The AVBOB Poetry Competition | Three Reasons to Consider Entering Poetry Contests

Three Reasons to Consider Entering Poetry Contests

Ask anyone with a penchant for writing to enter poetry or literary competitions, and they might initially freeze up in fear. When it comes to something as personal and profound as your poetry, the word “contest” can evoke somewhat harrowing imagery. You know, a cut-throat competition, literary rivalry between poets, the eternal damnation of ominous judges attacking the little darlings that you have so painstakingly curated onto the page. Not to mention the actual moment where you might have to get up and read the poem in front of an audience full of people, which, undoubtedly in your mind, are more unforgiving than you would like.

If, when you hear “poetry contests”, your imagination runs a little wild, it is safe to say that you have the vision of a writer. However, before you think of all the scary things and foresee the worst-case scenario, why not consider the unparalleled benefits of entering such a competition? There is a reason why poetry contests have been in existence for hundreds of years, and they are certainly not going out of style anytime soon. Writing is, of course, deeply personal, but it is also a gift that should be shared with the world. So, if you have ever considered entering poetry contests, there are a few great reasons to do so. Let us explore them!

1. Enhances Your Visibility as a Writer

Perhaps one of the key reasons why poets and writers enter literary competitions is the ability for such contests to accelerate your visibility. The literary world, much like many other industries, is mainly about networking and exposure. The more people who see and experience your work, the more comprehensive your audience becomes. Moreover, when you engage with fellow poets and experts in the industry, you also bolster your credibility as a writer and build a name for yourself.

2. Promotes Publishing Opportunities

Poetry contests can also be an excellent steppingstone to becoming a published writer. This might be in the form of a poetry anthology that is released after the competition or might come from the future opportunities that networking and newfound credibility offer. Winners of our contests, for example, are published in our annual print anthology entitled “I Wish I’d Said.” The three volumes include poetry in all 11 official South African languages and contain over 100 original poems. If you would like to get your hands on one and grow your own poetry collection, you can order one online here.

3. Improves Productivity and Writing

Perhaps one of the most exciting things about poetry competitions is that they can inspire people to take their writing more seriously and boost production. Regardless of whether you win an award, this motivation is precious and can enhance your abilities and productivity as a writer. In addition, entering a competition offers an element of accountability, and sometimes, having a deadline can be the greatest motivation to put the words onto the page.

Explore Contest Winners, New and Old

If you are ready to take the leap and explore the world of poetry contests, be sure to explore our literary library, which contains an extensive database of poems. Whether you are a seasoned poet or dabbling in the art for the first time, there is a place for you and your voice. We celebrate diversity and encourage poets from all 11 official languages to keep an eye out for future contests. Since 2017, we have received over 80 000 poems from over 18 000 writers.

Themes are diverse and cover love, hope, death, and birth. Amazingly, there is a diversity of age too, with poets as young as ten and as old as 97 entering the mix. When it comes to poetry competitions and poetry in general, you are never too young or old to speak the words that are in your heart and share your story.

If you want to learn more about our previous contests and our work at The AVBOB Poetry Project in general, get in touch with us and also explore the vast array of poetry from our talented community. We look forward to hearing from you and to hearing your voice.