Tag Archives: poetry

September Inspiration

Here in the Southern Hemisphere spring has sprung! But if the beautiful spring weather (or the arrival of autumn and all its wonderful colours for those above the equator) isn’t sparking your creativity, here are some prompts to help inspire you.



Where is this? Who is taking the photo and why? What is that black shadow in the sky? (you can click on picture for larger view)


  • Spring
  • Father
  • Grand final
  • Heritage
  • Sneeze
  • Rain
  • Chile


  • School
  • Autumn
  • Work
  • Moon
  • Harvest
  • Regatta
  • Remembrance


  • Sapphire
  • Minerva
  • The number seven
  • Basil
  • 30 days
  • Maiden

June Inspiration

Need some writing inspiration this month? With summer holidays starting in the Northern Hemisphere and cold wintry days perfect for writing in the Southern Hemisphere, you don’t want to be stuck for ideas, so here are some prompts:



Where is this place? What does the crow signify? Is the crow the main character? The main character’s pet? Part of the scenery? An omen?


  • Fireplace
  • Winter
  • Queen
  • Marathon
  • Football/rugby


  • Vacation
  • Beach
  • Father
  • Fish
  • Ulysses


  • Twins
  • Marriage
  • Youth/children
  • Flag
  • Solstice
  • Skateboard

May Inspiration

With NaPiBoWriWee and Short Story Month currently happening, I’m sure there are quite a few of you looking for inspiration this month. Since these events are happening, and since I didn’t do an inspiration post in March or April, I’ve added some extra inspiration in this month, including TWO picture prompts!


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Picture Prompt 1

Where does the road lead? What’s beyond the fog? Who is travelling this road? What does the fog mean?

Picture Prompt 2

Who does this belong to? What does it contain? How did it come to be here?


  • Leaves
  • Autumn
  • Sign language
  • Music
  • Butterfly
  • Revolution
  • Red


  • Flowers
  • Sunshine
  • Sneeze
  • Children
  • Maypole
  • Horse
  • Cinco de Mayo


  • Mother
  • The number five
  • Fertility
  • Elders
  • Soldier
  • Nurse
  • Dance

February Inspiration

Looking for some inspiration for your picture book, short story or poetry this month? Hopefully there will be something here to spark your muse.



What sort of bird left this feather behind? Where is it? What is the bird’s story? Or what is the story of the person who finds the feather? What does the feather signify?


  • Fire
  • Flood
  • New Zealand
  • Sun
  • School


  • Family
  • Pearls of ice
  • Football
  • Groundhog
  • Flag


  • Pancakes
  • Valentine
  • Water
  • Wedding
  • Red

How Writing Poetry Can Help You Be a Better Writer (Guest Post)

As well as being Aussie Author Month this month, it is also National Poetry Month. Today I have a guest post from poet and children’s writer Rena Traxel on how writing poetry can help you be a better writer. She has some great tips, particularly for picture book writers.

Writing Poetry Can Help You Be a Better Writer

When you were in school you most likely studied poetry.  When you grew up some of you left poetry writing behind.  In celebration of National Poetry Month, I created a poetry challenge, in which I’ve pushed the participants to try a new poetic form each day, except for Sundays, in the month of April.  I’ve had them write both silly and serious poems.  What is the purpose of the challenge? To help the participants grow as writers. I’m here today to discuss how poetry writing can help you.

  • To grow as a writer you must challenge yourself.  Writing poetry is different from writing prose and therefore will force you to stretch your mind. If you already write poetry try out a poetic form you have never used before (this can be as simple as including a simile in your poem).
  • Is your story not flowing? Turn to poetry. Poets pay attention to stresses and syllables that is why poems tend to flow.  Dr. Seuss wrote many of his books using trisyllabic meter (putting stress on every third syllable). Dr. Seuss’ books move seamlessly from page to page. His books are easy to remember and kids love his books.
  • Poetry can help you get in touch with your inner child.  Literary critic and theorist Northrop Frye said, “the speech of a child is full of chanting and singing and it is clear that the child understands what many adults do not, that verse is more direct and primitive way of conventionalizing speech then prose is.” There is a reason why children love Dr. Suess and Mother Goose.
  • Are you too wordy? Poems show an entire story in very few words. Poets practice the art of compression by paying attention to every single word to make sure it is absolutely necessary. Even the title contributes to the story.
  • Poets pay attention to line breaks. They use line breaks to slow down or speed up a poem. If you write picture books it’s essential to know where to break up a story so that it flows from page to page.  Even if you write novels it’s important to know where to cut a chapter.
  • Practice showing versus telling. Because poems tend to be short they rely on images to tell a story.
  • Poetry can help you express yourself. You might be surprised to learn that poetry is closer to how we speak then prose.
  • Poetry is meant to read out loud and is why poets spend a considerable amount of time thinking about word choice. If you write picture books then you know your stories will have to be read out loud.  Even if you write novels you will have to read sections out loud at a reading.  Get comfortable with hearing your words by writing poetry.
  • Poetry is fun. Poems are not bound by the same rules as prose.  You can play around with form and punctuation as along as your choices are consistent.

Every time you sit down to write you are practicing your craft.  How do you expect to get better if you don’t push yourself? Step out of your comfort zone and give poetry a try. You will be amazed at the new skills you will learn.

Rena J. Traxel writes stories and poems for kids. She is currently working on a fantasy series for tweens. To learn more about her check out her website at www.renajtraxel.com or head over to blog “On the Way to Somewhere” at www.renajtraxelblog.com and enjoy some of her poems and stories.

A note from Jo:

Looking for some rhyming picture book inspiration during Aussie Author Month? I always refer to the two masters of rhyming picture books, Australian authors Graeme Base (Enigma, The Eleventh Hour, The Worst Band in the Universe) and Mem Fox (The Ballad of Skip and Nell, Time for Bed, Where is the Green Sheep?). For poetry, check out some of the works of Banjo Patterson (my favourite is Mulga Bill’s Bicycle).

Can’t Wait to Meet You

With less than two weeks until I’m due to give birth and less than two weeks until my eldest child starts school, my mind has been thinking of little else than getting organised for both these momentous events. It is little wonder I have been unable to think of something to blog about this week!

Thanks to the wonderful support and suggestions of the 12 x 12 challenge Facebook group, I’ve decided to allow myself a little creative time today to write a poem to share. As a teenager I used to write poetry all the time to get out my feelings onto paper; sadly, it’s something I don’t really do anymore. I’ve written this poem as a set of haikus.


Can’t Wait to Meet You

Every time I hear

Your heartbeat I’m filled with joy

Can’t wait to meet you.


Knowing you’re growing

Preparing to greet the world

Can’t wait to meet you.


God has plans for you

You were always meant to be

Can’t wait to meet you.


Next week (providing I’m not in hospital with a new arrival) I will post my monthly helpful writing posts round-up and after that I have a few guest posts lined up to help me through those early weeks with a newborn, but if my blog is a bit quieter over the next few months, you’ll know why. For now, I’m off to contact school books and label uniforms.

National Poetry Week

It’s National Poetry Week in Australia this week. I know I’m overdue for a post on Write on Con and my monthly helpful sites post for August (I’ll be combining it with September’s post), but I love poetry, so couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write a little poem to share. This is just a fun rhyme I was inspired to write after waking up with a few lines in my head yesterday morning.

Danny Likes to Disco Dance

Danny likes to disco dance,

The hustle makes him happy,

At school he’d do the boogaloo,

And could cha cha in a nappy.


His mum and dad are fancy folk,

Who like to dance the tango,

(And secretly on Sundays,

They dance the new fandango.)


But Danny likes to disco dance,

It’s the only dance he’ll do.

He doesn’t care the craze died out,

In nineteen-eighty-two.


His sister likes to ballet dance,

In a tutu pink and frilly,

She pirouettes across the stage,

But Danny thinks she’s silly.


‘Cause Danny likes to disco dance,

Wearing flares and platform shoes,

His afro hair is debonair,

John Travolta is his muse.


His brothers are both headbangers,

They do not like to dance,

They thrash their heads and smash guitars,

While wearing leather pants.


But Danny likes to disco dance,

Pointing fingers in the air,

He rolls his arms and taps his feet,

With disco-dancing flair.


His grandma is a country girl,

She likes to dosey-do,

The line dance champ of Gooligamp,

With trophies all on show.


But Danny likes to disco dance,

Beneath the disco ball,

He dances at the roller-rink,

His moves enthral them all.


There are many kinds of dances,

Like the salsa and the samba,

Hokey pokey, heel and toe,

The mambo and the rhumba.


But Danny likes to disco dance,

His groovy moves are fly,

Forget hip hop, hard rock and pop,

For disco will not die.


It’s still a work in progress (the meter needs smoothing out in a few places), but I’m thinking it might work as a picture book once polished.

Have you written any poetry for Poetry Week? Why not give it a go. It doesn’t have to rhyme, there are lots of forms of poetry you could write.