Poetry can be an outlet. It can be used to express your feelings, emotions and your thoughts on the world. Whether you write poetry or read it, you can experience a lot of benefits from it. If you've only read poetry writing poetry can be the next step in appreciating poetry. It's like reading a book and then trying to write one. You can understand the work and skill that goes into writing a book. The same goes for poetry.
If you decide to pick up that pen and start writing poetry, you'll eventually want to submit your poetry. To have your work read by others. It can also be a way to get good feedback and help you get better at writing better poems. Writing poetry, you'll also be able to meet other poets that share the same passion for poetry as you. It can be an excellent way to build a community around poetry. There are several poetry competitions in Canada that you can start competing in.
Local Poetry Competitions
Most of the larger cities will have poetry nights either at a club, bar or cafe. Often it's not for competition. It's just an excellent way to let loose, hear some poetry and share some of your own. Sometimes these poetry nights will have competitions. You can share your best work and see where you stand as a poet. There are cash prizes as well when it comes to these competitions. As we mentioned above, most larger cities have these poetry nights, but smaller towns might as well. You'll have to check. If they don't have a poetry night, you can be the one to set it up. Chances are there are other poets in your city looking for the same thing.
Magazine Poetry Competitions
Poetry magazines run competitions all the time. You'll easily be able to find a poetry magazine that is holding a contest. Magazine competitions will be looking for a particular genre or theme. You may have to search for a poetry magazine that matches your style. Lucky for you, there are lots of magazines out there. Free Fall Magazine and Arc Poetry Magazine offer competitions a couple of times of the year. Some magazines will need a fee before applying, so be on the lookout. Magazine poetry competitions will also have strict guidelines, so always double-check your work. You would hate to miss out on the competition because of something small.
Poetry Competitions in Canada
There aren't too many in-person competitions in Canada for poetry, but there are a couple. We did, however, want to mention some of the most significant poetry competitions in Canada. There are several competitions in Canada that you can apply for you. You have to get out there and start writing. Just like magazine competitions, these poetry guidelines can be strict and must be followed. Here are the competitions that are worth checking out. Good luck.
The Griffin Trust For Excellence in Poetry
Their poetry competition is for publishers only, but if you're looking to be a poet, it's a worthy goal to work towards. They have several categories for the competition, and each first-place winner will win $65,000. $10,000 goes to the shortlisted candidate. They'll be able to read at the annual Griffin poetry prize shortlist readings in Toronto. You can check out past winners here. The Griffin Trust does a great job at showcasing some of Canada's best poets. On their websites, you can find all the previous winners.
CBC Poetry Competiton
They hold a poetry competition for everyone across Canada. They are looking for an original, unpublished poem or a collection of poems. There is no minim word amount, but it's a max of 600 words. They require a 25.00 fee for entry, and you can win up to $6000. Winning the money isn't the best prize winners will also receive a free 2-week writing residency at the Banff Centre and have their poems be published in the CBC books. CBC also has a support group on Facebook that can be a great way to connect with other writers across Canada.
RBC Poetry Competiton
They have an annual poetry competition that is open for any writer. They're looking for 5-10 pages of unpublished poetry. The grand prize is $10,000, and runners-up can win $2500. The award is in memory of Bronwen Wallace. It's for writers looking to gain more recognition and help them excel in their poetry endeavours.
What Does Poetry Competitions Look For?
Competing for a grand prize of poetry competition can be excited, but also nerve-wracking. Contests usually have thousands of applicants, and your poem has to stand out from the crowd. It’s not impossible to win. You just have to be willing to put in the effort and work. There a few keys things to keep in mind when you're writing for a contest.
Your first thought to keep in mind is following the guidelines. All poetry competitions will have guidelines you need to follow. They could be about formating, word counts, genre, spacing or even how to submit. Any poem that doesn't meet the guidelines will be automatically rejected. If you’re going to spend the time creating and writing a poem, be sure to spend the extra time looking a the guidelines.
Your second thought for competitions is to let your words doing the talking. Some submissions people send in colourful fonts or have fun shapes. Although they look appealing, this not what contests are looking for. You need to let your poem stand out, not what your submission looks like.
Your third thought for contests is to ask yourself, is this your best work? Your poem can't just be good. There are going to be a lot of good poem submissions. Your poem needs to be excellent. It takes time to craft a good poem. Leave yourself ample time to gather all the details you may need and write your best work. Get feedback, have someone review it. Hearing other people's ideas will help you build a strong poem. Put your best foot forward and craft your best work. You can do it.
Now is the time to start crafting your excellent poem. Poem competitions can be tough. Be sure to put in the time and effort and craft a great poem. If you are still searching for poetry help, you can also hire a tutor. Superprof has 100s of poetry tutors all across Canada that are ready to help you. They have the experience and knowledge to teach you everything you need to know. Superprof also offers lessons online and in-person, giving you the freedom and flexibility to learn poetry when you want to learn.
Remember to pay attention to contest guidelines. You don't want to spend all that time writing only to have your poem rejected. Spend the extra time double-checking the guidelines and requirements. Don't let your poem go to waste. Even if you don't win, it's still a good opportunity to practice and get better. It takes experience to craft a great poem. Don't get discouraged. Sticking with poetry and continuing to practice will pay off in the long run. Happy writing.
Everyone can benefit from learning more poetry. We have written numerous articles on other poetry topics. Check out more poetry articles below.
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