The Common‘s annual postcard auction opens for bidding on Monday, November 13. If you aren’t familiar, it’s an annual fundraiser where you can bid to receive a postcard from your favorite author. This year’s list of 40+ authors includes folks like Anthony Doerr, Gina Chung, Sandra Cisneros, David Sedaris, Rick Russo, Ann Patchett, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Anne Tyle, Alison Bechdel, Julia Alvarez, and Rabih Alameddine just to name a few. Authors always put a lot of their creative energy into writing (and drawing!) these, and they’re always completed by the holidays if you want to buy one as a gift for someone. Bidding closes at noon EST on December 4, 2023.
Considering all the cancelled or postponed or modified conferences and workshops, it’s comforting to know the August Poetry Postcard Festival is up and running this year just as it has been for the past twelve years!
The concept is simple: You sign up and your name is added to a group along with 31 others. Once the group is “full,” you each get the list with names and addresses of participants in your group. The week before August, you start writing and sending you postcards (so that the first one arrives around the first of August). You write one postcard per day and send it to the person listed after your name in the group. The next day, you write another poem and send it to the next person – and so on until you go through the list. One for each day.
The idea is spontaneous writing without editing, censoring, or revision. You can use the postcard as your prompt or not. Some people choose a theme to write on for the month. The postcards vary from store bought to homemade, contemporary to vintage. It’s really wide open to your creativity, imagination, and passion. Then, throughout the month of August, you will receive poems in the mail from the others in your group.
This year – the one change in the event has been year-round registration – so you can register now. Some participants have already started sending cards instead of waiting until August – in response to the pandemic – since we could all use a bit more poetry and a bit more connection in our daily lives. A few ambitious writers have already completed their 31 cards and have signed up for another group! The organizers welcome repeat participation.
This is a safe and fun way to connect, motivate your writing, and enjoy the wonderful gifts that others will send your way. Sign up today!