April 2018 Challenge: Ode to Art

April is Poetry Month, so to honor this exalted occasion we challenge you to write an ode to a work of art on Storybird. Choose a piece of art and write a poem in praise of what you see. Write this poem using your own words in a single-chapter Longform book. (Read the Rules below.)

An ode is a type of lyric poem devoted to the praise of a person, animal, thing, or idea. An ode expresses deep feelings about the subject. Unlike sonnets, which are always fourteen lines, villanelles which follow a rhyming pattern, or haikus, which have a set number of syllables on each line, odes do not have to stick to a standard format.

You can choose how many lines to write (40 lines max), and whether or not it will rhyme. The most important thing to remember is that it must be expressive, passionate, and devoted to a single object.

Here’s a snippet of a famous ode written by the poet John Keats called “Ode to a Nightingale.” He is writing to a bird that he hears outside his window.

Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

For this challenge, you can have a lot of fun with the object you choose to write about. You could play a game of chance and write about the first piece of art that appears when you click Create. You could go to Recently Added art and choose a mundane object that appears in one of the images (I see a ruler, a cat, roller skates, a cookie, a boombox, and an acorn.) Let your imagination run wild!

As a bonus, for this month only we are giving everyone free access to the members-only guide on How to Write Lyric Poetry. In this guide, you’ll learn all about the most important elements of lyric poetry. Remember, an ode is a type of lyric poem, so check out the guide before you write your challenge entry to give yourself a head start!

Do the Challenge

April 2018 Challenge: Ode to Art


1. Theme of the month: Ode to Art – This month, write an ode—a lyric poem praising a person, animal, or thing—to a specific piece of art on Storybird. To be eligible for the challenge, you must use the LONGFORM format and your poem may not be longer than 40 lines. All poems submitted to the challenge must follow our community guidelines.

2. Choose your artwork – Browse our library of images to find the artwork or artist that inspires you, or search for a specific theme (like “rose“). Select the LONGFORM BOOK format.

3. Submit – When you have finished your Ode, select “April Challenge” on the details page before you publish. You may only submit one entry to the challenge, so make it great!

4. Eligibility – Any Storybird member with a Regular account can participate in our writing challenges. Students are not eligible. Paid membership is not required but it will allow you receive beautiful printable certificates for each challenge.

5. Moderation – Paid membership ensures your work is reviewed within 1-2 days. Otherwise, your work will be reviewed on a first-come, first serve basis and can take up to several weeks to be visible in the public library. We try to accelerate Challenge entries because of the short timeframe, but there are no guarantees. You may redeem Crowns for Express Moderation.

6. Due date – To be eligible to be featured, your poem must be submitted to moderation on or before April 23, 2018. Selected entries will be featured on the Storybird blog on May 1.

Do the Challenge

Please note: You must have a Regular account to enter the challenge—Student accounts are not eligible. Poems must be published from Regular accounts to appear in the public library and to be featured on our blog. Poems published from Student accounts are only visible to members of their class and do not appear in the public library.

Badge artwork by Jamin Still, Featured artwork by Flapperdoodle

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