MCPL logo

Marathon County Public Library

Skip Navigation

Poetry Writing Tips for Kids and Teens

list of poetry writing tips

April 4, 2022

Poetry is all around us. It’s in the shape of the spoon you used for breakfast, your brother's missing tooth, and that dingy mitten left behind when the snow melts. Inspiration for a poem can appear any place. But how do you catch it?

Read on for simple ways that kids and teens can practice poetry every day and develop those poetry skills. Then, consider submitting your poetry to our Youth Poetry Contest. We have two age categories - ages 9-12 and ages 13-18 - and entrants can submit up to two original poems to the contest. Submissions will be accepted at or in person at any Marathon County Public Library location through May 27, 2022! 

To help jumpstart your creativity, take a look at the writing tips below. For questions about the the Youth Poetry Contest or for other poetry resources, call the MCPL Wausau children's desk at 715-261-7220.

Poetry Tips for Kids

#1: Be a careful observer. Make note of everyday objects and occurrences around you.  

#2: Find good poetry and read, read, read! Here are a couple books to start with: The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog by Paul B. Janeczko and When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano. 

#3: Learn about poetic techniques. Use the online glossary at The Children’s Poetry Archive.

#4: Start a poetry journal. It can even be handmade! Collect Poems you like and words and phrases you love. Write thoughts and drafts to use later. 

#5: Read your poems to people. Start with a friend or adult you trust. How does your poem make them feel? 

Poetry Tips for Teens 

#1: Be a keen observer. Small details make a difference in poetry.  

#2: Read poetry you admire. To find what you like, browse the library (non-fiction 811 and 821) or poetry websites such as and 

#3: Start a poetry journal. Include poems you love and words and phrases that catch your attention. 

#4: Learn about the craft of poetry. Here are a couple books to start with: Creating Poetry by John Drury and The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser. 

#5: Join a poetry community. Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (WFOP) regularly hosts readings and other events in the Central Wisconsin area. Student memberships are available! Visit for more information. 



Children Contests Learning Poetry Teens Tweens Writing

image credit: Pixabay/free image