Jump to content
The Corroboree
Sign in to follow this  

current Australian poetry comps.

Recommended Posts

Hi all.

I have a nice poem i'de like to enter into a competition. I'm not a member of any organization and would like to enter it somewhere were it's recognized, perhaps even cash prize or some other certificate of publication.

I've been wanting to share it here since I've been here but want to put it in a registrar first.

About the poem. "Life" subject matter.

1 and a half pages long so can't be entererederererd in one that restricts how many words it can have.

One that is currently open for submissions as I will be Submitting on wed morning. Then posting here for all wed night.

Thanks guys and gals.

I really look forward to any idea/suggestions you may have.

Wert himself.

Edited by wert
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Wert,

please be careful when submitting poetry to various journals, as a lot are sketchy and will publish anything for a certain fee--even ingredients copied from the back of soup cans. There's a lot of scams out there which present as legitimate journals but are really just ponzi schemes designed to haul in entry fees.

There are only two reputable Australian Poetry Journals, and they are Meanjin and blue dog. OS journals such as The Paris Review and Shit Creek are generally considered the premier publishers of contemporary poems--at least they were, last time I checked.

As a younger man I was fairly dedicated to writing poetry and had some limited success-- had one poem featured in an online journal alongside a poem written by Australian Author Anthony Lawrence, for example. It took me a few years to accept that I wasn't a real poet--I was simply very very good at representing interesting images and scenes. But poetry is about more than that; it's also about poetic thought. This is something I simply never did, and never will possess.

Writing high end, polished poetry is extraordinarily difficult, and the vast majority of people who attempt to do this will never manage it. It requires an enormous amount of dedication, but more importantly, the ability to accept and learn from critique--critique which may be very harsh and demoralizing. It's about leaving your ego at the door.

I'm happy to give you my thoughts on your poem. I have read thousands of poems ranging mostly from the modernists to contemporary stuff and have participated in numerous writing workshops over the years. I can perform scansions and have a decent grasp of metrical poetry in general.


Edited by starling
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi starling.

Thank you for your reply.

Could you be so kind as to provide links to the submission sections of the mentioned.

I can't find blue dog... am not sure if there legit or not what I have found and meanjin I found but could not work out where to submit?

Any help is much appreciated.

Thank you again.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a few meanjin issues at home I'll fish out when I get home and post any submission details I come across.f starling hasn't already done so.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi wert,

it looks like bluedog may have folded. Poetry is an increasingly niche form of writing, and participation in it as a market gets slimmer every year. As such, journals going bust is pretty much par for the course. Meanjin probably won't as it's kind of a cultural institution.

I did find this journal, which seems to legitimate, and is an Australian publication:


Other advice:

A) Don't have your poems rhyme unless they are metered, or syllabic.

B) Avoid modifiers--words that modify nouns. Studiously avoid adjectives altogether.

C) Avoid latinate type words--words with latin or greek roots, especially those that contain a lot of vowels. This is a big tip. because almost all contemporary poetry written in the last 25 years is constructed from saxonic words with have clean sonics (sonics being the sound of sound)--which are plain, or perhaps common, but used in interesting ways. To get a sense of how this works, I recommend reading some of the work of Anne sexton. Her Kind is a good example. She can show you how to use simple words in extraordinary ways.

D) Avoid Abstractions, and remember that just because you understand something, this does not imply that the reader will.

E) Avoid cliche'. Basically, a cliche is a common thought, scene or idea. Developing a sense of what is cliche is something that takes time.

F) Avoid beat poetry --it was really only relevant for a short time and has been completely passe' since then. It's not published anywhere anymore.

E) Avoid purple prose: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_prose

F) Limit your use of similes. And when you do use one, make it a direct hit. Ditto metaphor. A poor metaphor or simile in a poem is impossible to come back from. Try not to make direct comparisons between objects and things. For example, in Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf used the following metaphor to describe the expression of Anxiety/panic in the countenance of the character septimus, who has PTSD: 'The world has raised its whip--were will it descend'? This is succinct, accurate, and frankly very brilliant. Now, we're not all virginia woolfs. So don't expect to knock it out of the park like that. But it's a good standard to strive for.

G)Condense, condense,condense. Poetry is not prose. You must reduce and refine your poem as much as possible--trim the fat. Compress. Whittle down your ideas--boil them down to their essential essences.

H) Avoid polemic sentences

I) Avoid vulgarity--this isn't to say never throw in the odd fuck, but make them count, be relevant, and use them sparingly. Use vulgarity in either a direct quote, to either personify a type of character, characters or protagonist, or to convey the severity of an emotion. Below are two poems by les murray which employ vulgarity these ways:


Us all on sore cement was we.

Not warmed then with glares. Not glutting mush
under that pole the lightning's tied to.
No farrow-shit in milk to make us randy.
Us back in cool god-shit. We ate crisp.
We nosed up good rank in the tunnelled bush.
Us all fuckers then. And Big, huh? Tusked
the balls-biting dog and gutsed him wet.
Us shoved down the soft cement of rivers.
Us snored the earth hollow, filled farrow, grunted.
Never stopped growing. We sloughed, we soughed
and balked no weird till the high ridgebacks was us
with weight-buried hooves. Or bristly, with milk.
Us never knowed like slitting nor hose-biff then.
Nor the terrible sheet-cutting screams up ahead.
The burnt water kicking. This gone-already feeling
here in no place with our heads on upside down.

The last hellos


Hope this helps.


Edited by starling
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks starling.

Alot of that went over my head. I'm not big into poetry just wrote one I thought was clever.

I might just put it on here for sabbers to read, critique or tell me it's horse shit.

I don't think in its current state I want to condence it. It doesn't necessarily follow some rules though rhyme is the constant within.

I will send you a copy to read and see what you think but bear in mind I'm not willing to change it.

I made copys of it a couple of years ago and sent them through the post shady little copyright. Lol.

Thanks for your intence help.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Poetry, like verse is the communication of an image. If you can picture clearly that which you talk/write about others will see the image too and the communication has been successfull. Ancient poets were called BARD and their flowing words became the law as everybody knew that words straight from the heart were always true. Forget the modern rules and speak from the heart I say. Well done, Wert!

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Starling. Further reading of your contributions to this site so far has made me think of you as a bit of a twat really.

I never asked for the all of the intence help you offered, and I dont think woodwoman did either.

You can't just jump into a crowd thats dancing to a rhythm and start pogo-ing in the middle all out of time n shit.

Though you seemed to have literally answered my question you banged on alot about shit I never needed to know and to add to that you have pissed in the eyes of some people I care for and love on this site.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this