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Word Lists and Poetry

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I have a poem that's waiting to be send out to the world!  It's for preschool kids or first grade. I've included the word "irk" in that poem. Would it be appropriate for that age?  Is there any site where I can check the grade level of the words I use? 

I found a tool where I can post my work and they will tell me, but it, also, says that they are free to use the writing posted there without any compensation! When you use the site, you authorize them to use your work.

Any comments appreciated.
#1 - May 10, 2016, 08:22 PM

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Hi. I would not post your work at a site like you describe. Not only would they be free to use it, but your work could then be considered published with first printing rights lost. Many publications only take first rights which would mean you wold not be able to submit this particular piece to any of those markets.

Regarding the word "irk" - that is not a preschool to 1st grade level word. I have a great book titled "Children's Writer's Word Book (2nd edition) put out by Writer's Digest Books which has word lists grouped by grades K - 6th, and "irk" is listed as 6th grade level.

As far as online word sites, there may be some, but I'm not familiar with any that I could recommend. If you plan to write for grades K through 6th grade I would recommend the book I mentioned. I believe I bought it at Amazon, though it may be available at Barnes & Noble or other places as well. Most of my children's writing has been for grades K - 6 and the book has been invaluable. When writing for children word choice is very important, and in poetry it is especially important.

I hope I've been of some help. Good luck.
#2 - May 10, 2016, 09:06 PM
« Last Edit: May 10, 2016, 09:10 PM by AzGuy »
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AzGuy, thanks. Your reply has been most helpful. The book sounds great.
I didn't post on the site mentioned, but I almost did. It's important to read the fine print to avoid giving away first rights almost without noticing.
#3 - May 11, 2016, 03:11 PM

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Zoraida, I also use Alejandra Moligner's Word book. However, if you intend for the child to be read to, I don't see a problem with using "irk." It actually sounds exactly like how you'd feel if you were irked, no?

Since you are an SCBWI member, you can post your poem on the critique boards and get some feedback if you wish.

Vijaya
#4 - May 11, 2016, 06:59 PM
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Author of over 40 books and 60 magazine pieces

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I agree. Irk doesn't bother me for this age.

I also would not post anything on that board. As Vijaya suggested the boards here are great and private. :)
#5 - May 12, 2016, 05:48 AM
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Thanks, Vijaya and Schriscoe. I've never posted my work on the boards here. I might just do that.
I get a lot out of my membership, but I know I'm not taking full advantage, yet. I 'm on it!
#6 - May 12, 2016, 06:40 AM

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