The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

About Us

Dirigible Balloon was the name used to describe the newly invented airships in the 18th century. From ideas originating in China, the development of hot-air balloons was carried out by French brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier.

On October 15th 1783 Jean-Francois Pilâtre de Rozier made the first tethered flight, on November 21st Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes made the first free ascent and by January 19th 1784, a balloon had carried several passengers to a height of 3000 feet over the city of Lyons!

Here at The Dirigible Balloon we want to be a webzine featuring poetry written for children by both new and established poets. Our aim is to try and publish a fresh batch of poems every month with the first flight taking place on August 1st 2021.

We want to showcase the best poetry that writers for children have to offer. Unlike poetry written for adult audiences, there are limited opportunities for these poets to get their work seen by kids in schools, youth groups or indeed appreciated by the writing community as a whole. Writers of poems for adults have a range of possibilities available to them whereas, for some reason, with a few notable exceptions (like the brilliant Caterpillar Magazine) poetry for children is not represented as widely. Here at The Dirigible Balloon, we want to help address that imbalance.

With this is mind, we want poems that take our young readers on a journey, lifting their thoughts, feelings and aspirations as though they were on an exciting flight, expanding their horizons and having lots of fun in the process.

The Dirigible Balloon has no commercial aspect (no charges, advertising, promotions or cookies). The webzine is edited on a voluntary and unpaid basis. Unfortunately, we cannot offer writers and artists any payment should their work be selected for publication.

The poets, who have kindly given us permission to upload their wonderful poems, retain the copyright for their work on the understanding that The Dirigible Balloon has permission to publish and archive their poems in an online format.

Here at The Dirigible Balloon, we would love to read and see your creative work. Please see our submission guidelines for further details.

Poetry Submission Guidelines:

1. Send up to 3 poems via email to editor at dirigibleballoon dot org

2. Please send all poems in one word document attachment.

3. Please write 'Poetry Submission (Your Name)' in the subject line of the e-mail.

4. Poems should be the author’s own work (nothing borrowed from other writers please … plagiarised work will not be used), we prefer them to be previously unpublished (although personal online blogs are fine) and be no longer than 50 lines.

5. Unusual formatting of poems can cause us a few problems, but we will endeavour to reproduce the layout as best we can (left justified stanzas are definitely easier to upload to our site).

6. Simultaneous submissions are fine, just let us know as soon as possible if the work has been accepted elsewhere and if you’d like it withdrawn.

7. Send a short author biography of between 50 to 80 words in the body of the e-mail with your submission.

8. A short cover letter accompanying the submission would be much appreciated in the body of the e-mail.

9. If any poem we publish goes on to be published elsewhere then we will be delighted for you and thrilled if you would give The Dirigible Balloon a mention.

10. The editor’s decision with regards to what appears in the webzine is final. We will do our very best to give a personal and timely response to each submission. Sometimes a poem will not suit our style of webzine. This might not be a reflection on the quality of the poem, but rather just the opinion of one person and the poem could be viewed favourably by someone else (no offence will have been meant by any rejection). Apologies, but further correspondence in the event of an unsuccessful submission will not be entered into by the editor of The Dirigible Balloon.

11. Successful placement of a poem in The Dirigible Balloon will not exclude the poet from submitting further work in subsequent months.

12. Picture submissions should be in a jpeg format with images a little larger than 1000 pixels across to keep them looking sharp on the page. Landscape images work best as they are least likely to disturb the layout of the poem.

13. The editor at The Dirigible Balloon reserves the right to update and amend these guidelines should the need arise.

Right … time to cut a few sandwiches, make a flask of tea as well as find my flying helmet and goggles for the flight.