Rhyming Picture Book Month Starts Today! Day 1
Can you believe it’s time for RhyPiBoMo? I Can’t!
I am SO glad you are here! Thank you for all the support over the past few months! You guys rocked the Facebook Group with nearly 180 members as of today!
You BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN with the Critique Groups as we have 9 groups with 8 people in each! That’s a lot of rhyme and poetry being perfected! Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting people into the critique groups on Facebook as Dawn and I need to focus now on the event.
If you are still looking for a critique group please click the tab above that says “Need a Critique Group.” Follow the directions and then you can add your name and email address to the comment section there. Hopefully, you will find a critique group or partner there.
Unfortunately, we can not help facilitate those groups as we are running the ones on Facebook and with the event starting, it would be too overwhelming and time consuming.
As of today we have 148 writers registered for RhyPiBoMo. Don’t forget…if you are not registered go to:
and register right now! Registration closes at midnight on April 16th. You will not be eligible for daily prizes or the poetry contest if you are not registered for the event.
But, mostly I want to thank you for your dedication to writing rhyming picture books and poetry for children. They are the ones who will benefit from April 2014!
I will caution you in advance…I am a new blogger, only 3 months old in blogger years, so that’s like a 3 month old baby. I will do my best to keep all this running smoothly!
Please bear with me and I apologize in advance for typos, strange things appearing on the blog and mostly for the spacing of my text. If my internet shuts down I promise to find the nearest wifi friendly hangout and post asap! I don’t have a clue how to write code so if my paragraphs are spaced by these cute little asterisks * it’s because my spacing is being weird and I don’t have time to figure it out. It’s not why we are here…It’s really not my thing! Rhyme and poetry are my thing! Thank you in advance for your understanding!
So, without further ado, I’m honored to present
Golden Quill Guest Blogger
In honor of Kevan’s adorable bunny ears and spring-like attire, I am writing his post in purple!
Kevan graciously agreed to participate after I saw his awesome cartoon on Facebook about writing in rhyme. I am thrilled to tell you that Kevan is working on several manuscripts, some in rhyme and some not, but he does have a 2 book deal coming out in January called BUNNIES!!! from Katherine Tegan Books.
He is illustrating both books and the second book that is currently untitled will come out in January of 2016. I fell in love with Kevan’s Monsters and I am thrilled to have him here!
Here is his hilarious cartoon that I can totally relate to…
To be terse,
being versed in verse
is a curse.
My tendency towards rhyme and alliteration when I write is, I’m certain, the number one obstacle between me and the bestsellers list. No matter how I try when writing, my mind wants to rhyme things and repeat sounds. Sometimes (most of the time) they are quick ditties, 4 lines, 8 lines, quick, fun to say, fun to repeat vignettes. Occasionally, one of those will stretch out to a book length story. When they do, no matter how much I love it, an inner voice—or an outer voice, I’m not sure—will chastise me for torturing a fun little rhyme into something arduous. Even if it is not arduous. The voice will insist that I try rewriting it as prose. No matter how I try, I nearly always like the rhyming version better. Which should be okay, right? I mean, I write picture books for crying out loud. And no matter how often they warn us that editors do not want to see rhyming stories, all you have to do is go into any children’s section of a bookstore and take note of all the face out or featured picture books and you’ll see that is a myth. So. Screw it. I’m gonna do it.
Kevan is an illustrator/writer living in the Seattle area. He has been drawing since he was knee-high to a crayon. He has designed and illustrated many things including award-winning children’s books. His biggest claim to fame is creating Clippy the paperclip helper in Microsoft Office which still annoys millions of people every day.
We all know who Clippy is and he is totally not annoying!
More amazing images of Kevan’s…
Thank you Kevan Atteberry!
RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson:Sunday March 30th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
These daily lessons are broken up into different categories of poetry at first and then later in the month we will venture over into picture book writing. Remember, everything you must do to write a picture book in prose must now be done while following lots of rhyme and poetry rules. We will go step by step through the various parts of poetry explaining each in detail. As this is my first time writing these lessons, I am learning what works and what will work better for next year. I already have a list of things I will change. Please keep a list of suggestions and I will ask for these at the end of the event! We learn best from our mistakes! = )
Here we go!
Are You a Versifier?
Definition of versifier:
noun: a writer who composes rhymes; a maker of poor verses
(usually used as terms of contempt for minor or inferior poets) (Rhymezone.com)
A versifier is someone who writes the stinky poetry that editors hate. Versifiers give rhyme a bad name. RhyPiBoMo is about being brutally honest about what works and what doesn’t. This is like Rhyming Picture Book Boot Camp! Grrr… Professional writers for children know that writing a successful picture book takes years of dedication to the process. Get your B.I.C “Butt in chair,” as our wonder-poet Jane Yolen says.
If you want to be a successful children’s picture book author, first, be a successful student of writing. You must master punctuation, sentence structure, elimination of passive voice, writing drafts, revising, re-writing, hook, story arc, voice, characters, plot, and, and, and…
Basically, you MUST be a prolific picture book writer before you ever think about writing in rhyme!
This is a book I found very helpful when learning how to write picture books!
WRITING PICTURE BOOKS by Ann Whitford Paul
This was a blog I came across in my research and found it very helpful and easily understood. It is a post written on the Writetodone Blog by Tara Lazar called 6 Tips on Writing Picture Books.
Please read her words of wisdom now.
Writetodone.com Mary Jaksch, Chief Editor: writetodone
This was the comment I added at the end of that blog post.
“Tara, Thanks for sharing how most folks think writing for kids is a breeze! Many of these same jovial people think that writing in rhyme is equally breezy! The breezy part is really how quickly the rejection letters fly into the mailboxes of those blissful writers.
Being a wonderful, professional, well-read writer must come first. And then…if you can stand on one foot, rub your tummy, pat your head and whistle Dixie backwards…only then should you consider writing in rhyme. Because a rhyming picture book, when well written, is done with hours of dedication to rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, scansion, and magic…all after the PERFECT story arc is complete.”
So, first follow Tara’s tips 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6. Then, if you are confident in your balancing ability on one foot…go for the rhyme and make it sing!
So…here is the RhyPiBoMo Challenge!
If you are ready to work incredibly hard, read HUNDREDS of rhyming picture books, study poetry, take classes in writing poetry and rhyme, join a rhyme/poetry critique group, read and write poetry every day then you are ready for RhyPiBoMo.
Are you a Versifier?
Let’s find out if you are a Versifier!
Thanks to Mandy Yates from Mondays with Mandy and Mira for sharing this brilliant insight with us on whether you are ready to write in rhyme.
Take the following quiz to find out!
1. If you take the rhyme away, do you still have a good story? (With multidimensional characters, a structured plot, good pacing, and a satisfying resolution?)
2. Do your sentences follow normal sentence structure (and not sentence structure used by Old King Cole or Yoda?)
3. Have you avoided forced rhymes or near rhymes?
4. Have you avoided common, one-syllable, predictable rhyme schemes? (cat/hat/rat.)
5. Do you know the following terms: scansion, meter, stressed, unstressed, anapest, iamb, trochee, and
dactyl? (And no…this is not a dinosaur!)
6. Have you read and studied hundreds of rhyming picture books?
7. Can you identify the types of rhythms in picture books?
8. Are you in a critique group? Or have you had a professional critique from someone well versed in poetry?
9. Do you practice writing in rhyme consistently?
10. Have you taken a course in poetry/rhyming picture books that will help you answer yes to all of the above?
If you can answer YES to all of the above, then go for it! You are ready to write your picture book in rhyme.
If you answered NO to any of the following, then take the RhyPiBoMo Pledge and together we will learn to write brilliant rhyme and singing poetry.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Make a list of the reasons why you want to write in rhyme! We will refer to this list later this week.
Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!
Please comment ONLY ONE TIME below for a chance to win today’s prize!
Prizes will be drawn by Random.com next Sunday for the previous week.
To be eligible for a prize you must be a registered participant and
comment after each days lessons.
Wasn’t this fun! I’ll see you tomorrow!
103 thoughts on “Rhyming Picture Book Month Starts Today!!!!”
Great first day. Good lessons and inspiration. First poem is done.
Wonderful post with lots of great resources. I answered yes to most of the questions. I’m off to read my book for the day and to write a poem. I am really looking forward to this month. Let me know if you ever figure out the spacing stuff on blogs. I have been blogging a looooong time, but still can’t get the spacing stuff right.
This is a terrific first lesson, Angie. Thank you! Tell Kevan I liked Clippy. His visits to my screen always brightened the day.
Thanks for all the work you’re putting into Rhyming Picture Book Month, Angie–I’m excited about taking part. And I love “The bravery of Avery….” Thanks for giving us a sneak peek, Kevan.
I’m definitely not a versifier, so it’s a good thing I am here. I am looking forward to it!
I’m a versifier, ’tis sad but true
Sixty percent! I say “Boo!”
I’ll take this course and work really hard
To give up the title of “Rhyming ‘tard”
I love to play with words and sounds
They sit in my brain going round and round
But when it comes to getting it right
I must admit I’ve not seen the light.
Angie’s course will help me learn
The difference between the terms
Meter, iamb, stressed, and scansion
My brain needs a hard drive expansion!!
As you can see, I’m a versifier through and through, but I do love playing with words and sounds. This course is going to be awesome!!
I have taken many. many poetry classes and am very familiar with terminology. Enclosed are the quiz words used in context to demonstrate my experience with rhyme.
She drove a Dodge Dactyl to the curb
and plugged the parking meter.
She was on the scene to write a social blurb
a debutante went to greet her.
The deb stood and held a stanchion
of the stately home on Park Avenue
A palatial, 100 room scansion
of the wealthy deb and ingenue.
The reporter popped a trochee into her mouth
to soothe her scratchy throat.
‘Debutante Granny from the South!’
the poison-pen reporter wrote.
“Y’all a bother anapest.”
“Iamb,” said the reporter, “it is my job,”
“You Yankee witch!” the deb stressed.
Said the reporter, “Don’t be such a lying snob.”
Unstressed by her bad poetry
the reporter quit her rhyme.
And Granny entered High Society
for the sixty-second time.
I love Kevan’s monsters! I couldn’t wait to see the next one when he was posting one a day in October. Thanks for having him ,Angie.
I answered “Yes” to all. But…when I started this writing journey in 2010, I would’ve answered “No” to every single one. And even though I answered “Yes” to all, I am learning every single day. That’s why I’m here 🙂
Great post. Seriously.
Thanks, Angie. I enjoyed Kevan’s cartoon and his words of encouragement to just go for it with rhyme, no matter what the conventional publishing wisdom may be. With the help of lots of mentor rhyming PBs and some wonderful rhyming websites, I can answer YES to many more of the quiz questions now than I would have been able to last year. And I look forward to learning even more during RhyPiBoMo .
After reading just the first day’s information, I realize I have a lot to learn. I am excited to get started. Thanks for the great links and the post by Kevan Atteberry.
Odd is definitely good! Loved Kevan’s illos and have let them inspire my poetry writing today. What a great start to RhyPiBoMo!
I didn’t answer yes either to all the questions…but I’m happy to be here to learn 🙂
This was a helpful first lesson, with a lot of practical information. My first job will be to brush up on my poetry terms. I’m also glad Kevan talked about the ‘don’t send us rhyming books’ warning on the very first day. We’re off to a great start.
Angie, I thoroughly enjoyed the first lesson, and thanks for the resources. Since I am brand new to this, I’ve got lots to learn! Thanks for the opportunity to learn here among friends!! Off to write my first poem…
This is going to be a wild ride 🙂 One down and more to go!
Inspiring post from Kevan, one day I will answer yes to more questions. Learning to rhyme requires time!
Eek–I had a lot of no answers to those questions, so I think I’m in the right place. Thanks, Angie, for this opportunity. Kevan’s thoughts were inspiring! Ann Magee
“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” ~Theodor Seuss Geisel
This quote showed up in my in box today of all days. Writing poetry is playing and writing poetry is hard work. I’m looking forward learning more. What a great start!
What a wonderful first day! The post by Kevan was so inspiring that I can’t wait for tomorrow’s email.
I hereby pledge to make sure my rhymes are metered and so pure they will bring a tear to every eye and if I run very fast no one will catch me and hit me over the head for versifying.
Awesome lesson to start the month!
Yes, that was fun. What a great start to RhyPiBoMo! And I can also see that I have my work cut out for me in this month long challenge if I want to create rhyme that sings. My grandmother was a wonderful poet, and although I caught the writing bug from her, the rhyming bug has barely buzzed me. But I will give it my all: Screw it, I’m gonna do it! Thanks Kevan and Angie!
Wow! My head is spinning! I need to go read my book and write my poem now.
I remember Clippy! I couldn’t answer yes to every question, but I agree this is a great place to start.
Before getting to the end of this amazing post, I thought, oh no. They’re gonna kick me out. I am not a prolific anything. Well, I can eat a plate of spaghetti without getting any sauce on myself. Beyond my perfected pasta platform, I have nothing to announce. Ohhh but I am glad I read to the end. I know I’ll have loads of fun. Learn lots of stuff in this group. We’ll do it together. Together We Stand!
I’m very excited to begin! Rhyme is what flows out of me naturally when I write so I a determined to make it SING! (I love that phrase!)
Angie, I have been searching for this poetry party. You rock! Thank you for all the fabulous information and all your hard work.
Every poetry class I have ever taken has drilled one thing into my head – DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WRITE IN RHYME! But guess what? Rhyming is fun! Looking forward to learning more this month.
So happy to be here! Looking forward to rhyming!!!
I answered yes to most of the questions in the quiz. With that said, I’m hoping to improve on 1) identifying the different types of forms of poetry and 2) utilizing them effectively. Also, I’d love to continue bettering my skills regarding beats, scansion, meter, etc. In regards to the picture book I read tonight, I picked Laura Purdie Salas’s “A Leaf Can Be.” Such a beautifully written and illustrated book. She captures so much in just over 100 words (about 106, I believe). What I especially appreciate about this book is that even though she has such few words, her word choices were enough to allow for the illustrator to really make them come alive. I know that sometimes it’s hard for writers to know how much detail to include in a manuscript, but I am coming to learn that it really is important to trust the illustrator. It almost feels like a trust fall, right? You just have to fold your arms, close your eyes, and take that leap. But that’s also the fun of it, seeing where your perfectly picked words lead those who hear them. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post! JBW
OOPS! I had to say NO to number five on the quiz. Do you know the following terms: scansion, meter, stressed, unstressed, anapest, iamb, trochee, and dactyl? (And no…this is not a dinosaur!)
Lots of work to do. I could probably spend a week on the info and resources in this first blog!
I’m ready to learn more.
I am here to study and learn. My quiz had a mix of yes and no. I could carry off Kevan’s bunny ears, but still working on the rest!
So excited, Angie, to be participating in RhyPiBoMo…and honored to join so many others (recognize some names in the comments…there are some awesome rhymers here!!).
Sadly, I had to answer NO to several of the questions…hopefully, by the end of the month, I’ll be able to answer YES to most!
Thanks to Kevan for sharing so much…love the illustrations and examples.
And I love how you have set this up, Angie.:)
Thanks for a great start.
Angie, Let the rhyming words begin to flow as we grow and show all that we know. Outstanding first post and lesson with a quiz, many resources, a writing prompt and words of encouragement. Thank you Kevan and Clippy. ~Suzy Leopold
Great way to start this off. I think some of us will have to write in rhyme to learn how to write in rhyme (rather than being able to answer yes to all the questions before we start). And that’s okay.
Always enjoy rhyme, and a lot of writers say to stay away from. So I’m here to enjoy myself and learn more about rhyming PB’s.
I am here to learn. I did not answer yes to questions in the quiz because I couldn’t. But I am eager to learn. Thanks for doing this.
I enjoyed the poem in defiance of they naysayers of stories told in verse. It’s important to know what we’re up against and not let that discourage us. Thank you also for including the quiz. I certainly have my work cut out for me. 🙂
I’m ready. Bring it on!
I’m playing a little bit of catch-up on my commenting, but I have been following along! I think one thing with rhyme is that it’s easy to fall in love with the words and the way they sound, and forget that WHAT you are saying is as much, if not more, important than HOW you are saying it. Plus, revising rhyme is just a pain. It’s hard to let go of those words once you have them down. That’s why I hate to write a rhyming PB manuscript too early, before I have a good sense of the story.
I am finally getting caught up! So excited! I have a few PBs in rhyme, and let me tell you, it is SO much easier to get it right if you start out knowing what you’re doing! (I am maybe halfway there). It is so difficult to write a poorly written manuscript in writing and try to force it to change as you learn more. I’m so excited to be here!
Goodness, I love a guy who can come up with a pithy catch phrase. In fact, I think I’ll add, “Screw it. I’m gonna do it,” to the spot over my laptop where my eyes wonder when I am in deep thought. Or maybe just trying to *look* like I’m in deep thought.
Sadly, more nos than yeses–that’s why I’m here. Nervous, but excited.
I’m totally psyched,
ready for rhyming
and poised to improve
my story arc’s timing!
Here we go!!
Can I just say that I adore the “They say…” cartoon? Most of my picture book manuscripts are not rhyming, but every now and then, I have an idea that is MADE for rhyme, and I am unable to make myself write it any other way.