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Poetry practice

Inspiring ideas for animal poems from Doris Corti

Writing about an animal is always a popular theme. The animal you choose could be a favourite pet or possibly one in the wild, or something seen at a zoo. Start by writing a simple description of the size of animal, colour of its skin or fur, not forgetting its eyes and tail. Put all this down in a few lines, possibly in prose to begin with.

Think about how this animal moves. Does it run or crawl, does it slither or swim round in a pond or goldfish bowl? Write a short description about this. Don’t forget the colour or colours of this animal, particularly the eyes, and jot down whether it has rough hair, cool skin or bushy tail.

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FREE 2016 Competition supplement: Win £400,388 in over 250 writing competitions • The bigger prize: Why comps are good for you , win or lose • Beat the Brontës: Explore Charlotte's style and try your hand in our special competition • How to: Craft credible historical fiction Use humour in your writing Learn from the short story masters • Star interview with TV scriptwriter Sally Wainwright, Bafta-winning author of Happy Valley

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