Australian Poetry Slam Rules

All entrants to the Australian Poetry Slam 2019 agree to abide by the following rules, terms and conditions.

  1. All ages are welcome to enter Australian Poetry Slam, unless the event is announced as being specifically for young people. People under 18 years of age should confirm with the venue for their heat if they will need to be accompanied by a "responsible adult".

  2. Maximum of 20 contestants per heat.

  3. Entry for the slam is at the venue on the night of the heat (Check with local heat organisers).

  4. Contestants must reside in the state in which they are competing.

  5. Random draw for performance order.

  6. ABSOLUTE two minute limit. Time starts at your first word or when the timekeeper feels your performance has begun (no additional time for introductions). Points will be deducted from the final score for exceeding the time limit — one point for going over time and an extra point every 30 seconds beyond that. For example: At 2:01 minutes you will lose a point. At 2:31 minutes you will lose another point.

  7. Five judges chosen by the host at random from the audience.

  8. Judges hold up score cards using a 1 – 10 scale, with 10 being the highest. Of the five scores for each poet, only the middle three scores are counted.

  9. Poems must be the original work of the performer.

  10. No musical accompaniment. No props. No costumes. Personal poem transcripts permitted.

  11. The performer(s) with the highest scores in each heat will proceed to their State, Territory or Regional Final.

  12. Staff and volunteers of Word Travels, Australian Poetry Slam and venues that are hosting heats may not compete.

  13. You may enter more than one heat, but only heats in your state. 

  14. Writers must perform a new piece at each progressive level/round starting from heats, to State/Territory Finals, to the National Final.

  15. 2019 works can not have been performed in an Australian Poetry Slam event in a previous year.