Young Poet Competition Rules

2018 Bush Poetry Youth Encouragement Award

We are committed to fostering and encouraging youth to develop their skills and confidence. Youth competitions are open to entrants 18 years and under on 10th March 2018. The competition will held at the Poet’s Breakfast on Saturday 10th March 2018. Paid guest performers are ineligible to compete in any competitions at the festival.

Competition Genre:

Bush Poetry ~ Poem written and delivered by entrant, 18 years and under.


The decision as to whether an entry is suitable is entirely at the discretion of the adjudicator. Contestants cannot bring their own amplification, nor have any control over the PA provided.


Contestants will have an allotted time of up to 5 minutes for their performance. A poem of the contestant’s choice is acceptable provided it qualifies under the “Competition Genres” above. The total performance, including introduction must not exceed 5 minutes. Exceeding the time limit will reduce the contestants score and will be likely to affect their placing.


Judging is by a panel of 3 judges who will assign points according to various criteria. These criteria are:

  • Introduction – 5 points ~ Clear speaking, title of poem, information about the poem and the performer.
  • Technical Skills and Abilities – 25 Points ~ clear and accurate, performer able to manage tricky bits accurately and comfortably, skill in handling mistakes (if any), voice used effectively.
  • Creativity and Interpretation – 35 points ~ Performs within genre, interesting, interaction with audience.
  • Entertainment value – 25 points ~ Subjectivity – judge’s opinion of the performance (over and above the other criteria) i.e. did the judge actually enjoy the performance.
  • Overall Performance – 10 points ~ Completion on time, audience applause and acknowledgement of same, body language during performance.

There are no points for “degree of difficulty” but, the contestants delivery skills will obviously have a bearing on their score. The person with the highest total score is the winner. The adjudicator will be responsible for handling the score sheets, checking score totals and declaration of the winner. In the event of a tie, a playoff may or may not be required. In the event of a dispute the adjudicator’s decision is final.


Winners will be announced on the main stage at the end of the competition. Prizes will be presented at the time of announcement.

How to Enter:

Entries close at 8:00am on the Saturday of the competition. Places are limited so first come first served. All sections on the entry form must be completed. The compere will use this information as they introduce you. If you later decide for some reason not to participate, please contact us to remove your entry. Performance order will be based on the order in which entries are received. If you enter early, you will perform early within your category.

Categories and performers will be posted on a notice board at or near the Poet’s Breakfast tent on Saturday morning. Take note of the time your category begins. Remember, if someone ahead of you fails to show, your performance time moves another 5 minutes earlier!

No unauthorised time swaps. If the competition clashes with your performance elsewhere at the festival, make sure you are free for your competition performance at the appointed time. If we have programmed you to perform elsewhere in the festival at the same time, let us know and we will do our best to resolve it for you.

Competitors must be in the immediate vicinity of the stage at the time they are called. If they are not there when called they will forfeit their right to perform.

Possible Changes

At this stage just about everything is subject to change without notice. However we will endeavour to notify any changes ASAP . . . . Watch this space.

Application Form