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Hey, Writerly Friends. February is almost here. You know what that means. It’s time for our annual daily writing workout!51HTeL6-L9L

For the past three years — in order to practice writing and give something back to others during my birthday month — my blog has hosted a big poetry project.

In 2013, I wrote every day in response to vintage postcards. (Find the list of postcard poems here.)

In 2014, over a dozen poets joined me for the project. We all wrote in response to Pantone paint colors. (Find the list of Pantone poems here.)

2015’s project was writing in response to sounds. Fourteen writers participated and we wrote 177 original poems. (Find the list of sound poems here.)

baby in the woods

“Doll.” Found in a tree stump at Squam Lake, NH.

Since our past projects have focused on visual and auditory prompts, let’s go multi-sensory this year. Our 2015 theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For the next several weeks, please send in photographs of found objects to use as our writing prompts. We’ll need 29 of them — it’s leap year.

Every Friday throughout February, I will post a week’s worth of found objects. No context will be shared until the poems are posted. You are invited to write in response to the object (see suggested writing prompts below).

I’ll post our poems and other written responses every day in February, or at least several times a week. Whoever shares the most poems this month will win a prize!

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR PROJECT NEWBIES: The point of this exercise is to practice the habit of writing regularly, even if it’s just for one month. I post the responses as they are sent in so that we can focus on generating ideas, rather than on polishing for publication.

I’ll post more instructions at the end of January. For now, send in those found objects!

How do you respond in writing to a found object?

As a poet and editor, I often see poems that begin with a visual image. Let’s stretch and use our five senses as a point of entry this time. What does the object look, smell, sound, feel, and taste like to you? Try using a non-visual image in your poem’s first line.

Here are some other ideas:

  • What is the object’s backstory?
  • Build a setting: Where might this object be found?
  • Write a persona poem in the voice of the object.

Prose writers, you are welcome to join us. Use the found objects to create a 100-250 word writing sprint. Are you working on a novel? How would your protagonist react to finding this object?

2014-05-23 21.08.37 (1)

Is it me, or were the Cracker Jack prizes better when we were kids?

43 responses to “Announcing: 2016 Found Object Poem Project”

  1. Your new site is lovely! I look forward to the discipline of this project. Every year, I fizzle out near the end. I want to try to stick it out this year.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      Hi, Margaret! Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your responses to the daily poetry project. You can complete the marathon this year! Even a two line poem or observation will do. I believe in you.

    • Hi Margaret, it Jan (Bookseedstudio.) I know what you mean about how the ends of monthly writing challenges can collapse. I am cheering you & me on to the end.
      But wait – I haven’t even commented here in Week 1 yet!

  2. Laura Shovan says:

    […] find more information about the project at this post. And here is a sneak preview of our first writing prompt, contributed by Robyn Hood […]

  3. […] know what I’m talking about? Read this post to find out more about my annual daily writing project. Over a dozen authors gather every February to write in […]

  4. […] those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 1 FOUND OBJECTS at this post. At the end of […]

  5. […] those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 1 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  6. […] those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 1 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  7. […] year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 1 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  8. […] those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 1 FOUND […]

  9. […] those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 1 FOUND […]

  10. […] inspiring writers with her annual February poetry prompt, and this year she’s using “found objects” – random, unusual, or even everyday items that various friends and fellow bloggers […]

  11. […] month I’ve been participating in Laura Shovan’s Found Object Poem Project. Each day I’ve attempted to respond to a random photo with a poem. Some days are certainly […]

  12. […] year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 1 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  13. […] day and another photograph in Laura Shovan’s FOPP (Found Object Poetry Project). When I first looked at this picture, I had no idea what I would write, and was thankful it was […]

  14. […] those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 1 FOUND OBJECTS at this post. At the end of the […]

  15. […] those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 2 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  16. […] took a look at Laura Shovan’s latest photo prompt. (For more information about her wonderful Found Object Poetry Project click on the link.) My short response was colored by the buzz of the day, the fun of snow day […]

  17. […] those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 1 FOUND […]

  18. […] Laura Shovan is a poet who shares the love. For her birthday month, February, she commits to writing poems every day and shares the experience with anyone who dares to jump in to the party. Read her introduction to the project here. […]

  19. […] year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 2 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  20. […] been participating in Laura Shovan’s Found Object Poem Project this month, and although I’ve missed two or three days, my brain is certainly getting a […]

  21. […] year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 2 FOUND OBJECTS, which are our writing […]

  22. […] those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 2 FOUND […]

  23. […] those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 2 FOUND OBJECTS at this post. At the end of […]

  24. […] those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 3 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  25. […] year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 3 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  26. […] those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 3 FOUND […]

  27. […] those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 3 FOUND […]

  28. […] those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 3 FOUND OBJECTS at this post. At the end of […]

  29. […] those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND […]

  30. […] those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND […]

  31. […] those of you who are new to my blog, please read my introductory post about the February daily write-in. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND […]

  32. […] month I’ve been participating (occasionally!) in Laura Shovan’s Found Object Poem Project. Although I haven’t participated in a while, I’m jumping back into the mix with this […]

  33. […] year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  34. […] year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  35. […] Shovan’s Found Object Poem Project. Laura’s introductory post about the project is here. Many thanks to Laura for leading us through another February filled with daily prompts. While I […]

  36. […] year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  37. […] year’s theme is FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are new to the project, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  38. […] theme has been FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are finding this project for the first time, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  39. […] theme has been FOUND OBJECTS. For those of you who are finding this project for the first time, please read my introductory post. You’ll find more information and all of the Week 4 FOUND OBJECTS at this […]

  40. […] had good intentions when I decided to participate in Laura Shovan’s Found Object Poetry Project last month. Sadly, about halfway through the month, life intervened and writing a poem every day […]

  41. […] I invited everyone to join me for a month-long project, writing in response to found objects (the original post is here). This is the fourth time I’ve celebrated my February birthday with a daily project that […]

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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