Unless stated otherwise, all poetry on Swimming in Lines of Haiku is Copyright Kirsten Cliff and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from the author. kirsten(DOT)cliff(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Query Letter

I emailed a query letter to the editor of Australia's The School Magazine this morning proposing an activity on writing Found poetry.

This evolved in 2009 after I did a series of four poetry workshops for children from four local primary schools who were part of the Gifted and Talented Literary Programme. I had so much fun doing those workshops that I wanted to share the poetry writing exercises I'd devised with more children.

New Zealand's School Journal published by Learning Media was my first choice for publication. Many of New Zealand's great writers of children's literature have begun their publishing journey within the pages of the School Journal.

I adapted my Found poetry and List poetry worksheets into activities that I felt would sit well and work well within the School Journal set-up. I sent my query in and received a reply quicker than expected: the editors deciding that my activity wouldn't work as a self-directed classroom activity. So, I put the idea to bed.

Over the weekend I was reading an article about educational publishing and how many children's writers use this market to supplement their income. And that is where I found out that Australia had a school publication similar to ours.

I went through the guidelines on their website and found that with activities the protocol was to email the Editor first indicating the type of activity you have in mind. I only had to make a few small changes to my original query letter and I was good to go.

Now all my hard work in 2009 has a second chance to shine and I've got nothing to lose by putting myself and my ideas forward. Watch this space!


  1. Please let me know how you get on !!!

    I will be keeping my fingers crossed