Thanks to Stephen Whiteside for these excellent tips on writing poetry. Stephen’s collection of rhyming verse for children, ‘The Billy That Died With Its Boots On’ and Other Australian Verse, was published by Walker Books in 2014. In 2015, the book won a “Golden Gumleaf” award for “Book of the Year” at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards during the Tamworth Country Music Festival. Visit his website for more details.
Find the rhythm
Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme but it should have good rhythm–should sound good read aloud, as that is how most poetry for children is delivered, rather than silent reading. Listen to the sounds as you read out your poem; does it have a good pattern, an attractive rhythm? Jerky rhythm or forced rhyme will really spoil the overall feel. – Sophie Masson. (Visit Sophie’s website here to find out more about her writing).