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Cinquain Poetry Writing Workshop


A cinquain (pronounced sing-cane) is a simple five line poem that's really easy to learn.

Cinquains do not need to rhyme but they have to follow a certain pattern using syllables.


So first things first, let's refresh your memory on what a syllable is.

A syllable is a part of a word that has one vowel sound, e.g. cat, dog, book all have one syllable. Chic-ken, rab-bit, kit-ten all have two. If you're not sure how many syllables a word has, try clapping along to it.

Let's see how many syllables we need in each line:

 The first line has 2 syllables
 The second line has 4 syllables
 The third line has 6 syllables
 The fourth line has 8 syllables
 The fifth line has 2 syllables

Your cinquain can be on any topic. Grab your pen and make a list of possible subjects. When you have decided on a subject to write about, jot down some words. The first line is usually the same as the title of the poem. Try to think of some good describing words (adjectives) and action words (verbs) to use in your cinquain.


Here is an example of a Cinquain:

Scribbler! (2)
Creative, fun (4)
Writing, reading, smiling (6)
We love to read it all the time (8)
Best mag! (2)

Your Turn

Finished? Why not submit your poem to Young Writers and we will enter it into one of our competitions.

Alternatively send your poem to:

Young Writers, Remus House, Coltsfoot Drive, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 9BF or email it to