alien
And then I began to learn
What’s important

What’s me
What’s not me

Happy writing!

About the photograph:

In 1998 I bicycled 6,000 kilometers across China. In many ways, China is arguably the most alien place I’ve travelled to.

At least, that’s what I thought, until I reached Xinjiang province, AKA, The Uyghur Autonomous Region.

You probably didn’t realize that the country’s population isn’t entirely Chinese. A sizeable proportion consists of what the Chinese government politely refers to as “minority nationalities”.

Xinjiang is, by far, the country’s largest province. And though it is, especially by Chinese standards, very sparsely populated, the majority population is Muslim, predominantly the Uyghur people.

This photograph was taken along a market street in Kashgar, far-western Xinjiang, just a hop-skip-and-a-steep-climb up to Pakistan over the Karakorum Highway. There’s a butcher on the right, a vegetable stand next to it, and a street food vendor standing at his smokey barbecue, likely serving lamb kebabs.

The Pineapple Man
The Pineapple Man
Here are the posts written in response to the September 1st NWW Photo Prompt:

Long Lasting Fruit Flavour, by Jen Ryan
You can catch me, by Patrick Jennings