Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wednesday Writing Workout: Combining Poetry and Nonfiction, and a Book Giveaway!

Today I'm happy to bring you a Wednesday Writing Workout from nonfiction author and poet extraordinaire, Kimberly Hutmacher.

Kimberly is the author of 32 nonfiction books for children and 150+ articles, stories, and poems for magazines! Her latest is a series of three books on musical instruments, French Horn, Harp, and Djembe, to be released by Weigl AV2 Publishing in  2020. When Kimberly isn't working on a book project, she blogs for Poetry Friday at Kimberly Hutmacher Writes. She also contributes activities, crafts, and book recommendations to S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry, a site featuring inspiring STEAM-themed poetry videos for grades K-8.

To celebrate her appearance here on TeachingAuthors, Kimberly is giving away a copy of her book Your Nose Never Stops Growing and Other Cool Human Body Facts (Capstone Press) to one lucky TeachingAuthors reader.

Did you know the smallest muscle in the human body is located inside the ear? Did you know the average American shoe size has increased 2 sizes since 1970? Did you know tooth enamel is the hardest part of the body? Your Nose Never Stops Growing and Other Cool Human Body Facts is brimming with interesting and unusual human body trivia. The book is part of Capstone's Mind Blowing Facts Series. See the end of this post for instructions on how to enter to win your own copy! But first, here's Kim's Wednesday Writing Workout.

Wednesday Writing Workout:
Combining Poetry and Nonfiction

My two favorite writing genres are poetry and nonfiction. In my work, the two forms often collide. My nonfiction picture book, Paws, Claws, Hands, and Feet (Arbordale 2009) and my nonfiction series of books on time for Capstone Press are written in rhyme. Sometimes, I’m asked to write STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) poems for a curriculum or a testing company. Once in a while, I’ll write a STEAM-themed poem for a magazine. I contribute accompanying activities, crafts, and book recommendations to Heidi Bee Roemer’s S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry Vlog. Today’s Wednesday Writing Workout lets us stretch both our nonfiction and our poetry writing muscles. 

Step 1: Find and read a STEAM-themed article that interests you. Here are a few online publications you might find helpful:
Step 2: Read the article again, and jot down some notes: key points, interesting words, descriptions of images that come to mind, questions you have about the topic and/or anything you might want to research further, etc.

Step 3: Write a poem based on what you’ve read. Your poem can be a feast for readers covering an entire process (Example: water cycle) or introduce readers to just a small taste of your topic (Example: evaporation). Your poem can be as long or as short as you like and it can be written in any form.

The following poem is an example of how I used this process for a Today’s Little Ditty Challenge at Michelle Heidenrich’s blog. Linda Mitchell challenged us to write a found haiku from any article on any subject that fascinated us. For this particular challenge, our haiku had to be made up of all words/phrases from the article. The article about spiders that inspired my poem can be found here on the News&Observer site.
And here's my haiku:

               Half as strong as steel
          Silk produced from spinnerets
               All done by instinct

       Copyright 2019 Kimberly M. Hutmacher

Remember, for this exercise,  there are no word, phrase, or form requirements. Just try to keep it on a STEAM topic.

Magazine publishers are looking more and more for STEAM-related content. Once you’ve written your poem and revised it to the best of your ability, you might consider submitting it to a children’s magazine for consideration. Click here for a list of possible markets.

Be sure to stop by the S.T.E.A.M. Powered Poetry Vlog to view inspiring STEAM-themed poetry videos. New videos and content are added every month. Be sure to follow and subscribe!


A big THANK YOU to Kimberly for today's Wednesday Writing Workout and for providing a book for today's giveaway.

Readers, before you leave, be sure to enter our giveaway for a chance to win her book Your Nose Never Stops Growing and Other Cool Human Body Facts (Capstone Press).

To enter our drawing, use the Rafflecopter widget below. You may enter via 1, 2, or all 3 options. (Note: if the widget doesn't appear, click on the link at the end of this post that says "a Rafflecopter giveaway" to enter.)

If you choose option 2, you MUST leave a comment on TODAY'S blog post or on our TeachingAuthors Facebook page. If you haven't already "liked" our Facebook page, please do so today!

In your comment, we'd love if you would share a STEAM-related topic you enjoy reading.

If you prefer, you may submit your comment via email to: teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com.

Note: if you submit your comments via email or Facebook, YOU MUST STILL ENTER THE DRAWING VIA RAFFLECOPTER BELOW. The giveaway ends December 18, 2019 and is open to U.S. residents only.

Posted by Carmela 

P.S. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address.

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Heidi Bee Roemer said...

I'm so happy to see my friend and vlog partner, Kimberly Hutmacher, featured on your blog. Kim is a gifted writer who has "stuck with it" and achieved so much. Thanks for putting the spotlight on this dedicated author and sharing her writing smarts with your followers!

Linda Mitchell said...

I love this interview! I follow Kimberly's poetry blog and am pleased to learn just how prolific she has been and continues to be. Science articles are fun for me. I love to read them and "find" poetry phrases later to reassemble into a poem. I am taking this writing work-out challenge with me into this weekend. I will probably publish something on my PF blog when I'm done. Great job highlighting this author. Thank you!

Danielle H. said...

This idea for generating poems is excellent and I love the tip about writing down key words and plan to use this for my writing. I enjoy reading anything about space and the ocean too.

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks you, Heidi. We're happy to feature Kim.

Carmela Martino said...

Linda, glad to know you're taking on Kim's challenge. Enjoy!

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for stopping by, Danielle!

Mary Lee said...

This is just the writing idea I needed for my information writing unit...perfect for those 4 wonky days leading up to the holiday break! THANKS!

Michelle Kogan said...

Great post and interview Carmela, and Kimberly's book sounds fascinating, thanks!

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for stopping by Michelle!

Kimberly Hutmacher said...

I'm so glad you've all found this post helpful. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your kind words.

John Smith said...

I love learning science facts, and reading books about inventive thinkers from the past!