worm writing children's zone

Advice for young poets

  • Read and listen to as much poetry as you can. This way, you will learn what went before you, what works for readers. Don't expect to like or even understand everything you read. If it bores you or is irrelevant simply close the book and move on. You haven't wasted your time. You are learning worthwhile lessons of what to avoid in your own writing. Along the way you will find many wonderful poets that will inspire you to keep writing as they entertain and move you. You can find poetry books at your local library and at most good bookshops
  • Get advice from 'how to' books. There are a lot of books available on the art of writing poetry. Some are listed below. Some of these books may be available at your local public library
    M. Harrison & C. Stuart-Clark Writing poems plus (OUP, 1992)
    A. Mitchell The Thirteen Secrets of Poetry (Simon and Schuster, 1992 )
    B. Moses So You Want to Write Poetry (Hodder Wayland, 2003)
    Inky Penguin The Writing Book (Teachers' and Writers' Collaborative, 1996)
    I. Yates How to be brilliant at writing poetry (Brilliant Publications 1993)
  • Get in touch with your local Arts board. They will know what is happening in your local area, which might include writing courses, local competitions and local groups you can join. You can get their contact details from the internet or by telephone on 0845 300 6200. Your public library should also be able to help you with local information.
  • Enter competitions. Many poets send their poems to competitions. This can be a good way to find out what other people think of your work. Lots of competitions are held every year, and the Poetry Library compiles a list of competitions, many of which are specifically for young people.
  • Send your poems to magazines. This is the way most poets are first published. Also take a look at our Poetry Magazines site.
  • Browse the internet for poetry sites.
  • Become a Young Poet member of the Poetry Society. You can find more details here or by phone on 020 7420 9881.
Good luck!

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