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  • Writer's pictureManju Howard

Lori Degman's Just "Write" Rhyming Contest

Just "Write" Rhyming Contest is now closed.

Welcome back readers! I have a special invitation for you.

Author Lori Degman is here to share her love of rhyme and judge the Just "Write" Rhyming Contest.

That's right, it's time to write!

Here's Lori -

Manju asked me to talk a little about my process for writing in rhyme. Ninety-nine percent of the time, my rhyming stories begin with a rhythmic phrase or sentence that has popped into my head. Or, sometimes I’ll read or hear something that sounds like it would be a good line in a rhyming story. So, I usually have the meter figured out right away.

In contrast, my stories written in prose usually begin with an idea about a character, theme or event. I find it easier to write in rhyme because of the parameters it imposes. Sometimes it’s harder to write when the options are limitless! Often, searching for just the right rhyming word helps me with plot and humor.

I’ve written this poem to help you write your rhyming valentine verse:

You’re getting set to write a rhyme,

that’s all about your valentine.

If doing well is what you want,

then don’t use rhymes that they call “slant”.

Be careful not to change the grammar,

or down on you will come the hammer.

And don’t forget about the meter.

It will really make your story so much sweeter.

Put another way (with correct rhyme and meter):

Valentine and rhyme don’t rhyme.

Not any place. Not any time.

The final sounds must be exact,

in stress and sound – and that’s a fact.

When flipping words to fit the rhyme,

you’ll sound like Yoda every time.

And count the beats in every line.

If they’re the same, then you’ll be fine.

So, now you’re ready – get to writing.

I’m sure your poem will be delighting!

Lori's new rhyming picture book, Just Read, is illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov.

It will pop into the world on March 5th from Sterling Publishing!



1 ZANY ZOO (Simon & Schuster, 2010)

COCK-A-DOODLE OOPS! (Creston Books, 2014)

NORBERT'S BIG DREAM (Sleeping Bear Press, 2016)

JUST READ (Sterling Publishing, 2019)

LIKE A GIRL (Sterling Publishing, 2019)

TRAVEL GUIDE FOR MONSTERS (Sleeping Bear Press, 2020)


Sub Six Valentine’s Poem Contest


To Enter

Write an original 4-line poem with at least one end rhyme.

Type your poem into the comments section of this post.

Deadline for poems is 12 noon EST, February 4, 2019

You must be a Sub Six member. (It’s not too late to join.)

* Only one entry per person. Please do not re-post your poem for any reason.


Winner: Lori has offered to critique one rhyming picture book manuscript up to 500 words.

Runner-up: Lori will send a signed copy of new picture book, JUST READ.


All poems will be judged by Lori Grusin Degman.

The winner and runner-up will be announced on February 14th.

Have fun!

For those not familiar with Sub Six, we are a Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Support Group.

Members support each other through encouraging comments, submission tally sheet and monthly prizes.

If you write and/or illustrate for children’s literature, join us here!

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