Write to the River — Spring 2021 call for submissions

A tow and 12 barges arrives at Lock and Dam 2 in Hastings in April. (Photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

As the Mississippi River awakens, birds return, trees bud, new life begins, tows and barges once again make their way through our waters. What says spring is here to you? Write to the river by May 1.

The Write to the River project

Write to the River is a creative writing project to inspire artistic engagement with our river environment. We invite you to share an original poem or short prose response to seasonal images along the Upper Mississippi River.

No previous creative writing experience is necessary and all ages and styles are welcome — short prose works, free verse, formal verse, your own verse!

Submissions will be published in our next online edition. We may also showcase some submissions in future issues of Mississippi Messages, our e-newsletter. Sign up to get each season's prompt and news of edition releases.

Need a few ideas or prompts to get started?

  • List the first words that come to mind as you look at this season's photo.
  • What story is being told? What is the subject?
  • What feelings does the photo evoke? Does it remind you of a past experience?
  • Imagine being here — what sounds, smells and tastes might you experience?

How to submit

Submit your piece via our submission form by May 1, 2021.

If you're under 18 years old, please include your age and a contact number where we can reach a guardian or parent so that we can publish your work.

If you are a student or a teacher and are submitting prose and poetry as part of a class project, please do NOT use the submission form. Instead please contact Write to the River Coordinator Leslie Thomas at writetotheriver@fmr.org.

Remember, this is a friendly call for submissions. There is no grading, only appreciation.

Contact Write to the River Coordinator Leslie Thomas at writetotheriver@fmr.org with any questions. Happy writing to the river! We look forward to reading your work.

Read past online editions of Write to the River.

Photographer: 
USACE