The Virelay comes from the word “v’irer”, meaning to veer or turn. This form does not have a specific meter, but it does have a rhyming scheme and is written in interlinking quatrains:

so on

It is also written in alternating lengths. The odd lines of this form are long while the even lines are short.
And the last stanza must consist of the rhyme found in the short lines from the last stanza and the first stanza. Check the sample poem below for clarity.

Example (by Trish Macqueen):

Slender sunrays stretch out across the land (a)
Bringing the light of day (b)
As a soft simmering glow crosses the sand (a)
Creating a sparking array. (b)

Assorted birds awaken and begin to play (b)
Echoing loudly with song (c)
While frolicking seals, come home to lay (b)
Surfing the waves so strong. (c)

Nocturnal mammals slowly lumber along (c)
Returning home to sleep (d)
While out at sea, the shipping buoy’s gong (c)
As night slows to a creep. (d)

Waves rise becoming strong and steep (d)
Livening up the calm bay (b)
Before winds blow and slowly sweep (d)
The dark shadows away. (b)

In this example the pattern is: a,b,a,b/b,c,b,c/c,d,c,d/ and the last stanza d,b,d,b (Kindly understand the guidelines before tagging the admins for clarification).

~Though this form can be written in as many quatrains as one wants, for this event, write a three-stanza Virelay in any topic of your choice.

  • Send in your entries,  as an attachment in a word document (.doc/.docx, any other file will not be published), to along with a 2-3 line bio (not required if previously sent).
  • The subject of your mail should be Entry for #PenMuse41 (compulsory).
  • Along with your entry please send a suggested cover for your poem. (please send it as a separate attachment. Make sure it is a stock photo, no watermarks, and of high resolution –800 pixels and above). The elves at Penmancy are mighty pleased if a story is accompanied by a cover.


      1. The submitted poem must have a title (Keep it simple with no punctuation marks; all words more than 3 letters must be capitalized)
      2. There is no limit to the number of entries you may submit –though only the first submitted poem will be qualified for contention.
      3. Previously published or plagiarised works will not be considered for contention.
      4. Poems found to have been shared on another platform or blog before the declaration of results stand disqualified from the event, and the writer of such content stands to be disqualified for the next Penmancy event.
      5. In case a poem is received after the submission deadline, it shall be considered as a guest entry and shall not qualify for the event.
      6. Entries that don’t follow rules will be published and shared on the page and group but are disqualified for winning.

Winning criteria:

  • The winner will be chosen on the basis of the judges’ scores (out of 10)
    • creativity/content and originality, [12 points]
    • coherence of form and structure (harmony of words, presentation), [12 points]
    • clarity of imagery and language/grammar, [10 points]
    • emotional impact, [10 points]
    • topic/relevance to the theme, [6 points]
  • The entries adjudged by a panel of judges and event organisers shall be binding. Judges’ scores to be deemed final and may not be contested. Final scores are not disclosed to the participants.
  • All writers are required to read and comment on 5 poems other than their own and encourage their fellow writers with valuable and constructive inputs. Comments like “nice”, “good work”, “brilliant piece”, etc. do not provide the necessary critique and are not helpful for anyone.
  • Only stories that garnered an average score/rating of 7.5 and above from the panel of judges shall be eligible for winning.
  •  Timelines-
    • The last date of submission is May 20, 2022 (Friday).
    • Winners shall be announced on May 27, 2022 (Friday).

The announcement of winners may be postponed or preponed depending on the number of entries received.

The winners of the event shall receive the book “Tides of Life” by Kirti V.

This book was extended for #BookNook Gift-a-book program by the author.

For questions related to the rules and criteria, please write to us at or through the Contact Us section on the website.


Here are the submitted poems:

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