If you’d like to send me a direct message, please email me at julie@juliehedlund.com.  I look forward to hearing from you!



  1. Hi Julie-

    I googled rhyming picture books and stumbled across your blog. Like you, I am a writer, and like you, I was at the 2010 SCBWI conference. Small world, huh?

    I am writing a children’s book but have written for adults in the past (freelance magazine stuff, etc.) The common thread is humor.

    Like you, I am struggling with this rhyme thing. I understand there is a slush pool full of bad rhyme, but must we all be punished?

    I am getting ready to send my book to agents, but I’m bummed about my diminished prospects. No Fair!

    I like the sound of your “group” book, but I am a word nerd. My husband and I know many of the “group” terms but when we don’t know them, we make them up (for instance: a “snob” of poodles, a “squeal” of pre-teen girls, etc.)

    Anyway, I just thought I’d write and try to connect with someone struggling with my same writer issues. Let me know your thoughts 🙂

    Jennifer Paisley


    • Hey Jennifer,

      Great to ‘meet’ you and thanks for stopping by the blog. I have a couple of resources that you might find helpful (I did).

      I recently took a rhyming workshop with author Linda Ashman, and she suggested a book called “Poem Making,” by Myra Cohn Livingston, which is a book that teaches children how to write poetry. It’s great because it covers all the concepts of poetry and rhyming in very simple and clear terms. It’s no longer in print, but you can get it used from Amazon.

      Another book I’ve been loving lately is called “Writing Picture Books” by Ann Whitford Paul. She covers rhyming and almost every other issue you can think of when writing picture books.

      Keep in touch and stay tuned as I’ll be writing more about rhyme and picture books. Do you have a blog too? If so, I’d love to check it out.


  2. “Beleaguered picture book writers everyone have all heard the news that today’s picture book market is tougher than overcooked meat.” I have no idea how long ago you wrote that, but indeed it still holds water!

    Your extensive sidebar list of kidlit resources, writers, editor blogs, book reviews, etc has provided me with many a happy hour of distraction when Query Tracker et al have become moribund. Thank you for collecting such a lovely resource!

    Has anyone uncovered a source for uncovering, with relative ease, agencies and publishers who are (a) not closed to unsolicited submissions and (b) have never stated “Will not consider submissions in rhyme.” Finding the needle in the haystack for whom conditions (a) and (b) both apply is tediously time-consuming!

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest…


  3. Don’t give up! I remember hearing one of my editors (not my editor at the time) speak at a conference and clearly say, “Please don’t send me anything that rhymes.” And then when I had a consultation with him and he asked me to send him a rhyming piece he had just read, I asked him what was up. He said, “Oh, we don’t really mean that we don’t want anything that rhymes. We just say that because we don’t want any more bad rhyme, and that’s mostly what we get!” So, here’s what you can do to help yours not fall into that category…

    1. Make sure every line adds to the story. Do not put in empty calories just because they rhyme.

    2. Think about how you would say each line if it were plain old conversation. Where would the stressed syllables fall then? If you’re “cheating” a little to make it sound rhythmic when you read it, it’s not going to cut the mustard.

    3. No forced rhymes or wonky wording. You know the ones. No one would ever put the words in that order unless they were trying to rhyme. It’s not quaint. Editors will stop reading.

    4. No near rhymes. Around does not rhyme with down. No exceptions. Okay, you might get something past an editor who is not a rhymer, but do you want to?

    5. Write in rhyme only if the story demands it. Most of my manuscripts are not in rhyme. Yes, it’s true that most of my published books are in rhyme, but they do kind of call for it. Check them out!

    Hang in there. Keep playing with the words. Give yourself a break and call the next rhyming piece you begin a practice one. Play away! I’ll be cheering you on…


  4. The alternative to all of the above is to publish yourself. I too gave up a well paid, secure job to become a children’s author/publisher, but I’m not relying on others to like my work, other than the children who I hope will buy my books. It’s hard work, but with persistence you can make it work. I’m just about to publish my 3rd book (my first was published in October 2010 and my 2nd in October 2011) and am confident that I will be making a reasonable living by the end of this year. Look me up at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kevin-Price/e/B0067XUF40/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

    Would be pleased to make proper contact to see whether we can help each other (I’m hoping to find some outlets in the US in the near future).


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