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. I enjoy the encouragement after hearing that many rhyming picture book submissions are at the bottom of the slush pile. Thanks, Myra. Angie, it is almost over! This has been wild and fun.

  2. I took Mira’s course, The Hero’s Art Journey, a couple of years ago and it was thoroughly enjoyable. I thought I couldn’t create art (aside from writing) but found out I was wrong. I imagine her new course is just as informative and inspiring. Have now answered all the polls. So sad it’s all finishing this week. Thanks for everything!

  3. Can’t believe we are winding down and want to give myself a pat on the back for completing this course on two continents! –if i make it through the last two days, that is.

  4. It’s been such an informative and engaging month, Angie. And I love your digital painting! I look forward to following your blog on a weekly basis, revisiting all that I’ve learned during RhyPiBoMo, and incorporating it into my writing. I think I’ll stick to the wordsmith-ing, though, and leave the illustrating to others.

  5. I have enjoyed this month very much. I have learned a lot from your lessons and enjoyed the posts from your guest bloggers. I filled out the questionnaire when I read the post that was sent to my email address – I see here where you said it wasn’t working properly – so I don’t know if it worked or not. Your site is on the blogroll on my blog, so I will be keeping up with your posts after this event is over. Thanks for all your help.

    • Thanks Janet, it’s working fine after all. So I have all the comments that were posted. I just didn’t have it linked correctly where I could view it before…it it my first survey…it’s so cool what you can do through a blog. I’m learning every day! LOL Thanks for following me and for participating! = )

  6. I have loved it all Angie! You have done a wonderful job. I agree with all of your suggestions. I think the main one is to have a break at weekends to give everyone a chance to catch up and to give you a break too. Love the hummingbird pic!

  7. Thank you Angie, Mira and all the Guest Bloggers! This month has been packed with terrific, practical advice and tools. What a gift! I’ll return to these blog posts again and again for reminders and inspiration.

  8. Have learned so VERY much this month – incredible stuff. I am drooling over those courses – but they are so COMPLETELY out of my price range. Will be praying for a miracle 🙂

    Thanks so much! Looking forward to the last three days – will be WONDERFUL, as the first 32 (or however many LOL) were!

  9. Angie, I didn’t realize you had taken TWO of Mira’s amazing classes…no wonder you are so on-fire about picture book writing!!! She is, indeed, the picture book whisperer. 🙂 I’m so happy you will be continuing RhyPiBoMo activities throughout the year…you can count on me to be participating in all the fun!
    Thank you, Mira, for your generosity and mentoring spirit…we are all the richer for your help. 🙂

  10. I wanted to let everyone know the questionnaire is working fine and was all the time so if you already commented I have it…I just didn’t have it linked to my blog correctly at first so I couldn’t see the feedback…but we are all good now! Thanks so much for the feedback. It is the most important thing for me to know how best to tweak this for the future! You guys really are the best!

  11. Angie–your goals for the future of RhyPiBoMo are an incredible testament to your commitment to this genre. Thank you so much for that commitment–your influence ripples to the horizon and continues past what can be seen with the naked eye. This has been a month filled with energizing passion, useful information, and the sincere love of poetry that inspires us all! I, too, have taken Mira’s Writing course and Hero’s Journey course–she is a wealth of information and an inspiring instructor. 🙂

  12. I took two of Mira’s PBA and CBA courses now, and I adore her! Her high-octane enthusiasm for our PB passion is absolutely contagious!! She and Angie both now, have been two of The Best Writing Influences in my entire (lengthy) writing career!! I can’t thank you ladies enough for sharing your skills and your generosity with us! Best wishes always!! 🙂

  13. Maybe in the future I will be fortunate enough to take Mira Reisberg’s class. Angie, your “future list” of ideas is great! This has been a wonderful experience.

  14. Thanks for post. It is so much material. I think you should just post during the week and take the weekends off. I also loved the critique groups.

  15. Thanks for this post! Thanks for everything! This has been a truly wonderful experience! I feel connected to my writer friends in a new way…it’s hard to describe. I also have a real sense of moving forward in my career.

  16. A morning with Angie and Mira. What could be better? Nothing. Thank you both for your wonderful insights and motivation.

  17. What a pleasure having Mira here as Guest Blogger…looking forward to investigating her course offerings…and will be on the lookout for opportunities to “win” a scholarship by submitting writing works that have had the benefit of Angie’s phenomenal RhyPiBoMo lessons!
    It’s been a whirlwind month with so much info that’s worth revisiting again and again. Looking forward to more RhyPiBoMo opportunities for learning, sharing, and entering contests throughout the year, not just April! Many thanks for your extraordinary efforts, Angie!

  18. I’ve had the pleasure of taking Mira’s picture book class. Her class covers everything you’d want to know about writing picture books, and then some. Mira has a warm, giving heart and an infectious laugh. I wish she lived next door so I could take her out to lunch.

  19. I’ve tried to enroll for the upcoming webinar on May 12, but I’m not getting a confirmation email. Any suggestions? Also, I’m having a hard time deciding on a writing course to take. I’m split between Just Write For Kids by Emma Walton Hamilton, Making Picture Book Magic by Susanna Leonard Hill, Intensive Picture Book Workshop by Anastasia Suen, or Nonfiction Archaeology by Kristen Fulton. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. (I will probably take the The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books by Mira eventually, but it’s not being offered again until sometime in 2015.)

  20. Thank you Mira for this post and so much more. Like Angie, I was incredibly affected by Mira’s course and by Mira. Her approach, energy, guidance, nurturing way, (and more) combined with her knowledge and experience, changed my writing life. Mira, you are remarkable!
    Angie – you are amazing as well. Putting so much time and energy into this journey that you invited us to take with you! I am truly grateful 🙂

  21. Great tips from Mira – thanks! Angie, commenting on RhyPiBoMo made me realize again how much work you’ve put into this. Thank you so much!

  22. Wonderful pointers from Mira. I’m putting her quote up in my office: “[Rhyming] can make a funny book hilarious or a soulful book sublime.”

    Thank you, Angie, for all the time and energy you’ve put into starting RhyPiBoMo and filling it full with valuable, helpful information and wonderful guest bloggers. I agree with your thought about possibly changing it to week days only next year to give participants the weekend to reflect and process.

  23. Wow!!! I would classify you and Mira as a dynamic duo!
    I just completed one of Mira’s classes through the PBA and felt she was a wealth of knowledge and so generous with her time. It was clear her passion for the industry is her fuel to be able to do as much as she does!
    Angie, I have felt the same way about you this month!!! How amazingly organized and generous you have been with your time and resources! What a blessing it is to know such amazing people are encouraging us on this journey!!! Many many thanks:)

  24. Mira, it was good to see you here as a guest blogger. Angie has done an excellent RhyPiBoMo-something truly remarkable and mind blowing. Your advice and offerings are greatly appreciated. i look forward to more courses with you and your team.

    Angie, I hate to see this all wind down, but I know you will be back and will continue the grand journey. I am so proud to have been a part of this and look forward to future years. Thank you!!

  25. Mira, appreciate the helpful tips!

    Angie, I knew RhyPiBoMo would be fun and I’d learn from it, but I’m in awe of what you gifted us with! Having a community like this is encouraging and energizing. I look forward to next year’s event!

  26. I, too have taken Mira’s picture book writing class and loved it! I have learned so much between that class and RhyPiBoMo! Thank you Mira and Angie!

  27. I have also taken Mira’s pb writing course and learned so much! Thank you to Mira and you, too, Angie for offering your time and knowledge!

  28. What an amazing month you put together, Angie! You should be very proud of your accomplishments.
    Thanks, Mira, for all of your tips and for supporting so many of us in our PB endeavors!

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