Need Help Writing Your Poem for Tūhono?

Kia ora! We have loved receiving all of your entries so far for Tūhono, our brand new poetry journal for young Wellington writers! If you need a refresher on what Tūhono is, feel free to check out our first blog post about it.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting some useful tips and tricks on writing poetry on this blog, to help you with your submission! We thought we would start by recommending some really good books you can borrow from our libraries that are all about how to write poetry, and what poetry is all about. Big thanks to Stephanie, the wonderful librarian who buys all of our books for children and teenagers, for putting this list together for us!

How to write poems / Coelho, Joseph
Our first books is packed with exciting activities and starting points to get you creating your own poetic masterpieces! This book is really great for beginners as well as more experienced poets. There are many different types of poetry covered in this comprehensive ‘how to’ guide. If you want to reserve it, you can click on the book’s title, and then the orange “Place Reserve” button — then just choose which library you would like to collect the book from!

What is poetry? : the essential guide to reading & writing poems / Rosen, Michael
Michael Rosen is a well-known and popular British poet. In this book, he draws on his many years of experience to share information and tips on how you can become a poet too. What makes this book especially interesting is that he takes the time to walk you through a number of his own poems, explaining how and why he wrote them. Understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of poetry is really important if you want to write your own some day!

Jabberwalking / Herrera, Juan Felipe
What exactly is ‘Jabberwalking’? The author Juan Felipe Herrera (a well-known American poet) explains that jabberwalking poets aim to create something that’s not like a typical poem. To be a jabberwalking poet you must move and write at the same time! You must write everything that comes into your head — things you see, things you hear, and things you feel. The challenge then is to interpret all your scribbles and turn them into a poem. This is an incredibly creative and unusual way to craft a weird, wild poem — just the kind of poetry we’d love to see in Tūhono.

The Usborne creative writer’s handbook / Daynes, Katie
This super useful handbook covers many different forms of creative writing, including a useful section on poetry. You will find though that much of the advice you can find throughout this books is relevant to crafting poems — for example, coming up with ideas, planning, grammar, and punctuation. With this book in your poetic toolbelt, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a super successful writer!

Kids’ Club Review by keya: The hunt for the golden book

The hunt for the golden book, by Geronimo Stilton

Geronimo’s grandfather William shortpaws forces Geronimo to write a book,not just any kind of book a book with a Golden cover a book to how Geronimo got to be writer for The Rodents Gazette.But when the enemy of the Rodents Gazette The Daily Rats editor Sally Ratmousen sends some mice to collect Geronimo’s computer witch had the Golden Book inside it. Will Geronimo get the golden book back?

5 stars

Reviewed by keya from Johnsonville, 7 years old

Write stories — win prizes — it’s Fabo Story!

Love writing? Love winning? Well a group of New Zealand Authors have figured out a way to combine the two, and the result is Fabo Story.


Here’s how it works

Every fortnight there is a new story released on the website – but it’s only the first paragraph! Your job is to finish the story by writing the next paragraph.

At the end of the fortnight 2 winning stories will be picked. One winner from those aged 10 and under, and another for those aged 11-13 years. (The maximum age is 13). Previous winners have received books and chocolate – so you can eat the chocolate while you read the books. Awesome!

There are some really cool authors involved – Fifi Colston, Maureen Crisp, Elena De Roo, Tania Hutley, Johnanna Knox, Kyle Mewburn, Michele Powles, Melinda Szymanik, Kathy White


So get writing and get winning! But most importantly… have fun!



What’s on today? Monday 22nd April

The school holidays are here! These are the FREE and fun things you can do at libraries today:

Special Event: Author and Illustrator visit!

Lucas and Jutta Chisholm, Author and Illustrator of the awesome book ‘Meet Mr. Mr Sunny’, are visiting to run fun activities with you. Listen to this cool book being read aloud, find out all about how to write books and even draw and make your own book character. Cool!

Wellington Central Library, 11am. No bookings required, suitable for 5-12 year olds. Free.


Special Event: Kiwana!

Read and act out one of Margaret Mahy’s most popular books – Down the Back of the Chair and more fun-filled Kiwiana activities. The lovely librarians have some fun tricks up their sleeves for this one.

Johnsonville Library, 10.30am. No bookings required, suitable for 5-12 year olds. Free.





Don’t forget our fun and popular storytimes during the school holidays.

Karori Library at 10.30am

Tawa Library at 10.30am

Kilbirnie Library at 10.30am

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

To celebrate the release of The Crystal Code, book four in Richard Newsome’s award-winning Billionaire series, Text Publishing is running a writing competition for students aged 10–13 years.

The winner’s school will receive a $1,000 credit voucher and the winning writer a $100 credit voucher to spend in one Australian or New Zealand bookshop, courtesy of Text Publishing.

To be part of the competition, you must write a story of no more than 500 words about what would happen if you inherited billions of dollars.

The competition opened 1 October 2012. A completed entry form must accompany each story, and entries must be received at Text Publishing by Friday 9 November 2012. You can download the entry form from their website.

Richard Newsome is a New Zealander who is living in Australia. He grew up in Wanganui.


Check out the other books in this awesome series:

Neil Gaiman’s 8 rules of writing

Neil Gaiman, successful and fantastic Author of great books like:



(both of which are a little bit scary – you have been warned), has offered his 8 rules for writing for those that like to grab a pen and paper and create stories. His rules are:

  1. Write
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

There you go -no excuses now! Happy writing.

Creative Writing Workshop for 7-12 year olds

Don’t miss out on this! Karori Library is hosting a creative writing workshop during the school holidays. Learn how to write stories like a pro. Places are limited so make sure you book soon. Here’s the details:

Where: Karori Library

When: 10th July 1pm – 4pm

Who: 7-12 year olds – no experience required

How much: $30 – all proceeds go to the Wellington SPCA to keep the animals happy

Booking: Limited spaces. Email your details to

Attention budding writers…

karori writing workshop October 11 small posterKarori Library’s popular creative writing workshops are back!

Helen and Mary’s workshops will help you build confidence, take pride in your work, develop creativity, improve literacy, increase general braininess and just a lot of fun.


For 8-12 year olds

18th october 1-4pm at Karori Library

Cost: $30

Places are limited and will fill up quickly.  Email to secure your place.