Friday, May 25, 2012

Poetic Captions: Poetry Tips and Contest Winners

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to have a one-on-one critique with children’s poet Tiffany Stone. Here are some tips I picked up from my meeting and from her talk on POV Poetry.

  •  Not all poems for children need to be written in rhyme especially if the rhyme is bad.
  • Have a twist ending. Something that will the shock the reader or make them laugh.
  • Consider whose point view your poem is coming from.                               
  • Don't be afraid to play with form (use sentence fragments, make letters move, etc.) 
  • Keep your rights so that you can re-sell your poems.    
  • When submitting to magazines check to see if they have a theme (make sure to check theme deadlines as magazines tend to collect work months in advance of publication).                 
And the winners are…drum roll please…but first a big thank you to everyone who submitted. I hope everyone comes back next April for another fun filled month of poetry.

The judges picked Vampire Recess by Irene Kistler

Vampire Recess
--by Irene Kistler 

I cannot wait til recess
My fangs do want to sprout
The teacher says to push them in
But still they pop on out

I’m biting on my paper
I’m chewing on my arm
I’m even feasting with my fangs
Upon the smoke alarm

I need to go to recess
where fangs are free to stab
With friends I play and snap and snarl
A recess jib and jab 

The readers picked Smooshy Gooshy Goodness by Natalie Fischer

Smooshy Gooshy Goodness

Made-to-lick-y! Tasty!
Smear-the-bread it,
perfect peanut paste-y!
Spoon-and-twirl it,
better butter, thicker.
Dip-and-daub it,
shiny when it’s slicker.
trails a nutty smell-y.
Oh-my-gosh it
tastes so good with jelly!
Made-to-lick-y! Yummy!
Smear-the-bread it,
Get it in my tummy!

Congrats ladies. Please e-mail me at and tell me what prize you want and where to send it. Click here to see a list of prizes.
If you liked this post please let others know. Join me next week for another Poetic Caption, featuring a poem by me and illustration by Bill. On Ouch Monday, I’ll be talking about pitches I hope you come back for that.
Remember you can always connect with me on Facebook and Twitter. Until then dare to write the impossible. 
Looking Back To Past Posts

Linda over at TeacherDance is hosting this 
weeks poetry round-up. Thanks Linda!


  1. Whoo-hoo! Congrats to both the winners, well deserved indeed!

  2. Congrats ladies!! Great choices :)
    -Jennifer Young

  3. Congrats to the two winners -- such great poems!

  4. Congratulations to Irene and Natalie. I read the final poems to my sister on a recent visit and these are the two she liked the best! Both of them are wonderful for kids! Great job you two!

  5. Congrats to the winners - fantastic poems!! Congrats to the rest of you (us) for participating :-) And, congrats to Rena for her wonderful blog!!

  6. Thank you all so much! Congrats to Irene and all of the participants in the April A-Z Poetry Challenge! I had such a fun time writing with you all! :)

  7. Congratulations, winners! Such fun reading both these poems out loud.

  8. Congratulations, winners! Such fun reading both these poems out loud.

  9. Clapping and cheering for Natalie and Irene. Wonderful job ladies! Both of these poems will have kids giggling as they're read. May I share them this summer with my early learners?

  10. What terrific and creative poems, both sure to delight some young students I know! Congratulations, winners! Actually, I believe all students might like to 'jib and jab' at recess. And I love that 'smooshy-gooshy, slicky-sticky' stuff myself. Thanks Rena.

  11. Congrats to the winners! Well-deserved for such great poems! And thanks for the poetry tips :)

  12. Fantastic choice, congrats to the winners. These are both wonderful. And thanks for the advice Rena.

  13. Congrats to the poets, and thanks for sharing, Rena! I'm still smiling at the image of a young, hungry vampire eager for recess... ;0)

  14. Thanks for the tips. Both winning poems are such fun!

  15. Thank you, Rena, for hosting this contest. I am giddy with excitement! Your poetry challenge really helped me improve my use of imagery and I loved reading everyone's poems throughout the month.

    I'm so excited to be off this summer to focus on nothing but grad school and writing. Thanks for inspiring me!

    :-) Irene

  16. Wow, those are both such fun poems!


Thanks for your comments. Remember to keep them kid friendly.