Epistolary Challenge Winners

An inside look into the Vocal Curation Team's favorite poems from the Epistolary Challenge

By Vocal Curation TeamPublished 23 days ago 2 min read

What a unique Challenge, to write a poem in letter form. This brilliant idea was inspired by Korina Camel from our Shape the Future of Vocal session!

Writing a letter to someone or something you love is such a joy and a gift. Naturally, we tend to share more of ourselves through the written word than the spoken word. Maybe it's because so many of us are shy when it comes to saying our truth out loud, but maybe it's also because there's something to imagining the recipient's reaction, writing to that reaction, lifting ourselves up to the moment they open the letter (or email), being worthy of it.

Write a poem as a letter, write a letter as a poem, however you interpreted the prompt, we read some beautiful epistolary poetry.

Here are the winners of the Epistolary Challenge and spotlight on one of the Runners-Up. You can check out the full list of winners HERE.

$1,000 Grand Prize Winner

Dana Crandell for From a Secret Admirer

The moon. It's up there, every night, and in so many poems and stories. It's the metaphor of all metaphors. So, how does one make it fresh, different, bright? Write with genuine feeling, that's how. Create an ode so direct and devoid of purple prose and suddenly you see why the moon is such a mainstay of literature. Sometimes it takes an exacting, clearly written piece to make us see something old new again. We loved every moment of this poem precisely because it was so crystalline in its unrequited message, so unabashed in its love, the poet so hurt yet somehow happy to be ignored, as though even true love for the moon really is setting it free, knowing it is not yours, not anyone's. This poem reminded us that sincerity wins every time.

Also, thanks for making us really see the moon again. Congratulations, Dana Crandell!

$250 Second Place Winner

Judey Kalchik for Dear Resusci Annie

What. An. Awesome. Poem.

This epistolary poem seemed to come out of nowhere, that place where so much of the best writing comes from. It was unexpected, well researched, clung to a rhyming scheme, funny, genuine, even educational! What else can we say about this piece. It was a total delight to read. As the poet herself said, thank you Annie. You have saved countless lives through your own sacrifice. And thank you to the poet, you taught us something we would have never known. Congratulations, Judey Kalchik!

Honorable Mention

Steffany Pope for Dear Governor

Like we said in the introduction, it's often easier to frame one's thoughts, to be open and honest through a letter and writing. As we read this plea for equity and change, we were struck with the thought that so many of us might freeze if we were in front of someone with so much power, that we wouldn't quite know how to get our words out.

There are so many ways to make your message known. You can march, shout, debate, discuss, give a speech, write a letter, write a book. We were so glad this poet chose to give us their message through an epistolary poem. It gave a visceral voice to those who are too often overlooked, and it rhymed, too! Really well done, Steffany Pope!


Learn more about our current Challenges below:


About the Creator

Vocal Curation Team

Collaborative, conscious, and committed to content. We're rounding up the best that the Vocal network has to offer.

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Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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  1. Expert insights and opinions

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Comments (14)

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  • Muhammad Rehan12 days ago


  • This comment has been deleted

  • haitham el nayal18 days ago

    Congratulations Dana Crandell

  • CDS Lucid Arts20 days ago


  • good

  • Lynda onyebuchi22 days ago

    Well done

  • Heather Hubler23 days ago

    Congratulations to all the winners!

  • Zack Graham23 days ago

    Big congratulations to all the winning submissions! Loved all of this work!

  • C. H. Richard23 days ago

    Congratulations Dana Crandell, Judey Kalchik and Call Me Les and the rest of the winners! Well done ❤️

  • RM Stockton23 days ago

    Congratulations to the winners. Well deserved.

  • Congratulations

  • Dana Crandell23 days ago

    Congratulations, Judey, Steffany, and all the others selected!

  • Em Starr23 days ago

    Congrats to all winners, especially Dana and Judey. Two stellar (and very different) poems!

  • Judey Kalchik 23 days ago

    Congratulations Dana!!!!

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