How to write a tongue twister:


Aim for alliteration. Alliteration is a literary device by which you string together a group of words that begin with the same consonant sound. The words appear in quick succession, and they emphasize each other.[1] Tongues trip over the tricky tips of a thick alliterative twist. This will make your tongue twister much more difficult to say.
Alliteration can be as simple as two paired words that start with the same sound: “tongue twist,” “loose lips,” or “Peter Piper.” Make the alliterative string even harder to say by adding more words: “tricky tongue twist,” “last loose lips,” or “Peter Piper picked.”
Make sure that the alliterative words make sense together! A good tongue twister is more than just a string of random words and syllables. Seek to set down a sensible sentence.


Be conscious of consonance. Consonance describes the effect of consonants repeating within a word or a phrase. Think “pitter patter.” The more complex the consonant string, the more difficult your tongue twister will be to say. Try to put the consonant sounds together in quick succession.
Consider the tongue twister “Shelley sells seashells by the seashore.” The repetition of the “ell” sound in “Shelley,” “sells,” and “seashells” is a prime example of consonance, and it is part of why the phrase is so hard to say.[2]
If possible, put the consonant sounds right next to each other. The closer together the syllables, the more difficult the tongue twister. For instance, “s” sounds can be hard to pronounce in rapid succession.

Dance with assonance. Assonance is when a string of words repeats the same vowel sound, even if the words begin with different consonant sounds. Assonance is often used to lend a musical effecttongue-twister-contest-pic-3 to poetry and prose, and it can help give your tongue twister a driving rhythm.
Consider the tongue twister “Men sell the wedding bells.” The short “-e-” sound repeats throughout the phrase: Men sell the wedding bells.”[3]


Email your tongue twisters (two submissions per person) today to authorgeorgettelittlejohn@gmail.com.  Contest ends Sept 28th.  The winner will be announced Oct 5th.  Good luck!





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