The AVBOB Poetry Competition | The ABCs of Entering Poetry Competitions

The ABCs of Entering Poetry Competitions

Whether you are a reserved person on the quiet side, or if your brand is boisterous and outspoken, every individual has something to say. We all have a voice that can and must be heard, and sharing it with the world is one of the most empowering things you will ever do. If you have wanted to enter poetry competitions for a while but have not yet found the nerve to start, allow us to ease your uncertainties and fears with these helpful beginner’s tips.

Let Go of the Drive for Perfection

What stops most people from entering poetry competitions is not their limited vocabulary or lack of written prowess – it is the fear of failure. Not doing well, and indeed not being the best at something, are such intense fears for some people that they never even bother trying anything new. Creative endeavours always call us to try our best, but they demand authenticity, not perfection. Expanding your command of the language in which you wish to write and improving your composition skills are possible, but far more important is being real. Developing your unique, authentic voice is much more challenging than perfecting your writing and is a far more valuable way to use your time.

Find the Right Poetry Competitions

Challenging yourself as a poet is one thing but entering a contest you do not enjoy will not be greatly beneficial to you as an artist. Find competitions that explore topics or themes to which you can relate and which might coax out a side of your writing you have never before explored. Do not be afraid of tackling tough emotions, such as grief, anger, or hopeful expectation through your poetry. The right contest will grow you as a writer and offer your audience your valuable perspective on life.

Take Note of the Fine Print

Poetry competitions come with tons of competition rules and editorial guidelines. Ensure you understand the languages that are allowed, required length, and theme. Pay close attention to the evaluation criteria and edit your own work through this same lens once you have completed your piece. Remember to keep entry and closing dates in mind, so you do not miss the deadline and your chance to show your work.

Refine, Refine, Refine

When reading through your finished poem, do not be afraid to tweak anything that needs a little polish. Correct any spelling or grammar mistakes that need attention and concentrate your ideas into their purest form before adding any embellishing details. When it comes to editing your piece, do not stop until you are pleased with how the end product reflects what you want to show the world. A poem that flows, is full of substance and flair, and remains memorable long after reading it is a poem worth sharing.

Take Pride in Your Creativity

Win or lose, you are still an artist at heart, and you should be proud of your poem. Creativity does not exist, after all, because of what it can do for us; it exists merely for the sake of existing. Delight in your creativity and in the fact that sharing your magic is a beautiful reward in itself.

Go ahead and take the leap – pick up that pen today and make yourself heard.

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