Poetry and Rhyme

© Isabella Kung


To submit or not to submit?

Agents and editors in general are not fans of rhyming picture books. Why? Well, rhyming is very difficult to do well. Editors and agents see too much "bad rhyme" so it's easier to pass on rhyme altogether than deal with the slush pile that they receive. Should that deter you? If you have something that is REALLY well written in rhyme, then go for it! If you've stayed away from writing rhyming picture books, we recommend reading all of the great rhyming picture books that you can, and taking a class in rhyme/poetry. Learning poetry gives you the skills that you need to write in rhyme well.

Poetry Courses

The Lyrical Language Lab: Punch up Your Prose . . . with Poetry. Children's poet Renée LaTulippe presents a fabulous four week online course for children's writers to learn the basics of poetry and how to bring poetic language to all of their writing, whether rhyme or prose. We have been beta testers of this course and cannot recommend it highly enough.  

Lyrical Language Lab Peek & Critique- The Lyrical Language Lab Peek & Critique: YouTube video series by Renée LaTulippe providing free critiques of your kidlit writing as well as free lessons and mentor text discussions.

From Storyteller to Exquisite Writer: The Pleasures and Craft of Poetic Techniques: Literary agent and Children’s Book Academy founder Dr. Mira Reisberg, and award-winning author of over 35 books, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallan, have created a highly interactive,  once-a-year five week e-course. It includes interviews with agents, editors, authors, submission opportunities, weekly critiques, and fresh content, technical help, and inspiration. 

Good Websites

No Water River - Renée LaTulippe's site on picture books and poetry, recently listed as a "kidlit blog to visits before you die" in SCBWI's THE BOOK.

Today's Little Dittyall about children's poetry, with writing tips, interviews, and monthly challenges based on poetry participation.

Rhymes and Misdemeanors- Hope Vestergaard

5 Tips for Poetry Performance Renée LaTulippe offers five tips that work not only for poetry, but for rhythm in picture books too.  A must watch video.

For Better of For Verse an interactive learning tool to help you understand metered verse 

Penny Parker Klostermann- Penny has some really great poetry sources listed on her site- check it out!

Rhymer - Helps you find words that rhyme.

The Meter Maids - more on rhyming in picture books

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor - A comprehensive website dedicated to all things poetry.