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Eavesdropping Sleepy Mission (Unofficial) Challenge Winners

Announcing February's Eavesdropping Sleepy Mission Winners

By sleepy draftsPublished 4 months ago β€’ Updated 3 months ago β€’ 6 min read

First, off let me apologize for making you wait. I know I'm a day late, and I posted two stories before this one today, but let me explain: I got called into work last night, and also, I am weirdly particular about the layout of my profile. I like it to go in a certain order when possible (unless there's a series involved.)

The first person to correctly guess in the comments what pattern I use for my profile gets a bonus $1 tip, lol.

That being said, I needed to post those two pieces earlier today to keep the pattern right. I hope you understand. I won't call it OCD but I've had many people in my life call me that, so... do with that information what you will.

Now enough rambling. I've made you all wait long enough.

You guys blew Rick and me away with the entries to this challenge. I cannot emphasize enough just how hard it was to narrow down the winners. Rick and I even ended up adding "Next Ups" because there were just too many incredible pieces.

The goal was to eavesdrop and use that moment to create a poem. The underlying goal was to play with different narrative voices and showcase some out-in-the-wild inspiration.

My friends, you did not disappoint.

How We Picked The Winners

While judging, we decided to keep our judging fairly simple. We both agreed we wanted to showcase (what we felt represented) elevated craft and creativity in incorporating the prompt. We agreed that we wanted to pick entries that inspired us as much as we hope they might inspire you too.

Here are the entries that stood out to us for taking the prompt to the next level.

The Winners

First Place: "Among These Dark Satanic Mills" by Hannah Moore

Hannah Moore took our Sleepy Mission to another dimension in terms of craft.

Hannah takes us on a journey while walking home from work one evening.

Each line is meticulously curated, evoking those kinds of images and feelings only poetry can pull at. Hannah does this, all the while maintaining tension with each word and every step. When we are introduced to our overheard characters, they somehow simultaneously break and add to this tension. Their words reflect the world Hannah describes in a way that "touches on both the humour and the sadness in the overheard exchange."

This poem's layered texture, evocative imagery, and reflective, philosophical nature stuck with us long after reading.

Amazing work, Hannah. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this to the Sleepy Mission!

Second Place: "Tears of God" by Mackenzie Davis

Mackenzie takes three out-of-context overheard snippets from a conversation at work and expands on them with curiosity and sadness. Not only was this poem unique and creative in its stylistic choices with the overheard snippets in italics and the reflections in stanzas; this poem felt incredibly relatable, also. When eavesdropping (whether on purpose or by accident) sometimes we overhear things that stick with us and leave us in a prolonged moment of reflection.

To me, this is a perfect example of one of the goals for the Sleepy Missions - to take a moment and put those everyday instances that inspire or move you into words. Sometimes it can feel scary to post something like that. It can be worrisome to wonder how our reflections will be interpreted. At the same time, isn't that what writing is all about?

Bravo, Mackenzie. This was a remarkable piece. Thank you for writing this and entering it into the Sleepy Mission!

"Overheard" by Judey Kalchik

Judey brings us with her throughout her day, celebrating the overheard moments that made her smile. This poem beautifully showcases the light and inspiration that come with keeping your senses open and receptive to the world around you; to go with life's "e b b s and flows."

"Overheard" touches on the feeling of openness I was hoping to explore with this Sleepy Mission. It also seamlessly incorporates the prompt by naturally playing with multiple narrative voices which Judey then uses to punctuate the poem, masterfully. These overheard moments and differences in narrative voices move along the natural flow of her own reflections and themes of the poem.

This was a masterclass in both eavesdropping and poetry. Thank you so much for writing and entering this into the Sleepy Mission, Judey!

Next Up

I hate the term "Runner Ups," to be honest. Maybe I'm weird for this. So I decided to opt for "Next Up," since if I could have continued to place and give out prizes, these would be the next winners.

These are the pieces that continued to shine for Rick and I.

"Don't Touch Me There" by Hayley Matto

Hayley's piece was an act of bravery. Full stop. Hayley's courage in posting this poem is beyond applaudable. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this, Hayley. I can't say how much this piece stuck with me.

"Unfair" by Babs Iverson

Babs' poem not only touched on the darker side of "overhearing," but this piece has an excellent poetic flair and rhythmic flow. Thank you so much for writing and entering this to the Sleepy Mission, Babs!

"Grocery Memes" by Lamar Wiggins

Lamar's piece was such a fun take on the eavesdropping mini-challenge! This poem contained clever rhymes, a timed poetic rhythm, and a wonderful sense of humour. Thank you so much for writing this and entering it into the Sleepy Mission, Lamar!

"Confiscated" by Alyssa Nicole

"Confiscated" by Alyssa Nicole was another one that stood out to Rick and I for its adherence to the prompt while still being incredibly creative. This poem had a great rhyme scheme and poetic flow, plus it beautifully fit the prompt. Thank you so much for writing this and entering it into the Sleepy Mission, Alyssa!

Honourable Mentions

These two pieces were the first to enter the Sleepy Mission back when it was first announced and before the deadline was moved. Not only did these two pieces stand out to us, but we also wanted to acknowledge these creators for being so quick to the punch.

"Bench of Ededn" by Kalina Bethany

Not only was "Bench of Eden" a wonderful take on the prompt (an overheard conversation at the gym) but it was incredibly sweet. I loved the philosophical side of this poem told through the story of helping each other while working out.

"What They Said" by Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

I loved Mike's incorporation of this prompt into an abecedarian poem! Not only did this prompt cleverly and creatively follow the rules, Mike added another layer to this poem by giving it a strict structure to adhere to. Wonderfully done, Mike! Thank you so much for writing this and entering it into the Sleepy Mission!

In All

This mini-challenge was more fun than I ever could have imagined to judge. Every entry was a delight to read through and I wish there was a way to reward every single one. This process gave me a lot of empathy for the Vocal judges come challenge time. We have got a platform full of remarkable writers. That much is for certain.

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to venture out and play with the first-ever Sleepy Mission! You guys made many of my days in February with your writing. Plus, I even got to discover some new favourite writers in the process.

I really can't say it enough: THANK YOU.

How You'll Be Receiving Your Prizes

Tonight, you can expect a partial tip from me and a partial tip from Rick!

Here are the awards:

First - $25

Second - $15

Third - $10

Next-Ups - $5

Honourable Mentions - $3

Thank you again so much to everyone who entered!

The Future of Sleepy Missions

The Sleepy Missions have been such a blast to host. I'd love to hear what you think in the comments:

A) Should there be a Sleepy Mission every month or every other month?

B) What kind of Sleepy Missions would you like to see in the future?

Let me know in the comments!

Thank You!

Thank you so much to all who entered the first Sleepy Mission (Unofficial) Challenge! You guys made this an incredible experience.

In the meantime, enjoy a more low-key, musical mini-challenge.

To keep enjoying the other entries, read on!

The Submissions

Kelli Sheckler-Amsden

Karun

Liam Storm

Penny Fuller

Babs Iverson

Ace Melee

Angie the Archivist

Paul Stewart

Anna

Paul Stewart

Mariann Carroll

Thank you again so much!

I can't wait to hear what you'd like to see from these Sleepy Missions in the future! Please let me know in the comments below.

Writing ExerciseVocalShoutoutPromptsProcessLifeInspirationCommunityChallengeAchievements

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sleepy drafts

a sleepy writer named em :)

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Comments (14)

  • Ace Melee3 months ago

    I don't know if I already commented-- my memory is at 2 FPS. I am delighted to congratulate the winners and those who participated in the challenge.

  • Lamar Wiggins3 months ago

    I feel very honored to have been invited to participate in this challenge, and equally honored for the next up recognition. Thank you for hosting such a fun great time! πŸ’–

  • Mariann Carroll3 months ago

    Here is my entry, I hope it’s not too late . https://vocal.media/poets/did-you-hear-rw1ka0478

  • Fun selection. Excellent choices, Em.

  • Wooohooooo congratulations to all the winners! πŸŽ‰πŸ’–πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸ’–πŸŽŠ As for your pattern, I browsed through your profile and I have no idea πŸ˜… Oooo, more Sleepy Missions would be so cool! I'd say every other month. Because I feel that you need a break too from reading entries, judging them and coming up with new missions. Your well being is the most important! πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯° As for what I'd like to see, of course it's horror! Hahahahahahahaha. Not sure though if Mr Brain would be cooperative enough to take part but I would love to read the entries! The gorier, the better. Blood bring me joy! Hehehehhehehehehehehehehe!!!

  • Kageno Hoshino4 months ago

    Wow

  • CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE

  • Kalina Bethany4 months ago

    Thank you so much for the shoutout, Em! This challenge was so exciting to write and I was looking forward to the results and reading others' entries. Looking forward to reading up on the next musical challenge :)

  • Alyssa Nicole4 months ago

    Ahh! Thank you so much for including my submission as a Next Up! I am honored. 😊Congratulations to everyone! There were so many great submissions. I loved this challenge and would love to see more Sleepy Missions challenges! I think once a month sounds good, if that is feasible. I love anything related to music, so maybe a challenge/prompt involving a song? I know you just posted the music video prompt which I can't wait to do! I've had Hozier stuck in my head after I watched all the videos. πŸ˜‚

  • Mackenzie Davis4 months ago

    Oh wow, thank you, Em and Rick! (I was so confused for way too long, lol.) I'm afraid I wouldn't have completed anything worth reading if I hadn't overheard that convo at the *very* last second! I know this was a long process, Em, but your choice to wait for more entries was such a good one. Look how many you ended up getting!! Fantastic! As to more Sleepy Missions, hmmm. I'd personally love some music challenges. Maybe assigning a song and choosing the best or favorite poem written based on it? Or something. It was seriously fun to do this challenge and it would be a blast to do a repeat! Maybe every other month? I know I end up feeling like I can't keep up with all the unofficial challenges, lol. Too frequent might be counter-productive for engagement, I'm not sure. Thanks again. This was so fun! ❀️

  • Babs Iverson4 months ago

    Next-up!!! Yes! I am thrilled and honored. It has been a long time between wins. This made my day!!! Thank you!!!

  • Hannah Moore4 months ago

    Ooh, thank you so much! This was such a brilliant challenge. Think I got pretty lucky to hear such a corker though!

  • Hayley Matto4 months ago

    Dawhhh honored to be a "Next Up" I completely agree that's better then "Runner Up" πŸ˜‰ This was so an awesome challenge and created/pulled some absolutely incredible work out of everyone!!! My vote would definitely be to do this MONTHLY verus bi-monthly. But I know that adds the work load onto you quite a bit, so whatever you feel is doable/comfortable!! But as a participant this was not only something I enjoyed participating in but was eager to hop on and read other submissions throughout my weeks!! Having that sort of experience monthly would be great. Themes... or ideas... I don't know that I could think of any as good as this right off the top of my head, but I really enjoyed how open ended this was, you gave a clear prompt idea, your piece as an example was awesome (something I hope you always include πŸ’š) but I loved how open this was for anyones interpretation. It yielded so a variety of poems and stories!! Thanks for hosting this!!

  • Paul Stewart4 months ago

    Well done Hannah, Mackenzie and Judey! :) Not surprised those were singled out! Thanks Em and Rick for putting on this fine challenge.

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