How to Win the Poetry Competition
I see you’re here because you want to know how you can get your poem submitted to the Poetry Competition! There are so many wondrous things in Neopia to explore and write about, and so many hilarious and heart-warming poems to read, so of course it’s difficult to not want to write your very own poem! To write a poem can be an easy thing to do, but only if you know where to start. Do you want to let all of Neopia know about your admiration of the Faerie Queen? Or perhaps you want to write about the Snowager, and all the different things that happened during your encounters? Maybe you just want to write about how wonderful Kacheeks are and how uncanny their resemblance to the Poogle is? Something all of these ideas have in common is a theme, which is one of the main focuses of writing a poem.
As previously mentioned, looking for a theme is the perfect place to start when writing a poem. If you have plenty of things on your mind, the poem may be quite difficult to write out. I mean, what would really be the focus of your poem if you’re writing about the time your baby Lupe was painted on Jhudora Day and then a random event occurred that took away 5,000 Neopoints from you? Instead, you could perhaps choose to write a poem about the friendship between you and your baby Lupe, the quest you pursued on Jhudora day, or how pesky random events just may be. An important thing to remember is to be original! The Neopets Team loves to read original poems, and that increases your chance of having your poem chosen over others’.
What is considered original, you may ask? Try to find things in Neopia that are less commonly talked about, and that can be the focus of your poem. For example, Faeries are seen all around Neopia giving out quests, and will therefore be a popular topic to write about, so try searching for something that is not seen as often to write about.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Neopia has many special events that could occur one day after another, or just a few weeks apart, such as the celebration of Wocky day, Neopet’s birthday, or Gadgadsbogen. These are important events that will be featured in the Poetry Competition, so if you’re feeling stuck on what to write about, take a look at the Neopian Calendar, check what events or days are coming up, and choose one of those to be the focus of your poem. Don’t forget to be original. Sure, anyone can write about celebrating Kyrii Day, but why not choose a specific Kyrii to celebrate, such as Stan the Kyrii, who is the main player of the game Grand Theft Ummagine. This would be your chance to get as creative as possible and write about the dangers Stan must encounter throughout his journey.
Now that you’re set on a theme, it is time to choose a writing style, and to think about how long you want your poem to be. If the poem is too short, the chances of another poem getting picked over yours is quite high, as your poem may not be detailed enough. However, no one wants to read a poem that is 150 lines long either, as everyone would be sat reading for an hour. Try to aim for a minimum of 20 lines, and a maximum of about 75 lines.
Now, the writing style is completely up to you. You can choose to have your poem rhyme, or you can choose to not have it rhyme, as long as it flows. You can also choose to freestyle your poem, meaning it can consist of a mix of rhymes and no rhymes, but you make up the rules! Some styles are quite difficult to follow as they require a certain amount of lines with a certain amount of syllables, such as sonnets and haikus. If you like the challenge, then I say go for it, but it’s really all up to you! I have been published in the Poetry Competition twice, and I chose to freestyle rhyme my poems, as writing sonnets would be too challenging for me!
Here are some more helpful tips to get you going with your poem:
1. If you’re ever stuck on rhyming your poem, try to find a simple synonym for the word you are rhyming. For example, ‘buoyant’ is a word that has very few rhymes, but ‘happy’ essentially means the same thing, and you can find many more words that rhyme with happy, than with buoyant.
2. Always keep your poems Neopets related!
3. Don’t be afraid to explore the world of Neopia to find inspiration for your poems
4. Write down some key words on a piece of paper that relate to the theme of your poem, and find a way to incorporate it into your poem. For example, words related to Stan the Kyrii may be: Ummagine, guard, palace, maze, caught. This will help you stay focused on your theme, and make it easier to write the next lines of your poem
5. If you feel frustrated with the flow of your poem, take a break. Go outside, rake the leaves, come back feeling refreshed, and try again!
The Poetry Competition also hands out some amazing items that can be worth a lot, and these items could be yours if your poem gets chosen! Another thing that is also very exciting is poems that get published on every 100th page receive the most rare item of all — a collectable card dedicated to one of Neopia’s finest poets, Alstaf Poogle. Who knows, one day you may even be the lucky holder of this rare collectable card! I know you're eager now to start writing, so I'll leave you with this: I hope this guide has helped you to find inspiration for writing your poems, and I wish you best of luck with your future entries!