Friday, April 7, 2023

WHISPERshout Magazine is live! and inklings challenge too

click to visit!

Greetings, Poetry People!  I know I've been hinting at this development for a while, and in fact the idea has been percolating since 2017--but this week, finally, the first modest weekly issue of WHISPERshout Poetry Magazine has appeared!  

Why this project? I'm hoping it will meet a simple need that most writers have--to share their work publicly. I suppose there are writers who are content to write and then tuck their work away (looking at you, Emily Dickinson), but most writers I know are COMMUNICATORS, and it's not communication if your writing isn't seen by, well, the community!

I began writing poems early on, while growing up with a dad whom I watched speaking from the pulpit every Sunday morning to an audience (looking at you, Bob Mordhorst). I learned early on the power of connecting with others through sharing your words--but for poetry writers especially, and for young poets even more especially, opportunities to publish their work are few and far between. (After all, they're competing with all of us adults trying to publish OUR poetry for young people!)

So I hope WHISPERshout Magazine helps to scratch that itch to be seen and acknowledged by the community, and I hope it opens visibility to a very wide range of young poets, whose voices may not easily find a platform otherwise. To my knowledge, WHISPERshout Magazine is the only U.S. online site publishing poetry by kids 4-12, and I'm asking you, if you're willing, to help it...


First, please visit Issue 1.1 and enjoy the featured work. Your comments, as always, will thrill and encourage the young writers.

Second, come back here and offer any constructive criticism about format, style, content, in the knowledge that I intended to attach it to my WHISPERshout website and was somewhat defeated by the Squarespace blog platform. (If you know a young person with Squarespace chops who would be willing to teach me, let me know!) 

Third, please share!  If you are a teacher, think of this opportunity for your students to see their poems (with accompanying artwork and photo) published on the World Wide Web!  If you are an author who does school visits, let those schools know that this opportunity exists!  If you are a parent or grandparent sharing poetry with your young ones, encourage them to consider submitting!

Thanks for supporting WHISPERshout Magazine, and thanks to Margaret of Reflections on the Teche, who has already been an enthusiastic facilitator and sharer of her students' work--I hope to be publishing some of it soon...BUT WAIT!  There's more!

It's also the first Friday of the month, and time for an Inklings challenge, this time set by Mary Lee of A(nother) Year of Reading.  In an edgy and daring kind of move, Mary Lee just gave us four random words to work with (knuckle, denial, turn, cautious) and opened the gate.  Luckily a poet can turn any group of words in any direction, right?  I commemorate the establishment of WHISPERshout Magazine thus:

The Challenge

There's no denying a poet who wants to be heard.
Throw caution away at this crossroads.
Turn to face each direction, seeking ears and eyes.
Knuckle down and work it; whisper it, shout it, show all your work!

You see I messed with a couple of the words--poets are rule-breakers, don't you know. Make sure to visit the rest of the Inklings to see how they messed with the words!

Catherine @ Reading to the Core

Mary Lee Hahn @ A(nother) Year of Reading
Molly Hogan @ Nix the Comfort Zone
Linda Mitchell @ A Word Edgewise
Margaret Simon @ Reflections on the Teche
 , again our host today, with the Progressive Poem as well! Whoo-hoo National Poetry Month!


  1. I'm feeling pretty proud of this wonky challenge! No denying, the Inklings has turned this list into a diversity of poems, and we've managed to knuckle those words into our chosen forms/topics!

  2. Congratulations on the inaugural issue of WHISPERshout! I may know some poets who'd like to contribute their work. Good work incorporating all of Mary Lee's words in a poem that's full of good advice. I also added some different endings to some of the words to fit my purpose.

  3. This magazine is a fabulous labor of love, and we are the beneficiaries! The first line of your poem is so true--to have words heard--even for children! I have now read three of the Inklings challenge, and I am amazed at how you all have used these words!

  4. I love the line "Show all your work!" It's something that is preached and shouted in math these days, so why not in poetry? I love, love, love your new online space for kids. I promise when we return from spring break, we will be sending you some poems.

  5. I imagine you're very proud of this new outlet for kids' work, Heidi. There used to be a number of magazines where my students submitted their writing. I guess they're all gone now, so congratulations!

  6. Congrats on launching WHISPERshout Magazine! Thanks for creating this online space for young poets.

  7. Yay for WHISPERshout! Congrats, Heidi - I left a comment for Cedric

  8. Heidi--this is so exciting! I love how you turned your response to Mary Lee's prompt into a celebration of what you're accomplishing/offering with WhisperShout. It's also full of both writing truth and advice. Congratulations!!!


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!