SPEAKING OF LAURA …
Laura was the very first person to sign up for the Madness! 2012 poetry tournament (see left sidebar).
Now, just three weeks later, 58 of 64 spots in the tournament are now filled, and the event kicks off in just nine days!
I am busy preparing the site for the tournament, so I do not have any new poems or prompts for Poetry Friday today.
HOWEVER, I did want to take a moment today to thank several people who have really helped to spread the word for Madness! 2012, setting the table for what I believe will be a really fun month at Think Kid, Think!
First, Laura, thank you. Convincing that first person to join is always the hardest!
Next, Mary Lee Hahn. I saw a number of posts from Mary Lee among the Poetry Friday blogs (and who knows where else) spreading word of this event early on. Those first 8-10 participants are all Mary Lee’s doing.
Then we have Renee LaTulippe. Renee made various posts to her social networks on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and perhaps others, which directly attracted a dozen or so participants. Thanks, Renee!
My next thank you goes to Julie Larios. Julie joined the event and offered to spread the word to a group of other talented poets, including Jane Yolen (who will be participating in the tournament) and J. Patrick Lewis (who dropped by TKT to say hello).
Jane’s participation upped the profile of the event, and sparked me to reach out directly to Kenn Nesbitt with an invitation to join. Kenn was quick to accept, and subsequently shared the madness with a host of other published poets, several of whom have since joined the event as well. Thank you, Kenn!
Finally, just the other day Steven Withrow (founder of PACYA, and for about two weeks the only male participant in this event) was kind enough to promote the event directly from the PACYA/Poetry at Play site. That drove 10+ registrations within 24 hours and, as word continues to spider from there, will hopefully bring us to a full set of 64 participants.
As the chart shows (I like charts, as you will soon learn), we’re almost there:
[EDIT: We're there:
As proud as I am of this idea and as pleased as I am to host, these are the people who really made the event happen. So pay them a visit, follow them on Twitter, mention them on your blogs, bake them some cookies, or otherwise be nice to them — at least up until the point when you face off against one of them in the tournament, in which case you should then do everything in your power to best them!
Next Friday, if not sooner, I will create a new page to re-introduce the event and deliver a final set of rules and instructions for participants and visitors, along with a pair of new poems from me to serve as an example of how it’s done.
I also have a few new widgets in the works that I think will enhance the user experience and keep the event running smoothly. If any of you are interested in helping me test some of the new features (polling, countdown timer, scoreboard, blog registration, visitor/commenter points system), please send me a note or comment below.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone.