Poem of the Week – Sound of Rain. Also ANNOUNCING WINNERS!


Do you have a Rooster Poem?

THE WINNER FROM THE GUEST BOOK DRAWING IS NANCY RAIDER. I put all the names in a hat and the one I pulled out was Nancy’s. What you win, Nancy, is a signed copy of Partner Poems for Building Fluency, my new book with Tim Rasinski and Gay Fawcett. The book contains 40 poems for two or more voices. Congratulations! I hope you and your students enjoy the book.THE PERSON WHO LEFT THE MOST COMMENTS ON MY BLOG SITE IS MARY NIDA SMITH. Congratulations, Mary Nida, and many thanks for your participation. Close behind Mary Nida was Liz Koba and close behind her were Tricia Stohr-Hunt, Mimi Cross, and Steven Withrow. My thanks to all for your helpful comments and advice.

Mary Nida, you have your choice of the following: A signed copy of Pirates, a poetry critique (limit three pages, double-spaced in regular 12 point type) or a picture book critique (limit five pages, double-spaced in regular 12 point type). Let me know what you decide.

Don’t forget, tomorrow at noon I’ll close off voting on October’s dirt poems. Right now it’s a real race so get those friends and family supporters involved!David


Article about teen books

votesm2If you are interested in writing books for teens and tweens, especially books for girls, there’s an article in the current issue of The New Yorker (October 19) that you’ll find interesting. This well written piece by Rebecca Mead introduces the reader to Alloy Entertainment, which produces books and creates other properties for the preteen and teen-age market.What I found helpful was the the description of all the editorial brainstorming that each idea must survive as it makes its way from suggestion to finished product. It struck me that Alloy has several people involved doing what an individual writer must also do. The trick for us, when evaluating a new idea, is to be as critical, focused, and unbiased as the whole team in an organiation like Alloy.It is far more sensible to weigh a new idea, find it lacking, and discard or revise it than to plunge optimistically forward into the writing process, hoping that somehow the story will turn out okay. For a lone individual, this is one of the hardest and most fundamental lessons we must learn. And learn. And learn.

If you have any comments about the article or about how you go about judging the merits of a new idea before you commit to writing it, please share it with the rest of us!


Guest Book Contest

Thanks to everyone who has dropped by my website and signed my guest book. http://www.davidlharrison.com/guestbook.htm  I love to hear from you.

To encourage others to sign my guest book,


At the end of October I going to take all the names of everyone who signed my Guestbook , put them in a hat, and draw a WINNER. 


A SIGNED COPY OF PIRATES. The book was selected by NCTE as a notable poetry book for 2008 and by VOYA for its nonfiction honor list in 2009. Soon I’ll have some new good news to share about Pirates.


A PICTURE BOOK OR POEM CRITIQUE – if you write poetry for young people or have a picture book and would like your work critiqued, I’ll give you that choice if you’re our winner.


Poetry submissionno more than three double-spaced pages in regular 12 point type.

Picture book  — in rhyme or otherwise — no more than five – 12pt, double-spaced pages. Be sure to leave your e-mail address!

Hope to see you on the guest book!  http://www.davidlharrison.com/guestbook.htm

Am I the only one working on a poem stimulated by a single word? Yesterday (on day four) I finished a rough draft of the one I’m writing based on dirt. I hope on Sunday to hear from others who took the challenge!  David

New on my website

As I work  with Kathy Temean to keep my website interesting and useful, we have agreed to post one of my published poems each week on the blog site, add a new teaching tool each month on the teachers page, and add a new word puzzle each month on the kids page.

The latest poem of the week is based on my memory about being a new kid in school and getting lost in the hall. It comes from Connecting Dots and is called “Jarrett Junior High School.” I attended Jarrett and so did my father.

The teaching tool — “Getting Started on Your Story” — is from my book about writing stories. It’s a Scholastic Guide Book called Writing Stories, Fantastic Fiction from Start to Finish. I’ve used this as a conference handout to help students (or anyone else) create a scenario they’d like to write about.

The new word puzzle on the kids page comes from a Random House title, Wake Up, Sun! This book, illustrated by Hans Wilhelm, was published in 1986 and recently passed the 1,000,000 mark in copies sold. Hans and I are currently at work on a new title.

Well, back to work on my poem about dirt. Yesterday I finally got a few thoughts on paper. It’s a start; right?

DON’T FORGET THIS MONTH’S CONTEST. I’ll send a signed copy of Partner Poems for Building Fluency to the person who leaves the most comments during October.