Write, Edit, Revise, Critique, Repeat! Wednesday

Write, Edit, Revise, Critique, Repeat! Wednesday       Day 32



Remember, the Webinar with Mira and Sudipta was rescheduled

Mira's Bear

Join us for our special “Why All Writers Need to Know Poetic Techniques and How to Use Them” webinar, on Monday, May 12th, at 6:00 PM! Reserve your spot today for this important event hosted by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Dr. Mira Reisberg to learn about:

• The 3 critical things people who rhyme need to know
• How poetic techniques are needed in today’s contemporary children’s book writing whether you write in rhyme or not.


See more at: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/why-all-writers-need-to-know-poetic-techniques-and-how-to-use-them-free-webinar.html

Meet the amazing Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, author of Chicks Run Wild, Hampire,

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks, and 32 other books.

Hear from Dr. Mira Reisberg, Literary Agent and Children’s Book Academy founder

as she shares some of the pleasures of poetry.

Register here to reserve your spot for the webinar!!

Poetry course

Mira and Sudipta also have a Poetry Course coming up…I hope I see you there!

The Craft and Pleasures of Writing Poetry for Kids
From Storyteller to Exquisite Writer: The Pleasures and Craft of Poetic Techniques!
An extraordinary, interactive e-Course that runs from
May 19th through June 23rd 2014.
That’s 5 glorious weeks of exceptional instruction and a possibly life-changing adventure!
Special discounts end May 5th! – See more at: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-great-discounts-pleasures-and-craft-of-poetic-techniques.html#sthash.3w54DvZB.dpuf




I have been looking forward to this post all month! Today’s guest blogger is the reason we are all here. She is the agent who suggested that I study and learn more about poetry to become a more effective rhyming picture book author.

The story of RhyPiBoMo has now come full circle!
Have you ever met Mira Reisberg?
If you have, you know exactly what I’m going to say…she is such a wonderful, generous and exemplary teacher!
I met Mira last fall when I won a scholarship to her course, The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books.” Mira offered daily lessons, weekly webinars, a Facebook Group, critique groups and access to the information for months. It was my first experience with such a comprehensive course…it changed my writing goals!
You must take her courses to see for yourself how she will impact your future!

Did I mention that she is called the Picture Book Whisperer? It’s because of all the success her former students have had!

Next, I won a scholarship to her course The Hero’s Art Journey (Okay, I’m sure you are wondering how I was so lucky, right. Mira often offers contests for scholarships for upcoming courses on various blogs. I won both courses through contests)
Mira and the fabulous Maya Gonzalaz taught the course. I am not an illustrator but have artistic ability. I had never considered illustrating until I took this course. I can’t really explain what happened but it was truly magical. There was a group of about 10 – 12 of us that became very close during the class. It was such a safe, nurturing environment for friendship and creativity.

Mira and Maya created this cocoon of respect, encouragement, joy and sharing that

I have never experienced in my life!


My digital painting inspired by Mira, who loves hummingbirds!

Not only did my writing change because of Mira, my life has changed because of her! I am so much more focused on my writing goals and I am determined to succeed in this fairy tale-rhyming-picture-book-world we live in!
I absolutely can’t wait to take the new poetry class coming in May! I’m ready to be a student for a while!

I hope I see many of you there as well!
So, it is with great pleasure and admiration that I warmly welcome my mentor and friend…Mira Reisberg


So, without further ado, I’m honored to present today’s

Golden Quill Guest Blogger

Mira Reisberg!

   Rhypibomo Guest Blogger Badge   Mira Reisberg


Why Editors and Agents Hate Rhymes and What You Can Do About It

Rhyming is hard–really hard. Unless you are a naturally brilliant poet or you have studied the mechanics involved AND you have a really killer story AND the skills to make the inevitable revisions, editors will not be thrilled to receive your manuscript.


Writing a wonderful story is already difficult. Writing a wonderful story that rhymes is way harder. Now, some of what follows might already be familiar but hopefully, there will be something new and helpful.


First, I want to start with why those of us who work editorially hate working with rhyming stories that aren’t just about perfect already.


If you are submitting a rhyming story, as a writer there is a certain skill set that you need to acquire that accompanies this mode of storytelling. You need to be able to address: meter, pacing, rhythm, beats and syllable counts. Rhyming is the foundation of song and so it is essential to understand the mechanics that enable a series of phrases to fit together fluidly.


When rhyming works, it is beyond fabulous. It can make a funny book hilarious or a soulful book sublime. Children gravitate to the rhythm of the words; it actually benefits them developmentally. Rhymes can make reading aloud infinitely more pleasurable. And when it’s done really well, it can make luscious language all that much more delicious. So how can you make your rhyming story sizzle?


Here’s a cheat sheet of things you can do:

• Make sure your story hangs together independent of the rhyme. Consider your big tools of P.O.V, character and plot development, setting etc. The rhyme is the mode or device that you use to tell the story.

• Make sure your syntax is correct (the order of the words in a sentence)

• Make sure that you aren’t using a word just because it rhymes. If it’s not the perfect word, change the whole couplet or stanza.

• Use repetition: “Good Night, Moon/ Good Night, Spoon”

• Use alliteration: “Mandy’s magical marker made her artwork sing.” Be careful not to overuse this device. If it is too difficult to say out loud at bedtime, parents won’t read it.

• Use assonance and onomotapeoia (matching the internal sounds of words–cart/march making sound words–Whoosh)

• Don’t get married to your words or rhymes, no matter how much you love them; let go of anything that doesn’t sing. After all, rhymes are meant to be chanted or sung.

• Have fun with it. Use the great online rhyming resources like rhymezone.com

• Take our Writing Poetry for Picture Books course with the brilliant Supita Bardhen-Quallen. Really. You will learn a great deal about what works and what doesn’t as we mentor you through writing your own story.


Once you have a draft of your rhyming story, there are some other tricks you can employ or angles you can consider. Try having a friend read it to you so you can hear it. There is a musical quality we gravitate towards as listeners and that is a key element in composing a great rhyming story. Read a ton of rhyming stories, both traditional children’s poetry like limericks as well as new work. This will help develop your ear and give you a sense of pacing, meter, rhythm and overall flow. Transcribe some of these to do word counts and learn the structure when you type it up. Take risks, be adventurous, let go if it doesn’t work. Embrace it if it does.


We will be covering all the important aspects of rhyming in the upcoming annual

“From Storyteller to Exquisite Writer: The Pleasures and Craft of Poetic Techniques!” with Sudipta Barden-Quallen” (and for this upcoming course in May, me and Mandy Yates will assist as well). Here are a few topics we will be covering:

• Why poetry and rhyming stories are important for children in terms of development
• Discussion of the various types of poetry and how they fit into children’s literature
• What makes a good story and how rhyming can aid or inhibit it
• Analyzing pacing and rhyme
• Energizing your rhymes for maximum fun
• Tips on researching editors and agents


Whether we realize it or not, poetry is in our bones; it is a universal technique that humans have always used to tell stories and this one of the reasons why children love it. While it requires some additional knowledge, it is worth it to have these tools in your literary tool kit because rhyme is a great way to energize your story.



Dr. Mira Reisberg is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, author, art director, editor, former children’s literature professor and children’s book mentor with 26 years of experience in the industry. Following the success of many of her Children’s Book Academy students she founded Hummingbird Literary. Mira is phasing out of teaching to focus on agenting but is excited about live co-teaching the Pleasures and Craft of Writing Poetry for Kids with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, and assisted by Mandy Yates in May.


For more information on upcoming courses please visit:


Thank You Mira Reisberg!


RhyPiBoMo Daily Lesson: Wednesday, April 30th
By Angie Karcher © 2014
Lesson 32


Edit, Revise, Have it Critiqued, Edit, Revise, Have it Critiqued…

Boy, do I feel like we have talked about this! We have covered editing in terms of poetry but it is not much different for rhyming picture books.

The Basics are:
-Write your first draft until you get it all out not worrying about anything but getting it out of your brain.
-Put it away for a week
-Dust it off, use the sticky note graphic and go to town editing!
-Once you have it as tight as you think you can, submit it to your critique group.
-Do you need to have a critique group? YES!!!
-If a critique group is too overwhelming for you, find a critique partner
-Once your crit group has covered it with red marks to be fixed, Fix it!
– Then Put it away again.
-While your manuscript is marinating, research editors to submit it to.
-At least a week later, pull it out and prepare it for submission.
We will discuss the submission part more on Saturday.

write drunk, edit sober
Apparently Ernest Hemmingway didn’t say this…he was never sober! LOL

There is a famous saying among writers, “Write Drunk, Edit Sober” I won’t say that this is my normal routine but I do think I write with more flair and less inhibitions after a glass of red wine…but that’s just me!


Here is an article written by Jane Yolen on editing and revising rhyming manuscripts. She suggests for us to edit our manuscript as if it is a poem…that cuts the words down for sure! I love this idea!

From Jennifer Jensen’s Blog A Better Place to Talk


Can you believe that we only have 3 days left together?

It has gone so fast and I can’t tell you how much I am going to miss you guys when it’s over. I won’t lie though…I am ready for a break from the daily lesson research grind and blogging schedule brutality. It doesn’t sound like I had fun, but I did! I will have so much free time…to write!!! I am planning on blogging once a week.

More importantly, I learned so much while I was researching and sharing the lessons. I knew that once I committed to this event, I would jump in, feet first, and swim with the big fish…There were a few moments of trying to keep my head above water and hypothermia set in about mid-way through but I survived and so did you! I know it was a lot of information…but that is what we needed to learn to improve our writing.

We, together, have accomplished something very big! We may be the biggest group of rhyming picture book writers ever to gather for an entire month and study our craft…that is an accomplishment! Historic!!! LOL

That being said, there are some things I will do differently next year. I would appreciate your feedback on how improve this writing challenge so you and others will return again next April.

Some things I’m thinking about for the future:
-Only have Guest Bloggers /Daily Lessons on week days…this will give us time to catch our breath on the weekends.
-I want to create an ebooklet of the daily lesson material covered
-I want to offer multiple categories for the poetry contest
-I want to offer critique partner options
-I want to do a few RhyPiBoMo mini-events throughout the year
-I want to host RhyPiBoMo Saturday workshops/weekend conferences in person
-I want RhyPiBoMo to be the #1 resource for rhyming picture book authors…
-I want to offer reviews of the rhyming picture books on our amazing list that we read this month and continue to grow the list!


RhyPiBoMo Questionnaire
I created a questionnaire for you to complete…this is your writing prompt today!
I really do need your help and feedback so RhyPiBoMo will grow and continue to help writers. I do want to emphasize that I never intended to make money on this event. That is still not my goal but I did learn that it costs money to host an event and run contests. So, I have asked for advice from several authors who use their blog as a platform for their writing and to help others. It was suggested that I try to generate some income so that this new venture will grow…I would LOVE to offer a Saturday or weekend RhyPiBoMo workshops…That would be the ultimate best because I would actually get to meet you all!
I’m also thinking about how my blog can help promote you as writers and especially when your rhyming picture books get published! I’m working on that!
I’m hoping to generate some relationships with editors that we can submit to…that if a writer has participated and completed RhyPiBoMo that would hold merit for an editor. Just as we put down that we belong to SCBWI to show our professionalism and our focus to learn, putting down RhyPiBoMo Participant will show your commitment to writing poetry and rhyming picture books.
I’m very open to your ideas and your suggestions to improve this rhyming-baby so please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire now!




Thank You RhyPiBoMoers!


Okay, now do everything else on the pledge for today and don’t forget to comment on today’s blog post!

RhyPiBoMo Pledge

RhyPiBoMo PledgeRhyPiBoMo Pledge 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.


70 thoughts on “Write, Edit, Revise, Critique, Repeat! Wednesday

  1. Thank you Mira for your thoughts on the blog today. I’ve participated in several of your webinars and have learned so much from you. Soon, I hope to take one of your terrific courses that I’ve heard so much about. Angie, thanks for asking for feedback. I’ve learned so much from you during the month that I don’t think I can say thank you enough! I’d participated in RhymPiBoMo anganin, no doubt about it. Even if nothing changed, however I do like the idea of having weekend off to catch up.

  2. Thanks Mira and Angie. Angie, you can see the finish line. You ran the race well, pal. And hey. I won a book. So it was a win win. Learned rhyme/won a book. 🙂 I filled out the questionnaire. I would love to see more editors next year. I’m near Charlotte. Not many rhymers in NC, I bet. I’ve had fun. And our crit group decided to stay together. Go Loraxes! Yeah man! Thanks Angie! SMOOCH!

  3. I filled out the questionaire but got cut off on one of my “others.” One major suggestion I would have is to let people know how much of a manuscript they need to have before starting. I thought it would be ok to start with a blank slate like in Nanowrimo, but I found I never got a chance to actually work on my story because I was so busy with the daily prompts and all the other things I was learning. Maybe that’s just me, but my expectations were definitely off. I enjoyed it nonetheless, but it might be something others might want to know.

  4. Thank you Mira for your blog.it was very useful. I have truly enjoyed your company at the SCBWI LA conference (we had lunch with my friends).

    Angie, a huge thank you for setting up this group! You are awesome. I look forward to the rhyming parties. I can’t believe I made it this far with the rhyming.

  5. Thank you, thank you, Mira and Angie. Always so much to consider. Angie, this has been a terrific class. It amazes me how you put it together with guests, lessons and challenges!!! Mira, I’ve been fortunate to take a few of Sudipta’s workshops at NESCBWI conference- She’s a bombshell of a teacher, for all of you considering the upcoming class. ironically, I’m headed for the conference today!

  6. Mira, thanks for the cheat sheet! I will refer to it often. I can’t wait for the webinar! Angie, I agree completely…edit, revise, critique…it really does work to fine tune a manuscript.

  7. I love critique groups, and would have joined one of the rhyming critique groups, but I only have one rhyming PB (although I have hundreds of poems). Once I have more I will happily join 🙂

  8. Two of my favorite people, Mira and Angie. Looking forward to meeting you both in person at the Wow Retreat. This has been a whirlwind month.

  9. Over my years of writing, I have come to embrace the editing/revision process. I look forward to my critique group–we’ve actually become like a small family. Also, I like editing/revising because it feels like I’m chiseling away at a sculpture, revealing the true, beautiful piece it has within. Yes it can be daunting and yes it can be tedious, but it’s so worth it when the finished piece it shining brilliantly upon completion.

  10. Thank you, Angie! I will definitely be back for more next year. And I think that both the weekend respite and ebook of the lesson material are great ideas for next time.

  11. I tried to write my comments in the poll but it would not let me or the text amount is limited. What I would change is have shorter posts. I appreciate the guest blogging and lessons but it can be overwhelming for one posting. I prefer your lessons, but it is nice to be inspired. So maybe breaking it up by alternating your post between the two. I need bite size pieces to chew on.

  12. Here is another reason to keep the guest bloggers separate from your lessons: i think it would be nice for the guest to have the comments devoted to them rather than shared with comments about your lessons. Mira- thanks for your inspiration. The cheat sheet will come in handy!

  13. Pingback: Lift Off!!! | Black Poodle Studios

  14. Pingback: Poetry Pointers - Themself

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