Friday, June 26, 2020

OPEN CALL for a new Children's Poetry Anthology

Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Karen at Karen's Got a Blog for Roundup.

Some of you may have received the notice below via email. In an effort to give everyone a chance to be part of this, Charles and I are posting it on our blogs and social media outlets as well. Charles and I hope you'll send us a poem -- and please, spread the word! Our book can only be as strong and beautiful as the poems we receive.

Hello from Irene Latham and Charles Waters. We’re also known as the I and C Construction Co., where we've been building books one word at a time since 2015! We have just secured a book deal with Candlewick Press for an as-yet untitled collection of poems for children.

Here’s the official description:

In this children's poetry anthology, a diverse group of poets use the word "IF" as the first word in the first line of each poem inviting readers to take their own leaps into different worlds -- from the Practical to the Fantastical -- inspiring and empowering them to hope and dream; to transform their lives and the world; and know that anything is possible. It all starts with IF.

Our goal is to focus on imagination, to introduce readers to the galaxies that lie in wait behind those doors of “I” and “F” – what unseen treasures have you found there? What “if” have you wondered/dreamed/schemed about? Imagine practical things like, “If You Catch a Firefly” by Lilian Moore. Imagine a new you (personal growth). Imagine a different world (people, community, relationships). Imagine anything is possible (fantastical). Such a small, powerful word... what's YOUR “if”? Do YOU have an “if” poem? Would you like to write one?

Here are some basic guidelines:

Please send one poem only.
First word of the first line must be the word “If.” Not "WHAT if." Just IF. (Having “If” in the title is optional.)
Please no “If I Were A” poems. (We have plenty of these already!)
Poem no longer than 28 lines (shorter poems preferred).
Our target audience is ages 4-8.

Send your poem in the body of an email to by 11:59 pm Friday, July 3, 2020. Please also include: your name (or pen name), along with contact info, and a short (1-2 sentence) third-person bio.

If your poem is selected for inclusion, we will be in touch with you later this year. You will be compensated $100 for first-time only (non-exclusive) publication rights of the poem. This anthology is sure to inspire kids by infusing them with the spirit of imagination and endless possibility. We look forward to reading your work!

Wishing you strength and joy.

Our best,

Irene and Charles


  1. It is exciting news, Irene. What fun it will be for children to read and imagine their own "ifs"!

  2. This is sure to be a magical anthology, Irene. You and Charles are amazing!

  3. Such a lovely and amazing idea for an anthology!

  4. So. Much. Fun! Thank you both for including All of Us!!!

  5. "If" generates sparks and opens endless possibilities… Thank you both for this possibility, sounds like an inspiring collection! xo

  6. This is excellent Irene! I look forward to seeing the progress on this project.

  7. What team! And how wonderful that you're opening up a world of possibilities to other writers... and readers.

  8. A great idea for that magical age where limitations have not been internalized and anything is possible! Thanks for the invitation. I caught up with a few "Red" poems today. Another wonderful project. I do love ekphrastic poems.

  9. In which time zone is the submission deadline? Thanks!


Your thoughts?