Writing for children...

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Shelley
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Re: Writing for children...

Post by Shelley » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:53 pm

That is interesting indeed, David. Having read your "Toolangi Pie" I see what you mean about the YUK factor ... also exemplified in Stephen's "The Sticky Fart" last year.

Further proof of the tastes of our kids is in Wendy's delightfully quirky "My Little Brother" - which also featured in the awarded poems as judged by the kids.

I wonder how dinosaurs would rate ... are they still fashionable or "old hat" these days?

Congratulations on your win!

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
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"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: Writing for children...

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:51 am

Thanks, Brenda.

Yes, Shelley, I don't think dinosaurs will ever go out of fashion. One of my most successful poems for children features both dinosaurs and maggots - a pretty solid combination, I think.

I was stunned and thrilled to discover last week that a fossilised portion of a dinosaur's brain has been discovered. (Fossils are almost always of bones, as the soft tissues degrade so quickly.) It was amazing to see images of blood vessels running through dinosaur brain tissue. First impressions were that the brains had much in common with those of modern reptiles and birds, which is hardly surprising.

If you haven't seen the story, you can find it here:
https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/29/sci ... in-fossil/
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

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Shelley
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Re: Writing for children...

Post by Shelley » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:23 pm

Fascinating stuff!

By the way, Stephen, congratulations on your success also at Toolangi - both in the themed section and the children's section as judged by the kids.

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: Writing for children...

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:39 pm

Thanks, Shelley.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: Writing for children...

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:47 pm

Picking up on David's earlier comments about the difference between the judging by adults and the judging by children, whenever I write a poem aimed a publication, I am conscious that I am trying to serve two masters - the children and the 'gatekeepers'. Who are the gatekeepers? They are the adults - parents, teachers, publishers, etc. - who decide in advance if a poem is suitable for a child or not. It doesn't matter how much the poem might appeal to children, if it doesn't pass the gatekeepers, they won't get to read it. Some publishers are more liberal than others in this regard but, bottom line is, the poem must still pass the gatekeepers.

The beauty of the Toolangi competition is that there are no gatekeepers. The poems go straight to the children. This is very liberating, and allows one to write poems that would otherwise stand no chance of being read by children. (Of course, one still acts as one's own gatekeeper to some extent.)
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

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