The AVBOB Poetry Competition: Why You Should Enter!

With 10 days on the clock until the closing of the AVBOB poetry competition, you may wonder why you should take precious time away from your writing to enter a contest?  There are actually several sound reasons for entering writing contests. From receiving valuable feedback on your writing skills and style to your work being noticed and possibly published; opening new doors and paths for your career. We spoke to Mutinta Bbenkele about her experiences with writing competitions and their impact on her as a writer:

– What is an anthology, and why would a writer want to be in one?

An anthology is a collection of poems/other pieces of writing. Writers write to themes that may be pressing issues of the time. Writers want to be included in volumes of work that have a calibre of writers that they respect. Writers want to be showcased alongside other writers that intend on showing versatility in both subject matter and style the list could go on but there are definitely benefits to publishing in any format.

– Did the anthologies allow you the opportunity to be published alongside writers you admire?

Yes absolutely, there was a pride and a sense of achievement having my work alongside people that I admire and look up to.

– How does one balance writing for free to add credibility to one’s craft, without perpetuating the notion of being a struggling artist?

I am all about the fight to get exactly what is due to you. There is the evident and ever-present struggle to have our work taken seriously and that effort being rewarded with decent pay. But, I know that there is only so much money I can make with my network. This demands one to pivot and looks into taking on new avenues for revenue. This “once in a while” sacrifice will be met with gains that can not be quantified. If you are looking to gain new key players in the industry if you are attempting to present to a new audience if you are looking to create a relevance to a certain style of poetry the only way to do that is to take a leap. It may be fruitful, it may not be. You won’t know until you try.

AVBOB launched a website completely devoted to South African poetry – http://www.avbobpoetry.co.za/. – on 18 July 2017. The competition is open to all 11 official languages, and open to all irrespective of age, background and race. All entries stand a chance to get published in a 100-poem print anthology. So get writing, and start entering.

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