R111. The Power of Poetic Play: Writing That Connects with Young Children

Grand Salon D, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


A rich pre-literacy environment enhances future skill in and enjoyment of reading, with poetry especially suited to the creation of this environment. How can we create texts that best engage young children? What part do poetic elements (rhythm, rhyme, repetition, pattern, wordplay, and sound) play in this—and why? Five writers for children discuss examples—from short verse to picture books—that encourage youngsters to actively listen, chime in, and cross into their own reading and writing.


Mary Quattlebaum is the author of twenty-five children's books, including picture books, novels, nonfiction, and poetry. She teaches in the MFA program in writing for children and young adults in the Vermont College of Fine Arts and frequently presents at schools.

J. Albert Mann is the author of five published middle grade and young adult novels. Her stories and poetry have appeared in Highlights for Children. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, where she also earned a Picture Book Intensive certificate.

Cate Berry is an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut picture book is slated for publication. Ms. Berry's work combines humor and playfulness with subversive themes and situations. She is interested in challenging gender stereotypes within picture book animals and characters.

Marianne Murphy received an MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Meg Cook is a writer for children and young adults. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside