Old Possumís Childrenís Poetry Competition 2008
Top Tips for Children
The theme for this year’s competition is ‘Work’. Here our some ideas to get you started.
- Find work ideas hiding in dictionaries! A is for acrobat, C for cloud, cart-horse, S for smile... Can you find one? What tools/skills does he/she/it need for its work? Picture movement, colours, sounds; the why and how.
- Have a go at pulling, pushing, watering, sewing. Chosen bees? Study flowers with a magnifying glass. Chosen a baker? Feel flour; smell dough. What’s this work really, really like?
- The poem can describe what we see, or allow your central character to talk to us directly (in a voice that suits them!) The action can be in the past or happening right now.
- Shaping/redrafting is as important as your ideas. Read other poems to find forms and rhythms echoing the ‘work’ you picked (it doesn’t have to rhyme). Check spelling; swap lines until the start and end are strong. Consider replacing small words (can, and, it) with commas. Put the poem away – then look at it with fresh eyes a few days later. Read it aloud. Happy writing!
Tips supplied by Mandy Coe, a Children’s Poetry Bookshelf selector, and were first published in The Times on 11th September 2008.
Downloadable entry form
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