The "Write and Burn!" Challenge: Give voice to your soul poetry

Judging & Challenge Rules

2019 Theme: "Change"


Change is the evolution of society, of the individual and of the state of mind.

We embody the shifts that occur in our daily existence - be they subtle, emphatic or catastrophic. Poetry gives voice to the changes, bearing witness to what has been and what is to come.

Open to all Singapore-based students (Singapore citizens/Permanent Residents/student pass holders) aged 15-18.

Language: English

Length: Up to 5 minutes of performance time.


[There is no maximum word/line limit, as long as it may be performed in under 5 minutes, inclusive of a preamble stating your name, poem title and a short explanation of what the poem is about.]


Submit all entries via this online form with your
(1) written poem in Word or PDF formats.

(2) performance of the poem in a short video of your spoken performance as an MP4 file or a YouTube link.​


WRITE & BURN! 2019



Date: SUNDAY 25 AUGUST 2019

TIME: 9.00am - 6.30pm


20 winning entries will be invited to perform your written poem and perform at the Final Stage.


Round 1: Burn!

Participants will perform their winning entries. Minimal changes to the entries are accepted - up to 5 minutes of performance time.


Round 2: Write and Burn!

Participants to write a poem on-the-spot (some time will be given) based on a given prompt and to perform it.



1. The challenge is open to permanent residents and citizens of Singapore aged 15 to 18 years (as of 31 Dec 2019).


2. Submissions close at midnight (Singapore Time, 23:59)​ on 31 July 2019.


3. All poems must have a title and must not exceed 5 minutes of performance time, including preamble— stating of name and title, short explanation of what the poem is about. ­Entries must be an interpretation of the theme “Change.” Send your written entry before midnight (Singapore Time, 23:59)​ on 31 July 2019 via this online form in Word and PDF formats. Your video entry should be submitted as an MP4 file or an unlisted Youtube link; detailed instructions can be found in the form.

4. Each participant is encouraged to submit his or her best poem, which should preferably be unpublished. If your poem has been published in or submitted to any other platform or publication, please indicate as such in the online form.


5. In case of multiple entries, only the latest entry will be considered.

6. All entries will be evaluated anonymously by the judges.


7. Entries must be submitted via the online form only. No email submissions will be accepted.

8. Entries will not be returned in any form, so keep your own copy.

9. Under no circumstances can changes be made to poems once submitted.

10. Entries made via the website will receive a confirmation of submission.

11. The Organizer / Organization staff will be unable to confirm the content of documents submitted online, so please ensure you send the correct file.

12. The organizers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice and not to award prizes if, in the judges’ opinion, no entry deserves a prize.


13. The judges’ decision is final and neither the judges nor the Organization / Organizer staff will enter into any correspondence.

14. Poems must be the original work of the entrant.


15.  Written entries should be typed in black ink on A4 paper at a minimum type size of 12pt. Entries can be double- or single-spaced and must be submitted as Word or PDF files. Video submissions should be audible and clear. The participant’s faces should not be covered, with no additional graphics or images.


17. There is no fee required to participate in the challenge.


18. Entries will be assessed based on (i) clarity and expression in performance (ii) precision with language (iii) originality of thought (iv) truthfulness of feeling (v) sensitivity to the world at large.


19. Semi-final winners will be notified by 15 August 2019 and invited to participate in the Final Round on 25 August 2019. All winners will be required to provide a biography and photograph. Prize details are subject to change; currently winners stand to be awarded the following prizes: S$100 in book vouchers for 1st place, S$50 in book vouchers for 2nd place, and S$50 in book vouchers for 3rd place. The top 3 winners will also get the opportunity to be mentored by the judges of the competition. 


20. The copyright of each poem remains with the writer. However, writers of the top poems, by entering the competition, grant Poetry Festival (Singapore) the right to publish and/or broadcast their poems.


1. Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes, only the latest entry will be considered.

2. Can I submit entries in multiple languages (e.g. one entry under English and one entry under Chinese)?

No, this competition is in English.

3. Do I have to pay any submission fee?

No, there is no submission fee to submit your poem.

4. What is the judging criteria?

Entries will be assessed based on clarity and expression in performance, precision with language, originality, truthfulness of feeling and sensitivity to the world at large.


5. When will I know if I am shortlisted?

We will notify shortlisted applicants by 15 August 2019.

6. Is there an age limit?

Yes, participants should be aged between 15-18 years old as of 31 Dec 2019.


7. Can foreigners participate?

Yes, if you are a student pass holder. The competition is open to Permanent Residents, Singapore citizens and student pass holders aged 15-18.


8. What are the prizes for winners?

Prize details are subject to change; currently winners stand to be awarded the following prizes: S$100 in book vouchers for 1st place, S$50 in book vouchers for 2nd place, and S$50 in book vouchers for 3rd place. 


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Poetry Festival Singapore 2019 programmes happening in July 2019.

Details will be up soon!