Inkpop Blog

Write, Read, Connect

Writing Poetry: inktips from Author Stephanie Hemphill

Posted by inkpopbecki on June 16, 2010

Author Stephanie Hemphill knows what it takes to make the more obscure areas of writing–poetry, historical fiction–into successful, published works. Her new book, Wicked Girls, is a historical novel set against the backdrop of the Salem Witch Trials. If you’d like to hear more about writing historical fiction, join our live chat tomorrow on this inkpop forums to talk with author Stephanie Hemphill. Check out her tips for writing poetry below.

1. Haven Fun: Poetry gives you freedom to play with words and images and language.

2. Push your images a little farther than you feel comfortable—into dangerous. That is where you might find something truly original. After all, the grand goal in poetry is to speak of the world better or more clearly or more beautifully than anyone else has ever done before, to make people say, “Yes, exactly,” and understand with precision what you are describing.

3. Write outside the margins. This is not like think outside the box—that is a cliché. Be messy, write faster than your pen. Try not to overanalyze. Find the child inside you who thought everything he or she did was great. Be confident. Don’t worry if it’s not good. Just tell the truth.

4. Be honest and observant. Really take time to look at things, to delve deeply into yourself. There are no bad poems, but there are weak, dishonest ones, thinner than the paper that contains them. Even if you are creating a fantasy poem, be consistent and honest inside whatever world you create.

5. Learn new language. Increase your vocabulary and then use it appropriately.

6. Avoid clichés. If you use a loaded concept word, like “love” or “happiness,” bring it to earth with images and reality and specifics so it becomes meaningful.
7. Read. Read books and poetry, read nonfiction, read anything that interests you that increases your knowledge and understanding of yourself and the world and others. Think about what you know and feel and observe, and then if you are so inclined, write it down and share it.

Join our live chat tomorrow on this inkpop forums to talk with author Stephanie Hemphill.

4 Responses to “Writing Poetry: inktips from Author Stephanie Hemphill”

  1. hi there, please i am a die hard fan of ink pop! am an author and graduate of history.pls ,i need information or help on how to submit my work to inkpop. i also need help on getting my novel book cover.thank u 4 your ya!

  2. my chapters one and two can be read or viewed at

  3. […] interview with Stephanie Hemphill.  Also, Stephanie gives tips on writing poetry over at Inkpop. Category: Authors, Books, Poetry, Reviews, Videos, YA BooksTags: book reviews > Booklist > Ed […]

  4. Rachel said

    I need to verify Ms. Hemphill’s year of birth, or maiden name. I need this information for a student so she can compete in an oral interpretation contest on Monday. I have not received a response from her publisher, and The Library of Congress could not find this information either. HELP!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: