A Winter Solstice Writing Challenge

Come write toward the light with me this Advent season. For this third year of my Advent Writing Challenge (where my friends including the JustWrite Virtual Writing Group write together for 25 days) I have decided on the theme of the winter solstice. In many ways this is an extension of last year’s challenge which focused on light. But then aren’t most of us focused on light in one way or another at this time of year?

I created my first Advent Writing Challenge in December 2020 because it was a dark and sad time and I hoped making a poetic Advent Calendar would inspire me to read and write more poetry. Now many things have improved and yet there is so much darkness and so I choose to continue this tradition. I invite you to join me as I lean once more into poetry to guide and inspire me through this season and I invite you to join me and my friends in the #JustWrite Virtual Writing Group as we write through these winter solstice poetic writing prompts.

The 2020 Advent Writing Challenge poems were chosen with an Advent theme in mind as I selected poems that followed the themes we see in the Christian celebration of Advent such as hope, light, anticipation, and love. The 2021 Advent Writing Challenge poems were chosen to focus on light — specifically the transition from darkness to shadow to light. This is the darkest time of year and yet we see those of both Christian and Jewish faiths celebrate light and light candles against that darkness. The 2022 Advent Writing Challenge was inspired by the theme of the winter solstice and includes some of these previous ideas as well as poems about winter and transition.

I also hope, for me personally, that these poems and writing inspired by them will help me emerge from darkness and shadows into the light. I hope that reading and writing about the darkness will exorcise the shadows haunting me and open my heart and mind to the light. Come write toward the light with me this Advent season. Teachers looking for more ways (and reasons) to work poetry into their writing classes should check out my post: Poetry in Comp Class?

And the door to our virtual writing group is always open at 7 p.m. Thursday ET. We will write in response to these poems throughout December.

We will meet on Dec. 1 and explore the idea of the Winter Solstice and the poem Toward the Winter Solstice. When we meet on Dec. 8 we will explore the poems leading up to that date (2-8); our Dec. 15 meeting will write to 7-15; our Dec. 22 gathering will write to 16-22; and our Dec. 29 session will wrap up. But in truth there are no rules and always, always, always we can write about the light and darkness and the longest night.