Multilingual Poetry Slam Rules

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


  1. Only a limited number of people can perform.
  2. Random draw for performance order.
  3. ABSOLUTE three minute limit. Time starts at your first word or when the timekeeper feels the performance has begun (no additional time allowed 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 3:01 minutes you will lose a point. At 3:31 minutes you will lose another point.
  4. Five judges are chosen by the MC at random from the audience.
  5. 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. The decision of the judges is final.
  6. Poem must be the original work of the performer. No plagarism folks. One or two recognisable pop culture references are okay.
  7. Performers must be prepared to perform two different poems.
  8. In the case of a tie the MC will conduct a “slam off” tie-breaker performance. Contestants must be prepared with a second poem to allow for this eventuality.
  9. No musical accompaniment. No props. No costumes. (National dress will not be considered as a costume)
  10. Staff and volunteers of Word Travels, Australian Poetry Slam and venues that are hosting heats may not compete.


Terms and Conditions of Multilingual Poetry Slam to accompany Slam Rules. The terms and conditions relate to prize winners, finalists and competition participants. Participation in this competition is deemed acceptance of these terms and conditions and all entrants must comply with the Rules and the Terms and Conditions to be valid prize recipients.

  1. The Organisers are the International Performing Writers Association trading as Word Travels, Level 2 - 79 1/2 George St. The Rocks, NSW ABN 29625047671 and its partners including writers festivals, libraries, venues and sponsors.
  2. Heat entrants under 18 years of age must have written consent from a parent or legal guardian to advance to State and National Finals. Your place of residence must be in Australia.
  3. Employees of the Organisers associated with the Australian Poetry Slam and their immediate families are not eligible to enter the competition.
  4. All participants agree, at the Organiser’s request, to participate in promotional activity regarding their win and consent to their name, image, writing or performance being recorded and used in promotional material. 
  5. Participants in the slam agree not to sub-contract their appearances to any third party, without the prior written consent of Word Travels. Word Travels may give or withhold consent with or without conditions, in its sole and absolute discretion.
  6. Participants agree not to use access to knowledge of Word Travels and Australian Poetry Slam budgets, artist contacts, staff contacts, stakeholder relationships or any other professional knowledge of Word Travels and Australian Poetry Slam to present/accept independent and/or competitive proposals to/from Word Travels and Australian Poetry Slam stakeholders.
  7. Any independent offers to Participants and Slam Champions from stakeholders in the Multilingual Poetry Slam, City of Sydney, Australian Poetry Slam heats, state finals or national finals during 2018 will be referred back to Word Travels for negotiation with the participant on a case by case basis.
  8. Participants in the Multilingual Poetry Slam & Australian Poetry Slam cannot set up separate, independent and similar poetry slam events during 2018 without the consent of Word Travels. Likewise the title 'Multilingual Slam Champion' can only be used with the consent of Word Travels. If consent is given, participants must acknowledge Word Travels and the Australian Poetry Slam in marketing and publicity material in the following way: "inspired by Word Travels' Australian Poetry Slam". This is to be accompanied by logo placement for Word Travels and/or Australian Poetry Slam.
  9. The First prize consists of: An entry in the Australian Poetry Slam Western Sydney Final in 2018.