Entering free poetry competitions presents aspiring poets with an excellent opportunity to see their poetry published, and the publicity generated if selected as the overall winner can lead to many opportunities. If you are such a poet, then there are three things that you can do to give yourself the best chance of winning the next poetry competition that you enter.
These three actions are all concerned with preparation. They don’t take much time or effort, and if you do them diligently you will give yourself a much better chance than the other entrants of your poetry winning the competition.
To begin with, you should check what types of poems the company operating the competition selects to appear in their books and publications. Begin by checking their website and looking for excerpts from their already published books. You could also purchase a copy of one of their books if you really wanted to dig deeper, but it’s not essential. If you cannot find anything on their website, contact them and ask for a sample of the poetry they have published in the past. Doing this will give you an indication of the style of poem you should be writing for the competition in question, as well as the general standard of poetry accepted.
Next, you need to dig deeper and find out which poems were judged the overall winners of the previous competitions. Again, start with their website and if no information is forthcoming, contact the competition organiser and ask for a copy of the winning poems from their previous competitions. This gives you more knowledge about the type and quality of poems you will need to submit to stand a chance of winning the competition.
Finally, check the competition rules! All competitions will have their own rules with regards to topic, line limits, word limits and title restrictions on poetry submitted. Ensure you fully understand the rules for the poetry competition that you are entering and that you are able to comply with them.
Armed with the information you will have gleaned by completing these three actions, you can now begin to craft a poem that stands a better chance than most of winning the next free poetry competition that you enter.