This Friday, 8:00 CST sharp! It is one hour of crazy, rhyming trivia!!!
Study this week’s blog posts for the answers!
Congratulations to Lynn Alpert who won a rhyming picture book manuscript critique! Did you missed our Rhyming Party last week? Well, here are a few funny comments posted from last Friday’s mania…
“Debbie Smart – I made it in the nick of time … to Angie’s party to get on my rhyme!”
“Pj McIlvaine – Should be working on my book, but here I am, procrastinating and on the lam.”
“Mona Pease – Illustrator you say. Don’t look at me or I’ll run away!”
“Karen Affholter – Hello to all my rhyming friends, I’m checking in while nursing. I’ve got a newborn on my lap so keep it clean, no cursing!”
“Vivian Kirkfield – Oh Karen needs a special prize, for rhyming makes a baby wise. “
“Linda Staszak A glass of wine makes rhyming fine!”
So you get the idea…silly rhyming fun! There was no cursing, but I am certain the wine was flowing and the beer was cold. Cheers to all who played last week! I’ll see ya Friday!
Rhyming Critique Groups
Due to huge numbers of folks interested in our Rhyming Critique Groups, the last day to register in our Facebook Group is today, Wednesday, April 13th at Midnight CST. You will be placed in a group only if your name is on the Master Registration List.
Thank you for understanding as we manage almost 10 groups.
I had the opportunity to meet today’s guest blogger last summer at a writing retreat. She is such a nice person and would be a dream agent for anyone who likes to work hard and write beautiful, clever, one-of-a-kind rhyme! I feel blessed that we are friends and I appreciate her words of wisdom today.
I’m pleased to introduce
Literary Agent Sally Apokedak
Literary Agent Sally Apokedak
Move My Soul to Dance
Angie, delightful editor that she is, assigned me a topic for this post:
Why multi-syllabic ending rhyming words are gems.
Isn’t that a mouthful?
I have no one but myself to blame.
I have said on my website that if you are writing rhyming picture books, and you are employing end rhymes, and all the rhyming words are one-syllable, then the work is probably not for me.
And I get a lot of questions about this. Why do I rep Hannah C. Hall, who uses single-syllable words as end rhymes? What about all the books on the shelves that do the same? What about Dr. Seuss, for pity’s sakes?
So here’s what I mean when I say single-syllable end rhymes are not for me: if you want to sell me on your rhyming picture book, you’re going to have to be better than 99% of the people who submit to me. And most people can rhyme single-syllable words pretty easily.
It’s not hard to say,
The cat sat on the mat.
Then he ate the rat.
And he got really fat.
It’s not even hard to say,
I love to walk beneath the trees,
to wander in their shade.
I love to feel the gentle breeze
and rest in mountain glade.
It took me under two minutes to write those two little rhymes. Those were not hard to do.
So my saying that you have to have more than single-syllable end rhymes is kind of shorthand for, “You have to stand out with your rhymes if you want me to love your rhyming books.”
It’s not really about single-syllable rhyming words. It’s about not sending me plodding little ditties that don’t move my soul to dance.
You need so much more than multi-syllabic words, though.
For one thing you need to never use the word syllabic in a work you send me. Isn’t that a horrid word? Fill your poems with words that are fun. Syllabic sounds slimy to me or like something a cat would cough up. I guess you could use it if you were being funny:
Send only multi-syllabic rhymes,
Full of saliva and phlegm,
Do not wail or send hate mail,
Just give me a rhyming gem.
But really what you need to do is delight the ear and stir the soul if you want to break in with your picture books.
Let’s look at a stanza of poetry that uses some single-syllable end rhymes.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,
Do you see how many figures of speech John Masefield employs?
He’s got alliteration, assonance, consonance, personification, and anaphora. He’s creating a mood with his words. He’s calling to our souls, filling us with longing. All in four short lines.
Alright, you’re writing a picture book, not poetry. But that’s my point:
Picture books, even the simplest ones for the smallest children, ought to be more poetry and less advertising jingle.
Sally Apokedak is an associate agent with the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency.
She’s been studying, reviewing, and marketing children’s books, as well as giving writing instruction for 15 years. As the manager of the Kidz Book Buzz blog tour she was privileged to work with best-selling and award-winning authors such as Jeanne DuPrau, Ingrid Law, and Shannon Hale. She is currently working with her own best-selling and award-winning clients: Hannah Hall, Taryn Souders, Mark S. Waxman, to name a few. She teaches at writers’ conferences across the United States as well as teaching writing, online, to students in over 90 countries through her Udemy courses.
Sally is interested in children’s books written from a Christian worldview, but aimed at the general market. She loves picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult novels.
Find out more at
Submit to Sally at firstname.lastname@example.org
What Sally is looking for . . . in her own words 😉
Picture Books: I’m looking for quirky, fun, characters and delightful language, with lines that roll and rhymes that rock. Conflict and growth for characters always helps.
Middle Grade Books: I’d love some funny boy books. Boy scientists and boy geniuses are great. I love fantasies, and I’d really some sci-fi, but really want anything with a strong voice.
YA Books: Fantasy is my favorite, and if there’s romance, I love it even more. I’m a huge contemporary fan. I do like sci-fi and mystery.
What Sally is not looking for
Any picture books that rhyme where all the rhyming words are one or two syllables, are not going to be right for me, I’m pretty sure.
I am also not a huge fan of issue books and preachy stories. Supernatural books, with angels, demons, or any mix thereof, will probably not catch my fancy. I’m not salivating for werewolves, vampires, ghosts, fairies, or zombies. I’m not into dark and angsty books. I like endings that are full of hope.
Thank You Sally!
PLEASE like our guest bloggers on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, go to their websites and express your appreciation for their time and wisdom! Many have generously donated multiple prizes and this event would not be successful without their support, so please support them! Oh…and buy their books too!!
To be eligible for today’s prize drawing by Random.org you must comment at the bottom of the page where it says “Leave A Reply” AND add your FIRST and LAST name in the comment. If I don’t have your name or how to contact you via email, you can’t win.
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The drawings will be done daily and announced on Saturday of each week.