AVBOB Poetry Project | How to Prepare for Our Poetry Contests

How to Prepare for Our Poetry Contests

Not many poetry contests focus on words of comfort. If you want to share your heart with those still in the grip of the anguish and pain of losing someone, then our poetry contest is the perfect vehicle for doing so.

If you have missed the 2017 and 2018 poetry contests, don’t despair. It is 2019 and time to start afresh. Of course, we highly recommend reading the poems published. Inspiration is just around the corner. Once you have read and analysed the poems, it is time to hone in on your wordsmith skills.

Like with every other thing in life, it takes practice to become a skilled poet that is able to touch the hearts of people and to inpire. Even though poetry deals with creativity and emotions, as a poet you have to pay attention to grammar and spelling. There is some room for free expression, but the basics of good writing still apply.

Does it mean you must first become a published and cherished poet before you can enter one of our poetry contests? By no means! Be prepared to open yourself up to the world around you, as well as the world inside you. Do not flinch from pain, or get sentimental over beauty. Let perception be your guide, with your senses as your tools. Reflect on what makes us human and why pain can bring us to the brink of despair, or drive us to overcome.

Perhaps your father has passed away. Maybe you want to explain to others what an emptiness the passing of your brother has left in your heart, or maybe you want to give thanks for living and working alongside your husband for forty years before he passed away.

Sorrow has a way of connecting people. We may be from different races, or speak different languages, but we suffer the same. When people read your poems, you connect with their hearts. As such, our poetry contests bring the nation together. You can write in your home language, allowing you freedom of expression while writing. If you have missed our previous poetry contests, use the time until the start of the next one to write down ideas, images, notes, and plan for ways in which to express this in writing.

Read up about poetry and once you have learned about the basic rules of poetry, it is time to get words on paper. Write, trim away the dead wood, maybe write some more. Then polish it up, paying attention to sound, rhythm. In time you’ll get into the flow of things.

We invite you to read the published works of poets you like, paying attention to their growth from their early work to their later, more mature work. Read about our previous poetry contests and then visit our Facebook page where we share tips and insights. Stay connected as we gear up for another year of poetry contests that bring unity, comfort, and inspiration to South Africans.

Keep a close watch on our social media and website for announcements regarding poetry contests to ensure that you don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the next one.

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