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Write Links

Sound in Stories – Workshop led by Yvonne Mes

By Sophia Evans

It’s sometimes called ‘Professional Development’, other times ‘Ask An Expert’ and quite often ‘Writing Workshop’. But no matter what it’s called, one of my favourite parts of our monthly Write Links meetings is our ‘Writers Activation’ sessions—time to put aside all thoughts and just write.

February’s meeting featured the amazingly talented, energetic Yvonne Mes. It’s sometimes hard to make assonance, alliteration, and onomatopoeia SOUND exciting, but Yvonne succeeded.




The Technical Wordy Stuff:
: The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds close together.

Eg. Try to light the fire.

Alliteration: The same letter or sound at the beginning of close words.

Eg. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Onomatopoeia: A word used as a specific sound.

Eg. Bang! Crash! Beep. Buzz. Eek.


We explored a few successful titles that use these techniques. I can’t remember all of Yvonne’s fabulous examples (because I was having so much fun, I forgot to take notes), so here are a few of my favourite books that use these techniques:










I’m sure there are examples that don’t include animals, but apparently I have a type ?


Yvonne then set us a challenge. Write whatever comes into your mind using one of these techniques and a song title. Some of the song titles swished off the screen and into our brains; instantly inspiring. Other song titles remained in black and white for someone else to pick them up later. Pencils, pens and devices at the ready; the timer started, and we wrote.

Below are a few samples from our talented bunch.

If you want to try this yourself, simply pick a familiar (or unfamiliar) song title and try to include assonance, alliteration or onomatopoeia in your musings. Squeeze in some rhyme if you want. Set a timer and just write.


Happy Writing,



Paperback Rap – written by Karen Tyrrell

(based on the song title Paperback Writer by The Beatles)


Paperback writer, it’s an all-nighter

Pick up your pen and writer

Read write repeat

Read write repeat

Don’t be a slacker

Be a word attacker.


Poetry slam, junior fiction mam

Middle-grader, midnight slayer

Read write repeat

Read write repeat

Word’s really matter

Paperback chatter.



Dancing Barefoot – written by Alison McCaffrey

(based on the song title Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith)


Tip toe and tumble down the hallway to the stairs

Silent on the carpet when little toes are bare


Swish swish swish twirling whirling round and round

Along the hall so tall until we all fall down


Cheeky monkeys making music with the whispers from our feet

Psst Psst Psst as though we’re streaking down a street


Even when the stoplight eeks a red and endless glow

Tiny little feet will barely stop before they go


 Finally we reach the top and slowly peeking round

Tip toe to the top step and then wildly giggling down


Slap slap slap the feet go running down the hall



Fame or Flame? – written by Sophia Evans

(based on the song title Fame!)


I’m going to set the stage up in flame!

Only problem? I’ve such a lame name…

Hmmm. Change to stage name! Genius!

Flame-boy-ant? Maybe not.

Flaming flambe? No way!

Flame-ingo! Yay!

Now to sort out a flapping, flashing, flamenco ensemble.

Fell on stage. Shame.

Try again? Maybe tomorrow.


About Sophia Evans Sophia has published various fiction and non-fiction pieces through Library For All; a self-published picture book; and short stories featuring in two anthologies. She is a primary school teacher by day, a writer in the evening, and a uni student in all her free time where she is over half-way through a Masters in Creative Writing. More info and shenanigans at

Image credits: Jenny Stubbs

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