Nancy's Books

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Poetry in Prose/Call for Submissions/Contest

When I write children’s picture books, I stick to prose rather than a rhyming text. But, as with poems, I strive to evoke strong visual images or emotions with few words. And, as with poems, if the story line is humorous, I add the punch line at the end to surprise the reader. In these respects, I find that writing picture books and poetry are similar. Writing poetry helps writers become more adept at writing picture books because it teaches us to create vivid mental pictures using few words.

Poetry, how do I know thee? Let me count the ways.
· Economy of words—says a lot in a little with carefully selected words.
· Speaks in a special way by evoking feelings of joy, sadness, surprise, and more.
· Sounds like music to the ear
· Uses imagery to help the reader “see” a mental picture
· Rhythmical patterns
· Incorporates storytelling with a beginning, middle, and end

In order to say a lot with few words, poets make comparisons using similes. Similes use “like” or “as” to compare two different objects. In my book, Happy Birthday the Story of the World's Most Popular Song, I used this simile: Words tripped off her tongue, smoothly as ice cream dripping from a cone on an August afternoon. Words and ice cream seem to be objects of unlikely comparisons until they’re used in a simile. These words did more than compare. They evoked the feeling of a hot, steamy day and painted a picture of how words could flow smoothly as ice cream.

Next week we’ll look at how poets make comparisons with metaphors, personification, and hyperbole.

Call for submissions for adult writers:
221b Magazine Summer Issue: a short story competition. The best six entries will be included in the next edition of our magazine.

Anyone who submits must first read our terms and conditions:
Deadline: 31st May 2011 Tuesday

Contest for young writers:
The Hummingbird Guide is hosting their first Children's Story Contest about hummingbirds. Minimum of 300 words for submission.
· Submit original work written by you.
· Contest open to ages 6 to 12.
· Fill out the "name" box and be sure to include your age.
· Winners will be selected based on visitor comments (favorites).
· Submissions deadline is May 31, 2011.
· Details at

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