Tag Archives: poetry tip

#3 Tips for My Place poems

I have talked about this before but imagine you are taking a photo with words.

Show me something or somewhere or someone you love about the place you live in … your town, your city, your street, your home, your country lane. Show me something you love to do at your place (your town or city or home!).

Use your eyes and ears to see what you can find.

Real detail will make your poem   S P R I N G      to     L I F E!

I am on the hunt for poems that show me where you live. Something you love about it or find interesting or surprising or unusual or funny or just simply amazing.


DEADLINE for your My Place  Challenge: August 28th

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the My Place challenge. Tell me the town or city you live so I know for my tour!

I am putting all your poems in folders and will read after the deadline.



Tip for My Place poem #2

What a buzz from all those wanting to write interview questions for an author in A Treasury of NZ Poetry for Children. Bravo!

Meanwhile I am starting to get poems from those of you wanting to read on my Hot Spot Poetry Tour in October.

Here is another tip on writing a poem about ‘My Place.’

What detail can you put your poem to show me why this place is wonderful? What real things make it wonderful? Can you find a fresh simile to add to things you pick?



Hot Spot Poetry Tour Tip for your My Place poem #1

Instead of using any of these words

— nice, beautiful, lovely, pretty —

find ways to show me

how your place is nice or beautiful.

Go on the hunt for good detail

and things that stand out for you.


For more details on this poem challenge see here. I am on the hunt for young poets to read on my tour.

First lines are divine (a challenge and Mary McCallum’s line)

dappled-annie   dappled-annie

The first line of a poem is the door or the step or the window into a poem. 

It invites the reader in.

It might be short and it might be long.

It might be surprising, funny, elegant or give a clue.

It might have an extremely delicious word in it.


Some challenges:

1. Go on a hunt for first lines in other poems. Which ones do you like? Choose a favourite first line and then write a poem to go with it. Tell me where the first line comes from in a note at the bottom.

2. Or test out some of your own first lines and then pick one to write a poem for.

3. Or use this line by Mary McCallum as the first line of your poem:

A leaf is just the beginning.

This is the first line to her new novel for children, Dappled Annie and the Tigrish but I think it would make a great first line for a poem. I am about to fly to Wellington so I have her novel in my bag to read it. I can’t wait as the title of the book and the first line hooked me. I will let you know what I think of it! It is published by Gecko Press 2014.

DEADLINE for your challenge: Thursday March 20th

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, year, age and name of school. You can include your teacher’s name and email. PLEASE say it’s for the first-line, poem challenge.

I will post my favourites and have a book prize for one poet. I might be able to give you a copy of the book.

Poetry Box Tip: Using your ears

Poetry Box Tip  will be useful when you are writing your poems for the sound competition.

It is really good to LISTEN to your poems. Say them out loud. I always say my poems out loud as I am writing them. Then when I have finished a draft I read the whole thing out loud to the birds and the dogs and the cats. My ears will catch a word that doesn’t sound right, or a line that doesn’t seem to belong.

Listen to the rhythm of each line. Do you stumble on a line when you say it like you have hit a traffic jam?

Listen to the word at the end of the line. Listen out for words that sound really juicy, delicious, surprising.

Listen to someone else read a poem. Which word catches your ear?

I am going to give lots more tips on sound over the next year but for now think of your ears as an important tool when you write poetry.

When I say my poems out loud, I like to listen to the sound of one word when it is next to another word.

Remember there is no one right way to write a poem. Poems are golden opportunities toPLAY.

The poem-that-sounds-good competition is due February 27th.

Send to paulajoygreen@gmail.com. Include your name, age, year and name of school. You may include your teacher’s name and email address.

I am posting my favourites and will have a book prize for one young poet.