Sunday, May 16, 2010

To Market, To Market

As a poet for young people, you may dream of having a book published whether it be a poetry collection, non-fiction book told in free verse, picture book told in rhyme, or a verse novel. It can take years to write a book and years for your manuscript to see the light of day as a book after it has been selected to be published.

When a children's poet's first book hits the shelves, s/he wants to get the word out about the book to as many folks as possible. But you might be asking yourself: "Do children's poets have to wait for the release of their first book before they can begin to cultivate a following?" My answer to that question is a resounding "No."

Liz Brownlee is a children's poet based in England who has had her work published in 60+ children's poetry anthologies in the United Kingdom. Her first collection of animal poems is scheduled for release in 2011 with Iron Press. Greg O'Connell is a New Zealand children's poet who has had his work published several times in School Journal New Zealand. He has a presentation, Interactive Poetry Show, which he takes on the road to schools. He also has his first CD, A Spider's on the World Wide Web, featuring 100 children's poems, scheduled for release in November 2010. From what I've been able to figure out, he doesn't even have a book out. Are you convinced yet?

It is worth exploring the option of getting your poetry for young people published in children's magazines. Having your poetry published in quality children's magazines shows a book editor that other people have liked your work enough to publish it. In North America, at least, editors are known to consult children's magazines as a way to find contributors for anthologies of children's poetry. I have provided below a list of 23 publications that publish poetry for young people to help you get started on creating a following much sooner rather than much later. Good luck!


The Scrumbler
Michael Kavanagh, a Canadian poet living in England, is the founder and editor of The Scrumbler. This children's poetry magazine, aimed at kids 7 - 13, features work written by folks (young people and adults) from around the world.

Berry Blue Haiku
Online poetry magazine, for kids up until the age of 13, which makes its debut in June 2010.


Magazine is produced in two editions: one for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students and the other for Grade 4 to Grade 8 students.

Yes Magazine: The Science Magazine for Adventurous Minds, based in Victoria, British Columbia, is aimed at 10 to 15 year olds. Know Magazine: The Science Magazine for Curious Kids, also based in Victoria, British Columbia, is aimed at 6 - 9 year olds.

Crow Toes Quarterly (Richmond, British Columbia)
This magazine is described as a playfully dark arts and literature e-zine and limited edition print magazine for readers aged 9 and up.


Guardian Angel Kids
Online interactive e-zine for 2 - 12 year olds.

The following three publications are produced by the same publisher: Hopscotch is magazine aimed at girls in elementary school and middle school. Boys' Quest is aimed at boys aged 6 to 14. As for Fun for Kidz magazine, I would say that it is aimed at kids who are about 7 - 12 years old.

Children's Better Health Institute publishes three magazines: Turtle (Ages 3-5), Humpty Dumpty (Ages 5-7), and Jack and Jill (8-12).

Cricket Magazine Group publishes five magazines: Babybug (6 months-3 years old), Ladybug (3-6 years old), Spider (6-9 years old), Cricket (9-14 years old), and Cicada (teens).


Pearson Education Australia publishes three magazines: Comet (ages 5-7), Explore (8-10), and Challenge (11-14).


School Magazine Australia, founded in 1916, is the premier literary children's magazine in Australia. It is published by the New South Wales Department of Education. It is made up of four titles: Countdown (reading age around 7-9), Blast Off (reading age around 9-10), Orbit (reading age around 10-11), and Touchdown (reading age around 11-14).

School Journal New Zealand is made up of five sections which include Junior Journal (6-7 year olds), Part One (7-8 year olds), Part Two (8-9 year olds), Part Three (9-11 year olds), and Part Four (11-13 year olds).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Imagine a Story Conference (May 29th, 2010)

Though today's posting does not deal with children's poetry, it is one that deals with a children's literature event that may be of interest to you and others you know.

In my role as co-representative of the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), I am hosting a conference on the last Saturday of this month in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. There are still spots available for those who wish to attend but haven't registered yet. You can even sign up at the conference during the registration time which takes place just before the event gets underway.

Yes Oui CANSCAIP will host the inaugural edition of "Imagine a Story", a one-day conference for emerging and established creators of works for children. The event takes place on Saturday, May 29, 2010 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Dawson College [3040 Sherbrooke St. W., Room 4C1 (Amphitheater), Montreal]. Vermont picture-book and young-adult author Tanya Lee Stone, Ontario author-editor Shelley Tanaka, and Quebec author-illustrator-filmmaker Janet Perlman are just a few of the individuals scheduled to speak at the event. Full conference details and registration information are available online at Yes Oui CANSCAIP is the Quebec chapter of CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You Say It’s Your Birthday

Today, I would like to extend birthday greetings to J. Patrick Lewis!

If you haven't heard of this gentleman, he is a notable and well-loved U.S. children's author-poet.

He is also quite prolific.

In 2009, he had several titles published including The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs For Better or Verse, First Dog, Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Everyday of the School Year, and Spot the Plot!: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles.

But wait there's more. He has several titles with a 2010 publication date including The House, Mr. Nickel & Mrs. Dime, The Kindergarten Cat, Skywriting: Poems to Fly, and Twinspiration: A Double Dose of Poems (with Jane Yolen).

Last year, Lewis created a poetic form called the zeno. Here is his definition of the zeno: "A 10-line verse form with a repeating syllable count of 8, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1. The rhyme scheme is abcdefdghd". You can read a couple of his examples of the zeno here.

To learn more about J. Patrick Lewis, visit his website at

In closing, I invite you all to track down and read one or several of his poems in celebration of his special day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Novels in Verse

These works are also known as verse novels. They run as long as standard novels but are told through a series of poems, normally written in free verse. These stories feature one or more characters who serve as narrator.

Verse novels can be read quickly since their pages contain noticeably fewer words than traditional novels. Adults can use this feature as a visual lure to entice and hook reluctant readers.

The apparent and strong presence of voice in verse novels allows readers to connect on a personal and intimate level with characters, to the point where readers feel as if they are reading someone's letters, diary or journal.

There are even novels in verse in which the characters learn about poetry in class and try their hand at poemmaking. Sharon Creech's Love that Dog and Hate that Cat, Jacqueline Woodson's Locomotion, and Steven Herrick's Naked Bunyip Dancing are just a sampling of these.

Verse novels are my favourite form of novel so I am always on the lookout for more of them. I would be interested in learning about other novels in verse including those written by UK and New Zealand authors.

You will find below 20 verse novels listed to get you started on your exploration of this captivating and accessible genre.

Ten Middle-Grade Novels in Verse

Do-Wrong Ron - Steven Herrick (Australia)

Hate that Cat - Sharon Creech (U.S.)

Keeping the Night Watch - Hope Anita Smith (U.S.)

Locomotion - Jacqueline Woodson (U.S.)

Love that Dog - Sharon Creech (U.S.)

Naked Bunyip Dancing - Steven Herrick (U.S.)

Oh, Brother! - Nikki Grimes (U.S.)

Pearl Verses the World - Sally Murphy (Australia)

The Way A Door Closes - Hope Anita Smith (U.S.)

Zorgamazoo - Robert Paul Weston (Canada)

Ten Young Adult Novels in Verse

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl - Tanya Lee Stone (U.S.)

Bronx Masquerade - Nikki Grimes (U.S.)

Cold Skin - Steven Herrick (Australia)

The Crazy Man - Pamela Porter (Canada)

Home of the Brave - Katherine Applegate (U.S.)

Libertad - Alma Fullerton (Canada)

Make Lemonade - Virginia Euwer Wolff (U.S.)

Simple Gift - Steven Herrick (Australia)

Witness - Karen Hesse (U.S.)

The Wolf - Steven Herrick (Australia)

Poetry in Bloom Has Sprung

Happy spring everyone and welcome to Poetry to Bloom.

This blog is aimed at adults who write poetry for young people as well as teachers, librarians, and parents who have an interest in the genre.

Here you will discover information about poetry collections for young people, novels in verse, rhyming picture books; children's poets (mainly from Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom); children's poetry resources for teachers, librarians, and parents; and any other information related to poetry for young people.

Publications that publish poetry for young people written by adults will also be featured.