Refers to the repetition of identical consonant sounds at the beginning of words in close proximity (Peter Piper picked a peck).

A reference made to another text within a text. This reference can be made in passing, or it can be directly stated. Allusions are made assuming the reader will also be familiar with the other work, and that it will help readers better understand an idea.

The relationship between certain aspects of one thing that are comparable to something else, even though there is no direct relationship between the two.

A phrase within a sentence or line of poetry that offers another way of describing the subject — i.e., The sunflowers, those shaggy-headed monsters growing against the fence, seemed to leer at everyone who walked the back lane.

A Greek philosopher who wrote about drama in the fifth century B.C.

Refers to the repetition of identical vowel sounds in different, closely associated words (in Xanadu did Kubla Khan).

The rise and fall of pitch of your voice — the inflection of your speech.

call and response
A style of singing when a melody sung by one singer is echoed or responded to by another or others.

A small collection of poetry, often on a particular theme. Print poetry chapbooks are saddle-stitched (like a pamphlet or magazine), inexpensive to produce, and poets often produce their chapbooks themselves.

A metaphor, simile, or saying that has become so overused that it is no longer unique, e.g., strong as a bull, happy as a clam, big as a house.

Expressions, written or spoken, that are usually found in informal situations or in language confined to a particular region. For example: "Hiya’" is an informal way of saying "hello."

An expression of opinion about a subject or event.

commercial publisher
Also called trade publisher. They purchase the right to publish a manuscript (usually together with other rights, known as subsidiary rights). Commercial publishers are very selective, publishing only manuscripts they feel will sell enough copies. They handle the editing, publication, distribution, and marketing with no cost to the author, and may pay an advance on royalties to the author.

compound sentence
A sentence with two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction.

The use of compression means more is communicated in fewer words — the language is concentrated, with non-essential words removed.

confessional poetry
Poetry that deals with the personal material of the poet's life, using the "I" point of view, often sharing emotional, intimate experiences.

A struggle between opposing forces which is the driving force of a story. Conflicts can exist between individual characters, between groups of characters, between a character and society, etc., and can also be purely abstract (conflicting ideas).

The repetition of similar consonant sounds at the ends of closely associated syllables or words (for example, gored/bored, given/heaven).

A restriction imposed while writing, most often by the writer, in order to change the shape or outcome of a piece of writing. Rick Moody wrote his wonderful story "Boys" by placing a constraint upon himself that all sentences must begin with the phrase "Boys enter the house."

Two successive lines of verse that rhyme and are usually of equal length. I think it is time / You learned to rhyme.

creative non-fiction
A genre of writing that uses literary devices and techniques to tell a fact-based narrative (i.e., memoir, personal essay, etc.).

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A literary technique used to produce a specific effect in writing (i.e., simile, symbol, personification, etc.).

Diction refers to the choice of words in speech or a text. Both subject and audience will play a part in the selection of a particular diction. Diction can be described in polarities such as formal or informal, ornate or simple, etc. Poetic diction refers to the choice of words in a poem.

Refers to a harsh rhythm, or lack of harmony between sounds. Dissonance is similar to cacophony, and opposite to euphony.

Breaks a line in the middle of a sentence, clause or phrase. Where enjambment occurs, the meaning straddles two lines, or two verses. Sometimes two meanings are created. One is complete at the end of the line, the other is complete only once the reader has reached the end of the phrase, clause or sentence on the next line.

The study of the origin of words and how their meanings have changed over a history.

A work of writing about imaginary people and events (i.e., novels, short stories).

flash fiction
A style of fictional writing that is extremely short — usually around 500 words.

free verse
Unrhymed poetry that does not follow a strict metrical pattern, description of line lengths, or number of syllables per line. Free verse poems use other patterns to create a coherent whole.

A method of creative writing which involves writing without censoring or editing as you write. I.e., put pen to paper, begin to write, keep going even when it seems you've run out of things to say.

"Type" or "kind," as in "what kind of novel do you like?" Jules has two favourite genres of fiction — mystery and fantasy novels.

A sermon or speech intended to offer moral guidance.

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iambic pentameter
A ten-syllable per line form of poetry, using a pattern of rhythm which places the stress on every second syllable. These are known as feet. I.e., When I have fears that I may cease to be (Keats). Iambic pentameter is poetic rhythm consisting of lines of five iambic feet (five pairs of stressed and unstressed syllables).
iambic pentameter example
(The "u" indicates an unstressed syllable; the "/" indicates a stressed syllable.)

The language or way of speaking that is typical of a particular group of people or region; a manner of speaking that is natural to native speakers of a language. You are the apple of my eye.

A word or group of words in a story or poem that appeals to one or more of the senses: sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell.

Immersion Journalism is a branch of nonfiction writing that uses personal experience as a method of research.

A piece of art designed to transform a particular room or building into something other than a room in an art gallery. Installations often use complex audio-visual equipment and can be intensely immersive experiences. (E.g., "In the studio space this week we have an installation by John Doe entitled ‘Space’" from theatrecrafts.)

literary agent
A professional agent who represents an author and their written works to publishers.

literary fiction or literature
Sometimes considered a genre in itself. Literature encourages the reader to participate intellectually, imaginatively, and emotionally; it has a lasting interest and can be read more than once and still be enjoyed every time. Many novels of other genres are considered literature.

literary journalism
True events reported with literary techniques.

lyric essays
A form that blends poetry with essay.

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A direct comparison. It is a figure of speech in which like and unlike things are brought together as if they were one. For example: His words were a knife that cut me deeply. And, Anger is a caged beast.

A recognizable flow of rising and falling sounds: the varying pattern of stressed syllables alternating with syllables of less stress. Each unit of stress and unstressed syllables is called a "foot." There are many possible patterns of verse including the following types of feet: the iambic, anapest, trochee, and dactyl.

mnemonic device
A system or device that helps remember something. For example, the name "Roy G Biv" helps remember the order of colours of the spectrum: Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo and Violet.

A recurring idea, action, pattern or image that has symbolic significance in a story. The repeition can contribute to theme and mood. Different moments and memories in a story might appear separate except for the connection through a motif. For example, the glass menagerie itself in Tennesee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie.

A style of writing that tells a story; a narrative style can be used in a novel, short story, poem, or essay where the writer is telling a story or recounting events.

narrative view
The perspective from which a narrative is related.

nature essays
Often descriptive, this essay presents the world of nature and usually some commentary on human interaction with the natural world.

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A type of figurative language where the writer uses words whose pronunciation imitates the sound the word describes. The word "spit" sounds rather like the act of spitting.

A blueprint or road map to help you structure your writing; in fiction, a sequential summary of the events in a story.

The repetition of a syntactic construction for rhetorical effect.

A type of literary work that idealizes country life.

In literary terms, the persona is the narrator or storyteller — sometimes used interchangeably with character.

A type of figurative language where the writer gives an inanimate or nonliving thing human characteristics. The tree branches waved and the leaves laughed.

A significant pattern of events in a story, relying on cause and effect.

plot map
A plan or map of a story's structure and sequence of events.

poet laureate
A representative appointed to write poems for various official occasions, and to promote the art within their country (or city).

praise poem
A poem in which the theme or intention is to speak positively about its subject; in other words, to praise it.

present tense
Writing that takes place in the moment, play-by-play. For example, I am sitting on the fence. I do not know where I have come from. I cannot see the future.

Ordinary language that is not set to a rhythm or rhyme. Prose is the form of language found in novels, plays, stories. You are reading prose right now.

prose poem
A poem that appears as prose, without line breaks, but employs poetic techniques such as compression, rhyme, repetition, etc.

A version of a text, such as a new edition or an expanded or abridged version.

reverse outline
An outline you write after you've written the first draft. A reverse outline helps you see your existing structure, so you can check your sequence of events and progression of your main ideas.

Persuasive writing or speaking, using devices designed to have an effect on the reader or listener.

The repetition of similar sounds at the end of two or more lines of poetry.
I think that now is the time / For you to understand rhyme.

rhyme scheme
The pattern of rhymed words at the end of the lines of a poem. Each new rhyme sound is assigned a letter from the alphabet beginning with "a." This poem has an abcb rhyme scheme:

Roses are reda
Violets are blueb
Sugar is sweetc
And so are youb

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Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. Many magazines still require you to send a SASE in order to receive a response.

self publishing
The publication of writing by writers themselves, in print or digital form. Self-published works are not submitted for consideration to editors at publishing houses, and writers who self-publish must conduct all editing, marketing, and distribution themselves, or else hire services.

The location, geography or time period in which a story is told.

short story
A story written in prose that is significantly shorter than a novel.

An outright comparison using "like," "as," or "as if." For example: The raindrops sparkled like diamonds on the window pane. My soul is like a soaring swift.

Lines spoken by a character to him or herself rather than to another character. The character is "thinking aloud" in order to reveal information about him/herself or an event that the audience needs to know.

A fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter, following a specific rhyme scheme, with a shift or change within the poem that is often a question being answered or a conclusion being reached. The two most common types of sonnets are the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean.

Lacking in movement, action, or change.

stream-of-consciousness writing
A style of writing that reveals the random thoughts and actions of a character (or the author in nonfiction) as a continuous flow.

Considering the whole. A substantive edit will clarify and reorganize a piece of writing for content and structure.

Underlying meaning. In dialogue, subtext is what the speaker really means, even if what they say is different

An object that represents or stands in for a more abstract idea — for example, a dove is a symbol for peace. The colour white might symbolize peace, purity, or surrender.

A figure of speech based on the association of ideas where a part stands in or represents a whole. I have five mouths to feed. Mouths represent people. Check out my new wheels. Wheels represent a car.

The arrangement of words and phrases to form clauses and sentences.

Three-line stanzas of poetry that may or may not rhyme.

A central idea or purpose in a poem or a short story that usually gives insight into human nature or human experience. A theme is not usually directly stated, but implied through the story.

Choice, judgment, or control of when to place emphasis, use pauses, or shift the speed or loudness when speaking or reading aloud.

The attitude of the speaker and the emotional quality of the sound — not what is said, but how it's said. For example, If someone reads a poem without expression, the tone is called flat.

vanity press
Sometimes known as subsidy publisher, a vanity press will charge a fee to produce a book, yet still presents itself as a publisher. Some companies that do little more than produce a print run that's shipped to the author, and others provide a menu of design, editing, distribution, and marketing services in addition to book production — all charged to the author.

Refers to the dominant tone of a literary work that underlies the character or narrator.

writer's block
An obstruction between the writer and the writers' ideas.

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