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Memories and Milestones Poetry Competition

Issue 59 of Write On magazine is out now and as we look forward to our 60th issue ( and 30 years of Write On School for Young Writers) it’s also time to look back on our favourite memories and the milestones we have reached.

Put your ideas together in a poem of up to 16 lines that helps us to share your memories and significant moments. Winning poems will receive a prize and also be published in Write On Magazine Issue 60.

Enter your poem in the Write On Moments and Milestones Poetry Competition by April 15th 2023. Details and entry form are all here: Competition details.

Here are some poetry writing tips:

  • We have asked for a poem about your memories and milestones- that means we want something that only you could have written!

  • You can choose whatever form your poem wants to take. It could be a closeup of a particular moment or show us a longer story.

  • If we read the words pretty, beautiful, ugly or scary then we'll know you forgot to take this advice from the writer, CS Lewis.

Don't use adjectives which merely tell us

how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. ...

Don't say it was “delightful”;

make us say “delightful” when we've read the description.

CS Lewis.

  • Precise nouns and lively verbs are really important to give your poem clarity and to help transfer what is in your mind to the reader's mind.

A tūī is a clearer image that just bird.

It fluttered or swooped is a livelier action than flew

  • Look at the shape of your poem on the page. How does the layout support the words? ** Please note that MOST poems are justified to the left and NOT centred. You need a good reason to centre your poem.

  • Check the start of your poem- this needs to be a great line to drop the reader right into the poem.

  • Check your last line - this should leave the reader satisfied yet still thinking. If you've ended with an explanation then consider deleting it but using something from that line as your title.

  • Give your poem a title!

  • We can't emphasise enough that rhyming poems are really really hard to get spot on! Slip in the occasional rhyme or half rhyme for special effect but choose most words for their meaning, not their rhyming quality.

You can find more poetry writing tips here.

Also check out some of our past posts on odes, acrostics, list poems, instructional poems.

And read some of the poems on our blog or in a Write On Magazine to get an idea of what other young New Zealanders are writing.

We look forward to reading your Moments and Milestones poems.

Write On - Competition Submission Guidelines, Terms and Conditions

Please read the, competition guidelines, terms and conditions below.

  • All submissions must be via our online form using the ENTER NOW button above.

  • Please take a moment to check your writing- is it your very best work?

  • Poem limit: 16 lines

  • Ask a teacher or parent to read it over and give you some feedback.

  • Please format your work in size 12, Times New Roman, black.

  • No pictures or illustrations please - let your wonderful writing create the pictures.

  • Please make sure the title of your entry is at the top of your page.

  • All entries will be judged blind, so please do not include your name or school on your entry.

  • Work can be entered as .doc or .pdf files only.

  • Please make sure you pay your entry fee. This goes towards paying the judges. We are a charitable organisation. Please pay your entry fee ($5.00 per individual entry, or $25.00 for each six entries from a school to our Bank Account : The School for Young Writers 03 1704 0036137 000 Code: Your surname (individuals) or your school’s name (groups) Reference: COMPETITION). Schools with multiple entries may request an invoice.

  • No simultaneous submissions - please don’t send your writing to another publication or competition until after June 1 2023

  • If you are selected as a winner we may make small edits prior to publication.

Closing date: Friday April 15 2023

Winning entries will be published in Write On: Issue 60 July 2023. Winners will be contacted mid May 2023

No correspondence will be entered in to. The judges’ decision is final.

(c) Write On School for Young Writers, 2023


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