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Poetry Competition: What To and What Not To Do

by aquaticblumaroo


So once again, you gaze over your trophy cabinet. You see your Neopian Times trophies, along with Random Contest trophies, Picture Competition trophies, and just about everything else. But there is one trophy you really want: The Poetry Competition trophy. Even if you don't care about trophies, there is reason to win this contest! What is this reason? The spectacular prizes! I'm not sure what all the categories of prizes are, but the three I know about are: Codestones, Petpet Paint Brushes, and regular Paint Brushes! You obviously want the latter, so hope you get it! You finally submit your poem, but you get a message back from TNT saying that it has been rejected. You wonder why, but then you look over your poem again. You quickly realize that it probably isn't up to par. So what do you do? Relax, my friend, as I teach you what to do and what NOT to do in the poetry competition. Besides, I'd know this stuff. As I won the Poetry Competition before, and some of my real-life works have been published in Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans. So sit back, and read this guide! When you're done, you should be ready to write a new poem!


1) Look for theme days. There are such things known as theme days on Neopets. These theme days celebrate a special pet, item, character, or simply a special holiday in Neopia! These days are best to submit your poems, as it is EXTREMELY easy to get your poem accepted. As there are always twenty different poems in the theme day competitions, opposed to the regular five. How do you find these days? Click on Pet Central, and there'll be a calendar that features these days.

2) Research the day! Try searching around the site for information on the topic of the day. It is great to make your poem a sort of story about the day. Look for obscure characters of the day or species. For example: For Lenny Day, don't choose the Conundrum Lenny. Everyone will choose him. Instead, choose Vela Binal! He played on Mystery Island's Yooyuball team in 2007.

3) Be original! Don't simply take a popular piece of literature like Oliver Twist, and replace all the nouns. "May I please have some more Eye of Mortog Soup, sir?" is not a valid idea for a poem. If you do this, you will most likely be rejected for two reasons: Copyright issues, and how horrible the idea is. Don't rip off other people's poems either. Ripping off other users will most likely result in a frozen account.

4) Use fancy words. Use words that you wouldn't use in casual conversation. But most likely, you wouldn't know these words. So look at a thesaurus and look up some synonyms! One of my favorite words to use in poetry is "Alas", as it sounds very nice. But do NOT go overboard with fancy words. Saying "Consequently, the Quiggle ruminated viad" in a stanza will not work very well, as nobody will understand you.

5) Use grammar! This is an EXTREMELY important rule, as you want TNT to understand you. Be sure to review some old grammar books, or look it up on the internet before inputting something you are unsure of. Admittedly, I make mistakes too sometimes. But making very small mistakes is okay. But you NEVER want to misspell words. Just look them up in the dictionary!


1) NEVER make anything inappropriate! If you are unsure of what is against the rules, click on the "Terms of Service" link at the bottom of nearly any page on the main Neopets site. You might think that you can slip some content past TNT, but remember that your poems are going directly to TNT here, so don't try anything.

2) Don't be depressing. Despite famous poems such as "The Raven" being rather sad and depressing, depression doesn't really work well on Neopets. Look around. It is mainly a happy site, so don't be a buzz kill and bring everyone down.

3) Don't be late! Always submit your poems three to five days before the scheduled theme days. Remember that TNT doesn't judge on the weekends, so look out for that too.

4) Don't worry about rhyming. This is a fatal mistake tons of people make. They focus way too much time on rhymes, and they never even think about the poem itself. Rhyming is a nice plus, but don't rely on it for your entire poem. Look at books of poetry by Edgar Allen Poe and Maya Angelou. Do you see any rhyming in there? Probably not much.

5) Don't write about your own pet. Writing a story about your pet Quiggle for Quiggle Day probably won't work out well. As to be frank, nobody cares. Nobody cares if your Quiggle is Island colored, but is wearing Pirate clothes. Nobody cares if he never gets bored at games. Nobody cares if he has read the rarest book on the site. Keep your poems to the most famous Neopian characters.

6) Keep it to Neopia! Don't put things from the real world into your poem, as it doesn't really make sense. Mummy Rukis shouldn't go to New York City and start their own dance troupe. The same goes for technology. Don't include cellphones, laptops, or anything like that. (although there used to be a laptop item)

7) Don't make it too long, or too short. Poems should be at least twenty lines long. I don't recommend submitting poems over eighty lines, because nobody really has time to read them. For theme day poems, I generally like to have the following three stanza long format: People celebrating the day, the origin of a character or day, and the day's celebrations and festivities.


So there you have twelve tips for the Poetry Competition. So I recommend rushing over to that page, and start writing! There are four messages you can receive from TNT about your poem:

1) The first one says that your poem has been rejected because of its content. There are several reasons why. The most common is that the subject matter was too common.

2) The next one says that your poem has been rejected, because only a limited amount of entries can be accepted. This is kind of a way to simply say it just isn't good enough. Revise it and send it back in, but if it gets rejected a few more times, you should simply write a new poem.

3) The first good one should say that your poem has been put on hold. Despite the fact that it says you haven't won yet, it basically means you have won. As I have NEVER met anyone who got this message and didn't win.

4) Finally, a day after your poem is put up, you should receive one last message. It tells you that you have one, and that you have received your prizes. Congratulations!

Hopefully after submitting your poem, you'll receive the last two messages! Good luck! If you have any questions, contact me, aquaticblumaroo.

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