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A Guide to Getting Published in the Poetry Contest

by kaddiez


Whether you are looking to release the poet that you know is dwelling inside you or just wanting to add a trophy to your collection, look no further than the Poetry Contest! This is one of Neopia's many literacy competitions where users submit their poetic masterpieces to honor the land's many holidays and pets or just to express their wacky imaginations. With a few of these tips and some patience and creativity, you may be seeing your poem published in no time!

First, you need an idea- well, of course you would need that! This is the foundation of the poem and thus the most important. Here, you'll have to really figure out what or who you'll be writing about. A land or a character, be it a hero or villain, and what they will be doing. It could even be something more unusual like your favorite game or food. Also, consider if you are going to write your poem as a story or as a depiction, describing a particular subject, instead. There are many different ways you can write a poem and these are just a few suggestions. If you have a different approach, go for it!

One of the most important things you need when trying to get published is originality. Anyone can have an idea, but it takes thought for it to truly stand out. As soon as you figure out your subject, you need to come up with a way to make it your own. Use quirky words and take a unique view on a matter. For example, anyone can write a poem about how evil Dr. Sloth is, but let's say you put a twist on it. In the end, it's found out that Dr. Sloth was never evil and that the Space Faerie was just framing him all along! This may seem like a huge plot twist to squeeze into a poem, but poems are very to the point because they do not usually require an intro to the setting and all the characters. They also lack lots of description, unless your poem is about describing a certain place or Neopet, instead of a story.

And to tie everything together, you need a good structure! Poems should be around 15 lines in length or more; any less and that's pushing it. You'll have to decide on how long each stanza is and how many there will be, whether it'll rhyme (more on that in the section below) and everything like that. Look at your poem and you should see that the stanzas are around the same size, but more importantly, have around the same amount of syllables. If one verse is overly long while some are much too short, your poem won't flow well and will sound kind of awkward. Don't forget all the different kinds of poetry you can do: ballads, sonnets, rhyming couplets, haiku and even free-form! There are many styles, so pick the one that suits you best.

This is something that is really up to your writing style, but rhyming can aid your poetry in quality, especially if the rhymes are witty. It helps to make everything flow together smoothly and allows words to roll off the tongue. A good strategy with rhyming is to just type the sentence and then rhyme afterwards, don't try to predetermine the words as the poem may sound too scripted. Form the rhymes around the sentences, not the sentences around the rhymes. And if you ever get stuck, try using a rhyming dictionary, asking someone for advice, or if you can't think of anything, change the structure of your sentence to get a different word to rhyme.

Now using all that, you've managed to come up with a poem- so now what? You want it published, of course! The trick of the trade to getting published is simply this; write a poem for theme days! And what does that mean, exactly? Well, you notice that on the calendar that you can find in Pet Central, it lists upcoming dates. It tells you if a pet day or a holiday is coming up and this is very useful. What you have to do now is write a poem centering on that specific day and submit it a few days prior. When the news updates, it always has a whole gallery of poetry dedicated to the day's theme. Keep in mind that the news is always released one day earlier.

So let's say that you wanted to submit a poem for Korbat Day. On the calendar, it says it takes place on the 26th, but the news will actually update on the 25th along with the special's day goodies and poems dedicated to Korbats! So send in your work a few days before the 25th, one or two days prior is the latest you should submit, any later and the editor may not have enough time to see your entry. Using this method, your poem can be published faster, though it's not guaranteed.

You may think that this limits what you can write about- but that is not true at all! You can write about any character, game, shop or food that features the pet. Think of something that others wouldn't think of; originality is the key!

Remember, you do not have to write a poem for theme days to be published, but it can make it easier. Without submitting for holidays, it can take a long time to get in. After you've gotten the hang of what the editors like and your own writing style, then submit whatever you want. And you never know, if you're really good, you get can be published for that special 100th issue!

And after all that, you may be asking, "Why would all I do all that work?" Well, first off, it's not that much work and second, for a super special item and a trophy! You'll get one shiny Poetry Contest Champion trophy to add to your collection and a random item. Sometimes, you can get a buyable item, but most of the time the prizes are quite good. What really makes it worth it is when you get that rare paintbrush that you sell for millions, yes, millions. And don't forget the warm fuzzy feeling you will get from seeing your very own poem on display for everyone to see!

So, there you go! Tips and tricks to getting published in the poetry contest. Remember to form your ideas, add originality, and use a good structure to write your poem. For a quicker publication, try submitting your work for theme days. Do not get discouraged if your entry is rejected; just sharpen your pencil, put on your thinking cap and try again! Maybe even read over a few entries to get the feel of things, or ask others for their opinions on your poetry. Have fun with it and good luck!

If you have any more questions, feel free to neomail me ^_^

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