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Write Like a Pirate


Ahoy, scallywags—er, mateys! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day, savvy? 

A Bit o’ History

In 1995, friends John Baur (AKA “Ol’ Chumbucket”) and Mark Summers (AKA “Cap’n Slappy”), decided to create this quirky, fun holiday dedicated to celebrating pirate culture. Ever since then on September 19 each year, everyone, everywhere is encouraged to talk like a pirate. (There are restaurants that give freebies if you dress and talk like a pirate today, so you might want to check in your area.)

When I say “write like a pirate”, I do not mean to raid, pillage, plunder, plagiarize, and pilfer your weasley-black guts out. The writing community (and civilization in general) frowns upon that. 

No, I mean to write adventurously. Show us a swashbuckling sword fight, hidden treasure troves, and slithery sea monsters! 

I’ll be sharing a few magnificent resources for writing pirate fiction. I’ve done a lot of research for my upcoming children’s chapter book, and here are some of my favorites. 

Writing Resources

1. The Pirate Primer – If you fancy writing pirate stories, you’ll want to snag this. It has many words and phrases defined and references to the book and movie pirates that have previously used them. 

2. The Beginner’s Guide to the Long Sword – This is currently sitting in my Amazon cart. I’m working on a fighting scene and want to get it just right. I’ve read and watched many pirate-y things (Children’s books, history books, Pirates of the Caribbean), but I usually find how-to books useful. A sword-fighting class might be a fun alternative. 

3. Pirate Name Generator – I’ve found these online, and although I didn’t use a single name they generated (Shark Bait and Zigzag were interesting), they did spark my creativity. 

4. Pirateology— A book with great information about The Golden Age of Piracy. It’s meant for a younger audience, but worth a look. There are a lot of great pirate history books to choose from. The more you know about the time, the more believable your story will be. 

5. A pirate translator – OK, this one is ‘tis fer fun. It doesn’t translate everything, but it might come in handy. They even have a pirate insult generator!

If ye be writing a story about pirates, ‘tis a grand idea to study the classic pirate tales of old. There are some newer ones out there worth mentioning as well. 

A Few Books to Consider

So, what arrr ye waitin’ for? Crank up some sea shanties, break out the rum, and write (or read), me hearties! Yo ho!

On behalf of Pikes Peak Writers and myself, Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Trista Herring Baughman is a blogger, the Managing Editor of Writing from the Peak (PPW’s blog,)  and the Managing Editor of Mississippi Folklore, a collaborative collection of Mississippi folklore and legends in a bi-monthly blog. Her books, The Magic TelescopeHalloween Night and Other Poemsand Zombiesaurs (which she co-illustrated with her sons), can be found at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Trista on her website for more info.

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