How do I submit?

Go to this month’s spotlight bird page and you can type up to 300 words per day into the submission window. You can see where the previous submission in the poem window. Scroll up to see the entire poem.

Your submission can be written in any style—from rhyming, metered verse, to free-flowing prose, to an actual memory—or even just a one-word thought.

You can type in your own words or a collective piece of writing from a group, such as a class or club.

Your words will then be added to the crowdsourced poem for that month. You will have the option of submitting your name/group’s name to the contributor’s list. You can submit words to the poem every 24 hours.

 Here's a video tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQ3kCZmW-Ko


What is open source text?

All the text in the poems will be open source and available for visual artists, musicians, other writers, organizations, etc. Our words will connect us and inspire stewardship for generations to come. 


Is this just for bird watchers?

No! Birds are unique wild animals because they move through many spaces: from busy urban streets to isolated farms. But so many Iowans have terrific personal stories about their encounters with birds. They live in all our communities, grabbing our eyes and ears and occupying a unique space in our collective consciousness.

By celebrating birds, we celebrate all the ways in which our stories and communities divide and converge, like a flock in flight.


Can I just say...anything I want? Does it have to be about the spotlight bird?

You can say anything you want! Your verse can be about birds in general or the specific spotlight bird. Let this space inspire you to contribute your words and ideas. But we ask that you refrain from using profanity; we want schools and classrooms to visit and use the site frequently. Profanity filters are high, and we reserve the right to remove inappropriate posts. If you are so inspired by our site that you want to create your own crowdsourced poem with no filters, we would love to hear from you!


Where do you get your photos, videos, etc?

From public domain designated photos on Flickr, Google Images, Creative Commons, YouTube, etc. If you would like us to share your photos, contact us via email or post your images on our Facebook group, Twitter or Instagram. If we're using your photo, thank you (we're talking to you, Alan Schmierer! You're the best sharer ever!)! If we have incorrectly attributed your photo, let us know via email and we'll fix it, toot sweet.