Friday, May 8, 2009

Editors' Thoughts on Rhyme

Are you wondering if your rhymes are good enough to be published? According to the editors at the SCBWI Carolinas Polishing Your Picture Book Conference it may not be worth the risk. Editor Maggie Lehrman told attendees that because poetry is tough is today's market, Abrams usually sticks to already established poets.

If you do decide to give it a try, make sure the language is natural. Many novice writers try to manipulate sentence structure to make rhymes work. For example:

I want my poem to be seen in print
so to an editor this verse I have sent.

Obviously, "to an editor this verse I have sent" does not sound natural. If a kid wouldn't say it the way it is written, it's not working.

When it comes to picture books, writers are urged to make every word count. Try not to repeat words, and remember that near rhyme is not close enough. Be sure to check your meter, and unless your poetry is perfect, you might want to avoid it altogether.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, Laura! I saw your post on the listserve and decided to visit your blog. Nice. Mine is the same color and layout. Great minds think alike?

    I couldn't make the picture book conference, but I learned some things from your notes. Thanks bunches! :)