Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ten Top Tips.

Ten Top Tips for Entering Poetry Competitions.
Author unknown.
NOTE : these details are extracted from the internet.
1. Wherever you are and whatever the time of day, always keep a notebook handy. You never know when the inspiration for a new poem will come to you. It’s so easy to forget your ideas when you’ve lots of other things on your mind – and you might just be losing a winner.
2. Avoid hackneyed themes. You might have just had a painful love affair and want to write about it – but so will many other poets. Unless you can bring something new and original to your theme the judges will pass it by. The same goes for natural disasters, wars and abuse. They tug at your heart strings, but they also inspire many other poets.
3. Most competitions are open – so they will accept both free verse or rhyming work. But don’t mistake free verse for a slab of prose. There is a distinct difference between the two and poetry must have structure and rhythm. It must also be properly punctuated. Punctuation in poetry can be more fluid and imaginative but it must still do its intended job – to indicate pauses and breathing spaces.
4. If you do chose to use a specific form – such as a sonnet or a limerick – make sure that you follow the necessary metre and rhyming scheme. And don’t invert phrases unnaturally to get appropriate rhymes at the end of lines – this is a real ‘no-no’ for judges.
5. Never use ‘antique’ phrases such ‘thus’, ‘poesy’ and ‘doest’. Also, check your similes and metaphors carefully to make sure that they are fresh and original.
6. Always follow the rules – so watch your line limit. If the organisers say 40 lines you’ll be throwing away your money if your poem runs to 45.
7. Don’t get unhealthily attached to a particular poem. If it’s not been placed in a couple of competitions try to look at it objectively. You might be able to use the same theme but how about starting again and re-working it?
8. Polish, polish and polish again. Make sure your work is perfect. When competition is fierce only the best will win.
9. When entering a competition give yourself plenty of time. We all know that you can dash off a poem and then send it by email the day before the deadline. But, you need to be able to put your work aside after you have written it and then come back to it with a fresh mind so that you can spot any flaws. 
And don’t forget Tip 8, above.
10. Finally, and probably most importantly, write with integrity. Make every entry your best, irrespective of how large or how small the prize money.

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