A blog for fans of Bananagrams, word games, puzzles, and amazing things

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bananagrams writing contest

The Newport Review is an online magazine which publishes creative writing, poetry, photography, and other visual art forms. They sponsor an annual writing contest, and this year the competition has a Bananagrams theme. Between May 1 and September 30, 2010, entrants can submit either a poem (<=21 lines) or a short story (<= 2100 words). The catch is that a Bananagrams grid made up of 21 tiles will be posted on the Newport Review site, and every word in that grid has to appear in the submitted story or poem. It's sort of a form of constrained writing. (More severely constrained forms of writing were described in my post on word game poetry.) You can read some of the previous contest winners to get a sense of what the Newport Review might be looking for.

Also, it is useful to note that links to information about two of the judges have been given: John Landry, a poet, and Jincy Willett, writer of fiction and blogger of blogs. Jincy Willett clearly has a sense of humor which gives me hope that any entry I might happen to submit might not be immediately dumped (as it were).

Check the site for full details on the contest. Prizes include a $500 cash award (donated by Abraham Nathanson), publication in the Newport Review, and, of course, Bananagrams sets. There is also a per-submission entrance fee of $7. Void where prohibited. Do not bend, fold, spindle, or mutilate this blog.

Good luck!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Two new Bananagrams puzzle books

As follow-ups to Bananagrams! The Official Book, Joe Edley has co-authored two more Bananagrams puzzle books that should now be available in bookstores. The first book, More Bananagrams!, was written with Abe and Rena Nathanson, and features more of the puzzles that earned the initial Bananagrams puzzle book acclaim.

The second book, aimed at the younger Bananagrammists out there, is called Bananagrams for Kids and has contributions from Puzzability, a puzzle-making factory started by three former editors of Games magazine. Puzzability is probably best known for the puzzles that the New York Times has allowed them to publish on certain days, in lieu of their regular Op-Ed page. An example from last year is their "Space Case" set of puzzles. Some other examples of their non-Bananagrams puzzles can be found here, including some for kids.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Some Bananagrams-inspired poems (with rhymes)

April is National Poetry Month. I think a better name would be "Poetry Awareness Month" since most of the time I do not think about poems at all. So I decided to raise my awareness of poetry by writing some poems. Here are the results:

The Banana and the Poem about it

I shot a banana into the air
It fell to earth; I step not there.
For I do not wish to glide
On my own personal Slip 'n Slide.

There's a Xictionary in My Dictionary!
(a.k.a, I Can Lick Thirty Word Grids Today!)

There's something strange about this grid.
It had a QUID,
But then it HID,
Became a SQUID.
So said my ID.

Too many TAXes
And still more AXes
And sometimes FAXes.
My SAXes WAXes.
I want some SNACKSes.

That was so much fun! I expect I'll be doing that again. Stay tuned and keep your rhyme on, true believers!