3 Line Thursday. A weekly poetry competition. Also for non-poets.

Hi, I’m Bart Van Goethem. You may remember me from such one sentence stories as The Not So Great Escape, My One Day At The Donut Factory and The Bear That Hated Spring. You don’t? But they all appeared on this fine blog. Doesn’t ring any bells? At all?

Anyway, as you can tell by now, I ain’t no poet. I’m a writer. Of some sorts. I write micro and flash fiction. That all started one year ago. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I met quite a few people who were doing the same thing. I even discovered weekly competitions, that are still running, like Flash!Friday  and The Angry Hourglass .

In the course of that first year, other competitions with other formulas (a certain word count, finish a thought, use a specific first and last word, etc) popped up. The people I knew started participating in those as well. I stuck to the two I mentioned above, because, honestly, life really is too short and you have to make choices.

And then, on 1 October 2014, 3 Line Thursday appeared. The assignment: use a picture prompt to write a poem or a poetic story in three lines. Now, I love brevity. No, wait, I am brevity. It’s how I function. So I was naturally attracted to this new weekly competition.


Now, normally I wouldn’t have even dreamt of thinking about maybe attempting to perhaps participate. You had to write friggin’ poetry! But because I knew most of the other people, I felt comfortable and I just winged it that first time.

I still do. In fact, as soon as I notice I’m trying too hard to be brilliant, I stop. It has to be fun. Because of that approach there really is no pressure to win (it’s still a competition) (and you know how writerly types are), so that’s nice.

What I learnt after a while is this:

  • brevity sometimes leads to poetry automatically
  • you don’t have to use fancy words to be poetic
  • there are some great writers out there. So, in short, next Thursday go and have a look at Three Line Thursday. And if you can’t wait, check @3LineThursday. You’ll find the community (116 thoughts last week) warm and supportive. Just what you should expect from a bunch of soft-hearted poets.