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Struggling to start? Read Sarah Crossan and Tony Bradman's top tips for writing poetry. 

Sarah Crossan

1. Don't be scared. Fear is your biggest opponent.

2.Don’t be arrogant. An inflated ego is also your enemy.

3.Read lots of poems before you start, especially contemporary poems. Collections for kids are great, but it’s best not to be too strict about this: simply find ones that speak to you.

4.Don't be fixated on rhyme, even when writing for young people. They are perfectly capable of reading free verse poems.

5.Always read your poems aloud (preferably to a child) as this will help you hear where the language sounds a bit sticky. Poems are meant to be performed!

6.Have fun and thus remind children that poetry is fun!

Tony Bradman

1. Read lots of poetry of all different kinds - old and new, funny and sad, quiet and wild. Listen to it being read as well - on recordings and by a live poet or two if you can!

2. Observe the world around you and the people in it - and look out for the funny and interesting and strange things about them. That’s what you can write about…

3. Write what you feel - try to find the simplest words to do it…

4. But write in a way that surprises the people who will read or hear your poem - and even yourself!

5. And remember above all that writing poetry should be fun!"

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